Is Lion’s Mane Addictive?

Lion's mane mushroom is a widely taken nootropic to aid cognitive function. Is there any risk of addiction, or can it be safely taken long-term?

Is Lion’s Mane Addictive?

Many people use lion’s mane as a nootropic used to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms, and improve cognitive performance at the same time.

However, unlike traditional SSRIs and anti-depressants, there is no risk of addiction and or experiencing severe side effects.

Lion’s mane mushrooms have been proven over hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine as an immunity booster, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, and cognitive enhancer to boost brain health.

Therefore, with no history of dependence, people continue to enjoy the beneficial effects of lion’s mane today without risk of becoming addicted.


    Is It Safe To Take Lion’s Mane Every Day?

    Several animal research studies have proven that lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium Erinaceus) usage effectively improves mental performance.

    While these studies do not determine the safety of lion’s mane, no adverse effects occurred in trials even where rodents received high doses (1).

    To further illustrate their safety, lion’s mane mushrooms are safely eaten in moderate quantities across many Asian countries today and still form a significant part of traditional Chinese medicine.

    Lion’s mane mushrooms are one of nature’s most powerful nootropics and adaptogens. Because of that, they are often included as a part of the best nootropic stacks available on the market.

    As a result, taking lion’s mane is safe in all forms as long as individuals closely follow dosage guidelines. Furthermore, with prolonged periods of daily consumption, one can experience the wide-ranging benefits of a lion’s mane for cognitive performance.

    However, while it can reduce mild symptoms of anxiety and depression, the lion’s mane mushroom is not intended to be taken as a substitute for other drugs to treat mental illnesses.

    Can Lion’s Mane Cause Addiction?

    Unlike traditional SSRIs, anti-depressants, or psychoactive drugs, in which addictive toxicity levels are high, the body does not build a tolerance to lion’s mane mushroom.

    Therefore, there is no risk of addiction, tolerance withdrawal when individuals stop taking it, or receptor down-regulation, even when taken over a long period.

    Additionally, the compelling benefits of the lion’s mane are long-lasting. The impact on mood and memory may continue for several weeks or months after one stops taking it.

    There have been no reported side effects experienced by anyone whose overall health was in good condition.

    However, it is inadvisable for people with existing fungal allergies or pregnant to take lion’s mane as it may cause side effects.

    In most cases, as with all supplements, if the recommended dose is adhered to and taken as a mechanism to supplement a healthy lifestyle, there is no need to worry about lion’s mane addiction.

    Does Lion’s Mane Improve Mood?

    There is considerably a lot of scientific evidence that helps us understand the effects of the lion’s mane mushroom and how it works compared with many other nootropic substances or medicinal mushrooms.

    Current research has shown that lion’s mane boosts happiness alongside the other known cognitive benefits such as improved memory.

    Lion’s mane mushrooms increase the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), the synthesis of which helps in neurogenesis in brain cells.

    This effect of lion’s mane produces significant improvements in cognitive function and other possible health benefits for the body.

    For example, results in clinical research in which human participants took three capsules a day of a lion’s mane supplement for eight weeks found that their symptoms of depression and anxiety reduced by between 35 and 50%.

    The same study saw an improvement in sleep quality amongst some participants (2).

    Also, a separate study undertaken in adult mice supports these findings. This study found that lion’s mane effectively stimulates the growth of new neurons within the hippocampus, a part of the brain that plays a crucial role in processing memory and the control of mood, reducing anxiety and depression (3).

    Another study suggests that menopausal symptoms in women eased when participants ate a cookie supplement containing lion’s mane extracts for one month. Participants also reported a noticeable reduction in feelings of irritation and anxiety (4).

    While the beneficial effects of lion’s mane on supplementing cognitive function and mood-boosting properties are proven, scientists are continually learning more through research as they continue to explore other potential benefits of lion’s mane supplements for various diseases.

    For example, the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of lion’s mane mushroom may reduce the effect of chronic illnesses, including cancer, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders.

    One recent in-vitro study found that a result of lion’s mane extract saw reductions in oxidative stress within the gut that can cause inflammation leading to stomach ulcers (5).


    So, is lion’s mane addictive? No, even while lion’s mane mushroom provides many outcomes often associated with addictive substances.

    Generally, the positive effects on the brain, memory, focus at work, and how people feel are usually only achieved through nootropics or medicines that carry a possibility of addiction.

    However, in the many clinical trials undertaken to determine the health benefits of lion’s mane, there has been no evidence to suggest that lion’s mane mushroom is addictive, nor anecdotal reports of users becoming addicted.

    For anyone seeking a powerful, non-addictive nootropic mushroom for improving brain performance, mood, and reductions in levels of anxiety, the lion’s mane mushroom is one of the best options available.