Lion’s Mane mushroom.

Lion’s Mane vs Reishi: Exploring the Differences

They are known as adaptogenic mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms, and superfoods. Whichever epithet we choose, we won’t go wrong. In this guide, we reveal the power of Lion’s Mane and Reishi and explore their differences.

Lion’s Mane Origin and Use

Scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus, Lion’s Mane is a mushroom with a long history of use in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. Its use can be traced back centuries, particularly in China, where it was highly valued for its health benefits. The mushroom’s distinctive appearance, with its cascading white spines, resembles a lion’s mane, hence its name. Historically, Lion’s Mane was believed to support digestive health and boost the immune system. It was also used topically to facilitate wound healing.

Today, Lion’s Mane is gaining popularity globally for its potential cognitive and neuroprotective properties. This adaptogenic mushroom is widely consumed as a powerful dietary supplement. Its versatility and potential health benefits make it a popular choice among those seeking natural ways to support cognitive function and overall well-being.

Reishi Origin and Use

Reishi, also known as Ganoderma lucidum, is a medicinal mushroom with a rich history of use in traditional Chinese medicine, dating back over 2,000 years. It is commonly referred to as the “mushroom of immortality” due to its believed ability to promote longevity and overall health. 

Reishi is native to Asia, where it was first documented in ancient Chinese texts as a valuable remedy for various ailments. In traditional medicine, Reishi was used to support the immune system, promote liver health, and improve endurance and stamina. It was also revered for its calming properties, often used to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Historically, this potent mushroom was reserved for royalty and the elite due to its scarcity and esteemed medicinal properties. Today, Reishi is widely cultivated and available in various forms, including capsules, extracts, teas, and even skincare products. Its popularity continues to grow globally, with increasing research highlighting its health benefits.

Lion’s Mane vs Reishi: The Key Differences

Lion’s Mane and Reishi both offer impressive health benefits. Lion’s Mane is known for its cognitive benefits, particularly its ability to support brain health. It contains bioactive compounds – hericenones and erinacines, which support brain health by stimulating nerve growth factor (NGF) production. This process may protect and regenerate brain cells, which improves memory, focus, and overall cognitive function. Apart from that, Lion’s Mane has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could further support brain health and overall well-being.

On the other hand, Reishi is prized for its immune-modulating effects as well as its potential to support overall health and longevity. Reishi contains polysaccharides, triterpenes, and antioxidants, which contribute to its immune-boosting properties. This adaptogenic mushroom regulates the immune system, increasing its ability to respond to pathogens, reducing inflammation, and supporting overall immune function. Besides, Reishi is widely used to support liver health and promote better sleep quality.


Frequently Asked Questions


Can I take Reishi and Lion’s Mane together?

Yes, you can take Reishi and Lion’s Mane together. Both mushrooms offer distinct health benefits, and there is no known interaction between them that would preclude their simultaneous use. In fact, combining these two mushrooms may provide complementary effects, as they target different physiological systems. Reishi is known for its immune-modulating and adaptogenic properties, while Lion’s Mane is prized for its amazing cognitive benefits.


What is the downside of Lion’s Mane?

A rare downside of Lion’s Mane mushroom supplements is that they may cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort in certain cases. This includes symptoms such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. These side effects are usually mild and temporary, but if they persist or become severe, it is advisable to discontinue use and consult with a healthcare professional. On the other hand, individuals allergic to mushrooms should avoid Lion’s Mane supplements to prevent an allergic reaction. 


Who should avoid Reishi mushroom?

While Reishi mushroom is generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses, there are certain individuals who should avoid it. In the first place, people who are allergic to mushrooms should not consume them to avoid an allergic reaction. Additionally, individuals with bleeding disorders or who are taking anticoagulant medications should use caution. Reishi sometimes exerts anticoagulant effects and could increase the bleeding time. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should also avoid it due to a lack of safety evidence in this demographic. 


Can Lion’s Mane worsen anxiety?

The exact opposite is true – Lion’s Mane mushrooms reduce anxiety symptoms and improve mental health. However, if you are prone to anxiety or depression, it is advisable to be cautious when you start taking Lion’s Mane supplements.


Is Reishi mushroom toxic to the liver?

Reishi mushroom supplements are considered safe for most people when consumed in appropriate doses. There is no scientific evidence that the Reishi mushroom is toxic to the liver. In fact, recent studies suggest that Reishi may have hepatoprotective effects. However, individuals with liver disease or liver dysfunction should consult a physician before taking Reishi mushroom supplements, as there is limited clinical research so far.


What can you not take with Reishi?

When taking Reishi mushroom supplements, it is important to be cautious about certain medications and substances. Reishi may exert mild anticoagulant effects, so those who take anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications should use Reishi with caution. Due to its ability to improve immune function, Reishi may also interact with immunosuppressant medications. Consequently, people with autoimmune disorders or those taking immunosuppressant medications should consult with a physician before taking Reishi supplements. 


Is reishi bad for thyroid?

There is limited research on the effects of Reishi mushrooms on thyroid function. Despite the lack of human studies, animal studies suggest that Reishi may slightly stimulate thyroid function. If you have a thyroid disorder, it is advisable to monitor thyroid function closely when you begin taking Reishi.