Lion’s Mane: the Anti-Anxiety Adaptogen. Here’s How I Take It…

Lion’s Mane Mushroom + Reishi Mushroom = A Calmer, Focused Mind.

Opening Up About My Mental Health Journey

First off, I want to say thank you to those who’ve reached out about their own mental health journies. When I initially started sharing my struggles with severe anxiety and chronic depression, I really didn’t know what the reaction would be. It’s terrifying to be vulnerable on the internet because you just never know what’s going to happen next. Because of your kind response and messages of encouragement, I’m cautiously sharing more about what I’m doing to manage my anxiety and “low-mood” disorder—as therapy groups gently term it.

Supplements That Worked for Me

There is a wide world of adaptogens out there. Some address fatigue, some address stamina, and others can be used to relax. But the standouts for treating my specific situation quickly became Lion’s Mane mushroom extract and Reishi mushroom extract. Lion’s Mane specifically targets anxiety and allows focus. Reishi creates what I unscientifically call “relaxing zen vibes” throughout the body, though there are claims it can support your immune system too. (I’m not making any claim to that myself though.)

Lion’s Mane on its own is enough for me. But combined with Reishi its calming effects on a speeding mind can be amplified. Of course, these effects are subtle-to-medium, and they are not a replacement for something like prescribed medications. For those with mild to moderate anxiety, they are definitely worth a try.

Keep reading to learn my favourite ways to supplement with Lion’s Mane, what dose to look for, and my recipe for a soothing adaptogen latte!

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Before you read any further, I think it’s worth saying this: if you are struggling with severe anxiety or depression, the best course of action is professional help. While I do heavily lean on adaptogens to get me through some of my most stressful days, they are not a replacement for medication. There are limits to how much can be addressed with natural products alone.

What Is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that can be readily found in nature. Like Changa and Reishi mushrooms, Lion’s Mane can be classified as an adaptogen and a superfood*; though please note these terms aren’t heavily regulated.

I’ve tried many types of adaptogens over the years, but haven’t felt compelled to write about the topic until now. Because there’s quite a variety of adaptogens available within the natural health market, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or confused when you first start looking into them. Lion’s Mane stands to me out as a reliable and effective temporary treatment of mild to moderate mental stress, mental fatigue, and loss of focus. I would recommend anyone give it a try, as there are no documented negative side effects of this supplement. Personally, I’ve given samples of Lion’s Mane mixes and supplements to family, friends, and even stressed-out coworkers! Even my husband swears by it now.

Stress Fighter Lion’s Mane Capsules by Well Told

Out of all the various Lion’s Mane powder capsules that I’ve tried, Well Told’s are the ones that I reach for the most frequently. For me, I notice the calming effect about half an hour after taking 1 capsule. Other capsules I’ve sampled take longer to kick in, require you to take 2 or multiple capsules per day, and don’t provide as noticeable effects. These are also the most cost-effective option if you’re specifically looking for an effective capsule.

The Well Told Health Stress Fighter blend contains 200 mg of organic Reishi mushroom, 150 mg of organic Lion’s Mane mushroom, and 80 mg of organic Maitake mushroom per capsule. There are 60 vegan capsules per bottle.

You can purchase Well Told supplements from The Detox Market Canada. (This is where I always order mine from since it’s easy to just add them in when I’m purchasing skincare or makeup items.) But if you are in the US, you may find it more difficult to find the Well Told brand. Browse their selection of Brain Wellness powdered supplements from brands like Moon Juice and Sun Potion. (I’ve tried and enjoyed both Moon Juice and Sun Potion adaptogen supplements.)

Lion’s Mane Mushroom Elixir Mix by Four Sigmatic

This adaptogen blend by Four Sigmatic is the most concentrated Lion’s Mane dose that I’ve tried. The potent powder mix contains 1500 mg of organic Lion’s Mane per serving, 200 mg organic Rhodiola, and 300 mg organic Rosehips, plus mint, and a little Stevia for flavour, per serving. There are 20 single-serve packets per box. Blend into a warm drink, like tea or coffee. It can be consumed plain with hot water, but I not a fan of the taste, personally, when it’s plain.

I will be forever grateful to the Four Sigmatic powder formulas, because this was how I first stumbled across Lion’s Mane as a was to subdue anxiety and panic attacks. My first experience with Lion’s Mane was the brand’s Instant Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane and Chaga. While I still enjoy the coffee option occasionally, I generally go for the “pure” Lion’s Mane blend since it’s more versatile and you get more packets per box.

If you’re looking for a more powerful treatment, this is the one you want to try. Currently, with COVID going on, and extra stress at work, this is the one I’ve been reaching for lately. Give it one hour to kick in, and you will feel noticeable relief and a sense of calm wash over you.

Also, if you’d like, feel free to use my discount code THEPURISTLIFE for 10% off your Four Sigmatic purchase.

Adaptogen Latte Blends by Mood Milk

Never heard of an adaptogen latte before? I certainly hadn’t until I stumble across Mood Milk at a green beauty convention here in Toronto! After one sip of their fun coloured lattes, I was hooked. All three of the adaptogen lattes mixes from Mood Milk taste great!

Your best bet is the Coconut Matcha Latte blend, if you’re looking for Lion’s Mane specifically. Inside you’ll find organic Matcha powder, organic coconut milk powder, organic Lion’s Mane mushroom, and organic Moringa powder. This definitely has a strong matcha taste. This latte has a mild kick, which can be used as a coffee substitute.

I also love the Spiced Vanilla Latte blend, picked in these photos—especially in the evening after a stressful day! As far as flavour goes, the Spiced Vanilla blend is soothing and reminds me a little of Christmas time. This mix contains organic coconut milk powder, organic butterfly pea flower powder, organic Reishi mushroom powder, tulsi, cardamom, Ceylon cinnamon, vanilla bean powder, ginger powder, and nutmeg. Notice that there is no Lion’s Mane, though there is Reishi. I find Reishi mushroom to have similar, albeit not as prominent, effects to Lion’s Mane.

Reishi is what I like to supplement with in the evening to prepare my buzzy mind for sleep.

Recipe for the Perfect Adaptogen Latte

The latte mixes can be purchased in either 90g or 45g bags, and all you need to do is mix with either hot water or a warm “milk” and add some sweetener. Personally, we like to kick if up a notch and use a milk frother. The end result is comparable to something you’d pay $11.50 for at Starbucks.

Time needed: 3 minutes

Here’s my method to create the perfect adaptogen latte at home:

  1. Boil water and pour into a tall glass or mug.

  2. Blend about 1 – 2 teaspoons of Mood Milk Coconut Matcha Blend into the hot water.

  3. In a frother, add 1/2 cup ‘Barista Blend’ Almond or Oat Milk and froth.

  4. Pour the frothed almond milk into the Coconut Matcha blend, give a quick stir and voila!


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