But what kinds of natural treatments for ADHD are available? We’ve covered holistic ADHD treatment options like stress reduction, mindfulness, and exercise. In addition, our team has outlined some of the over-the-counter supplements for ADHD, such as ginkgo biloba and L-theanine. One newer area that’s being explored is adaptogenic mushrooms. Could certain types of mushrooms actually help with ADHD symptoms? Read on to learn more and find out whether any of these mushroom-related claims are backed by scientific studies.
What Are Adaptogens?
The mushrooms that are proposed as potential ADHD treatments are known as adaptogens. This is a term used to describe plants and mushrooms which can affect how the body deals with anxiety, stress, and fatigue. An adaptogen is a natural substance that helps the body return to a state of balance, also known as homeostasis.
It’s important to note that adaptogenic supplements are not regulated by the FDA. It’s advised that you consult with your healthcare provider before you start taking adaptogens for any purpose, including the management of ADHD.
Lion’s Mane Mushrooms for ADHD
The adaptogenic mushroom which is primarily promoted for ADHD management is lion’s mane. These are large, white mushrooms with a shaggy texture that somewhat resembles their namesake. They’ve been used for medicinal and culinary purposes for centuries in Asia and Europe.
Lion’s mane mushroom benefits
There are a number of potential health benefits associated with lion’s mane mushrooms, including:
- Overcoming fatigue and providing energy
- Reducing high blood pressure
- Regulating blood sugar levels
- Protecting heart, liver, and kidney health
- Improving immune health and gut health
However, it’s the potential brain health benefits which seem to have attracted the most attention in recent years. In addition to being an adaptogen, lion’s mane is a type of nootropic — a substance which can improve brain health and function. Nootropics are often used to boost cognition, particularly thinking, learning and memory. They’re also associated with increased concentration.
Several studies support lion’s mane for its ability to reduce brain inflammation, which offers neuroprotective benefits. It has also been linked to symptom improvement for a number of conditions, including anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
However, it’s important to note that no studies conducted thus far have demonstrated similar effects for ADHD symptoms. Additionally, it has not been found to impact the production or transmission of dopamine, which is closely associated with ADHD. Because it has benefits for cognitive function, memory, and focus, lion’s mane could potentially help with ADHD, but there is no proven evidence to support this claim as of yet.
Lion’s mane mushroom side effects
Fresh lion’s mane mushrooms are generally safe to consume. It is just like any other mushroom species, however, so if you have any allergies or sensitivities to mushrooms, you should avoid consuming lion’s mane.
When taking supplements, possible side effects include skin rash, discomfort, and nausea. Also, these supplements may potentially interact with medications taken for blood-clotting effects or for the treatment of diabetes.
How to Take Lion’s Mane
One of the great things about lion’s mane mushrooms is that they are generally very safe to consume. They can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried or steeped to create a tea. When raw, lion’s mane mushrooms have a somewhat meaty texture that’s sometimes compared to seafood like crab or lobster.
The one drawback to eating fresh lion’s mane mushrooms is that they aren’t always readily available in local grocery stores or supermarkets. Lion’s mane supplements, on the other hand, are more popular than ever. These supplements are easy to find in capsule, tablet, powder, and tincture form. It’s often recommended to start with a lower dose and to take lion’s mane with food to boost absorption. Before trying any of these supplements, you should consult with a healthcare provider and be sure to follow the directions on the packaging.
Lion’s mane is backed by very promising research, but so far, there’s no evidence that it helps with ADHD symptoms. If you’re unsure about whether lion’s mane mushrooms or lion’s mane supplements are right for you, you can reach out to us at Done. Our licensed clinicians can offer helpful guidance on your ADHD treatment options, including traditional medications as well as complementary treatments like therapy, lifestyle changes, and supplements. Get started by taking our simple online ADHD assessment today.