We reviewed 25+ Lion’s Mane supplements and rated each one based on our 3-Point Buying Guide, which breaks down each product based on the most important factors: ingredients, extraction method, and quality assurance. Make the best supplement choice for you and your health needs by using the product review table below and considering the most important factors for you in your supplement.
*This article is free of all third-party affiliation, sponsorship, and promotion. We are not paid by ANY of these products or brands. We don’t use affiliate links for any Lion’s Mane products. We provide this information based on our own research and impartial judgement.
Table of Contents
- 2023 Lion’s Mane Supplements Review
- What is Lion’s Mane?
- Why should I take Lion’s Mane?
- Our recommendation for the best Lion’s Mane supplement
- What to look for: The 3-Point Buying Guide for Lion’s Mane Supplements
2023 Lion’s Mane Supplements Review
Brand & product
Dose, mg/ capsule
Monthly cost @2g/day
Fruiting body (FB),
FB: water, mycelium: alcohol
300 FB, 450 myc.
Hot water, 1:1
25% beta-glucan (according to label)
Claims in-house lab testing and third-party tests.
Noomadic Herbals Lions Mane
30% beta-d-glucans (according to label)
>20% beta-d-glucans (according to label)
Spirit of Health
**Nammex product (author confirmed)
Lost Empire Herbs
Dual extract, 8:1
(likely hot water, 1:1)
Dual extract, 8:1
17.3 beta glucan (11/17/20 report)
Claims in-house testing
Mycelium, Grain mycelium
Ingredients are lion's mane mycelium and fermented brown rice biomass
Mycelium, Grain mycelium
Mixture of mushrooms (price calculation considers only LM, but at full price)
Lion's Mane ingredients: Lion's mane mycelium, fermented brown rice biomass
Fruiting body, mycelial biomass
15% beta-glucan (according to label)
Claims in-house lab testing and third-party tests.
Double Wood Supplements
Hot water, 7:1
7:1 concentration, claims 200mg is equivalent to 1,400 mg. Claims Polysaccharides >30%
5:1 (presumably water)
18% beta-glucans (according to label, 83mg/450mg capsule). 5:1 concentrate, so 450 mg is equivalent to 2,500mg LM.
Safe heavy metal content and 152mg beta-glucan per serving (Certificate of Compliance 6/13/22)
St Francis Herb Farm Lion's Mane Mushroom
N/A (presumably water)
30 mg of powdered and 170 mg of 8:1 extract in each capsule. Claims this is equivalent to 1390 mg.
Original price is €31.90
Ingredients are "powdered mushroom"
Ingredient is "Organic Lion's Mane Mushroom Extract Powder", likely Nammex*
The Genius Brand
No extraction specified.
Dr Emil Nutrition
Ingredient is "Lions Mane Mushroom powder", produced using fermentation.
**Nammex: The main supplier for Lion’s Mane powder extract in North America (many small U.S. and Canada brands supply from them). All mushrooms are from China. Site provides ample information and photos of their mushroom farms. No lab reports are publicly accessible but they claim >25% beta-d-glucans.
What is Lion’s Mane?
Lion’s Mane is a medicinal mushroom with roots in traditional Chinese medicine. The therapeutic benefits of Lion’s Mane, or hericium erinaceus, are backed by a range of scientific studies, including human studies. Lion’s Mane has a range of health-boosting properties. It has antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, immunostimulant, antidiabetic, and antimicrobial properties. It’s known to benefit cognitive impairment and can be used to treat neurodegenerative diseases (Venturella, 2021).
Why should I take Lion’s Mane?
Supplementing daily with Lion’s Mane can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety after one to two months because some of the compounds in the mushroom boost nerve growth factor (NGF) activity in the brain. It’s the same way some antidepressants work. Lion’s Mane can also help with your memory, by promoting brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) activity in the brain. It can also help fight dementia, enhance mood, and increase energy. We discuss these benefits and the science behind them in our article here.
Medicinal mushrooms in general, and Lion’s Mane in particular, also have immune-boosting and cancer-fighting properties. It’s a powerhouses for your physical and mental health, and so daily supplementation can prove beneficial for your overall well-being.
But, as with all supplements, its important what you take and how much you take. We dive into dosage guidelines in our in-depth article on dosing. In this article, we’ve broken down what are the most important factors to look for in your supplement and have researched the top 25+ supplements on the market. Not all Lion’s Mane supplements are the same, and it’s important to consider your mental and physical health priorities to find the one that is best for your needs.
Our recommendation for the best Lion’s Mane supplement
For overall health benefits look for 100% fruiting body hot water extract. For cognitive benefits, prioritize alcohol-extracted liquid grown mycelium and/or fruiting body.
Out of the 25+ Lion’s Mane supplements on the market reviewed here, Oriveda best meets and even exceeds our criteria for ingredients, extraction method, and guarantee of quality. This is a high-quality, lab-tested, 2-in-1 product, offering both hot water extracted fruiting body capsules and alcohol extracted pure mycelium, providing the full spectrum of Lion’s Mane benefits.
After researching the 25+ Lion’s Mane supplements on the market, we provide an evaluation for each supplement based on the things that matter in a good supplement. These are: ingredients, extraction method, and guarantee of quality.
No supplement is 100% ideal. This is for two main reasons. Firstly, we get different benefits from different parts of the mushroom, and even those range based on the extraction. Secondly, quality control in supplements is never guaranteed because nutritional supplements in the U.S. are unregulated. That’s why you see the disclaimer on all supplements “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease;”. The keyword is product. Lion’s Mane may be well-researched and its healing properties understood. However, products made of Lion’s Mane are not.
In the end, we recommend products if they have:
- Quality ingredients listed on the label (fruiting body, liquid grown mycelium; no mycelium biomass or grains)
- Extraction 1:1 using hot water, alcohol, or dual for the fruiting body. Only alcohol for mycelium.
- Quality assurance (a minimum standard): relevant bioactive compound concentration on the label
The best guarantee of quality is a lab test from a ISO 17025-accredited lab, showing the amount of relevant bioactive compounds.
The table above breaks down our recommendations. The best Lion’s Mane supplement gets two green checkmarks (✅✅) and the ones that satisfy these criteria but don’t quite hit the #1 spot get just one green checkmark (✅). Those with ⛔️ don’t meet the requirements we’ve set out to meet in our 3-Point Buying Guide.
What to look for: The 3-Point Buying Guide for Lion’s Mane Supplements
There are three key factors to consider when looking for a Lion’s Mane mushroom supplement.
- Ingredients: pure fruiting body, liquid grown mycelium (no myceliated grains, rice, or biomass)
- Extraction Method: Extracted using hot water extraction, alcohol, or dual extraction; only 1:1 extractions (not concentrated, 8:1, 6:1, etc.)
- Quality control: Third-party lab tests for the compounds present in the supplement
You may be tempted to just go for the cheapest supplement with the best reviews. But this method isn’t the most reliable for purchasing effective supplements. Unfortunately, the democracy and authenticity of the peer-review system of rating products is corrupt. “Buying reviews” is a common practice. Studies analyzing the reviews of nutritional supplements find a non-trivial number of fake reviews, and these are hard to differentiate from real reviews (Sullivan, 2016).
It can also be hard to trust the product itself. The authenticity of claims made for supplements by the producers are not evaluated by third-party sources, which means that there is no guarantee of quality claims from the supplement manufacturer. That’s why third-party tests are so important.
Instead, consider the key factors above. You’ll quickly find that the majority of supplements on the market just don’t meet the minimum standard for one or more of these categories, and a few winners will naturally bubble to the top. Those supplement which meet these standards are marked with a green checkmark (✅) in the table up above.
Look for 100% fruiting body and/or liquid grown mycelium. The relevant bioactive compounds to look for are beta-glucans, polyphenols, hericenones, and erinacines (although you probably won’t see these last two on any labels).
The fruiting body and mycelium both contain nutritious compounds, but differ in the kind, the concentration, and the extraction method necessary to make them bioavailable.
Polyphenols are relevant because in high concentrations they are linked to the the cytotoxic/anticancer and antioxidant activities of mushrooms (Valu, 2020). Polyphenols are the same as phenolic acid.
The fruiting body is rich in beta glucans, bioactive carbohydrates (a type of polysaccharide). Beta glucans in mushrooms are associated with a range of health-promoting activities including anti-cancer, immuno-modulating, antioxidant and neuroprotective (Khan, 2013). These are more readily available in water extracts versus alcohol or dual extracts, because polysaccharides precipitate out in alcohol.
The fruiting body is also home to hericenones, beneficial compounds that are most readily available after alcohol extractions. It’s possible they help cognition by NGF-boosting abilities, although the evidence for this is slightly contradictory (it didn’t boost NGF in one study of human cells). Nonetheless, several studies show that fruiting body boosts cognition and reduces depression and anxiety.
The mycelium contains erinacines, compounds that promote nerve growth factor (NGF) in the brain. These are only accessible after alcohol extraction. One erinacine in particular, Erinacine A, may be especially potent and effective in alleviating depression and improving conditions of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. See more details in our in-depth article on supplement types.
Many mycelium-based supplements contain grains or biomass, and say so in the ingredients list. This means that the mycelium was grown in some carrier material (grain or rice), and then is processed altogether, so the grain makes up a significant portion of the final product (up to 70%). The majority of glucan present in the final product is from the grain, and not the mushroom. Most importantly, the beta-glucan content is significantly less than in most mushrooms, and beta-glucan is one of the key things we look for in a Lion’s Mane supplement (McCleary, 2016).
Extracting has 3 key benefits: 1) mushrooms are concentrated so more can be consumed, 2) they are broken down so the nutrients become bioavailable, and 3) certain extraction methods (alcohol) “bring out” health-promoting compounds that are otherwise unavailable.
Look for hot water, alcohol, or dual extraction for the fruiting body and only alcohol for mycelium. 1:1 extracts are preferred over concentrates, because they retain more bioactive compounds.
Extraction allows the health-promoting compounds within Lion’s Mane to become bioavailable, meaning the body can actually use them. The nutrients in Lion’s Mane in their natural form are not easily accessible to the body because of the presence of chitin, a tough substance in the wall of mushroom cells. Some people do have digestive enzymes that can break down chitin to some extent, but it’s generally unknown who has these and to what extent (Lopez-Santamarina, 2020; Paoletti, 2007). Thus, extraction is useful because it breaks down the chitin, making the nutrients more bioavailable.
Extracts are also advantageous when compared to basic, dry powdered mushroom. In general, hot water mushroom extracts are more potent than simple ground mushroom products, and so provide more health-promoting benefits (Coy, 2015). Plus, the NGF-boosting compounds, diterpenes (erinacines) are most readily available after alcohol extraction.
Lastly, most studies evaluating the therapeutic benefits of Hericium erinaceus (Lion’s Mane) are based on extracts of the mushroom, not just dried powder (Jiang, 2014). So, most of the evidence behind Lion’s Mane’s impressive health-boosting compounds is related to the extracted versions of it. This is why we prioritize extracts over unprocessed mushroom products in our review.
Alcohol vs water extracts
The extracts that bring out the nutrients best are: hot water extracted fruiting body (for beta glucans and polyphenols), alcohol extracted pure mycelium (for erinacines), or alcohol extract of fruiting body (for hericenones). 1:1 extracts are preferred over concentrations.
Hot water extracts are higher in beta glucans. Polysaccharides precipitate out in alcohol, so there are less beta-glucans in alcohol extracts. Fruiting body extracted with water has significantly more phenolic acid/polyphenols compared to fresh, oven-dried, or freeze-dried fruiting body (Lew, 2020).
Alcohol extracts bring out the bioactive compounds that promote cognitive health by boosting NGF (hericenones and erinacines). See our in-depth article on supplement types to get all the details on these compounds.
Given these facts, hot water extracted fruiting body provides a rich source of bioavailable beta glucans and polyphenols. Alcohol extracted mycelium is good for erinacines and alcohol extracted fruiting body for hericenones. Other variations and non-extracts won’t make the nutrients so readily available. To get the full spectrum of benefits, your best bet is to take both hot water extracted fruiting body and alcohol extracted mycelium (this is because the evidence behind erinacine A is the more compelling for cognitive-boosting health properties, as compared to hericenones).
Side note on tinctures
Tinctures consist mostly of added alcohol or water. The concentration of Lion’s Mane is generally not provided, but given that the alcohol/water content is 30-70%, we know there can be only a few grams of actual mushroom in the product. To this end, tinctures are not a cost-effective method of consuming significant quantities of Lion’s Mane for therapeutic purpose, so we don’t review them here.
Side note on concentrated extracts
Concentrated extracts filter out some of the health-promoting bioactive ingredients we are looking for.
Concentrated extracts (8:1, 7:1, 6:1, etc.) may appear appealing at first, because they enable the consumption of more mushroom in smaller quantities. For example, an 8:1 extract means that a 200mg capsule was made using 1,600 mg of Lion’s Mane. However, this implies that a significant portion of the original mushrooms were processed and filtered out. The issue arises in that insoluble beta glucans are filtered out, which are one of the key health-boosting compounds we look for in Lion’s Mane supplements.
Some concentrated extracts may provide a measure for polysaccharide, but this doesn’t provide any information about beta glucan content. All beta glucans are polysaccharides, but not the other way around.
Additionally, practically all research on the effectiveness of Lion’s Mane rely on 1:1 extracts, and not on these high-ratio concentrations.
We still incorporate concentrated extracts into the review, but do not recommend them for the reasons above.
Neither the nutritional facts label nor any claims made on the site of the producer are verifiable guarantees of nutrient content. The most reliable source of authenticity for nutrient content in supplements are up-to-date, third-party tests from ISO-accredited labs.
Mushroom supplement producers have the ability to evaluate their products through reliable third-party laboratory testing. Producers may send a sample of each batch for testing and then make available the resulting laboratory results, displaying the measures of heavy metals (for safety) and of the most relevant health compounds: beta-glucans, polyphenols, hericenones (for alcohol-extracted body) and erinacines (for alcohol-extracted mycelium). Ideally, producers denote the ingredients and their concentrations on the product’s label and provide the third-party lab results to the public, to ensure authenticity and transparency. In reality, few producers do this.
The Supplement/Nutritional Facts label on the product is not a guarantee. Although U.S. products must provide nutritional facts, the USDA does not enforce the accuracy. The FDA “does not intend to prescribe how an individual company is to determine nutrient content for labeling purposes.” For this reason, third party lab reports are the most reliable means to evaluate a supplement’s nutrition.
Additionally, lab reports are batch-specific, and therefore the dates on the reports are important to evaluate reliability of the product. General guidelines recommend that producers select test samples from each batch, meaning that reports should be up-to-date (within a year of the current date, if not less).
The vast majority of mushroom supplement producers do not do third party lab testing and/or do not provide results to the public. Some provide certificates of authenticity or laboratory reports created in-house, but lack objective, third-party tests. Only 2 out of the 25+ popular Lion’s Mane supplement brands researched for this article have publicly-available, up-to-date third-party lab tests for their products (Vibe Mushroom and Oriveda).
Why are tests from ISO-accredited labs better?
Not all laboratories are equally reliable. The most reliable measures come from ISO 17025 accredited labs. The International Organization for Standardization is a nongovernmental, international organization that is made up of country members. Labs with this accreditation comply with standards set for measuring and testing, and are subject to internal and external audits. Two common labs seen for Lion’s Mane producers are Eurofins and International RINP. Eurofins is an ISO 17025 accredited lab. International RINP is not.
The best Lion’s Mane supplement for you will depend on what you are prioritizing for your health. For overall health benefits, look for 100% fruiting body hot water extract. For cognitive benefits, take alcohol-extracted liquid grown mycelium, because it hosts erinacine A, which may be the most potent NGF-boosting compound in Lion’s Mane. Because ORIVeDA’s
Lion’s Mane Combi Pack | Yamabushitake provides both water extracted fruiting body and alcohol extracted mycelium, it’s our top pick. Make sure to consider your priorities in choosing the best supplement for your health needs.