Big Lions Mane mushroom sitting on the corner of a wooden table

2024 Guide To Lion’s Mane Mushrooms UK: Benefits, Side Effects & More

If you've ever walked past what looks like a tuft of hair or pom-pom growing off a tree, you may have just come across lion's mane. 

Recently rising to popularity in the UK, lion’s mane mushrooms have been used in traditional Eastern medicine for centuries and are finally getting the attention they deserve.

A hard-working fungi, it boasts an impressive array of health-boosting properties, including brain and memory support, stress and anxiety reduction, improved gut health and much more. 

Sounds too good to be true? We promise that the science backs it all up. But before you dive in headfirst and add several months' worth of delicious Novomins Lion's Mane Gummies to your online basket, it's important to do your research. 

Get ready to unlock the potential of this shaggy mushroom and read on to find out what it is, its many health benefits and the various formats available, from supplements to powders. 

What is lion's mane?

Lion’s mane, also known as hericium erinaceus, is a large white mushroom that grows on the trunks of dead hardwood trees, including oak, beech, elm, birch and maple. Fuzzy and hairy in appearance, it gets its name thanks to its resemblance to a lion’s mane as it grows. 

The mushroom has been used for centuries in traditional East Asian medicine and cooking and contains bioactive substances that might help improve nerve development and function as well as a host of other benefits on the brain, heart and stomach.

It can also be used to provide relief from stress, anxiety and depression and can protect nerves from being damaged. Research suggests it improves cognition and has promising results in even potentially preventing or treating Alzheimer’s and dementia

A tub of Lions Mane gummies made by Novomins Nutrition

Buy Novomins Lion’s Mane Gummies now.

Can you get lion's mane in the UK?

Luckily for us, these non-psychedelic, pom-pom-like mushrooms are completely legal to buy and use in the UK. They can be purchased as fresh, dried, powders from food shops and markets or as supplements at Novomins. It's even legal to grow them, although we wouldn't necessarily recommend it.

Think you've spotted one in the wild when you were out and about? While it's perfectly fine to take a snap or two on your phone or camera and admire its unique and shaggy appearance, make sure to leave it well alone! 

Lion's mane is a very rare fungus in the UK and, as such, is protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. This is the highest legal protection for fungi and other plants, making them illegal to collect.

What does taking lion's mane do for you?

Lion’s mane is increasingly gaining popularity in the UK and other Western countries thanks to its many potential health-boosting benefits. Containing natural bioactive compounds, these unassuming mushrooms provide potential disease-fighting properties.

Other UK lion’s mane mushroom benefits include:

Brain and memory support

Research suggests that lion's mane can help boost cognitive function. That’s because the mushroom is a nootropic, meaning it contains compounds like hericenones and erinacines, which improve brain health and protect it from cognitive decline due to ageing. 

As a result, lion’s mane may help support cognitive function, including boosting memory. Studies have shown that its effect on nerve growth factor levels may even help protect the brain against dementia and Alzheimer's disease.     

Stress and anxiety reduction

Thanks to its effect on nerve growth, studies suggest that lion's mane has a mood-enhancing effect and can improve mental health, alleviating symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. 

The 2010 Biomedical Research study looked at the effects of lion's mane on brain function and concluded that participants who consumed the mushroom for four weeks reported less anxiety compared to the placebo group. 

Another study in menopausal women observed lowered anxiety and depression after just four weeks of supplementation.   

Immune system support

Needing a boost? Lion's mane may be exactly what you need. 

Research in animals highlights that it may strengthen and boost the immune system, helping your body better protect itself against nasty bacteria and viruses, like the cold and flu. 

It does this by increasing the activity in the intestinal system, helping regulate the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract, which protects the body from harmful substances that make their way down through the mouth or nose. 

Overall well-being

Lion’s mane contains health-promoting chemicals and displays disease-fighting properties, including antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. This helps improve overall health and well-being, including aiding better sleep. 

It also improves gut health, supporting the digestive tract and protecting the intestines and stomach lining from inflammation and diseases like ulcerative colitis. In fact, it’s been shown to help prevent ulcers by stopping the growth of helicobacter pylori bacteria, which can damage the gut lining. 

Lion’s mane for ADHD

There aren't any studies or clinical trials supporting lion's mane as an ADHD treatment. However, some people use it to help ADHD because it enhances brain function. It can also alleviate symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety and depression, which often accompany ADHD.

What is the downside of lion's mane?

Unfortunately, there haven’t been any studies on the side effects of lion's mane in humans. However, the mushroom is generally well tolerated and considered safe for people to use with no serious adverse effects in animal studies, even at high doses.  

Any side effects tend to be mild, the most common including nausea, gastrointestinal discomfort or a rash on the skin. Anyone allergic or sensitive to mushrooms should avoid lion's mane entirely. 

Due to the lack of information, lion's mane isn't recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you are taking lion’s mane mushroom supplements, you should always stick to the recommended dose. If you do experience any negative side effects when consuming lion's mane, discontinue use immediately and speak with your health care provider.

What forms of lion's mane are available?

Delivery Method

Cost

Benefits

Features

Lion’s Mane Gummies 

Average between £10-£20

Pleasant flavour, great for those who find swallowing traditional capsules difficult

Novomins Lion Mane Gummies come with a high-strength formula of 2000 mg lion's mane and are infused with vitamins B6 and B12 and Iodine for extra health benefits


Delicious orange flavour


Halal and gelatin-free

Lion’s Mane Capsules 

Anywhere between £10 up to £50

Quick, concentrated dose of lion's mane

Convenient and easy to swallow 

Lion’s Mane Powders 

Generally cheaper compared to extracts and supplements. Average from £8 to £40+ for premium versions.

A versatile and easy way to add lion's mane into your diet

Can be added to various foods and drinks

Lion’s Mane Extracts 

More potent and, therefore, more expensive compared to powders. Ranging from £30+.

Potent and versatile 

More powerful than powders


Can be added to food or drink


May cause stomach discomfort due to its strength

Lion’s Mane Coffee

Between £10-£30 depending on brand and variation (size, flavour, concentration, etc.)

Enjoyable way to gain the benefits of lion's mane alongside your daily boost of caffeine

Can come in various flavours 

Lion’s Mane Tincture 

Averages between the £15-£25 mark

Potent, fast-absorption

Water or alcohol-based


Can be taken under the tongue for fast absorption into the bloodstream


Strong taste

Lion’s Mane Tea

Anywhere from £4 to £30, again depending on brand, size, infusion, etc.

Convenient and easy to prepare 

Can come in a powdered or loose tea format


Savoury flavour


Can come infused with other delicious or health-boosting ingredients

 

Explainer graphic describing what vitamin and minerals are in Novomins Lions Mane Gummies

Buy Novomins Lion’s Mane Gummies now.

Lion's mane gummies

Gummies, like Novomins Lion’s Mane Gummies, are a delicious, easy and convenient way to get a concentrated dose of the health-boosting compounds and benefits in these hairy mushrooms. 

From cognitive support to improved gastrointestinal health and reduced stress and anxiety, our high-strength gummy supplements are formulated with 2000 mg lion's mane. They also contain vitamins B6, B12 and iodine, and come in a delicious orange flavour. 

Halal and gelatin-free, these gummies boost everyday wellness, are great for those who find swallowing traditional capsules difficult and fit perfectly into even the busiest lifestyles and daily routines.

Lion's mane capsules

For those who don’t have any problems swallowing capsules, these are another convenient way of getting a quick, concentrated dose of lion's mane and its disease-fighting properties. 

Widely available in the UK, lion’s mane capsule prices range from anywhere between £10 to £50. Just make sure the dosage of lion's mane in your chosen supplement is high enough, with 500-1000 mg being the minimum daily recommended dose for optimal health benefits.

Lion's mane powders

Made from dried mushrooms, lion's mane powder tends to be less expensive compared to supplements. It’s also less potent. 

These UK lion’s mane supplements are versatile and can be added to various foods and drinks. You can mix them into smoothies, water or hot beverages like coffee or tea. They also work well in baked goods such as cakes or pasta dishes, making it convenient to incorporate them into your diet.

However, lion’s mane powders can have a strong flavour, so if you’re not a fan of the mushroom taste, they may not be the best option for you.  

Lion's mane extracts

Lion’s mane extracts are more powerful than powders and can be found in tinctures. You can generally add lion's mane extract to any food or drink or take it on its own. Be aware that it can cause some stomach discomfort due to its potency, especially if you're new to taking lion's mane. 

Lion's mane coffee

Are you a coffee lover who can't go without your daily caffeine kick? Good news! You can now get all the benefits of this nootropic mushroom in your daily brew. 

This mushroom blend is gaining in popularity, and there are many lion's mane coffee variations on the market — and not all are made equal. Always double-check that your coffee is made from lion’s mane extract with a verified beta-glucan content (the bioactive compounds behind all the amazing health benefits).

Lion's mane tincture

Lion's mane tinctures are easier for dosage control than powders and are much more concentrated when compared to powdered extracts. 

Tinctures are generally either water or alcohol-based (ethanol). They can be taken under the tongue, causing lion's mane to enter the bloodstream much faster than powders, regular capsules or gummy supplements. 

While tinctures are one of the most effective ways to consume lion's mane, they can have a very strong taste that some might find unpleasant. 

Lion's mane tea

Lion's mane can also come in an easy-to-prepare powdered or loose tea format. All you have to do is add some to a cup, pour in hot water and stir. 

They tend to be savoury in flavour, so you can add powdered teas to smoothies and coffees like a regular lion's mane powder to help mask the taste. 

Some loose lion's mane teas are also infused with other delicious and health-boosting properties like turmeric, ginger and peppermint for an extra boost in health and flavour.

What does the research say about lion's mane?

Lion's mane has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It has been extensively researched, with numerous studies highlighting its positive effects and various health benefits. 

UK lion’s mane mushroom benefits range from brain and memory support to stress and anxiety reduction, immune system support and improved gastrointestinal health.

Thanks to its natural bioactive compounds, research shows that lion's mane demonstrates impressive disease-fighting properties, with antioxidant activity that can even fight against and prevent cancer

As a nootropic, studies also show that lion's mane can improve brain health and cognitive function, protecting nerves from disease and decline. It could even help prevent diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s that cause memory loss and other cognitive impairments. 

If that's not enough, the same study highlighting the mushroom's effect on nerve growth factor levels also concludes that it offers additional benefits. These include reducing high blood pressure, regulating blood sugar, decreasing the risk of heart disease, preventing cholesterol oxidation in the bloodstream, managing diabetes symptoms and even slowing biological ageing.

Where to buy lion's mane in the UK

From food shops and markets to more upscale grocers, health stores, independent online businesses and even Amazon, you can easily find and purchase lion's mane across the UK. 

Just remember, not all UK lion's mane supplements, powders and extracts are as good as the next. When deciding where to buy lion’s mane in the UK, it’s essential to look at the ingredients, concentration and dose to source the best lion’s mane capsules and enjoy the optimal health benefits. 

Don’t know where to start? We understand that with so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming. For an easy, delicious and convenient way to take everyone’s favourite fungi, try our tasty Novomins’ Lion’s Mane Gummies

Using only the highest-quality ingredients, our high-strength formula with 2000 mg of lion's mane comes in a delicious orange flavour that tastes more like a treat than a supplement. It’s even infused with added vitamins B6, B12 and iodine. 

Novomins’ Lion’s Mane Gummies are also NON-GMO, sugar-free, halal and gelatin-free, as well as free from artificial colours and preservatives, giving you peace of mind throughout your wellness journey. 

Want to add more supplements to your everyday routine? Check out our entire range here. We’ve got something for every health goal.

Lion’s mane UK FAQs

Does lion's mane work?

Lion's mane has been used in traditional Eastern medicine for centuries. As a nootropic, it contains compounds like hericenones and erinacines, which improve brain health and protect it from cognitive decline due to ageing. 

It's also great for overall health and is a mood-enhancer that can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, improve gut health, support the immune system, and even reduce the risk of heart disease.

Is lion's mane legal in the UK?

Lion's mane is legal to purchase and consume in the UK and can be bought in food shops, markets, premium grocers, Amazon, independent online businesses and more. 

Does lion's mane grow in the UK?

While it’s rare, lion's mane does grow in the UK and can also be found in forests across North America, Europe and Asia. 

Why is lion's mane illegal in the UK?

Lion's mane is not illegal in the UK, but it is illegal to pick lion's mane in the UK if found in the wild. That's because it's incredibly rare and is classed as an endangered species. 

References:

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AUTHORED BY

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Dr Peter McQuillan
BDS, MFDS P1, Dip Ortho Founder & Chief Formulator
With over 15 years of experience in the healthcare sector, Dr McQuillan is a highly esteemed professional in the healthcare space.

REVIEWED BY

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Akil Memishi
BSc Hons Pharmacology, ICH GCP Founder & Chief Clinical Researcher
Akil Memishi, co-founder of Novomins, combines his extensive clinical research experience with a passion for developing scientifically-backed nutritional products.
Review Date:
3 February 2023
Next Review:
3 February 2025
Published On:
22 January 2024
Last Updated:
4 October 2023