Lion’s Mane and Erectile Dysfunction

Several Redditors have complained about experiencing erectile dysfunction after consuming lion’s mane mushroom supplements. One wrote about being “limp for a week” despite previously being able to have sex 3-to 5 times a day. Another claimed it “destroyed [his] sex drive.” 

Because of such anecdotes, thousands of men are questioning if lion’s mane mushroom can result in erectile dysfunction. 

What is Lion’s Mane?

Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is an exotic medicinal mushroom that grows on hardwoods in North America and Eurasia. Its shape is quite unique as it resembles a clump of white hair. But despite its appearance, its texture is far from hairy. 

Also known as bearded tooth and monkey head, this mushroom has no distinct cap. Its fruiting body consists of an irregular lump covered in soft spines or dense hair-like structures. Initially, lion’s mane is white. However, it turns yellow with age and becomes brown when fried. 

If you’re wondering about its taste and smell, both are faintly fish-like. That’s why chefs use it as a substitute for seafood in some recipes. Especially between late summer and early fall, when the mushroom is ready for harvest. 

Lion’s Mane Health Benefits

In addition to being a good substitute for seafood, lion’s mane offers many benefits – 

  • Improved Cognitive Function – Lion’s mane mushrooms have hericenones and erinacines. Both compounds can stimulate the growth of brain cells, preventing mental functioning from declining with age. Animal studies are also underway to determine if the mushroom can protect against Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Relief for Mild Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety – Lion’s mane can reduce the chronic inflammation that may cause anxiety and depression. It also regenerates brain cells and supports the brain’s ability to process memories and emotional responses. Therefore, individuals may experience fewer anxious and depressive episodes. 
  • Speedy Recovery from Nervous System Injuries – Injuries to the spinal code may result in paralysis or even loss of mental functions. They also require a long time to heal. However, the research uncovered that this mushroom extract could speed up recovery by stimulating nerve cell growth and repair. 
  • Stomach Ulcer Prevention – Lion’s mane supports the ‘good’ bacteria in the gut and prevents ‘bad bacteria’ overgrowth. It also protects the stomach lining from damage due to the long-term use of NSAIDs. With both factors causing ulcers under control, your gut will become stronger and healthier. 
  • Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease – Consuming the mushroom can influence significant risk factors such as obesity and cholesterol. Lion’s mane improves fat metabolism and can effectively lower triglyceride levels. Further, it can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol molecules in the bloodstream. This, in turn, reduces the chance of heart attack and stroke. 
  • Blood Sugar Level Control – Lion’s mane may help people with diabetes improve their blood sugar control. Therefore, it can help them avoid complications such as kidney disease and nerve damage. 
  • Anti-Cancer Properties – Some research shows lion’s mane has cancer-fighting abilities. When mixed with human cancer cells, the mushroom’s extract caused the cells to die faster. The mushroom may also help in combatting cancer by slowing down its spread. 
  • Reduced Oxidative Stress – Oxidative stress, which may be accompanied by chronic inflammation, is the cause of several illnesses. Luckily, research shows this mushroom contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant components. 
  • Stronger Immune System – Taking lion’s mane supplements may boost immunity by improving gut health and stimulating the intestinal immune system. However, more research is necessary to confirm this benefit fully. 

Can Lion's Mane Lower Libido/Sex-Drive?

The honest answer is “maybe.” 

In some cases, Lion’s mane mushrooms may act as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) blockers. Also known as 5α-Reductase inhibitors, these can result in sexual dysfunction. However, this has been recorded in 3.4% to 15.8% of men. 

Biohacking expert Steven Ray Warren has also shared his opinion on the matter. While he hasn’t experienced such a side effect, he decided to carry out his own research. He then uncovered that only a small percentage of individuals might experience this issue. 

Steven also explained that lion mane’s 5α-Reductase inhibitory activities have only been confirmed in animal testing. There’s no research proving this in humans as it was never studied. Therefore, claiming the mushroom may ruin someone’s manhood is baseless. 

Finally, there are very few anecdotes about people experiencing lowered libido. On the other hand, many more indicate that lion’s mane either enhanced their libido or made no significant changes. 

Therefore, if you’re worried about the mushroom impacting your performance, consult with your physician first. If you have already started consuming lion’s mane supplements, you can stop using them if this issue occurs. 

And Now You Know

While lion’s mane may cause erectile dysfunction in some individuals, 85% can enjoy the mushroom’s benefits to the max. Moreover, those who suffer from this side effect can quickly recover once they stop consuming the mushroom. 

If your physician agrees and you think you’re part of the majority who’ll benefit from lion’s mane, great! You can now add it to your daily supplements to become healthier, stronger, and mentally sharper. And here are some recommendations to help you get only the best. 

  • Lion’s Mane Mushroom Cognition – Containing 120 capsules, Lion’s Mane Mushroom Cognition is a vegan and allergen-free supplement. The product uses only certified organic mushrooms and zero fillers, ensuring only medicinal compounds reach users. 
  • The Genius Brand Genius Mushrooms - The Genius Brand Genius Mushrooms capsules combine the benefits of lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps. Together, these improve your physical and mental health. That too while elevating your energy levels sans caffeine. 
  • Toniq Lion’s Mane Ultra Concentrated – One of the top mushroom herbal supplements, Toniq Lion’s Mane contains 1,800 mg of high-quality mushroom powder. Made from fruiting bodies, the powder is dual extracted to ensure a concentrated dose. To further ensure quality, each batch undergoes testing at a third-party laboratory. 
  • MaryRuth’s Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Liquid Drops – If capsules aren’t your thing, MaryRuth’s Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Liquid Drops may be more suitable. The tincture is organic, vegan, and free from common allergens and additives. You can either take it directly by mouth or add it to water. 
  • Uphoric Urth Focus Lions Mane – Another tincture to consider is Uphoric Urth Focus Lions Mane. This is a highly potent tincture made purely from fruiting bodies. It’s also highly saturated, a fact proven by small amounts of solid lion’s mane inside. 
  • Om Mushroom Superfood Lion’s Mane – If you’re used to powder supplements, you’ll like Om Mushroom Superfood Lion’s Mane. The pouch contains 50 servings, each delivering 2,000 mg of mushroom extract. As for the powder, it’s made from US-grown mushrooms and is USDA-certified, 100% organic, and paleo and keto-friendly. 
  • Real Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Powder – The Real Mushrooms Lion’s Mane Powder is a pure extract made from natural, handpicked mushrooms. It contains no fillers, grains, or additives. On the other hand, it’s rich in beta-glucans, a fact verified by third-party laboratories. 

Remember to stick to the recommended dosage to get the results you want. And let the mushroom work its magic on your health and well-being.