Lion’s Mane Extract vs Lion’s Mane Powder

Lion’s Mane Extract vs Lion’s Mane Powder

By James “Slim” Miles


Lion's Mane is one of those rare supplements that just seems to do it all. As a mushroom with a long history of use in traditional medicine, it's now gaining serious traction in the wellness space - and for good reason. This unique fungus is packed with compounds that can potentially help support brain health, immune function, and even mood.


The research on the potential benefits of Lion's Mane supplementation is quite compelling. Numerous studies have demonstrated how the bio-active compounds in the mushroom are neuroprotective, support cognitive function and support a healthy response to inflammation. As such, Lion's Mane supplements may be a valuable addition to a holistic health regimen, empowering individuals to take a proactive approach to their mental and physical wellbeing. But which form of Lion’s Mane is recommended for the best results?

An Extract of the Pure Mushroom is the Key

Lion's Mane extract made from the mushroom (or the fruiting body) is generally considered superior to plain Lion's Mane powder for several reasons.


Firstly, Lion's Mane extract is more concentrated, meaning it contains a higher amount of the active compounds found in the actual mushroom itself. This results in a more potent and effective supplement, which may provide greater benefits for cognitive function, memory, and overall brain health.


Additionally, Lion's Mane extract made from the mushroom is more bioavailable than crude Lion’s Mane powder. The extraction process helps to separate the bio-actives from the chitin, an insoluble fiber in the mushroom cell walls, making it easier for the body to absorb the beneficial beta glucans, and other compounds found in Lion’s Mane mushrooms. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), most medicinal mushrooms are prepared as hot water decoctions in order to break down the cell wall of the mushroom to release the actives. This means that the body can absorb and utilize the beneficial compounds much more efficiently and more potently, leading to quicker and more complete results.


Furthermore, Lion's Mane extract often undergoes more rigorous testing and quality control measures compared to crude powder. This ensures that the supplement is free from contaminants and impurities, providing a safer and more reliable product for consumers. For example, Bold Botanica extracts are standardized to a certain percentage of beta glucans and are 3rd party tested to be sure they meet this standard. Most raw powders are not tested for beta glucan content, so the consumer has no idea what they are getting.

The Benefits of Bold Botanica's Lion’s Mane


Bold Botanica Lion’s Mane contains 2 different strengths of organic extracts – a hot water extracted at 1:1 and a more concentrated hydro-alcoholic extracted at 8:1. A hot water extract is best for extracting the beneficial beta glucans from the Lion’s Mane. We verify the beta glucan content through 3rd party lab testing for a total of 115 mg of beta glucans per capsule. The 8:1 dual hydroalcoholic extracted extract provides a wider range of active constituents by potentially accessing monoterpenoids such as ergosterol, hericenones, and hericene A; however, there are no tests yet available in the US for these compounds as most of the current research is being done in Asia.


Is a 1:1 extract the same as the raw powder? No. Some claim that it is not possible to extract 1 kg of mushrooms from 1 kg of water or solvent. This requires an understanding of how extracts are made. The extraction process would start as a more dilute liquid extract, possibly 1:4, then the extract would be gently heated to remove the solvent (water/alcohol), thereby concentrating the extract to a 1:1 herb strength ratio. To make a powdered extract, the concentrated liquid extract is then fully dried or spray dried into a powder. Thus a 1:1 extract has been made more bioavailable and more concentrated than a raw powder.


Caveat Emptor, which is Latin for “buyer beware," as it should be noted that some companies have taken to using the questionable practice of taking sterilized bags of grain (oats or rye) and fermenting it with Lions Mane mycelium, which is the root structure of the actual mushroom itself. Then the company will dry this “myceliated grain” and put it into a capsule and sell it as a “mushroom” product. Given that the mycelium contains fewer actives than the actual mushroom (fruiting body) and is diluted by 60-70% grain, many customers end up buying capsules of myceliated or fermented starch rather than an actual mushroom product.

Choose Bold Botanica's Lion’s Mane, With Organic Mushroom Extracts

Overall, while both Lion's Mane extract and crude powder can offer health benefits, choosing an extract of the mushroom will typically provide a more potent, bioavailable, and reliable option for those looking to support their cognitive function and overall well-being. Bold Botanica never uses mushroom mycelia or “myceliated grain” in our mushroom products—only organic extracts that are made by extracting the actual mushroom itself.


Discover The Power of Bold for yourself with our Bold Lion’s Mane Mushroom Capsules (60 capsules, a two-month supply). Please note our positive reviews that mention benefits that some of our customers report.


James “Slim” Miles – is a 30 year veteran of the natural products industry, Phytotherapist, Ayurvedic Practitioner, a co-founder of Bold Botanica, and VP of Innovation & Science at Employee Owned Apotheca, Inc.


This blog is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.