Supplements and Diet to Encourage Nerve Healing

by Mary on December 2, 2016

lion's mane mushroom supplement

Lion’s Mane mushroom supplement

If you were going to pick a supplement that might encourage healing, Lion’s Mane sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? Luckily this is a mushroom we’re talking about, not Cecil and his kind, who need to keep roaming free and not be sold for ingredients.

I’m not usually big on supplements. I prefer to just try and eat well. The only one I usually take is Vitamin D (this is Washington where we get very little sun). But back in August, I visited a naturopath recommended by my primary MD (this is Washington where we get a bumper crop of naturopaths). My primary doctor swore that this naturopath only offered evidence-based treatments. She started me on:

alpha-lipoic acid 200 mg 2x daily

Meriva (turmeric and lecithin supplement) 500 mg 1x daily

and a couple of other things, like bromelain and a multivitamin with zinc, that I didn’t continue with.

Needless to say, the supplements weren’t enough on their own, or even combined with all the other things I tried (massage, PT, acupuncture, steroid injections) and I moved on to the big guns of a microdiscectomy and microdecompression. But now that the surgeon’s done his part, I’m trying to do mine, and that includes eating nutritiously and taking some medicines and supplements. For me, who doesn’t even usually take a multivitamin, it’s a lot of pill-taking. But I’m willing to do it for a while.

I’m trying to include lots of antioxidants and magnesium in my diet. My breakfast each morning is a fruit and soy or almond milk smoothie with additions of cacao powder or pomegranate powder. Cacao powder is not quite as tasty as cocoa powder, but it does have more antioxidants, and I’m enjoying it in my smoothies.

For the first few weeks after my surgery I had tuna or salmon with lunch every day for the protein, niacin, and good fats. Other than that, everything’s vegetarian, with fresh greens and lots of produce.

I’ve recently added these supplements:

freeze-dried Lion’s Mane mushroom, 2 capsules 1x daily

Basis: a fancy Silicon Valley supplement that you could also just get the ingredients for– it’s 50 mg. pterostilbine plus nicotinamide riboside, 2 capsules 1x daily

resveratrol 500 mg 1x daily

B vitamin supplement with a moderate amount of B-vitamins.

I’m kind of tickled that the Lion’s Mane is from local mushroom expert, or perhaps I should say legend, Paul Stamets, who has an expansive mind about many ways that mushrooms could save the world. I’ve encountered his company, Fungi Perfecti, before. I bought a mushroom log from them before as a science fair project for one of my sons when he was on the younger end of elementary school.

I still remember the logbook my son made, with every observation the same: no growth. And his exhibit: a small log with holes drilled in it. After the science fair was done, though, the mushrooms did eventually start to grow. They looked so weird that we couldn’t bring ourselves to eat them, though they were supposed to be edible. Luckily I don’t have that problem with the freeze-dried Lion’s Mane caps.

I’ll keep following my plan and hope, that like the science fair project, I’ll eventually see results.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Eva at Eva Bakes December 2, 2016 at 11:12 pm

I hope that the supplements work and that they help your nerves heal. Like skating, it will just take some patience for you to see results! Continuing to send you healing thoughts, Mary.
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Mary December 4, 2016 at 9:02 pm

Thanks Eva!

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Jo December 3, 2016 at 5:08 am

Healing does require good nutrition, Mary. I really like mushrooms, so it’s nice to know that they are good for you. I bet your salmon is way fresher than ours, too. Your good eating habits will be a positive force in your recovery, I’m sure. Hoping you’re doing okay and your patience isn’t wearing thin–takes time to heal!
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Mary December 4, 2016 at 9:08 pm

Mushroom are amazing, they even have Vitamin D (more or less depending on the light they are exposed to). I’m doing pretty well, that six weeks where I can do more things is getting closer and closer.

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George A. December 5, 2016 at 8:19 pm

It’s interesting that you’re taking both pterostilbene and resveratrol. These two compounds are v. similar, at least in terms of structure, with the difference being that pterostilbene substitutes a pair of methoxy groups for reveratrol’s hydroxy groups at the same positions on one of the rings. This presumably contributes to pterostilbene’s enhanced bio-availability compared to resveratrol. What do your naturopaths offer as an explanation? Just curious.

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Mary December 6, 2016 at 2:10 am

You’re right, it is supposed to be like resveratrol but potentially more bioactive, so those two are a duplication. I started with the resveratrol while waiting to get the Basis supplement and just haven’t discontinued it. Always good to have the molecular biologist to keep me honest. I’ve only been to the naturopath the once so far, the second round of supplements is something I came up with myself. Have you written about nutrition on your blog somewhere that I’ve missed? If not, interested to hear your thoughts and what you do for yourself (you can email me privately if you like).

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Melissa December 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

Mary, I hope your nerves are continuing to heal. The supplements are very interesting; thank you for sharing. You have such a great diet; that should contribute to overall health and healing. Here’s to positive results very soon!

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Mary December 12, 2016 at 2:44 am

Thanks Melissa!

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Marcia December 12, 2016 at 11:37 am

I know there are plenty of skeptics out there, but I don’t think these supplements will hurt anything and of course good nutrition is worth its weight in gold. Personally I swear I run better when I take bromelain and I’m a fan of turmeric too. The struggle is real with vitamin D here as well. I hope you’re feeling better and better!
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Mary December 13, 2016 at 4:57 am

Yup the Midwest gets very gray in the winter too. Interesting that you use some of these yourself!

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