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.