Lion's Mane for PMDD: Could it help?

Lion's Mane for PMDD: Could it help?

Lion's Mane for PMDD: Effectiveness, Research and How to Dose

PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) isn't just a bad case of PMS.  It's a debilitating condition that casts a dark shadow over your life during specific times of the month.  If severe mood swings, crushing fatigue, and mental fog disrupt your work, relationships, and sense of well-being, it's time to seek relief. 

Could Lion's Mane, a fascinating medicinal mushroom, hold a piece of the puzzle for managing PMDD?

Understanding PMDD

What is PMDD? 

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe and chronic form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).  While many women experience some discomfort or mood changes before their period, PMDD takes it to an extreme. Intense emotional upheaval, debilitating physical symptoms, and cognitive struggles significantly disrupt daily life during the week or two before menstruation.


Common Symptoms: The symptoms of PMDD are wide-ranging and can vary in intensity from person to person. They typically fall into three main categories:

  • Emotional: Severe mood swings, irritability, anger outbursts, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, increased sensitivity to rejection, and even suicidal thoughts in some cases.
  • Cognitive: Difficulty concentrating, brain fog, confusion, forgetfulness, and feeling mentally overwhelmed.
  • Physical: Fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, joint or muscle pain, changes in appetite, and sleep disturbances.

How Lion’s Mane May Help

PMDD Symptom Category

Specific Symptoms

How Lion's Mane Could Potentially Help



Irritability, anger, mood swings, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness

* May promote nerve growth factor (NGF), aiding healthy brain cell function and potentially improving mood stability.*

* Research focuses on general anxiety/depression; PMDD-specific studies needed.

Increased sensitivity to rejection, sadness, potential suicidal thoughts (in severe cases)

* Possesses anti-inflammatory properties; chronic inflammation is linked to mood disorders.*

* Anti-inflammatory effects could indirectly aid mood regulation.


Difficulty concentrating, brain fog, confusion, forgetfulness, feeling overwhelmed

* May improve cognitive function through NGF support, potentially alleviating brain fog. *

* Studies on Lion's Mane for cognition exist, but not specifically within PMDD context.

* Antioxidant properties could protect brain cells, potentially reducing mental fatigue and brain fog.*


Fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, headaches, joint or muscle pain, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances

Limited direct evidence, but potential indirect support:

Anti-inflammatory action might alleviate some physical discomfort associated with inflammation.

Improved mood and reduced anxiety could lead to better sleep quality.

Impact on Life

PMDD isn't just a few bad days each month. It's a disruptive condition that can damage relationships, hinder work performance, and erode overall well-being.  Women with PMDD often feel out of control, isolated, and like they're losing themselves for a significant portion of each month.

Causes and Risk Factors of PMDD

While the exact cause of PMDD isn't fully understood, it's closely associated with the cyclical changes in estrogen and progesterone levels that occur throughout a woman's menstrual cycle.  Researchers theorise that women with PMDD might have a heightened sensitivity to these normal hormonal fluctuations, leading to the severe symptoms they experience.

Additionally, serotonin, a neurotransmitter vital for regulating mood, appears to play a role in PMDD. Fluctuations in serotonin levels could be a contributing factor to the emotional and cognitive challenges faced by women with this condition.

Several factors can increase a woman's risk of developing PMDD.  A family history of PMS or PMDD points to a genetic predisposition.  Women who have experienced depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders also have a higher risk.  Other potential contributors include stress, a poor diet, lack of exercise, and certain underlying medical conditions.

Important Note: If you're experiencing severe symptoms that disrupt your life before your period, it's crucial to see a healthcare provider. They can ensure  a proper diagnosis of PMDD,  rule out other potential causes, and develop a personalised treatment plan.

Lion's Mane for PMDD: Why It Might Help

Lion's Mane mushroom, renowned in traditional medicine for its cognitive and mood-supportive properties, offers potential benefits for managing PMDD symptoms.  While research specifically targeting PMDD is limited,  studies point to several ways this unique mushroom could help:

  • Brain Health Support:  Lion's Mane contains compounds that stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is vital for the growth, maintenance, and survival of brain cells.  By promoting a healthy brain environment, Lion's Mane could indirectly improve mood stability and cognitive function, both of which are disrupted by PMDD.
  • Anti-inflammatory Action:  Chronic inflammation is increasingly linked to mental health conditions, including depression and anxiety.  Lion's Mane possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties that might help reduce this underlying inflammation, potentially lessening the severity of PMDD's emotional symptoms.
  • Antioxidant Protection: Oxidative stress, a type of cellular damage, can negatively impact mood and worsen brain fog.  Lion's Mane, with its rich antioxidant content, could help protect brain cells from this damage, potentially contributing to improved mental clarity and reduced mood instability.
  • Research on Mood:  While more studies specifically on PMDD are needed, existing research suggests that Lion's Mane may help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.  This potential benefit aligns with the emotional and cognitive challenges experienced by women with PMDD.

Important Note: It's important to remember that research into Lion's Mane for PMDD is still in its early stages. However, the existing science offers a promising foundation for potential benefits.

Using Lion's Mane for PMDD

If you're considering incorporating Lion's Mane into your PMDD management plan, here are some essential points to keep in mind:

  • Dosage and Seeking Guidance: A common starting dosage for Lion's Mane is around 1000mg - 1500mg daily. However, it's wise to consult a healthcare provider with expertise in PMDD and natural remedies before starting. They can help determine the right dosage for your specific needs, monitor for potential side effects, and ensure there are no interactions with other medications you may be taking.
  • Forms and Quality: Lion's Mane is available in various forms, including powder (versatile for adding to food/drinks), capsules (convenient for on-the-go use), and extracts (may offer a more concentrated dose). Choose reputable brands and look for third-party testing to ensure you're getting a high-quality, pure product.
  • Interactions and Considerations: Lion's Mane has the potential to interact with certain medications, such as SSRIs or birth control pills.  It's vital to inform your doctor about all medications and supplements you take.
  • Safety: Lion's Mane is generally well-tolerated, but some individuals may experience mild digestive discomfort or allergies (rare).  Start with a low dose and gradually increase as tolerated under a doctor's guidance.

Study Findings on Antidepressant Potential

A recent study exploring the antidepressant potential of Hericium erinaceus (Lion's Mane) offers compelling insights relevant to PMDD management. 

Here's a summary:

Study Parameter


Study Focus

Antidepressant effects in pre-clinical and limited human studies

Key Findings

Promotes neurogenesis, modulates neurotransmitters, and reduces inflammation – all relevant to mood regulation


Varied in the study, highlighting the need for doctor consultation

A diagram showing the current progression of studies on symptoms related to PMDD

Important Considerations:

  • PMDD Connection: While this study didn't specifically focus on PMDD, the potential antidepressant and anti-inflammatory effects of Lion's Mane align with the emotional and cognitive challenges faced by women with this condition.
  • Need for More Research: Further research specifically investigating Lion's Mane for PMDD is likely needed for conclusive evidence. However, this study offers a promising foundation for its potential benefits.

Your GP is your best partner in determining if Lion's Mane is appropriate for you, establishing the right dosage, and ensuring safe and effective use for managing your PMDD symptoms.

Lion's Mane as Part of a Holistic Approach

While Lion's Mane offers exciting potential for supporting those with PMDD, it's essential to view it as one tool within a broader management plan.  Here's why a holistic approach often yields the best results:

Not a Cure-All

Lion's Mane may provide significant benefits for mood, cognitive function, and inflammation, but it's unlikely to be a single solution for the complexities of PMDD.


Lifestyle Changes

Prioritising healthy habits alongside Lion's Mane use can make a substantial difference.  This includes a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, stress management techniques (like mindfulness or yoga), and adequate sleep.  Your healthcare provider may also suggest vitamin supplementation.


Conventional Treatments

For some women, conventional treatments like SSRIs (antidepressants) or birth control pills may be necessary for effective PMDD management.  Lion's Mane could potentially be used as a complementary therapy alongside these medications, but only under the supervision of a knowledgeable doctor.

A Potential Ally in Managing PMDD

If you're struggling with the debilitating symptoms of PMDD, know that you are not alone, and there is hope for finding relief.  Lion's Mane mushroom, with its potential to support brain health, mood, and reduce inflammation,  could be a valuable natural tool in your journey.

Remember these key points:

  • Consult Your Doctor: A healthcare provider knowledgeable about PMDD is your first and most crucial step for personalised guidance in incorporating Lion's Mane safely.
  • Choose Quality: Opt for high-quality, third-party tested Lion's Mane supplements to ensure you're getting the potential benefits.
  • Holistic Approach: Combine Lion's Mane with healthy lifestyle habits for optimal outcomes in managing PMDD.

Experience the Difference with our Lion’s Mane Supplement “Cognition”

Ready to give your brain and mood the support they deserve? Our "Cognition" Lion's Mane supplement is formulated with premium, sustainably sourced, GMO-free ingredients and carefully dosed to deliver maximum benefits. Discover the power of this remarkable mushroom and take a step towards improved well-being.

References & Studies

Chong PS, Fung ML, Wong KH, Lim LW. Therapeutic Potential of Hericium erinaceus for Depressive Disorder. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Dec 25;21(1):163. doi: 10.3390/ijms21010163. PMID: 31881712; PMCID: PMC6982118. 

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