- Aileen McKernan
The One Supplement that Actually Helped Speed Up My Recovery from a Concussion
Navigating nutrition after a concussion is difficult. There is little evidenced based research regarding the best foods to eat or supplements to take to facilitate recovery. It can be frustrating because when your brain is not functioning properly you want to do the right things to make it better. It can be overwhelming because when your brain is not functioning properly it is hard enough to focus and make small decisions never mind sifting through anecdotal evidence and less than confident conclusions regarding what is best to eat or take. I know because I suffered a severe concussion in 2019. It rocked my head and world for many, many months.
In the weeks following the concussion I spent lots of time looking up things on the internet, trying to sort through my own body's cravings and needs, and experimenting with different foods and supplements to help the recovery. Of all the things I ate and tried, there is one supplement that actually stands out in being beneficial to my recovery from the concussion: Lion's Mane!
Lion's Mane is a type of mushroom that is purported to have many health benefits. One reason why it may work to help with concussion recovery is that there is some evidence that it helps stimulate the production of new nerve growth. It may also have an anti-inflammatory affect that can help the damaged brain recover. Most of the research done on Lion's Mane is in animals though.
I first stumbled upon Lion's Mane by asking the clerk at Whole Foods if he knew of any supplements that could help with concussion recovery. He gave me a whole list which I unabashedly bought. It was worth the expense because I was really suffering. I admit, I was hesitant to try Lion's Mane. I had tried other supplements that contained different mushrooms previous to the concussion for other things and one such supplement gave me psychotic thoughts. Enough was going on with my brain that I didn't want to do something to make it worse!
After I read up on Lion's Mane, I felt confident in its safety and my ability to assess its affects on my brain and body to give it a try. Immediately upon stirring a scoop into my tea and taking that first sip I had decreased light sensitivity, decreased sound sensitivity, and decreased overall agitation. I was calmer and able to focus better. That was incredible. There was no other food or supplement that immediately and substantially altered my sense of peace and wellbeing after the concussion like that! It was a God-send.
Lion's Mane became my friend. In the first 2 months following the concussion I went through 3 bags of it. I was taking it 2-3 times a day! It's earthy but mellow taste was as good as the benefit I was getting from it. As I recovered from the concussion, I found I was taking it less and less and honestly as the months went by I forgot entirely about it.
This morning as I was making a cup of tea, I saw the Lion's Mane bag in the back of my cupboard and it inspired me to share my experience. I know that it was wisdom from other people that helped me get to where I am in my journey of Concussion Recovery and if it could help somebody out there, it's worth the time to post this.
It has been 15 months since the concussion. I had Post Concussion Syndrome, so my healing was delayed compared to other people's. By God's grace I hit many milestones of recovery along the way and am thankful I can now earnestly say I am back to my baseline. I like to think I am wiser than my baseline because of what I went through. I know that Lion's Mane was a part of that healing journey for me, but it may not be for you. Everyone's concussion is different and so is everyone's recovery. Be kind to yourself and if you are suffering from a recent or even distant concussion, please know that you are not alone, He is able to bring total healing, and that things will get better. Please email me if you need to share where you are in your experience or you want prayer regarding your current situation.
Much Love Always,
For Further Thought:
Have you suffered a concussion?
What was it like?
What food or supplements seem to help you?
Are you still experiencing symptoms?
Is there a particular scripture or prayer that you hold on to get you through?