Get familiar with mycologist Paul Stamets’ work and you’ll come across this surprising fact: Humans share almost half the same genetic material as mushrooms, to the point we can contract many of the same viruses. And with such close DNA, he’s also quick to note it’s possible for humans to benefit from the survival structures they’ve built, especially in the areas of immunity and brain function – he even credits mushroom consumption for ending his life-long struggle with stuttering. 

While Mab Sticks were obviously not made for dramatic, brain-altering experiences like the one Stamets had, we, like him, believe there’s potent power to be found in a mushroom. One that would snap our minds into focus, battle brain fog and get us though that post-lunch energy slump. We found it in a shaggy looking ‘shroom called Hericium erinaceus, better known as Lion’s Mane, and used it to create our Focus Mab Sticks.

Its long, dangling spines and orb-shaped appearance really do make it look like a Lion’s Mane, but it’s also been called Hedgehog, PomPom, Sheep’s Head and the maybe-not-so-savory sounding Bearded Tooth mushroom. Each part of it has attributes that are great for wellness, but it’s the shaggy part called “fruiting bodies” where polysaccharides called beta-glucans and a trio of proteins – erinacines, erinacerins and hericiones – exist. The polysaccharides support immune health and the proteins support brain health and together they answered our appeal for clarity and energy.*

So how did we fit all the goodness of a meatball-sized mushroom into a teaspoon-sized serving? For that, we found another legendary mushroom expert, author and innovator Jeff Chilton. Through his pioneering cultivation company, Nammex, we found mushrooms organically grown in greenhouses with natural lighting and natural fresh airflow. “We want our mushrooms to be grown the same way you want your food produced – on a farm tended by real people, not in a laboratory managed by technicians,” he says. 

After harvesting, the mushrooms go through a method of extraction called decoction, then get dehydrated by spray drying. The finished powder goes through testing to ensure a myriad of quality parameters are met, but also to detect active Beta (1-3),(1-6)-glucans and erinacines, erinacines and hericenones, aka the good stuff needed for Focus Mab Sticks.

Spaced out and sluggish? Take a deep breath and mix a Focus Mab Stick into a glass of something nice. Lion’s Mane and 4 other potent herbs will snap your mind back to attention and rev you up for whatever life sends you next.  

What’s so magic about this mushroom? Our chief science advisor Kevin Spelman, Ph.D breaks down the difference between a Lion’s Mane mushroom and the ones you’ll find at a grocery store. 

Lion’s Mane contains a special class of compounds called diterpenes. Diterpenes are proteins, in this case hericenones and erinacines, that have been used to improve cognition and mood. The mushrooms at the grocery store won’t have these neuroprotective proteins.

Like many mushrooms, Lion’s Mane has immune-supporting b-glucans. B-glucans are what you’ll find in widely available mushrooms, like the ones on your pizza, and Lion’s Mane has them, too. B-glucans have been shown to have therapeutic properties for the immune system and even help with digestive health. 

You can get too much of a good thing. While herbal supplements can make you feel great,  it’s best to stick with the recommended amount – in this case up to 2 Focus Mab Sticks a day. 

Kevin Spelman, PhD, MCPP, is an internationally recognized expert on the molecular biology and clinical therapeutics of botanical medicines. A past National Institutes of Health postdoctoral Fellow and Marie Curie research Fellow in the European Union, Dr. Spelman has published 27 scientific papers and six chapters and been involved in clinical work for two decades. Dr. Spelman has been an academic pioneer in professional and competent clinical herbal medicine, co-founding the first master of science degree in clinical phytotherapy and a founding faculty member of the first bachelor degree in herbal medicine. Dr. Spelman is a past advisor to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.