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< class="article__title title"> Chaga Pregnancy And Breastfeeding: Is Chaga Safe?>
Chaga Pregnancy And Breastfeeding: Is Chaga Safe?
Aug 09, 22
Tags: Chaga
This article has been vetted by the Onnit Advisory Board. Read more about our editorial process.
Author: Sony Sherpa

Chaga Pregnancy And Breastfeeding: Is Chaga Safe?

As a pregnant woman, you carry an additional life inside you. For this reason, you have to worry about more than just your life—what you eat also has to be safe for the baby growing in your belly. 

After going through the gestational period and getting your baby, breastfeeding your son or daughter is the next step. Like when you were expectant, you have to watch what you eat since you do not want compounds that can harm the baby ending up in the breast milk. 

Chaga mushrooms have made a name for themselves for having numerous nutrients—including vitamins and minerals—that offer multiple benefits. Also, carrying bioactive compounds, the health benefits of Chaga mushrooms are many. 

However, any woman of childbearing age will want to know whether this medicinal mushroom that grows on birch trees will be healthy for their toddler, infant, or the baby inside their womb. This detailed guide is for you!

Below we will discuss the benefits of Chaga breastfeeding and pregnancy benefits. In addition, we will discuss if it is okay to take Chaga while breastfeeding and during pregnancy. Moreover, we will also look at Chaga tea during pregnancy.

Let's get straight to it!

Chaga Mushrooms: Why Do People Drink Chaga Tea?

In the world of medicinal mushrooms, Chaga, or Inonotus obliquus, is regarded as black gold.  This is because the mushroom products—including Chaga powder—have numerous potential benefits like fighting against inflammation, infection, and oxidative stress, strengthening the immune system and lowering blood lipid and sugar levels.

Studies indicate that this mushroom that grows on birch trees has high nutritional value, which can help give pregnant women their required nourishments. On paper, this would make using Chaga during pregnancy an excellent choice. But what do we know about Chaga mushroom pregnancy safety?

Based on the mushroom's health benefits and nutritional profile, many consider Chaga pregnancy usage safe. However, not much scientific research gives us evidence about Chaga tea pregnancy safe use. 

Studies have not been conducted to determine whether pregnant women adding Chaga powder to their food, diet, or coffee is safe. For this reason, fertile women who are pregnant or in their lactation period (after birth) have to approach any Chaga dosage with extra care. 

While Chaga may not have caffeine, it could have some bioactive ingredients that might prove too strong for babies before and after childbirth. 

Consumption of raw Chaga mushrooms is contraindicated during pregnancy. Additionally, it would help if you always talked to your doctor before starting any health supplements, including Chaga, during pregnancy. 

However, let's examine what we know about taking Chaga extract during pregnancy. The section below will help you determine the level of safety during late and early pregnancy. 

Is Chaga Safe During Pregnancy?

The arrival of a new family member is a joyous time for many, including the mother. After giving birth, the maternal instinct kicks in, and each female is more than ready to have a glorious time with their child (or children) from childhood to adolescence until they reach maturity. 

However, while the postpartum period is full of joy with the parents celebrating their new baby, the pregnancy period is quite complicated. The pregnancy period is a daunting period with exhaustion and sleep deprivation. 

The period of breastfeeding is also very challenging, and new mothers need to make sure they are taking adequate nutrition to fortify their physical health.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding are times when your health is often tested, and many women looking to boost their nutrient intake are attracted to Chaga mushrooms. But considering what you eat also gets passed on to your unborn child during pregnancy, and the baby after birth through lactation, which can be good and bad, many expecting and new mothers are unsure if Chaga can safeguard their health.

There are limited studies available that address the potential benefits of Chaga during pregnancy and breastfeeding directly. However, there are many health-boosting properties of Inonotus obliquus that can benefit pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Let's now examine why Chaga medicinal mushrooms are a trendy all-natural supplement that may potentially benefit pregnant and lactating women.

Inflammatory And Immune Support

The mother's immune system is in constant flux during pregnancy. During the first 12 weeks, there is a pro-inflammatory state. After that, the human immune system changes as pregnancy progresses, and later, the anti-inflammatory state prevails. Finally, the immune system switches back to a pro-inflammatory state during the final stage of pregnancy.

Beta-D-glucans found in Chaga mushrooms help balance your immune system. This means that taking Chaga can downregulate it when it is overactive and stimulate your immune system when you need a boost.

Ergosterol, ergosterol peroxide, and trametenolic acid isolated from Chaga mushrooms have anti-inflammatory activities(1). This may potentially help combat inflammatory states in pregnancy.

Regulatory T cells (Tregs), a specialized form of white blood cell, promote an anti-inflammatory environment. Low levels of Tregs have been linked to miscarriage.

Inotodiol, a lanostane triterpenoid from Inonotus obliquus, promotes(2) the maturation of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells, that can stimulate such T cells. It then induces the activation and proliferation of Tregs. This may potentially have beneficial effects on pregnancy losses. However, not much can be said now, as more specific research is required.

Chaga can promote a healthy life among pregnant women. The mushroom can use its ability to support the immune system to prevent inflammatory bowel disease and reduce the risk of other gut health issues that affect women during pregnancy. In addition, the mushroom will use its anti viral and anti inflammatory properties to guarantee maximum health. 

Antioxidant Benefits

Oxidative stress contributes to many reproductive complications(3) , including infertility, miscarriage, high blood pressure, fetal growth restriction, and preterm labor.

Chaga mushroom is renowned for their antioxidant properties(4)Chaga's ORAC value (a score that measures the antioxidant capacity) is 52,000, making it one of the highest among foods.

Protects Against Infections

More specifically, the polysaccharides(5) of Inonotus obliquus magic mushrooms have been shown to protect against adverse pregnancy problems caused by Toxoplasmosis infection. 

In a study on toxoplasma-infected pregnant mice, Chaga extracts regulated the inflammatory pathway. While this is an animal-based study, it still holds promise in treating toxoplasmosis, a dreaded infection to catch during pregnancy.

Energy Booster

In the early phases of pregnancy, hormone progesterone levels increase significantly, which can add to fatigue. Apart from that, lower levels of blood sugar and blood pressure might also sap your energy.

The polysaccharides of Chaga mushroom help convert body energy and act as a natural energy booster. Studies have shown that Chaga could help boost the concentration of AMPK(6), a molecule that is a critical part of energy pathways in the body.

Is Chaga Tea Safe During Pregnancy?

Is Chaga tea safe during pregnancy?

We cannot confidently say that Chaga tea and pregnancy are a good idea. However, unless you are allergic, the tea is safe for consumption. Even for this, it is best to seek advice from your health care provider if you want to consume it during pregnancy and breastfeeding, for that matter. 

That being said, if you want to consume Chaga tea during pregnancy, there are a few things to consider.

The quality of Chaga tea depends on the type of wood the mushroom is derived from. Chaga is commonly found growing on birch, ash, or maple tree. All of these are great, but Chaga from birch comes highly recommended.

If the tea is derived from the fungus grown over contaminated soil, it may contain a pollutant that will affect you and your baby.

Make sure the mushroom is harvested using water extraction. Some extracts are alcohol-based, which may harm your baby.

What Diseases Can You Fight with Chaga During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, some women go through some health problems. However, an expecting mother can consume Chaga after seeking professional medical advice. Therefore, pregnant women can take advantage of the mushroom's healing properties. 

Below, we will look at several issues pregnant women can solve with Chaga.  

1. Chaga Prevents Gestational Diabetes

As you have probably guessed, gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that can develop in healthy women during pregnancy. According to the CDC(7), gestational diabetes affects as much as 10% of all pregnancies in the United States. 

Gestational diabetes creates a lot of risks for the unborn child, including: 

  • The baby may be born extremely large. For example, your child could weigh more than 9 pounds, making the delivery difficult. 
  • The baby may be born early. This can result in breathing problems and other complications. 
  • The baby may develop type 2 diabetes later in life. 

The good news is that you can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. In addition, Chaga offers diabetes benefitsthe mushroom is known to help with blood sugar control

Since gestational diabetes is generally a result of insulin resistance which tends to affect blood sugar control, consuming Chaga increases insulin reception and response in your body, which keeps your blood sugars in check, lowering your risk of developing high blood sugar levels.

However, while foraged mushrooms and Chaga products may be generally safe to consume during pregnancy, we recommend talking to a health care professional before using these medicinal mushrooms to avoid possible side effects. 

2. The Medicinal Mushrooms Prevent Gestational High Blood Pressure

This disorder develops when a woman experiences high blood pressure during pregnancy without any other cardiac or kidney issues, protein in the urine, or abnormalities. Usually, it is discovered after 20 weeks of gestation or just before delivery. 

After giving birth, gestational hypertension typically subsides. However, certain pregnant women with hypertension are at an increased risk of later developing chronic hypertension.

Gestational hypertension carries a large number of risks for both the mother and the unborn child, including: 

  • Gestational high blood pressure can hinder blood flow to essential organs in the mother's body, including the placenta, uterus, brain, kidneys, and liver. 
  • Gestational hypertension can affect the baby negatively, resulting in issues like poor fetal growth and stillbirth. 
  • When left untreated, gestational high blood pressure can cause dangerous seizures (eclampsia). 
  • In extreme cases, it could result in the death of both the parent and the child. 

Taking Chaga mushrooms helps with hypertension. The fungus can help pregnant women maintain good blood pressure levels, helping them avoid moving toward gestational hypertension.

However, we would like to recommend talking to a doctor if you suspect you already have gestational high blood pressure. Proper management of gestational hypertension may require the use of additional medications. 

3. Drink Chaga Tea to Prevent Gestational Weight Gain

A large number of women gain weight during pregnancy. Pregnant women tend to gain between 25 and 35 pounds while carrying their baby for nine months. 

While gaining weight during pregnancy can be considered healthy, some women gain more than the recommended weight. According to the CDC(8), 48% of pregnant women gain more than the recommended weight. This indicates that there is a need to control weight gain during pregnancy. 

While taking a walk and other forms of exercise may help you maintain a healthy weight range during pregnancy, that is not the only thing you will need to do. You will also need to improve your diet. 

Chaga helps with weight loss—consuming the mushroom can help you keep the excess weight at bay. All you will have to do is know how to use chaga powder to combine it with the other healthy meals you will be taking during pregnancy. 

4. Chaga Mushroom Prevents Gestational Skin Problems

Pregnancy is known to affect the skin. During pregnancy, some women will notice the following problems: 

  • Acne 
  • Brown patches on their face, around the forehead, neck, and cheeks 
  • Dark spots on their nipples, breaks, and inner thighs 
  • Stretch marks

For women who want to maintain healthy skin during pregnancy, Chaga helps with skin health improvement. The mushroom's polysaccharide compound, antioxidants, adaptogens, and other bioactive compounds fight toxins that often harm the skin. This keeps the skin healthy during and after the pregnancy. 

If you are pregnant and are worried about Chaga mushroom identification because you assume you have to find the mushroom in the forest to use it to boost your skin health, you do not have to. 

You can relax at home and order the FDA approved products for you to use. However, we always recommend avoiding foraged Chaga as you may choose poisonous mushrooms that can harm your health and the health of the baby growing in your womb. 

5. Use Chaga Tea to Prevent Gestational Hair Loss

Pregnancy also comes with hair problems. Due to stress or trauma, some women may notice hair thinning and shedding. Telogen effluvium is the name of the condition which pregnant women experience. 

The body may experience stress throughout the first trimester as the hormone balance drastically changes to support the developing fetus. Thirty percent or more of the hairs on your head may enter the telogen, or "resting," phase of the hair cycle due to stress. As a result, you can lose 300 hairs every day rather than the typical 100.

Luckily, the Chaga mushroom prevents hair loss. As an added advantage, the mushroom is an adaptogen, which can help women adapt to stress. By reducing stress, the mushroom can lower the risk of hair loss during pregnancy. 

FAQs

Who Should Not Take Chaga?

Chaga mushrooms should be avoided by those at risk of kidney stones, who have a history of bleeding disorders, and who are taking medications to lower blood sugar.

Is Chaga Safe While Breastfeeding?

There is a lack of research and scientific evidence on whether Chaga tea should be consumed when breastfeeding. Therefore, you are advised to consult with your doctor if you are nursing and want to try this mushroom tea.

Final Thoughts

So, is Chaga okay while pregnant? Unfortunately, due to limited studies of Chaga pregnancy usage, not much can be said. However, if you want to reap the benefits of the mushroom, it is always best to speak with your doctor beforehand.

The mushroom has a lot of health benefits to offer women. In addition to supporting pregnant and breastfeeding women with the nutrients they need, Chaga also works to help women avoid gestational-related health complications. The mushroom prevents gestational diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, skin issues, and even hair loss. 

Have you used Chaga before while pregnant? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments. 

We Would Love To Here Your Comments Leave A Comment

References

  1. Anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities of extracts and compounds from the mushroom Inonotus obliquus, (1)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814613000526
  2. Inotodiol From Inonotus obliquus Chaga Mushroom Induces Atypical Maturation in Dendritic Cells, (2)https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.650841/full
  3. Oxidative stress in pregnancy and reproduction, (3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5010123/
  4. Antioxidant effect of Inonotus obliquus, (4)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15588653/ 
  5. Inonotus obliquus polysaccharide protects against adverse pregnancy caused by Toxoplasma gondii infection through regulating Th17/Treg balance via TLR4/NF-κB pathway, 5)https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0141813019370345
  6. AMP-activated protein kinase plays an important evolutionary conserved role in the regulation of glucose metabolism in fish skeletal muscle cells, (6)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22359576/ 
  7. Gestational Diabetes, (7)https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/gestational.html
  8. Weight Gain During Pregnancy, (8)https://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/pregnancy-weight-gain.htm
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