Regarding supplements, there are many questions about whether they are safe to take during pregnancy. This is especially true for mushrooms like Lion's mane, which offer a range of potential health benefits.
So, can you take Lion's mane during pregnancy? Is Lion's mane mushroom safe for pregnant women? And if so, what is the best way to use it? Let's take a closer look at this supplement and see what we can find.
Mushrooms have abundant nutrients, giving pregnant women essential supplemental nourishment. Likewise, Lion's mane mushrooms, also called Yamabushitake or Hericium Erinaceus in Latin, are low in calories but dense in health-boosting benefits.
Below we will explore the available information on Lion's mane pregnancy use. We will let you know whether eating Lion's mane during pregnancy is a good idea.
Keep reading to know more!
What Is Lion's Mane Mushroom?
Like the sprawling mane of a lion, Hericium Erinaceus is a shaggy-looking mushroom with long white spines. The edible mushroom is native to the woods of the Northern hemisphere and grows in dead hardwood trees like maple, oak, beech, walnut, and sycamore.
Wild mushrooms are common in Northern Asia, Europe, and America during the late summer and fall seasons. However, now the mushrooms are cultivated and are readily available in groceries. Also, if you have the time, you can always grow Lion's mane at home.
Lion's mane mushroom has made a name for itself by providing many benefits to people and patients. For example, Lion's mane treats ADHD, depression, anxiety, and other conditions.
However, do the mushroom's vitamins, and minerals serve illustrative purposes during pregnancy and breastfeeding? Or are you supposed to stay away from any product with Lion's mane in it—for example, Lion's mane mushroom coffee—until your child is no longer breastfeeding?
Let's find out.
What Are Lion's Mane Mushrooms Benefits On Pregnancy?
Lion's mane is a highly sought-after mushroom in alternative medicine and nutrition, thanks to its incredible hard-to-dispute physical and brain health benefits. Lion's mane mushroom use is not new, as traditional healers have used it for centuries.
The bioactive compounds present in Lion's mane mushrooms are known to have several mental and physical benefits. These may be utilized in pregnancy, too; however, more research on the fungus is needed.
Changes in immune function during pregnancy increase the risk of several infections. The mushroom can help fight bacterial(1) and viral infections and control inflammation in the body. This is due to their flavonoids, phenol, and ascorbic acid.
Lion's mane is also known to help modulate the immune response(2). This means it can help strengthen a weak immune system or temper an overactive one.
Using Lion's Mane recipes to cook food rich in antioxidants helps you overcome oxidative stress. This can improve the safety and overall health of the baby in your uterus.
Pregnancy also stresses the heart because of the increase in blood volume. If the blood pressure increases during pregnancy and can exert additional stress. Lion's mane mushrooms protect the heart(5) and lower high blood pressure(6).
Approximately 3% of pregnant women suffer from liver problems. This can pose a risk for both the mother and the child.
Lion's mane may be useful in protecting and maintaining healthy liver(7) as it boasts powerful antioxidants.
Hericium Erinaceus mushroom is a powerful brain booster(8) and is called nature's brain juice for this very reason. The compounds present in the mushroom stimulate the production of the Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) that regenerates the brain cells.
Read More: See how Lion's mane neurogenesis benefits increase NGF production.
Pregnancy is often associated with brain fog and cognitive decline. Some symptoms include absentmindedness, poor concentration, memory problems, and forgetfulness.
According to researchers, Lion's mane mushroom is beneficial in reducing brain fog. It also helps improves sharpness, memory, and focus.
Read More: Why more people are using Lion's Mane for brain fog.
Research has shown that Lion's mane can help control blood sugar levels. This suggests that taking the mushroom can help fight gestational diabetes, which can affect women when carrying a child.
Read More: See Lion's mane diabetes benefits.
The fruiting body of Lion's mane mushroom can help control weight gain when women are pregnant.
There is no doubt that Lion's mane is rich in nutrients that can help pregnant women. The mushroom boasts everything from vitamin d and fatty acids to vitamin c and other prenatal vitamins that can help promote a healthy pregnancy.
However, before advising you to take advantage of Lion's mane benefits while pregnant, we must ensure you consume the mushroom safely. For maximum safety, seek professional medical advice before consuming the culinary mushroom.
Is Lion's Mane Safe During Pregnancy?
When we talk about Lion's mane pregnancy relationship, most pregnant women are looking for a definite yes or no answer.
Answering questions like "is lion's mane safe during pregnancy?" gets tricky because there is no one detailed research article focusing on Lion's mane mushroom and pregnancy.
The link between Lion's mane and pregnancy has not been explored extensively. More research is needed to determine their safe use during pregnancy.
If you are looking for an answer to the question "can I drink mushroom coffee while pregnant?" or "what are lion's mane breastfeeding benefits?" talking to a health professional may give you a more definitive answer.
When analyzing whether you can use Lion's mane while breastfeeding or looking at "is lion's mane safe for pregnancy?", a doctor can look at your situation and provide advice that matches your needs.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that while Lion's mane may benefit pregnant women, there are concerns about the risk of poisoning and brain alterations during pregnancy. The potential side effects make pregnant women hesitant about taking Lion's mane mushrooms.
Lion's mane mushroom has been generally found to be safe during pregnancy. However, because pregnancy is difficult for mothers and there is no science-backed evidence that Lion's mane is safe for consumption during pregnancy, it is best to avoid the fungus.
Regardless, always consult your healthcare provider if you want to take edible mushrooms while pregnant.
It is also important to note that wild and foraged fungi are associated with poisoning. Certain mushrooms may look alike and may be misidentified.
Read More: Learn more about Lion's mane look-alikes.
Always look for labeled culinary mushrooms from reliable sources. Preparing your mushroom coffee with wild Lion's mane while pregnant is never a good idea.
What's more, when pregnant, consuming raw mushrooms may not be the best idea. Raw magic mushrooms tend to carry more active ingredients, which increases the risk of side effects.
Can You Take Lion's Mane While Breastfeeding?
Similar to the case of Lion's mane mushroom pregnancy, no studies take a deeper look at Lion's mane mushroom while breastfeeding. Just as we have noted that taking medicinal mushrooms during pregnancy is not a good idea, using them during breastfeeding is not recommended.
If you are to use Lion's mane while breastfeeding, we recommend you talk to a health care professional. The professional can show you how to use Lion's mane without putting your breastfeeding baby in a dangerous situation.
Hericium Erinaceus is a beautiful medicinal mushroom packed with many health benefits. Lion's mane pregnancy use has not been studied extensively, but the benefits look promising.
Always get a go-ahead from your obstetrician regarding using Lion's mane during pregnancy. Never take any health supplements or medicinal mushrooms on your own unless it is proven safe for you and the fetus.
Have you used Lion's mane while pregnant? What was your experience with the fungus? Let us know in the comments.
- Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom, (1)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34169530/
- Immunomodulatory effects ofHericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology, (2)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28266682/
- Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values, (3)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23735479/
- Oxidative stress in pregnancy and reproduction, (4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5010123/
- Inhibitory Effect on In Vitro LDL Oxidation and HMG Co-A Reductase Activity of the Liquid-Liquid Partitioned Fractions ofHericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (Lion’s Mane Mushroom), (5)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959591/
- Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities, (6)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21716693/
- Antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of endo-polysaccharides fromHericium erinaceus grown on tofu whey (7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22982810/
- Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild Type Mice, (8)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5237458/