Mushrooms are known to have abundant amounts of nutrients which can help give pregnant women their 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.
But can you take Lion's mane while pregnant? And is Lion's mane mushroom safe during pregnancy?
Below we will explore the available information on Lion’s mane pregnancy use. We will let you in on 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 is found growing in dead hardwood trees like maple, oak, beech, walnut, and sycamore.
Wild mushrooms can be found during the late summer and fall seasons in Northern Asia, Europe, and America. However, now the mushrooms are cultivated and are easily available in groceries.
What Are Lion’s Mane Mushroom Benefits On Pregnancy And Otherwise?
Lion’s mane is a highly sought-after mushroom in the world of alternative medicine and nutrition, thanks to its amazing hard-to dispute benefits. The use of the mushroom is not new, as it has been used by traditional healers for many 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 still remains to be done.
Changes in the immune function during pregnancy increase the risk of several infections. The mushroom can help fight bacterial(1) and viral infections as well as control the inflammation in the body. This is due to the flavonoids, phenol, and ascorbic acid present in them.
Lion’s mane is also known to help modulate the immune response(2). This means it can help strengthen your weak immune system or temper an overactive one.
Food rich in anti-oxidants like Lion’s mane mushroom may potentially help overcome oxidative stress and reverse such conditions.
Pregnancy also stresses the heart because of the increase in blood volume. If the blood pressure goes up during pregnancy, it can exert additional stress.
Approximately 3% of pregnant women suffer from some sort of liver problem which can pose risk for both the mother and the child.
Lion’s mane may be useful in protecting and maintaining healthy liver(7) as it is packed with powerful anti-oxidants.
Now moving on to the brain-boosting benefits of Lion’s mane mushroom.
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 Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) that regenerates the brain cells.
Pregnancy brain is the brain fog and cognitive decline struggles experienced by pregnant women. Absentmindedness, poor concentration, memory problems, and forgetfulness are some of the symptoms.
Lion’s mane mushroom(9) has been known to be beneficial in reducing brain fog. It also helps improves sharpness, memory, and focus.
Is Lion's Mane Safe During 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.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the mushroom, owing to its many benefits on human health, may be beneficial in pregnant women. However, there are concerns about the risk of poisoning and the alterations of the brain during pregnancy.
Lion’s mane mushroom has been generally found to be safe during pregnancy. However, because pregnancy is by itself a risky time for mothers and there is no science-backed evidence that says it is safe for consumption during pregnancy, it is best to avoid them.
Regardless, if you want to want to take the mushroom, always consult your healthcare provider (including your obstetrician) to determine if that is a good choice.
It is also important to note that wild and foraged fungi are associated with poisoning. Certain mushrooms may look alike and may be misidentified. So even after you have spoken with your doctor and want to consume Lion’s mane during pregnancy, always look for labeled culinary mushrooms that are obtained from reliable sources.
Hericium Erinaceus is a wonderful 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 the use of Lion’s mane during pregnancy. Never take any health supplements or medicinal mushrooms on your own unless it is proven to be safe for you as well as the life growing inside you.
- Ghosh, S., Nandi, S., Banerjee, A., Sarkar, S., Chakraborty, N., & Acharya, K. (2021). Prospecting medicinal properties of Lion's mane mushroom.Journal of food biochemistry, e13833. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13833
- Sheng, X., Yan, J., Meng, Y., Kang, Y., Han, Z., Tai, G., Zhou, Y., & Cheng, H. (2017). Immunomodulatory effects of Hericium erinaceus derived polysaccharides are mediated by intestinal immunology.Food & function,8(3), 1020–1027. https://doi.org/10.1039/c7fo00071e
- Khan, M. A., Tania, M., Liu, R., & Rahman, M. M. (2013). Hericium erinaceus: an edible mushroom with medicinal values.Journal of complementary & integrative medicine,10, /j/jcim.2013.10.issue-1/jcim-2013-0001/jcim-2013-0001.xml. https://doi.org/10.1515/jcim-2013-0001
- Duhig, K., Chappell, L. C., & Shennan, A. H. (2016). Oxidative stress in pregnancy and reproduction.Obstetric medicine,9(3), 113–116. https://doi.org/10.1177/1753495X16648495
- Rahman, M. A., Abdullah, N., & Aminudin, N. (2014). Inhibitory effect on in vitro LDL oxidation and HMG Co-A reductase activity of the liquid-liquid partitioned fractions of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.) Persoon (lion's mane mushroom). BioMed research international, 2014, 828149. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/828149
- Abdullah, N., Ismail, S. M., Aminudin, N., Shuib, A. S., & Lau, B. F. (2012). Evaluation of Selected Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms for Antioxidant and ACE Inhibitory Activities.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2012, 464238. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/464238
- Zhang, Z., Lv, G., Pan, H., Pandey, A., He, W., & Fan, L. (2012). Antioxidant and hepatoprotective potential of endo-polysaccharides from Hericium erinaceus grown on tofu whey.International journal of biological macromolecules,51(5), 1140–1146. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2012.09.002
- Brandalise, F., Cesaroni, V., Gregori, A., Repetti, M., Romano, C., Orrù, G., Botta, L., Girometta, C., Guglielminetti, M. L., Savino, E., & Rossi, P. (2017). Dietary Supplementation ofHericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2017, 3864340. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3864340
- Brandalise, F., Cesaroni, V., Gregori, A., Repetti, M., Romano, C., Orrù, G., Botta, L., Girometta, C., Guglielminetti, M. L., Savino, E., & Rossi, P. (2017). Dietary Supplementation of Hericium erinaceus Increases Mossy Fiber-CA3 Hippocampal Neurotransmission and Recognition Memory in Wild-Type Mice.Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM,2017, 3864340. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3864340