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< class="article__title title reishi-mushroom-pregnancy-is-reishi-mushroom-safe-for-pregnancy"> Reishi Mushroom Pregnancy: Is Reishi Mushroom Safe For Pregnancy?>
Reishi Mushroom Pregnancy: Is Reishi Mushroom Safe For Pregnancy?
Oct 29, 22
Tags: Reishi
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Author: Sony Sherpa

Reishi Mushroom Pregnancy: Is Reishi Mushroom Safe For Pregnancy?

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    A rising star in the holistic health field, Dr. Sony Sherpa has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Although she started writing on Nature’s Rise one year ago, her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine.

  • |
  • 20 min read

Reishi mushroom, or Ganoderma Lucidum, is a fungus with many health-supporting benefits. It can help strengthen the immune system, fight infection, combats oxidant injury, and helps adapt to stress.

While this would work wonders for expecting mothers, lovers of medical mushrooms are still concerned: is Reishi mushroom safe during pregnancy?

Many people believe that using Reishi mushrooms in pregnancy is safe because of the fungi's nutritional profile and health benefits. However, there isn't much scientific evidence supporting the Reishi mushroom pregnancy safety profile.

Moreover, consumption of raw Reishi mushrooms, or any medicinal mushrooms for that matter, is not advised during pregnancy. Additionally, you should consult your doctor and healthcare provider before starting any dietary supplements, including Reishi, while pregnant.

So, let's discuss what we know about using Reishi mushrooms in pregnancy and the potential health benefits of this mushroom of immortality.

Reishi Mushroom During Pregnancy

Not much has been explored about Reishi mushroom and pregnancy use. However, the bioactive compounds in Ganoderma mushrooms have several benefits on the body and the mind in pregnant and non-pregnant people.

Read More: See all the health benefits of Reishi mushroom

If you are new to reishi products, you might wonder, what can reishi mushrooms do for pregnant women? To answer your question, below we will look at some potential Reishi pregnancy benefits:

1. It Is Packed With Essential Vitamins.

Reishi mushrooms are an excellent source(1) of vitamins and minerals. For example, Ganoderma Lucidum is a complete source of B complex vitamins, vitamin D, and ascorbic acid.

Niacin and thiamine help the baby's brain develop, relieve fatigue and increase energy. Similarly, riboflavin contributes to healthy skin, better eyesight, and the growth of strong bones, muscles, and nerves. Folic acid aids in the development of the brain of the fetus.

Read More: Learn about the mushrooms that boost brain health in parents and children

A pregnancy diet would benefit from including mushrooms like Reishi, and anyone looking to increase their intake of B vitamins without additional supplements could consume the mushroom.

Additionally, it contains a good amount of iron, essential to make new and healthy red blood cells. Apart from iron, the mushroom is also packed with other minerals like copper, zinc, and manganese, which assist the baby's growth and development. 

With access to all the minerals in Reishi, the expecting mother and father would expect their kids to be healthier during delivery. However, the traditional Chinese medicine Reishi goes beyond improving food quality with additional nutrients to offer other benefits we will look at below. 

2. Reishi Aids Muscle Strength And Digestion

Reishi Aids Muscle Strength And Digestion

Ganoderma mushrooms are a critical vegetarian source of protein, which is necessary for the growth of the placenta and the fetus's support system in the womb. Reishi contains 19.5mg of protein per 100 grams, making its protein content 16.3% higher than the more commonly consumed oyster mushrooms.

Additionally, the high fiber content of mushrooms encourages regular bowel movements. Insoluble fibers in Reishi help prevent common digestive issues, especially constipation, which is very common during pregnancy. Moreover, the soluble fiber moderates blood sugar absorption and aids in maintaining blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Read More: See how Chaga mushroom fights high blood pressure

3. It Can Help Combat Oxidative Stress And Can Provide Immune Support

Antioxidants protect the body from free radicals, which significantly cause pregnancy-related illnesses. In addition, numerous reproductive complications, such as miscarriage, high blood pressure, fetal growth restriction, infertility, and preterm labor, are also influenced by oxidative stress.

Reishi is renowned for its antioxidant benefits(2), strengthening the immune system and keeping pregnant women disease-free and healthy. The mushroom's ability to combat oxidant injury is mainly attributed to triterpenoids and polysaccharides.

4. Reishi Mushrooms Aids In Fighting Infections.

It's crucial to protect yourself from viral infections during pregnancy. The majority of viruses won't harm your child. Some viruses, however, can result in miscarriage or congenital disabilities in your unborn baby.

The polysaccharides in Reishi mushroom help inhibit the replication(3) of numerous pathogenic viruses, including Hepatitis B virus, Herpes Simplex Virus (Type 1 and 2), Influenza A, and Vesicular Stomatitis viruses. In addition, triterpenoids from Reishi mushrooms have also been reported to have inhibitory effects on HIV(4) and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).

5.Reishi Can Fight Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes, a condition characterized by high blood sugar levels, is more common than most people think. A research paper published in 2022(5) indicated that the prevalence of gestational diabetes could be as high as 35% in some countries. Worldwide, however, the research paper noted that the prevalence of gestational diabetes is 14.7%. 

For most women, gestational diabetes disappears right after giving birth. However, this condition is associated with many long-term risks. Gestational diabetes increases the risk of:

  • Developing type 2 diabetes later in life
  • Excessive birth weight 
  • Stillbirth 
  • Preterm (early) birth 
  • Weight gain and a chance of obesity for the mother
  • Serious breathing difficulties 
  • Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)

These risks show the importance of taking the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of diabetes while pregnant. Luckily, Reishi mushroom's ability to regulate blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of gestational diabetes. 

Read More: Learn about the reishi mushroom diabetes benefits.

Several research studies do support Reishi's ability to lower blood sugar levels. One research article published online in 2019(6) noted that reishi mushrooms could be used to treat insulin resistance and diabetes. In a research study cited in the 2019 research paper, alcohol and aqueous extracts of reishi mushrooms were used to test the effectiveness of the mushroom in treating diabetes in mice and rats. 

Before treatment with reishi mushroom extracts, the blood sugar levels for normal diabetic mice were 168.5 mg/dL and 668.5 mg/dL for obese rats. After four weeks of taking reishi mushroom extracts, the blood sugar levels in normal-weight mice reduced to 68.5 mg/dL, and that of obese mice decreased to 288.4 mg/dL. 

Another research study conducted in 2021(7) looked at evidence on whether reishi mushrooms could be used for treating metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. The study concluded that the most compelling evidence of Reishi mushroom's benefits was its ability to lower blood sugar levels. This study further proves that Reishi mushroom is an effective therapy for diabetes. 

Read More: See how Lion's mane mushroom fights diabetes.

The two studies above clearly indicate that reishi mushrooms can help maintain normal blood sugar levels in pregnant women.While more clinical trials may be needed to identify the specific reishi gestational diabetes benefits, the mushroom seems to be an ideal option for helping women avoid developing the condition while they carry their babies. 

6. Reishi Can Fight Pregnancy Weight Gain

Reishi Can Fight Pregnancy Weight Gain

Pregnancy is often associated with weight gain. However, scientific studies indicate that most women gain more weight than recommended. 

A research study conducted in 2016(8) analyzed the prevalence of gestational weight gain. The study used population-based, cross-sectional data on pregnant women delivering full-term in 28 states in the US. The study concluded that 20.9% of women gained less than recommended weight, 32% gained the recommended weight, and 47.9% gained more than the recommended amount, essentially becoming overweight. 

Excessive weight gain is unhealthy for pregnant women and their unborn children—some of the risk factors associated with excessive weight gain during obesity include: 

  • Delivery complications 
  • Obesity during the kid's childhood
  • Cesarean section delivery 

Luckily for pregnant women, using reishi mushrooms during pregnancy can reduce the risk of weight gain. Several research studies have confirmed that the Chinese medicine reishi effectively promotes weight loss. 

Read More: See how Reishi facilitates weight loss.

In a research study conducted in 2016(9), researchers analyzed the effectiveness of reishi mushrooms in treating obesity. The researchers fed mice a high-fat diet for eight weeks, resulting in significant liver and body weight increases. The fat mice were then fed a diet containing reishi mushrooms. 

The study showed that Reishi mushroom helped lower body weight, inflammation, and insulin resistance in obese mice. The researchers concluded that Ganoderma Lucidum (reishi mushroom) reduces obesity in mice by modulating the gut microbiota composition.

This research study suggests that giving reishi mushroom to pregnant women can reduce the risk of excessive gestational weight gain. The mushroom can help the mother fight excessive weight gain by altering the gut bacteria. Moreover, Reishi keeps pregnant women full for longer, reducing the number of calories they consume and reducing the risk of weight gain. 

Read More: See how Lion's mane fights weight gain.

7. Reishi Medicinal Mushrooms Fight Gestational Hypertension

While it is easy to assume that high blood pressure only affects pregnant women with a history of the condition, this is not always the case. Various research studies have shown that gestational hypertension is quite common. 

The introductory section on a research study conducted in 2019(10) notes that gestational hypertension is a widespread condition that causes 10 to 15% of maternal death globally. The research study screened 1,612 pregnant women to determine the prevalence of gestational high blood pressure. In this group of pregnant women, 120 had high blood pressure. The researchers concluded that the prevalence of gestational hypertension was 7.4%. 

Read More: See how Chaga mushroom fights high blood pressure

 A research study conducted in 2021(11) analyzed the epidemiological trends of gestational hypertension. The researchers determined that gestational diabetes has increased from 16.30 million to 18.08 million, recording a 10.92% increase between 1990 and 2019. 

Another research study conducted in 2021(12) analyzed the prevalence of gestational hypertension in pregnant women. The study used electronic medical data of women who delivered singleton babies between 2009 and 2014.

The researchers discovered 14.3% chronic hypertension and 13.8% gestational hypertension. The researchers found a 17.8% absolute increase in overall hypertension prevalence from 10.3% to 28.1%. 

Gestational hypertension is associated with numerous risks, including: 

  • Placenta abruption—a situation where the placenta tends to pull away from the uterus too early 
  • Stillbirth 
  • Eclampsia (seizures)
  • Poor fetal growth or developmental harm
  • Death of the developing fetus and mother 

Luckily, pregnant women can quickly reduce the risk of gestational hypertension by adding reishi mushrooms to their diet. Various research studies have confirmed the effectiveness of this fungus in fighting high blood pressure.  Reishi mushrooms can help women enjoy a healthy pregnancy by fighting high blood pressure. 

Read More: See how Lion's mane mushroom fights high blood pressure.

In a research study conducted in 2014(13), researchers analyzed the effectiveness of the reishi mushroom in fighting high blood pressure. In the study, the researchers fed hypertensive rats a reishi mushroom extract. 

Four hours after feeding reishi mushrooms to the rats suffering from high blood pressure, the systolic pressure reduced to 34.3 mmHg—this was a 19.5 percent blood pressure decrease. The reishi extra maintained the effect for the next 8 hours, with the reduction reaching as low as 26.8 mmHg. The researchers concluded that reishi mushrooms could be used for antihypertensive medication. 

In a more recent research study conducted in 2018(14), researchers analyzed the effectiveness of Reishi in fighting high blood pressure in a different group of rats. The researchers administered reishi mushroom extracts to rats suffering from hypertension for seven weeks. 

When the researchers analyzed the blood pressure in these rats on the seventh week, they discovered that the mushroom had managed to reduce their blood pressure levels at a rate that can be equated to that of losartan. Losartan is a common medication used to treat high blood pressure. 

The two research studies above indicate that reishi mushroom effectively keeps blood pressure within the healthy range. For this reason, the mushroom can generate great results for pregnant women by helping them avoid gestational hypertension. However, remember that you will only get positive effects on hypertension if you maintain safe consumption.

8. Reishi Fights Pregnancy Anxiety

Reishi Fights Pregnancy Anxiety

If you are a couple that has gone through pregnancy before, you have probably dealt with pregnancy anxiety. For most people, pregnancy anxiety goes beyond affecting the mother to affecting whole families, including grandparents in some cases. What is surprising is that pregnancy anxiety is more common than most would think. 

A research study conducted in 2018(15) analyzed the prevalence of pregnancy anxiety. The researchers used 385 women for the study.  The researchers determined that anxiety prevalence was 19.5 percent in the first trimester, 16.8 percent in the second trimester with an incidence of 0.048%, and 17.2 percent in the third trimester with an incidence of 0.068%.

A research study conducted in 2019(16) analyzed the prevalence of stress, anxiety, and depression in pregnant women. The researchers used a group of 526 women with gestational diabetes as the study group. The researchers determined that the anxiety prevalence was highest (39.9%), followed by depression(12.5%) and stress (10.6%) among women with gestational diabetes.

Luckily for women dealing with gestational anxiety, reishi mushroom can help. In a study conducted in 2016(17), researchers analyzed the effectiveness of the reishi mushroom in fighting anxiety. The researchers concluded that reishi mushroom extracts could effectively combat and treat anxiety. 

Moreover, the mushroom can also fight postpartum depression and anxiety. When safely consumed, reishi mushroom can help you avoid relying on western medicine for pregnancy-related mental health issues. 

Read More: See all the reishi anxiety benefits.

9. Reishi Fights Gestational Insomnia

Trouble sleeping is one of the most common issues that affect women during pregnancy—this has been verified by various studies analyzing the prevalence of gestational insomnia. 

In a meta-analysis conducted in 2021(18), researchers analyzed the prevalence of insomnia in pregnant women in their third trimester. The researchers analyzed ten studies involving 8,798 participants aged between 11 and 40. Based on this meta-analysis, the prevalence of gestational insomnia was 42.4%. 

Another research study conducted in 2021(19) analyzed the prevalence of gestational insomnia in all three trimesters. The study was designed as a meta-analysis, analyzing 24 studies involving more than 15,000 participants. The overall prevalence of gestational insomnia was 38.2%. 

However, the researchers discovered that the prevalence was highest in the third trimester. In the first trimester, the prevalence of insomnia stood at 25.3%, 27.2% in the second trimester, and 39.7% in the third trimester. 

Reishi mushroom has sleep benefits—the mushroom can fight insomnia symptoms, allowing pregnant mothers to sleep better. In research conducted in 2021(20), researchers analyzed the anti-insomnia mechanism of reishi mushrooms. The researchers identified 34 sedative-hypnotic components (including five central active components). 

Multi-level interaction network analysis and enrichment analysis showed that Reishi mushroom inhibited insomnia via multiple central-peripheral mechanisms simultaneously, primarily by regulating cell apoptosis/survival and cytokine expression via core target genes. Reishi mushroom also affected immune regulation and apoptosis. Researchers concluded that the Reishi mushroom has the potential to be used as adjuvant therapy for insomnia-related complications.


Are Mushroom Supplements Safe During Pregnancy?

Based on anecdotal evidence, medicinal mushrooms like Reishi, Lion's mane, Turkey Tail, Maitake, cordyceps, and Chaga are considered safe during pregnancy when taken in moderation. Moreover, anecdotal evidence suggests that mushrooms can be safe for breastfeeding women.

However, clinical studies demonstrating their safety for pregnant and breastfeeding women are still lacking. For this reason, before using reishi mushrooms during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding, it is a good idea you talk to a healthcare professional. A doctor can help you identify the risks of using the mushroom and recommend a reishi mushroom dosage that will offer you all the benefits without causing side effects. 

Which Mushroom Is Best For Pregnancy?

Fresh, well-cooked mushrooms are best during pregnancy. Avoid wild or foraged mushrooms and magic mushrooms, raw and processed mushrooms, at this stage in your life. Regarding wild and foraged mushrooms, you could increase your chances of consuming poisonous mushrooms while trying to consume medicinal herbs. This could hurt your liver function as well as the baby's.

Also, before trying culinary mushrooms, discuss them with your healthcare professional. A doctor will help you identify the safest mushrooms. Also, the doctor will ensure you do not eat mushrooms at higher doses, which could increase your risk of side effects. 

Final Thoughts

Reishi mushrooms are generally considered safe, especially if you enjoyed them before getting pregnant and did not experience any adverse side effects. The mushrooms are loaded with vitamins and minerals, which help fight infection and oxidative stress. But as there is limited information on Reishi mushroom pregnancy safety, it is always best to speak with your doctor beforehand. 

Have you used reishi mushrooms before? What benefits did you notice? How did this functional fungus impact your life? Let us know in the comment section.

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  1. Nutritional Profile and Health Benefits of Ganoderma lucidum "Lingzhi, Reishi, or Mannentake" as Functional Foods: Current Scenario and Future Perspectives, (1)
  2. Antioxidant properties of several medicinal mushrooms, (2)
  3. Antiviral activities of various water and methanol soluble substances isolated from Ganoderma lucidum, (3)
  4. Anti-HIV-1 and anti-HIV-1-protease substances from Ganoderma lucidum, (4)
  5. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus in Bangladesh: Findings from Demographic Health Survey 2017–2018, (5) 
  6. Mushrooms of the Genus Ganoderma Used to Treat Diabetes and Insulin Resistance, (6) 
  7. The beneficial effects of Ganoderma lucidum on cardiovascular and metabolic disease risk, (7) 
  8. Prevalence and Characteristics Associated With Gestational Weight Gain Adequacy,(8) 
  9. Ganoderma lucidum reduces obesity in mice by modulating the composition of the gut microbiota, (9) 
  10. Prevalence Of Gestational Hypertension And Factors Influencing Selection Of Anti- hypertensive Drugs In Pregnancy, (10) 
  11. Epidemiological trends of maternal hypertensive disorders of pregnancy at the global, regional, and national levels: a population‐based study, (11) 
  12. Prevalence of Hypertension Among Pregnant Women When Using the 2017 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Blood Pressure Guidelines and Association With Maternal and Fetal Outcomes, (12) 
  13. Hypotensive Effects and Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitory Peptides of Reishi (Ganoderma lingzhi) Auto-Digested Extract, (13) 
  14. Hypotensive and neurometabolic effects of intragastric Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) administration in hypertensive ISIAH rat strain, (14) 
  15. Incidence, prevalence and risk factors related to anxiety symptoms during pregnancy, (15) 
  16. Prevalence and factors associated with depressive, anxiety and stress symptoms among women with gestational diabetes mellitus in tertiary care centres in Malaysia: a cross-sectional study, (16) 
  17. Evaluation of Antianxiety Potential of Four Ganoderma (Agaricomycetes) Species from India in Mice, (17) 
  18. A systematic review and meta-analysis of prevalence of insomnia in the third trimester of pregnancy, (18) 
  19. Insomnia symptoms during pregnancy: A meta-analysis, (19)
  20. Exploration of the anti-insomnia mechanism of Ganoderma by central-peripheral multi-level interaction network analysis, (20)

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