Lion’s mane has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. But, is it safe to take this mushroom while breastfeeding? It seems like the answer is yes!
In this article, we take a closer look at the safety of taking the lion’s mane mushroom while breastfeeding.
What Is Lion’s Mane?
Hericium erinaceus, also known as lion’s mane, is an edible mushroom that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America. Its many benefits are hard to dispute, which is why lion’s mane has taken its rightful place as one of the healthiest mushrooms in the world of nutrition and alternative medicine.
Is Lion’s Mane Safe During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?
There is no research on the safety of lion’s mane during pregnancy and breastfeeding, anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s safe to take lion’s mane while pregnant or breastfeeding. Still, many pregnant and breastfeeding women choose not to eat any mushrooms, including lion’s mane.
Due to the lack of research on this topic, it's impossible to know how much lion's mane you can take while pregnant and breastfeeding. If you choose to take these adaptogenic mushrooms, consult with a doctor first.
Lion’s Mane and Breastfeeding
Although there are no studies on the effects of lion’s mane on breastfeeding, there is no reason to suspect this mushroom could be harmful to you or your baby during the breastfeeding period.
Quite the contrary, you can reap the anti-anxiety benefits of lion’s mane mushroom extracts. Lowered anxiety should benefit your ability to breastfeed and lead to a speedier postpartum recovery.
A 2019 systemic review examined the relationship between mental health and breastfeeding and concluded that mothers with higher anxiety levels often had difficulty getting their babies to breastfeed enough and have lower breast milk production when compared to mothers with low anxiety.
Lion’s Mane and Pregnancy
It is safe to take the lion’s mane mushroom during pregnancy. Pregnant women need an abundance of vitamins and minerals for proper fetal development, and Hericium erinaceus is rich in many of the vitamins needed for healthy pregnancy maintenance. Plus, lion’s mane can lower blood sugar levels, which will lower your chances of getting gestational diabetes.
Lion’s Mane and Fertility
If you’re trying to get pregnant, prenatal vitamins are essential. Still, even with prenatal vitamins and minerals, it’s important to follow nutrition tips your doctor provides and eat as many foods with nutritional benefits, including fungi.
For example, lion’s mane fruiting bodies contain significant vitamin B12, which is integral for overall health and pregnancy maintenance. Additionally, these mushrooms contain a variety of other vitamins and compounds that are quite beneficial for fertility.
Can You Take Adaptogens While Breastfeeding?
Taking natural adaptogens, such as lion’s mane mushrooms and other adaptogenic mushrooms, while pregnant is safe, and can even be beneficial for a healthy pregnancy. You should not take synthetic adaptogens while breastfeeding or pregnant.
Are Mushroom Supplements Safe While Breastfeeding?
Yes, mushroom supplements, such as mushroom coffee, capsules, and foods fortified with mushrooms, are safe to take while breastfeeding. It is also safe to eat mushrooms such as lion’s mane, turkey tail, reishi, and cordyceps, while breastfeeding, as long as they were foraged by professionals.
What Herbs Should Breastfeeding Moms Avoid?
While all herbs are safe for both the mother and the baby, some can decrease the milk supply. Herbs such as lemon balm, parsley, oregano, mint, chickweed, and black walnut can all decrease milk supply, so it’s best to avoid them while breastfeeding.
Health Benefits of Lion’s Mane
Research on the health benefits of lion’s mane mushrooms indicates this fungus has the potential to benefit both physical and mental health.
According to various human and animal studies, the beneficial effects of lion’s mane seem to include benefitting your immune system, easing symptoms of dementia, lessening oxidative stress, as well as improving gut health.
Some of the potential lion’s mane mushroom benefits include:
- reduces symptoms of depression and anxiety
- reduces inflammation and nerve pains
- improves cognitive functions, including learning and memory
- has a protective effect on the brain and improves brain health
- reduces the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
- prevents memory loss and protects against mild cognitive impairment
- lowers blood sugar levels
- encourages apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells
- improves digestive health
- has anti-inflammatory properties
- has neuroprotective properties and reduces brain damage in neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease
Are You Interested in Taking Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
If you’re hesitant about taking lion’s mane while breastfeeding, it’s best to consult with a breastfeeding health professional and ask them for additional information.
Once they tell you there are no risks associated with taking lion’s mane while breastfeeding, this mushroom can accompany you on your motherhood journey via our tasty mushroom granola.
Our granola is vegan, gluten-free, and made with high-quality ingredients and a hyperconcentrated lion’s mane extract. Yet, it doesn’t taste like mushrooms in the slightest. Instead, you can choose from three delicious flavors—cinnamon, sunflower seed cacao, and vanilla almond.
FAQ on Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and Breastfeeding
How much lion’s mane is in Forij granola?
Forij granola uses high-quality lion's mane mushroom extracts made from whole medicinal mushrooms. Our dual extraction method extracts both water-soluble beta-glucans as well as alcohol-soluble triterpenes. Our decoction process breaks down indigestible chitin cell walls of the mushroom to get much more of these compounds out than ordinary processes do.
One serving of our granola provides 250 mg of hyperconcentrated lion's mane extract, which is eight times more concentrated than a regular lion’s mane supplement. Therefore, you get as much lion's mane potency as you would if you were taking a 2000 mg mushroom powder supplement, all in one bowl of granola.
Does lion’s mane affect hormones?
Lion’s mane mushrooms have the potential to affect the production of hormones by promoting the growth of nerve cells, particularly in the hypothalamus in the central nervous system. A known nootropic, Hericium erinaceus appears to stimulate neurogenesis.
Lion’s mane mushrooms contain compounds that promote the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors. BDNF, in turn, regulates the production of hypothalamic hormones (growth hormone, vasopressin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and more).
By stimulating BDNF, these medicinal mushrooms may regulate the production of certain hormones. This warrants further research on the effects of Hericium erinaceus on hormones, especially in humans.
When should you not take lion’s mane?
There are no long-term side effects of lion’s mane, and centuries of use in alternative medicine suggest that lion’s mane is completely safe to consume. However, you should be cautious when taking a lion’s mane dietary supplement if you are on medications such as blood thinners and antidiabetics, as lion’s mane can interact with them. Contraindications for lion’s mane also include allergies to mold, yeast, and other fungi.
Does lion’s mane make you gain weight?
No, lion’s mane won’t make you gain weight. On the contrary, lion’s mane can act as an appetite suppressant and may even provide anti-obesity benefits. Low in carbohydrates and high in protein, it’s no wonder all healthy diets recommend eating fungi, including lion’s mane, as much as you want, even if you’re trying to lose weight.
How does lion’s mane make you feel?
Lion’s mane is known for reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress, so you can expect your mood to improve if you take the fungus regularly. You’ll also likely feel more clear-headed and focused due to the lion’s mane mushroom’s spiritual benefits and its beneficial effects on cognitive functions.
What is the ideal lion’s mane dosage for neuropathy?
Lion’s mane seems to alleviate neuropathic pain. To get this lion’s mane benefit, it's best to take about 500-1000 mg of Hericium erinaceus 1-3 times a day. The exact dosage will differ from person to person, so you should experiment until you find the perfect lion’s mane dosage for you.
The information provided in this article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or illness. The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or healthcare professionals.