Lion’s Mane Mushrooms: A Superfood or a No-No for Breastfeeding Women?

Lion’s Mane mushrooms, known for their unique appearance and potential health benefits, have become increasingly popular in recent years. As a result, many people seek guidance on whether they should consume these mushrooms, particularly during breastfeeding. In this article, we will discuss the use of Lion’s Mane mushrooms in the context of breastfeeding, the pros and cons of mushroom supplements, and alternatives that might be worth considering. So, is Lion’s Mane safe while breastfeeding? Keep reading to find out. 

The Benefits of Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus) is an edible fungus with unique, cascading spines that has garnered significant attention for its potential health benefits. Known for its therapeutic properties in traditional Chinese medicine, this mushroom contains bioactive compounds that have been shown to support a variety of bodily functions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most notable benefits of Lion’s Mane mushroom:

  1. Cognitive Health: Research suggests that Lion’s Mane may support cognitive function by promoting the production of nerve growth factors (NGF) essential for maintaining healthy neurons. Some studies have indicated that regular consumption of Lion’s Mane may improve memory, focus, and overall cognitive performance.
  2. Mental Well-being: Along with its cognitive benefits, Lion’s Mane has been associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. Studies in animal models have demonstrated the mushroom’s potential to alleviate stress-induced behavioral changes, suggesting that it may positively impact mental health.
  3. Immune Support: Lion’s Mane contains potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which can bolster the immune system and reduce the risk of infection. Some studies have also indicated that Lion’s Mane may exhibit antimicrobial properties against certain bacteria and viruses.
  4. Gastrointestinal Health: Research has shown that Lion’s Mane may support digestive health by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, protecting against stomach ulcers, and reducing inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, the mushroom has been shown to alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and gastritis.
  5. Neuroprotective Effects: Lion’s Mane has demonstrated potential in protecting against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies suggest that the mushroom’s compounds may help reduce the buildup of amyloid-beta plaques, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and alleviate symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  6. Heart Health: Some evidence indicates that Lion’s Mane may promote heart health by reducing cholesterol levels and preventing the formation of blood clots. These benefits could potentially lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Even though research on Lion’s Mane mushrooms is still in its early stages, the evidence thus far suggests that it holds significant promise as a natural remedy for various health concerns. Incorporating this unique superfood into your diet can offer numerous benefits, ranging from cognitive support and mental well-being to immune function and digestive health.Yet, consulting with a healthcare professional before beginning any new supplementation regimen is essential, particularly if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.

Can You Take Lion’s Mane While Breastfeeding?

Lion’s Mane breastfeeding is a topic that has generated considerable debate. Lion’s Mane mushrooms contain bioactive compounds believed to have numerous health benefits, including improving cognitive function, enhancing the immune system, and reducing inflammation. But when it comes to consuming lion’s mane while breastfeeding, the answer is not as straightforward.

Limited investigation on the safety and efficacy of using Lion’s Mane mushrooms during breastfeeding exists. Most studies have been conducted on animals or in vitro, and no clinical trials directly assess the impact of Lion’s Mane consumption on breastfeeding women or their infants. Therefore, it is essential to approach the topic with caution.

Considering the lack of evidence, the safest option for breastfeeding mothers is to consult with their healthcare provider before incorporating Lion’s Mane mushrooms into their diet. A medical professional will be able to give personalized advice based on an individual’s unique health history and needs.

Mushroom Supplements for Breastfeeding Mothers: Pros and Cons

Mushroom supplements, including those containing Lion’s Mane, are becoming increasingly popular due to their potential health benefits. Many breastfeeding mothers may wonder whether such supplements are suitable for them. To make an informed decision, let’s weigh the pros and cons.


  1. Nutritional benefits: Mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibers. Including them in one’s diet can help achieve a balanced and nutritious intake.
  2. Improved immune function: Some mushrooms, like Lion’s Mane, have been shown to support immune health, which can benefit both the mother and the baby.
  3. Mental well-being: Lion’s Mane has been associated with improved cognitive function and reduced anxiety and depression, making it a popular choice among individuals seeking to improve their mental health.


  1. Limited research: As mentioned earlier, there is a lack of clinical research on the safety of Lion’s Mane mushrooms during breastfeeding. The effects of lion’s mane mushroom breastfeeding have not been thoroughly investigated, making it difficult to determine whether it is safe to consume.
  2. Contamination risks: Supplements are not always regulated as strictly as conventional foods, meaning they may contain contaminants or inaccurately report their ingredients. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should exercise caution when selecting supplements, as contaminants can harm the mother and the baby.
  3. Potential side effects: Some individuals may experience side effects when consuming Lion’s Mane, such as gastrointestinal issues or allergies. When breastfeeding, it is crucial to monitor for any signs of discomfort or distress in both the mother and the infant.

Are Other Mushrooms Good to Eat When Breastfeeding?

While research on lion’s mane and breastfeeding is scarce, evidence suggests that consuming other types of mushrooms during breastfeeding is safe and potentially beneficial. For instance, shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms have long been used in traditional medicine and cuisine with minimal reported adverse effects.

Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, are high in B vitamins, essential amino acids, and various minerals, making them an excellent dietary addition. Furthermore, shiitake and maitake mushrooms have been shown to support immune health, which could be beneficial for breastfeeding women and their infants.

Yet, it is essential to emphasize that individual reactions to different types of mushrooms can vary. If you have never consumed a particular kind of mushroom before, it is wise to introduce it gradually into your diet and monitor for any adverse reactions.


In conclusion, while the safety of consuming Lion’s Mane mushrooms during breastfeeding remains uncertain due to limited research, other types of mushrooms, such as shiitake, maitake, and reishi, are considered safe and nutritious options for most breastfeeding women. Nevertheless, it is always recommended to consult your healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your diet, especially during breastfeeding.

Incorporating mushrooms into your diet can be a valuable way to enhance overall nutrition. Still, it is crucial to approach the topic with caution and seek professional advice, especially when breastfeeding. By doing so, you can ensure the safety and well-being of both you and your baby.



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  2. Mori, K., Inatomi, S., Ouchi, K., Azumi, Y., & Tuchida, T. (2009). Improving effects of the mushroom Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus) on mild cognitive impairment: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research, 23(3), 367-372. 
  3. Nagano, M., Shimizu, K., Kondo, R., Hayashi, C., Sato, D., Kitagawa, K., & Ohnuki, K. (2010). Reduction of depression and anxiety by 4 weeks Hericium erinaceus intake. Biomedical Research, 31(4), 231-237. 
  4. Wang, M., Gao, Y., Xu, D., & Gao, Q. (2015). A polysaccharide from cultured mycelium of Hericium erinaceus and its anti-chronic atrophic gastritis activity. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 81, 656-661. 

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