An expectant mother’s body works overtime to nurture the developing fetus, which can make those nine months downright uncomfortable. Research suggests that cordyceps mushrooms may be able to ease common pregnancy woes like fatigue and nausea.
But is cordyceps safe for babies too?
Cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Valued for its adaptogenic properties, cordyceps is said to help fight fatigue, improve athletic performance, and regulate immune function.
However, there aren't any hard and fast rules against using cordyceps mushrooms in pregnancy, despite the lack of substantial clinical research. Pregnant bodies can be sensitive, so before adding them to your diet, have a chat with your doctor or midwife.
What Is Cordyceps Militaris?
Cordyceps militaris is a fungus of the genus Cordyceps, which contains over 600 species. This species is often referred to as “cultured cordyceps” so as to make a distinction between Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis, another popular type of cordyceps mushroom.
Cordyceps is packed with active compounds that may have different chemical structures but share one goal: to maintain your body’s homeostasis and improve your health.
Here is a brief list of potential health benefits of cordyceps mushrooms:
- Packed with antioxidants, cordyceps fight oxidative damage and neutralize harmful free radicals.
- Cordyceps is a natural immune-booster. Polysaccharides in cordyceps may modulate and improve the function of the immune cells.
- Cordyceps increases energy levels.
- Some research shows cordyceps can also increase an athlete's oxygen absorption, which is an essential measure of endurance and aerobic capacity.
- Cordyceps is good for the heart.
- Cordyceps is good for the kidneys; it improves kidney function, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to nourish the kidneys.
- Early studies show anticancer potential of cordyceps against some tumor cell types.
With such a wide array of purported benefits, it’s no wonder moms-to-be are turning to this medicinal mushroom to help them increase energy levels, lower stress, and improve circulation.
Let’s dig a little deeper into the chemical composition of cordyceps mushrooms.
Bioactive Compounds of Cordyceps Mushrooms
Cordyceps mushrooms contain a spectrum of bioactive compounds that may contribute to health benefits for pregnant women.
Here’s what you need to know about the diverse array of bioactive compounds in cordyceps that may contribute to health benefits for pregnant women.
- Polysaccharides like beta-glucans and galactomannans can modulate immune function by stimulating macrophage and natural killer cell activity. This immune-boosting capability is important in pregnancy to guard against infections while preventing autoimmune issues.
- Compounds like adenosine, cordycedipeptide A, and nucleosides play critical roles in energy production by increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation. ATP is an organic compound that provides and stores energy at the cellular level. By optimizing cellular energy, cordyceps helps combat the profound fatigue often experienced in pregnancy. Adenosine improves circulation to the uterus by dilating blood vessels. This provides more oxygen and nutrients to support fetal development.
- Antioxidants like cordycepin, sterols, and the enzyme superoxide dismutase help neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to cells and tissues like the placenta.
- Ergosterol demonstrates anti-microbial activities against bacteria. This could prevent yeast infections and urinary tract infections, which are common in pregnancy.
- Adenosine, cordycepin, polysaccharides, sterols, and many other antioxidants in cordyceps mushrooms all have strong anti-inflammatory properties. This brings relief from swelling and joint pain that expectant mothers frequently struggle with.
The biochemical makeup of cordyceps sounds amazing, with such a variety of compounds and antioxidants that can propel your health to new heights.
While early research on cordyceps and pregnancy shows great promise, there isn’t any substantial evidence that demonstrates it is conclusively safe for developing babies.
Why Are There Safety Concerns About Cordyceps During Pregnancy?
Cordyceps seems kind of promising for pregnant mamas, but the research is still in its very early stages. Experts just don't have enough quality data yet to give cordyceps the green light during pregnancy.
Some herbalists and natural medicine practitioners may already advise using them, especially later in pregnancy. And that makes sense based on what we know so far: they could help give your immune system a kick and fight inflammation.
But most mainstream doctors are still urging expectant mothers to hold off for now. Large, rigorous studies on pregnant women haven't happened yet, so the effects of cordyceps on babies' development remain unclear.
We think cordyceps may aid pregnant women in many ways—easing stress, boosting the immune system, reducing swelling and inflammation, and lowering the risk of developing gestational diabetes are only some of them. However, we don't recommend taking them without consulting with your healthcare practitioner, doctor, or midwife.
Do you need a coffee alternative that won't leave you crashing? Our mushroom matcha contains just the right amount of caffeine and L-theanine from matcha, paired with organic cordyceps for sustained energy, clarity, and a whole lot of other benefits.
Is It Okay to Take Cordyceps During Pregnancy?
Whether you’re expecting, breastfeeding, or trying to get pregnant, you need plenty of nutrients that will strengthen your immunity and optimize your well-being. There are several ways cordyceps mushrooms can do that.
Get the Energy You Need With Cordyceps
Growing a human inside your belly is tough work. Many expecting moms struggle with fatigue, especially in the first trimester. But the energy-boosting cordycepin could help you push through daytime drowsiness.
Remember how important ATP generation is? Researchers discovered that cordyceps has the ability to replenish energy by distributing energy molecules to our cells. This means that cordyceps supplements may significantly improve tiredness and help you stay active and engaged. Who couldn't use that during nine long months of chronic fatigue and all-day slumps?
Say Goodbye to Morning Sickness
Up to 80% of moms-to-be experience nausea and vomiting, making keeping food down a constant battle. Some studies have found that cordyceps may reduce stomach upset and help you avoid racing to the bathroom every morning.
Less nausea means you can actually absorb all those prenatal vitamins and nutrients for you and your baby. Plus, not feeling constantly on the verge of puking makes enjoying your pregnancy way easier.
Maximize Oxygen Flow
Your expanding uterus puts pressure on blood vessels, making sufficient oxygenation tricky. But cordyceps can give oxygen uptake a boost to help your body provide ample airflow to the placenta and baby-to-be. The adenosine in cordyceps acts as a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels to enhance blood flow and oxygen delivery to the uterus.
A 2022 study on cordyceps and arrhythmia found that adenosine helps relax and widen blood vessels, boost circulation, and lower blood pressure—all of which are potentially beneficial for pregnancy. Wider blood vessels alleviate oxygen flow, meaning a baby's developing organs and tissues get all the oxygen they need to grow strong and healthy.
Improved circulation from cordyceps brings more oxygen and nutrients to the placenta for absorption by the baby. This nourishment ensures your little one grows and thrives while combating the risks of complications like low birth weight.
Soothe Aches, Pains, and Inflammation
Carrying around extra pregnancy weight can inflame joints and cause swelling, tenderness, and pain. But the anti-inflammatory powers of cordyceps bring sweet relief to those sore spots.
A 2020 study revealed that cordycepin-rich cordyceps extracts can block inflammatory mechanisms in chronic inflammatory disorders such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Less inflammation helps you move comfortably and stay active. It also lowers systemic inflammation, which contributes to pregnancy risks like preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and perinatal depression.
Prevent Gestational Diabetes
Hormonal shifts can make managing blood sugar tricky during pregnancy. But cordyceps shows potential to aid insulin sensitivity and glucose control, based on early studies. This could prevent the development of gestational diabetes, a condition that can arise in pregnant women when high blood sugar jeopardizes mom and baby.
Compounds like cordycedipeptide A and polysaccharides in cordyceps help regulate glucose metabolism. Research shows that polysaccharides can lower blood sugar and manage insulin resistance. Increased insulin sensitivity and tighter glycemic control are key to avoiding gestational diabetes, as excess blood sugar can lead to birth complications if left untreated.
Lower Risk of Preeclampsia Complications
Preeclampsia is high blood pressure in pregnancy. It can be serious and dangerous for both the mom and the baby, as high blood pressure can impair organ function and restrict fetal growth. Thankfully, one natural way to lower blood pressure is to include cordyceps mushrooms in your daily regimen.
Cordyceps enhances the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, increases blood flow, and balances blood pressure. This improves circulation to the uterus and placenta, preventing the spikes that characterize preeclampsia.
It also limits factors tied to high blood pressure like inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. Protecting blood vessel function and kidney health provides additional protection against preeclampsia.
With cordyceps working to balance circulatory processes and maintain ideal blood pressure, pregnant women may avoid the threats posed by preeclampsia.
If you do choose to consume a tiny bit of organic cordyceps mushrooms with your bun in the oven, choosing our mushroom matcha tea blend is probably the best thing you can do to make those nine long months a breeze.
By deriving cordyceps from the whole mushroom in tea form rather than an extract, the health effects may be more holistic. A high-quality blend also ensures purity and potency for pregnancy. As always, moderate consumption and transparency with your provider are key, which is why we created our 10-serving matcha cordyceps box.
One small packet of only 3.5 grams of organic cordyceps, ceremonial grade matcha, and all the goodies they offer when combined will invigorate your mornings and protect you from head to toe, regardless of whether you’re growing a human inside of you or not.
Read more about the therapeutic and medicinal properties of matcha green tea. Discover why we paired these two powerful adaptogens together and created the most amazing tea blend on the market.
How to Consume Cordyceps Safely in Pregnancy
There is currently no established recommended dosage for cordyceps consumption during pregnancy or any other specific guidelines tailored to its use in expectant mothers. But we thought we could give you some tips on how to maximize your cordyceps experience—if you choose to add cordyceps to your diet—during pregnancy.
- Consume low levels of cordyceps every day. Start with one gram of cordyceps powder or tea, and then very slowly work your way up. The upper tolerable limit in pregnancy is likely around 2 grams.
- Avoid concentrated cordyceps supplements or powders with higher dosages.
- Tinctures and teas are likely the safest options. Consume them in moderation, and if you experience any unwanted side effects—nausea, dry mouth, diarrhea, or an upset stomach—stop using them immediately.
- Always consult your OB-GYN before trying cordyceps. Discuss your health history and any concerns about usage.
- Focus on a healthy pregnancy diet and lifestyle first. Your cordyceps supplements should be an optional complement, not a substitute.
- Choose cordyceps supplements that are certified organic and have undergone third-party testing to ensure their purity and lack of contaminants. Look for products from reputable brands, like Hone, that uphold high standards of quality and safety.
That’s why our cordyceps tea with matcha is meticulously crafted to provide you with a harmonious blend of natural energy and wellness.
The Best Time to Take Cordyceps
The best time of day to enjoy cordyceps is in the morning. A nice cup of cordyceps tea early in the morning will give you an energetic boost that will last you throughout the day, helping you stay sharp and focused. These mushrooms have a knack for providing a natural lift in energy, which can be particularly handy when you're looking to kick-start your day with vigor.
You want to avoid taking cordyceps close to bedtime, as it may disturb sleep due to its energizing effects.
Also, before you prepare yourself that invigorating cordyceps tea and take the first sip, make sure you’ve had something to eat first. You may take cordyceps on an empty stomach to increase bioavailability, but it may also make your stomach upset or give you diarrhea or nausea.
What Is the Best Cordyceps Tea?
When it comes to enjoying the goodness of cordyceps, our cordyceps matcha tea truly stands out in both taste and quality. They have been delighting in it for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine. And guess what? You can totally join in on this nourishing ritual too.
You can whip this blend up in a matter of seconds with our stylish electric hand whisk. Not really how the ancient Chinese enjoyed it, but hey, they didn't have the luxury of pressing a button and summoning a tiny tornado in their teacups.
As with any wellness choice, it's wise to have a chat with your doctor before introducing anything new to your pregnancy routine. But if you're curious about experiencing the delightful taste and hints of wellness that cordyceps matcha tea brings, there's a cozy cup waiting for you to savor.
Does cordyceps affect fertility?
There isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that cordyceps directly affects fertility. Some functional mushrooms, like Cordyceps sinensis, reishi mushrooms, and lion’s mane, have been traditionally believed to have benefits for stamina and energy, which could indirectly impact reproductive health. However, more research is needed to draw definitive conclusions about the effects of cordyceps on fertility.
Is reishi safe during pregnancy?
Reishi mushrooms are generally considered safe for pregnancy when consumed as part of a balanced diet. Reishi is often associated with immune support and stress relief, which can be beneficial during pregnancy. Consume reishi in moderation and avoid excessive amounts.
Are mushroom supplements safe while pregnant?
Some functional mushrooms are considered safe for consumption during pregnancy, while others may require more caution. Mushrooms like reishi, turkey tail, and lion's mane are often considered safe for pregnancy due to their potential immune support and stress relief.
Who should avoid cordyceps?
People who are on blood thinners or have bleeding disorders should exercise caution with cordyceps mushrooms, as they might further thin the blood and increase the risk of bleeding. People with a history of cancer or those undergoing cancer treatment should consult their healthcare provider before using cordyceps, as it has been studied for its potential effects on cell growth and cancer cells.
Are functional mushrooms good for conceiving?
Certain mushrooms, such as reishi and lion's mane, are often used for their potential stress-relief and immune-supporting properties, which could indirectly contribute to overall well-being during the conception process.
However, the effects of mushrooms on conception are not well-documented, and individual responses may vary. Focus on a balanced diet, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while trying to conceive.
Is cordyceps safe during pregnancy?
Scientific studies on the safety of cordyceps during pregnancy are limited. Cordyceps is often associated with boosting energy and has been traditionally used for various health purposes.
While some mushrooms, like cordyceps, are generally considered safe for consumption, especially as part of a balanced diet, their specific effects during pregnancy haven't been extensively researched.
To ensure the well-being of both you and your baby, consult your healthcare provider before incorporating cordyceps or any other mushroom product into your pregnancy routine.
Can cordyceps improve immune function during pregnancy?
Cordyceps fungi have been traditionally revered for their potential immune-boosting properties. Some scientific studies suggest that cordyceps may have immunomodulatory effects, which could be beneficial for overall health, including during pregnancy.
While these potential benefits are intriguing, pregnant individuals should be mindful of introducing any new supplement, including mushroom products, into their routine without consulting a healthcare professional. Your healthcare provider can offer personalized guidance based on your unique health circumstances.
Can lion's mane help with postpartum depression?
Lion's Mane mushroom is known for its potential cognitive benefits and mood-supporting properties. While some individuals may find lion's mane beneficial for mental well-being, including potentially alleviating symptoms of postpartum depression, it's crucial to approach this with careful consideration, especially during pregnancy and postpartum.
Postpartum depression is a complex condition that requires professional medical attention. If you are experiencing or suspect postpartum depression, consult your healthcare provider for appropriate guidance and treatment.
Can I drink mushroom coffee during pregnancy?
Mushroom coffee typically contains functional mushrooms like cordyceps or lion's mane. While these products may offer various health benefits, their safety during pregnancy is a topic that requires careful evaluation. As with any dietary changes or supplements during pregnancy, it's strongly recommended to consult your healthcare provider before consuming mushroom coffee, mushroom powder, or any mushroom-based products.
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Beneficial Effect of Cordyceps militaris on Exercise Performance via Promoting Cellular Energy Production - PubMed. (2020, November 9). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1080/12298093.2020.1831135
Wang, L., Sun, H., Yang, M., Xu, Y., Hou, L., Yu, H., Wang, X., Zhang, Z., & Han, J. (2022, August 19).Bidirectional regulatory effects of Cordyceps on arrhythmia: Clinical evaluations and network pharmacology. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.948173
Anti-inflammatory effects of cordycepin: A review - PubMed. (2020, October 8). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.6890
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Cao, M., Li, Y., Famurewa, A. C., & Olatunji, O. J. (2021, May 12).Antidiabetic and Nephroprotective Effects of Polysaccharide Extract from the Seaweed Caulerpa racemosa in High Fructose-Streptozotocin Induced Diabetic Nephropathy. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S302748
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