Does Reishi Affect Birth Control?

In this blog post, we will look at Reishi, a famous medicinal mushroom, and its potential interaction with birth control. We will introduce Reishi and its anticipated health benefits and then discuss the lack of scientific evidence regarding the interaction of Reishi and birth control. So keep reading if you are interested!
Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Neuroscientist at the University Of Cambridge.

A blue image with text saying "Does Reishi Affect Birth Control?"

Does Reishi Affect Birth Control?

There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that Reishi, a type of medicinal mushroom, has any impact on the effectiveness of birth control methods. However, it's always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider when introducing new supplements into your routine.

People Also Ask

Reishi, a type of mushroom, has been observed to have potential pharmacological benefits, but there is a lack of quality clinical data to support its safety and efficacy during pregnancy 1. Therefore, it's recommended to exercise caution when considering the use of Reishi during pregnancy due to the lack of sufficient evidence regarding its safety.

There is limited evidence on the benefits of Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) during pregnancy. Reishi has been studied for its potential pharmacological activities, including its effects on diabetes, inflammation, cancer, and cardiac diseases. However, there is a lack of clinical data specifically on the safety and efficacy of Reishi during pregnancy. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using Reishi or any other herbal supplement during pregnancy. [1] [2]

What is Reishi?

Reishi, or Ganoderma lucidum, is a type of mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine. Sometimes, it is referred to as the “mushroom of immortality” due to its possible health benefits.

The active compounds in Reishi include polysaccharides (α/β-D-glucans), alkaloids, triterpenoids (ganoderic acids, ganoderenic acids, ganoderol, ganoderiol, lucidenic acids), sterols/ergosterol, proteins (LZ-8, LZ-9), nucleosides (adenosine, inosine, uridine), and nucleotides (guanine, adenine) [1].

Reishi has been recognized for its potential therapeutic effects in various health conditions. For example, it helps with suppressing the proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway [1].

Further, it has also been found to modulate IgA production and alpha-defensin expression in the rat small intestine, which might reduce the risk of intestinal infection. This might suggest the anti-infectious properties of Reishi [2].

It has also been shown to have hypotensive effects, significantly reducing systolic pressure in spontaneous hypertensive rats [3].

Reishi is also known to have calming effects as it contains compounds like triterpene, which might help to alleviate anxiety, and depression, and improve sleep [4, 3].

However, while Reishi has shown promising results in preclinical studies, more quality clinical data are needed to support its pharmacological activities for human use [1].

What does Reishi affect?

Reishi affects various parts of the body, ranging from cardiovascular health to inhibiting pathways which are activated in cancer presence [1, 2].

Reishi has been found to suppress the proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells by inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway [1]. Further, it has been found to have hypotensive effects and in a study on hypertensive rats, the administration of Reishi extract decreased systolic pressure [2].

One of the primary effects of Reishi is its ability to suppress the proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells. It does this by inhibiting the Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway, which is often aberrantly activated in many types of cancer, including breast cancer [3].

Interestingly, Reishi also impacts the immune system. It has been found that Reishi induces the production of Th17 cells, cells involved in the adaptive immune system, both in vitro and in vivo [3]. In addition, in healthy adults, it improved the CD4/CD8 ratio and natural killer cell counts suggesting its role in both adaptive and innate immune systems respectively [5].

In rat studies, Reishi appears to have neurometabolic effects. In rats under moderate alcohol consumption, regular administration of Reishi improved the energy supply to the brain cortex and also decreased the prevalence of inhibitory neurotransmitters [6].

Does Reishi affect birth control?

The interaction of Reishi and birth control is not well studied, and the scientific evidence does not provide answers to such a question.

The potential interaction between Reishi, a medicinal mushroom, and birth control is not well-studied. The available literature does not provide direct evidence on whether Reishi interferes with the effectiveness of birth control methods.

Although there are some medications and substances which are known to not interact well with birth control or are, in fact, not recommended to use while on birth control, Reishi is not one of them. However, that is only because such interaction has not been documented yet, and hormonal birth control and the use of any supplementation, substance, or medication should be discussed with your healthcare provider to eliminate potential risks and benefits.

Frederika Malichová

Frederika Malichová

Frederika is a postgraduate researcher at the University of Cambridge, where she investigates new biomarkers for Frontotemporal Dementia and other tauopathies. Her research has been published at prestigious conferences such as the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2023. She obtained her BSc in Biomedical Sciences from UCL, where she worked closely with the UK Dementia Research Institute.