Recently, we've seen some increased interest in using medicinal mushrooms, like reishi, to support fertility.
When we started diving in, what we found was a decent amount of anecdotal evidence, but a very limited amount of scientific evidence to support using reishi mushrooms for fertility.
In this article, we'll give you a real-deal analysis of how to use reishi for fertility, and what you can reasonably expect to see for results.
What are reishi mushrooms?
Reishi mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. Indigenous cultures have also embraced the power of this functional and medicinal mushroom.
In traditional medicine, reishi mushrooms are often touted as having various health benefits, including their potential to improve fertility. However, as you'll see, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
How are reishi mushrooms being studied to support fertility?
The potential benefits of reishi mushrooms on fertility are not well understood and more research is needed. If you're familiar with infertility studies, you'll know this is an area of science that has been historically underfunded and under-researched.
Some preliminary studies in animals - although not directly done on fertility - suggest that reishi may have an impact on reducing oxidative stress, improving blood circulation, and regulating hormones. These three factors may have a correlative positive effect on fertility.
With that said, reishi for fertility isn't just for people with uteruses. Reishi may also help to improve sexual health, vigor, and sperm health in men.
However, these findings are limited and more studies are needed to determine the safety and efficacy of reishi for fertility in humans.
With that said, let's dive into these in more detail.
How can reduced oxidative stress improve fertility?
Oxidative stress refers to an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and the body's ability to neutralize them through antioxidant defenses. This can lead to cellular damage and contribute to the development of various diseases, including infertility.
In the context of fertility, oxidative stress can impact the quality and function of sperm and eggs. For example, free radicals can cause oxidative damage to the DNA in sperm, leading to genetic mutations and decreased fertility. Additionally, oxidative stress has been linked to a range of infertility factors, including endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and sperm abnormalities.
By reducing oxidative stress, it is theorized that the negative effects on fertility can be mitigated, leading to improved chances of conception.
As we mentioned, this study does not study the effects of reishi on oxidative stress for fertility directly. But the results are compelling to review:
In this study, we investigated whether Ganoderma lucidum [Reishi] elicits its anti-tumor effects by suppressing cell growth and inducing antioxidative/detoxification activity in human ovarian OVCAR-3 cells. The results showed that Ganoderma lucidum inhibits cell growth and disruption of cell cycle progression via down regulation of cyclin D1.
However, more research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which reducing oxidative stress impacts fertility, and the efficacy of various interventions, including mushrooms, for this purpose.
How can improved blood circulation improve fertility?
Improved blood circulation can play a role in improving fertility in a few ways:
Increased oxygen and nutrient delivery: Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to the reproductive organs, which are crucial for the healthy development and function of sperm and eggs. Improved blood circulation can ensure that the reproductive organs receive an adequate supply of these important factors.
Reduced inflammation: Blood circulation can also help reduce inflammation in the reproductive organs, which is important for maintaining optimal fertility. Chronic inflammation in the reproductive tract can negatively impact fertility by damaging sperm and eggs and by altering hormone levels.
Improved hormonal regulation: Hormones play a crucial role in regulating reproductive function, and improved blood circulation can help ensure that hormones are effectively transported to the target tissues. This can help regulate the menstrual cycle and improve ovulation, for example.
It is important to note that more research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which improved blood circulation impacts fertility, and the efficacy of various interventions, including reishi mushrooms, for this purpose.
While improved blood circulation can play a role in improving fertility, it is also important to consider other factors, such as diet, exercise, stress management, and overall health, which can impact fertility.
How can hormone regulation improve fertility?
Reishi mushrooms have been anecdotally used for hormone regulation for thousands of years.In a well-known book on Chinese herbal medicines written during the Ming dynasty, P’en-Ts’ao Kang-Mu, by Li Shin-Chen, the writer describes G. lucidum as being effective for menopausal troubles, which are known to be associated with estrogen deficiency.
That led to this 2008 study on the use of Reishi mushrooms to regulate estrogen levels. The study showed:
The ethanol extract from the fruiting body of Ganoderma lucidum was tested for its estrogen-like activity by using the cell proliferation assay (MCF-7 cells, human breast cancer cells), as well as the estrogen receptor binding assay, and pS2 mRNA expression assay in MCF-7 cells in vitro and uterotrophic assay in vivo.
Again, this study was not completed on humans directly and was not attributed to any impact on fertility.
So, can reishi really help to improve my fertility?
The long and short of it is: we simply don't know. There is some anecdotal and outlying scientific evidence that supports the potential benefit of reishi for fertility. But it's important to note that the benefits of reishi on fertility may vary based on individual factors such as age, lifestyle, and overall health.
Until more evidence is available, it's best to consult with a doctor before using reishi for fertility or any other health condition.
The good news is, reishi mushrooms have been used for more than 2,000 years medicinally and they're generally considered very safe.
Reishi mushrooms have a lot of other potential benefits as well, including:
Anti-inflammatory effects: Reishi may have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation in the body and reduce the risk of certain chronic diseases.
Immune system support: Reishi may support the immune system by increasing the activity of immune cells and helping to fight off infections.
Improved heart health: Reishi may help improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and oxidative stress.
Reduced stress and anxiety: Reishi may help reduce stress and anxiety by affecting the levels of certain hormones in the body.
Anticancer properties: Some studies have suggested that reishi may have anticancer properties and may help reduce the growth and spread of certain types of cancer cells.
Check out our guide to reishi mushroom benefits here.
Ways to take reishi mushrooms to support fertility
here are a number of ways you can incorporate reishi mushrooms into your routine. The first step is to connect with your doctor. There is very limited research about how reishi interacts or compounds traditional anxiety medication.
The best way to take a reishi supplement will depend on the specific product and your individual needs and preferences. Some common forms of reishi supplements include capsules, powders, teas, and tinctures.
- Reishi tinctures are also available and some people find them to be a more enjoyable way to take the supplement because it's fast and effective.
- Reishi teas have been used traditionally for thousands of years. Taking reishi as a tea is a great way to slow down and enjoy your reishi intake alongside any sweeteners or additives you like.
- Reishi capsules are one of the most common ways to take reishi. They are convenient, easy to take, and can be found in many health food stores.
- Reishi powders can be added to drinks or food, such as smoothies, soups, or teas, which can make them more palatable. Some people find that the taste of reishi to be quite bitter, so adding it to a drink or food can make it more pleasant to consume.
How much reishi should I take to support fertility?
As with any supplement, the dosage and how often you take it will depend on the specific product and your individual needs. It is always best to follow the dosage instructions on the product label. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen.
The average dosage of reishi for anxiety will vary between 500 - 3,000 mg per day depending on the type of supplement, extraction method, and potency of the product.
What are the best reishi products to support fertility?
If you've talked to your doctor and are ready to try a reishi supplement, it can be hard to know which product is best. At Remeday, we've done extensive research on mushroom products in the industry and only recommend the ones that are the highest in potency, safety, extraction methods, ingredients, and more.
If you decide to buy a product using a link from our site, we may receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. This helps us to keep creating awesome mushroom content! Not all links are affiliates, many are just products we really love!
Life Cykel Reishi Tincture
Life Cykel is a small but mighty brand. Because of their size, they're able to really focus in on product quality and potency. They're also one of the most affordable tinctures on the market. We love taking this tincture and think you will, too.
FreshCap Reishi Powder
When it comes to quality, freshness, and potency, FreshCap meets the mark. Reishi powder is perfect to add to teas, coffee, smoothies, and more. They are leaders in mushroom education and take pride in the quality of their products.
Mushroom Revival Reishi Tincture
Mushroom Revival is a trusted US-based brand and is a great option to add to your nightly tea. You won’t find a better brand than Mushroom Revival. These guys know their mushrooms inside-and-out - and they apply that incredible knowledge to their products.
Real Mushrooms Reishi Powder & Capsules
RealMushrooms uses 100% organic, 100% fruiting bodies, and is highly transparent in their sourcing and extract processes. Not to mention their products are third-party lab tested. Powder is ideal to add to teas, smoothies, and more.
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