Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom

Maitake Mushroom Benefits

Maitake is considered a medicinal mushroom and is classified as an adaptogen. An adaptogen helps the body resist all forms of stress, either mental or physical and has a normalizing function on the body.

Unlike common mushrooms, Maitake is packed with healthy nutrients, such as powerful antioxidants, Vitamins B, C and niacin, minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, selenium, protein, amino acids, and fiber.

Many medicinal herbs don’t taste good and have to be mixed in juice or taken in capsules. Not so with Maitake. It tastes wonderful and can be used in cooking whenever you want to give your family a health boost. This would be especially good during cold and flu season.

It is thought to be the most powerful mushroom as far as strengthening the immune system. The glucans and polysaccharides in it stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of the T-helper cells.

The mushroom has also been used to reduce pain, nausea, hair loss and other negative side effects of chemotherapy. It’s loaded with a very powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine that can help protect cells and reduce the risk of contracting chronic diseases.

Maitake also has very strong antiviral properties and has been shown to kill HIV virus in lab experiments. It has also been used to treat hepatitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. It may also have value in treating high blood pressure and improving insulin levels.

Many studies are currently underway to determine if this medicinal mushroom may be an effective treatment for cancer. Preliminary studies suggest it have value in tumor inhibition.

Besides it’s ability to stimulate the immune system, Maitake is often used to treat conditions such as, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. More studies need to be done in these area though.

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Maitake mushroom Uses

  • Treat cancer
  • Treat diabetes
  • Treat HIV/AIDS
  • Treat high cholesterol
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Enhance immune system
  • Treat tumors
  • Weight loss

Scientific Name

Grifola frondosa

Common Names

King of Mushrooms, Cloud Mushroom, Dancing Mushroom, Grifola, Hen of the Woods, Shelf Fungi, Champion Maitake, Hongo Maitake, Maitake, Monkey’s Bench

Where It Grows

This plant grows the mountains of China and Japan

Which Part Of The Plant Is Used

The fruiting body and mycelium

Maitake Fruiting Body

Maitake Fruiting Body

How It Works

The Maitake mushroom has an active ingredient called beta glucan. It’s a polysaccharide found in other medicinal mushrooms. The maitake, however contains one called D-fraction. Researchers believe that it is this beta glucan that gives the mushroom it’s healing powers.

How It’s Used

Maitake can be consumed cooked in meals and soup. It is also available in a dry form in capsules and tablets.

Precautions and Side Effects

Nerver take if pregnant or nursing without consulting with your doctor. Some people can have allergic reactions to mushrooms. Always talk to your doctor before taking any health supplement.

Description and History Of Maitake Mushroom

This mushroom varies widely in color. It is sometimes brown, tan, grey or white. The more direct sunlight maitake gets, the darker it is in color. It has large leaf like fronds that overlap each other. They grow in clusters and grow larger with time.

The fronds are one to four inches in width and darker at the outer edges of it’s juicy, firm caps. The fruiting body gets up to a few feet in width. The underneath part of the mushroom has pure white spores. The stem is very thick to hold it’s weight and white in color.

The Maitake mushroom has been eaten for over three thousand years in Japan and China. It was highly valued for it’s healing properties. At one time the mushroom was so valuable, it could be sold for it’s weight in silver. One of the common names of maitake is “dancing mushroom”.

This has been said that if a person found one they would dance for joy because it was so valuable. This mushroom grows in the wild in the mountains of Northern Japan and is very hard to cultivate.

Editor’s Comments

I’ve used Maitake, along with the other mushrooms for their immune stimulating properties.

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References Maitake report – Maitake report


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