Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa)

 

“Maitake” means dancing mushroom in Japanese. The mushroom is said to have received its name after people danced with happiness upon finding it in the wild due to its incredible healing properties, especially in cancer therapy. Maitake is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly Oak, Elm, and Maple trees. 

This fungi is commonly known in North America as "hen-of-the-woods" and is a delicious and prized mushroom in Japanese Cuisine, having a rather sweet flavor and soft texture. It compliments just about any culinary dish.

Like many other medicinal mushrooms, Maitake mushroom has been used in Japan and China for thousands of years, but has only gained popularity in the United States over the last twenty years. Maitake is increasingly being recognized as a potent source of polysaccharide compounds and several myco-nutrients with dramatic health-promoting potential.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Maitake was used as a tonic, strengthening the immune system, enhancing vitality, treating high blood pressure, strengthening  the spleen and stomach, as a remedy for hemorrhoids, and an adjunct therapy against cancer.

Active Compounds found in Maitake

Polysaccharides (over 20 active β-glucans), heteropolysacharides, and several proteoglycan fractions (more importantly D-fraction, MD-fraction, and Sx-fraction) demonstrating anti-tumor activities, simulation of NK cells, T-lymphocyte and macrophage functions, increase in thymus and spleen weights, anti-metastasis, anti-oxidative and reduction in cholesterol.
α-glucosidase: showing hypoglycemic activity, improves the receptors’ sensitivity to insulin and assists in treating insulin resistance, a condition common in Type 2 diabetes patients.
Exopolysaccharides: potent anti-proliferative on HeLa cervical cancer cells, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant.
Ergosterolsa fungal cell membrane molecule converted into vitamin D2, helps maintain and build strong bones, development of the brain and plasticity, immunity and autoimmunity by assisting the body in absorbing calcium.
Vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), C, and D. Providing the highest level of vitamin D of any non-animal food source.
17 amino acids, especially rich in aspartic acid, methionine, and glutamic acid.
Main Mineral Elements: Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Zn, K, P, and Se. Selenium being the most noteworthy, playing an important role as an antioxidant, preventing degeneration of cells by free radicals.
Other myco-nutrients
The mushroom is also: low-sodium, low-calorie, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-sugar. Mushrooms contain little to no sugar and are low GI making them a great food choice for everyone's diet, but particularly diabetics. (FYI: The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in food according to how they affect blood glucose levels)
 

Maitake and its Activity Against Diseases

Click a condition below to explore some promising studies done on Maitake:

 

Disclaimer:

With its growing popularity, many studies on Maitake composition, cultivation, and reputed effects are being carried out, and there are data that support its positive health benefits. However, most studies have been performed on animals or in cell-culture models, as seen in our section of Maitake and its Activity Against Diseases. Human experimental studies have often been small, due to the lack of experimental clinical funding to further support the in vitro and in vivo findings. The great wealth of chemical data and anecdotal evidence on the effects of Maitake needs to be complemented by reliable experimental and clinical data from numerous human trials in order to clearly establish if the reported health-related effects are valid and significant.
Mógū Mushrooms products and the claims made about them on or through this site have not been evaluated by the FDA or United States Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your doctor/physician or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or as a substitute for medication or other treatment prescribed by your doctor/physician or health care provider.

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