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What is maitake mushroom?

“Maitake” means dancing mushroom in Japanese. The mushroom is said to have gotten its name after people danced with happiness upon finding it in the wild, such are its incredible healing properties.

This mushroom is a type of adaptogen. Adaptogens assist the body in fighting against any type of mental or physical difficulty. They also work to regulate systems of the body that have become unbalanced. While this mushroom can be used in recipes for taste alone, it’s considered to be a medicinal mushroom.
The mushroom grows wild in parts of Japan, China, and North America. It grows at the bottom of Oak, Elm, and Maple trees. It can be cultivated and even grown at home, though it typically won’t grow as well as it does in the wild. You can usually find the mushroom during the autumn months.
Although maitake mushroom has been used in Japan and China for thousands of years, it has only gained popularity in the United States over the last twenty years. People are praising this mushroom for its promises of health, vitality, and longevity.

Compared to other mushrooms, maitake has shown better results in preventing and treating cancer and other health conditions. Maitake also has a positive effect on overall immunity.
Maitake mushrooms are rich in:
  • antioxidants
  • beta-glucans
  • vitamins B and C
  • copper
  • potassium
  • fiber
  • minerals
  • amino acids
The mushrooms are also:
  • fat-free
  • low-sodium
  • low-calorie
  • cholesterol-free
Scientists are currently studying the unique way the mushroom supports overall health and fights illness.



Laboratory research suggests that maitake may be effective in treating certain illnesses. More studies are needed to confirm its effect on humans, but the current findings are promising.

Cancer

2013 study indicates that maitake D-Fraction could be useful in preventing and treating breast cancer. Researchers suggest that this mushroom can fight the growth and reproduction of cancerous cells.
Maitake mushroom has been shown
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 to suppress tumor growth in mice. It can also increase the number of cells fighting against the tumor. This suggests that it could also be effective in managing cancer in humans when taken orally.
An earlier study found maitake D-Fraction, which is an extract, to be efficient in killing human cancer cells. It was taken alongside a protein that also fights cancer and succeeded in increasing the protein’s effectiveness.

Cholesterol

Researchers in a 2013 study found that maitake powdered extract lowered cholesterol levels in mice. It was also shown to increase fatty acids that provide energy. Because of this, researchers theorized that eating maitake mushroom may help keep arteries healthy.

Type 2 Diabetes

The results of a 2015 study
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 showed that maitake mushroom can have a positive effect on rats with type 2 diabetes. During the study, maitake mushroom consumption had a positive effect on glucose levels of rats. This points to the mushroom’s potential to treat type 2 diabetes in humans.
Maitake mushroom may also be useful in treating:
  • cold and flu viruses
  • high or low blood pressure
  • immune function
  • side effects of chemotherapy

If you’re using maitake to boost your health, you can add it to any food in which you would normally add mushrooms. It can be added to stir-fry, salad, pasta, pizza, omelets, or soup. You can also fry the mushrooms in butter or grill them. Maitake has a strong, earthy taste, so be sure you enjoy its flavor before adding it to a large amount of food.
If you’re buying maitake fresh, buy it whole to increase its shelf life. Store it in a paper bag in the refrigerator. You may be able to find it dried at some grocery stores. It freezes well, so you can keep it in stock if you are able to find it fresh. You can also freeze it raw.
Maitake may also be taken as a liquid concentrate or in dry form in capsules. If you decide to take it as a supplement, look for maitake D-Fraction, which is an extract of the mushroom.
The correct dosage depends your age, weight, and health. It also depends on the actual strength of a particular brand of supplement. Be sure to read the instructions carefully before use.
Always check with your doctor before taking a high dose, and monitor your reactions carefully. If you begin experiencing any unusual symptoms or discomfort, discontinue use and consult your doctor.
It may take a few weeks or months for you to feel a noticeable difference. Taking it with vitamin C is said to increase its benefits.
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Paul Stamets

“Of all mushrooms commonly consumed, oyster mushrooms stand out as exceptional allies for improving human and environmental health. These mushrooms enjoy a terrific reputation as the easiest to cultivate, richly nutritious and medicinally supportive.”