Maitake

Also indexed as:Grifola frondosa
Maitake: Main Image © Martin Wall

Related Topics

Botanical names:
Grifola frondosa

Parts Used & Where Grown

Maitake is a very large mushroom, which grows deep in the mountains of northeastern Japan, as well as in North America and Europe. Famous for its taste and health benefits, maitake is also known as the “dancing mushroom.”1 Legend holds that those who found the rare mushroom began dancing with joy. Others attribute its name to the way the fruit bodies of the mushroom overlap each other, giving the appearance of dancing butterflies.

Maitake is extremely sensitive to environmental changes, which have presented many challenges to those cultivating this mushroom. However, Japanese farmers have succeeded in producing high-quality organic maitake mushrooms, allowing for wider availability both in Japan and the U.S. The fruiting body and mycelium of maitake are used medicinally.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
High Cholesterol
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
The mushroom maitake may lower fat levels in the blood and be useful in lowering cholesterol.
High Triglycerides
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Studies suggest that the mushroom maitake may lower fat levels in the blood.
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Maitake mushrooms contain immuno-modulating polysaccharides (including beta-D-glucan) that may be supportive for HIV infection.
Immune Function
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Complex polysaccharides present in maitake appear to increase immune function.
Infection
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Maitake supports the immune system and protects against microbes.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Historically, maitake has been used as a tonic and adaptogen (a substance that invigorates or strengthens the system). Along with other “medicinal” mushrooms, such as shiitake and reishi, maitake was used as a food to help promote wellness and vitality.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.