Maitake is a very large mushroom, which grows deep in the mountainous regions of Japan, as well as in North America and Europe. Famous for its taste and health benefits, maitake is also known as the “dancing mushroom.” 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
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.
What it does
Maitake contains beta-D-glucan, which is known to have immune regulating and cholesterol lowering properties. This mushroom is also adaptogenic, anti-tumour, anti-cancer and tonifying.
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It may be useful in keeping the immune system regulated in people with HIV, or anyone having chemotherapy treatment. It is often bought dried and can be used in cooking or as medicine.
Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
Generally, there are no side effects or contra-indications from using Maitake.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Maitake.