Maitake Mushrooms


Called by several names such as hen-of-the-woods, ram’s head, or sheep head, maitake (dancing mushroom in Japanese) is a polypore mushroom that grows at the base of trees like old oaks and maples. Maitake’s scientific name is Grifola frondose, and it’s a popular fungus in Chinese and Japanese cuisine.

Maitake mushroom is perennial, and it repeatedly grows for several years in one particular place. It’s a tasty variety, as seen in its use in many different dishes.

People have also been consuming maitake for health reasons for centuries. In this short write-up, we will find out what health benefits does maitake mushroom provides.

What Does Maitake Mushrooms Contain?

Maitake mushroom has several ingredients, including:

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin B and C
  • Protein
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Carbohydrates
  • Amino acids
  • Copper
  • Antioxidants

It contains a tiny amount of fats, sugars and sodium.

Health Benefits Of Maitake Mushrooms

We will now look at some of the health benefits of maitake mushrooms.

Like many other edible mushrooms, maitake is also known to offer several health benefits.

It may inhibit the growth of tumor and cancer cells

Many people suffer from tumors and cancer, and most of the time, they prove to be fatal. There are supposedly many treatments, but people often delay in seeking help.

Using verified health supplements can be very helpful to keep away diseases. Maitake mushroom is one of the ingredients that people for many centuries have been using not only for culinary but also for medicinal reasons.

Studies conducted on animals showed that maitake mushrooms might suppress tumor growth. The studies also indicated that cells capable of fighting the tumors increased.

Another study indicated that when an extract from maitake mushroom called D-Fraction was given along with a protein that also fights cancer cells, it showed tremendous positive effects.

It is therefore likely that maitake mushroom supplements can help reduce tumor growth and fight cancer cells.

Maitake Mushrooms

It may help lower cholesterol levels

HDL cholesterol, also called ‘good’ cholesterol, is essential for the smooth and healthy function of the heart. But it’s the opposite with LDL or ‘bad cholesterol. You can suffer from many heart issues when LDL cholesterol takes over.

Some studies have also indicated that maitake mushroom extract may lower LDL cholesterol after taking it for some time.

People who have issues can use maitake mushroom supplements after consulting with their physician.

It may help with type 2 diabetes 

Diabetes is also a disease that affects and kills numerous people across the globe. The disease can go from bad to worse without warning, and so it’s sometimes called a silent killer.

According to some studies on rats using maitake mushrooms, there were interesting results. The results determined that the rats with type 2 diabetes showed positive effects when given maitake mushroom extracts or supplements.

Since animal studies showed positive results regarding type 2 diabetes, it’s likely that the mushroom may also help diabetes in humans. However, many studies are to be conducted before we find out more.

It may help treat cold and flu

People with a weak immune system often get infected with colds and flu when the season changes. These two seasonal diseases also do not have a cure, so people are left to deal with them at least twice a year.

However, cold and flu can be prevented, and symptoms lowered fast. It’s possible when your immune system is strong. Some studies have indicated that maitake mushrooms may help reduce symptoms of cold and flu.

It’s good news because when you take the mushroom supplement for other reasons, your immune system also strengthens and cold and flu don’t affect you often. Even if you have, the symptoms won’t be extreme and will pass soon.

It may help maintain blood pressure

Many people also suffer from blood pressure issues due to different reasons. While both high and low BP is bad, the former is more dangerous.

Also called hypertension, high BP can cause stroke leading to paralysis, heart attack and failure, kidney ailment, brain issues and more.

On the other hand, hypotension or low BP can cause weakness, dizziness, fainting and injury from falls.

Research has also noticed that maitake mushrooms can be useful in maintaining blood pressure. It may increase low BP and bring it up to normal and also lower high BP and take it down to a normal range.

If the mushroom can indeed balance blood pressure, it can be beneficial for millions of people around the world who suffer from hyper and hypotension.

It may help strengthen and improve immune function

When your immune system weakens, you are at high risk of getting infected with various germs, including bacteria and viruses. Long-term weak immunity can happen from many conditions such as

  • HIV
  • Some kinds of cancer
  • Viral hepatitis
  • Malnutrition
  • Medical treatments

If you don’t seek treatment, you can have many problems like

  • Respiratory ailments
  • Skin infections
  • Anemia
  • Inflammation

Maitake mushrooms supposedly improve and strengthen immune function. If indeed it does, then it can help many people. A supplement can be helpful and boost immunity.

It may help treat side effects of chemotherapy 

People with cancer who undergo chemotherapy suffer from different kinds of side effects like

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Appetite changed
  • Infection
  • Prone to bleeding and bruising

While not many studies have been conducted, there is speculation that the mushroom can be beneficial in treating the side effects of chemotherapy.

If experts one day learn that the mushroom can be helpful, it will be a lifesaver.

What do you learn from the above?

From the several health benefits mentioned above, it seems like the maitake mushroom is a fungus that can help in many ways.

But as with many other mushrooms, many human studies need to be conducted to know the truth.

In the meantime, however, you can use good-quality supplements recommended by doctors.


When taking any supplement or medicine, it’s essential to take only the prescribed dosage. You may follow the dose mentioned on the product label or consult your doctor and ask for the proper dosage.


Maitake mushroom is a popular ingredient in the culinary world, no doubt. It’s also getting increasingly popular with those seeking alternative cures.

Even though there are not many confirmed results from experts, supplements are available. So, you can look for the best quality products and follow the correct dosage for positive results and safety.

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I've been a bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast for over 15 years. I'm also a Karate black belt and personal trainer with a PHD in sports nutrition.