Maitake Capsules - Fungi Perfecti
*Synonyms: Cloud Ear Mushroom, Cloud Mushroom, Dancing butterfly mushroom, Dancing Mushroom, Griffron, Grifon, Grifron, Hen of the woods mushroom, Hui Shu Hua, Kumotake, Mushikusa, Polypilus frondosus, Polyporus frondosus, Sheep's Head Mushroom
The common English name for Maitake is Hen-of-the-woods, due to its occasional resemblance to the fluffed up tail feathers of a hen. It is one of the most easily recognizable edible mushrooms in North America, though it is only to be found in eastern Canada and U.S. down to the mid-Atlantic states.
Research has found Maitake to increase tumor necrosis factor (73, 74, 75) and demonstrate other anti-tumor properties (76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81). Specific focus in these studies has been given to breast, prostate, lung, liver and colorectal cancer. (82) In fact, a Phase II study of Maitake on breast and prostate cancer was approved by the FDA. (83)
Other studies on Maitake has focused on its immune enhancing properties in general (84, 85, 86), or on cancer patients in specific (87). Maitake's anti-viral properties have received particularly intense scrutiny by the scientific community (88) and research on Maitake in the treatment of HIV is ongoing. (89).
Of further interest is the well demonstrated blood sugar lowering effect of Maitake capsules. One study on insulin-resistant mice found blood glucose drops of 25% average (90, 91, 92).
Apart from research conducted specifically on Maitake, there's also a sea of research done on the active compounds themselves, most importantly the beta-glucans. For example, there is a patent on "Methods of using beta glucan as a radioprotective agent." More specifically, the patent "relates to methods for treating and preventing radiation and/or chemotherapy related injury and/or afflictions, such as myelosuppression and decreased macrophage activity." Which is also why NASA gives beta glucans to astronauts, for the prevention of radiation poisoning and the degradation of the immune system.
Additional therapeutic properties as indicated by scientific research include: anti-bacterial, anti-candida, moderating blood pressure, respiratory conditions, nerve tonic, and stress reducer.
Click the following link to see chart for additional therapeutic properties of Maitake capsules.
Known active compounds in Maitake
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Credits: Thank you to Paul Stamets for source material!
Please note that the claims on this page and this web-site have not yet been verified by the FDA. We recommend that you consult a licensed medical practitioner before using any substance for medicinal purposes, including Maitake capsules.