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Ultimate Guide to Maitake: Health Benefits, Uses & Medicinal Research by Antioxi

Ultimate Guide to Maitake: Health Benefits & Uses

"Maitake," translated as "dancing mushroom" in Japanese, earned its name from the joyous dances people performed upon discovering its remarkable healing properties. 

In this article, we will explore the intriguing history, examine its diverse applications, and offer guidance on choosing a top-notch Maitake mushroom supplement. 

In This Article:

  1. What are Functional Mushrooms?
  2. What is Maitake?
  3. The Science Behind the Benefits of Maitake Mushroom: Two Key Compounds
  4. Health Benefits of Maitake
  5. How to Buy a Good Quality Maitake Supplement?
  6. Dose, Safety, Side Effects
  7. How to Take Maitake Mushrooms for Health Support
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

What are Functional Mushrooms?

Referred to as 'functional mushrooms' in the wellness community, these edible fungi boast a diverse range of bioactive compounds. Each type of functional mushroom possesses a unique bioactive profile, contributing to its ability to support specific bodily systems. Maitake, in particular, stands out for its remarkable capacity to enhance the immune system, among other health benefits.

If you're familiar with functional mushrooms, you've likely encountered the term 'beta-glucans' or 'beta-D-glucans.' These polysaccharides play a crucial role in the immune-modulating effects of mushrooms. Test tube studies have demonstrated their ability to activate various immune cells, including monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells. [1]

Maitake mushrooms aid the immune system by promoting the activity of lymphocytes, natural killer cells, monocytes, and T-helper cells. [2, 3]

What is Maitake?

Maitake mushroom, scientifically known as Grifola frondosa, boasts an earthy aroma and a wholesome taste. Recognized as "hen-of-the-woods" due to its distinctive shape, it is also called sheep head. Its circular cluster of wavy caps grows in shelf-like formations at the base of hardwood trees, particularly oaks. With a fan-like appearance resembling a hen's tail, Maitake features grey-brown caps and white-cream undersides containing one to three pores.

Rich in vitamin D, Maitake supports various health aspects. With an average weight of about 10 pounds, these mushrooms, which can grow up to three feet wide, offer not only a crunchy texture but also beneficial compounds promoting overall well-being.

This fungus flourishes in the wild across Japan, China, and North America, typically growing at the base of Oak, Elm, and Maple trees. While it can be cultivated, it thrives best in natural settings, especially during the autumn months. Maitake has been a staple in Japanese and Chinese traditional medicine for centuries, gaining popularity in the United States in the last two decades. Abundant in fibre, proteins, iron, zinc, and magnesium, Maitake is renowned for its immune-strengthening, anti-inflammatory, and cardiovascular health benefits.

Maitake Mushroom Fruiting Body Being Compared To a Hen Tail

Maitake earns its well-deserved name as the “hen-of-the-woods".

Historical Applications of Maitake Mushrooms

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this mushroom has been utilised to support the spleen and enhance qi. "Qi" (pronounced "chee") refers to the vital energy or life force that flows through the body, maintaining health and vitality. It is believed that the balance and flow of qi in the body are crucial for overall well-being. When qi is harmonious, the body is in a state of balance and good health.

Maitake’s fruiting body comprises polysaccharides, like beta-glucans, which have been associated with promoting healthy cell growth and turnover.

The popularity of Maitake surged in the 1990s when Dr. Hiroaki Nanba, a pharmacologist at Kobe Pharmaceutical University in Japan, started isolating and examining various polysaccharide fractions from Maitake. Several of these fractions demonstrated potent immunomodulating properties. Substances with immunomodulating properties can either enhance or suppress immune function as needed, helping the body maintain a balanced and responsive immune system.

The Science Behind the Benefits of Maitake Mushroom: Two Key Compounds

Maitake mushrooms have become a focal point in the realm of natural health, with two key compounds—D-fraction and beta-glucans—standing out as potent contributors to their potential benefits. These compounds have been the subject of in-depth studies, shedding light on their remarkable properties.

Maitake D-Fraction: A Dual Force in Health

At the forefront of Maitake's therapeutic potential is Maitake D-fraction, a component that has captured the attention of researchers. 

A study led by Konno in 2001 explored the multifaceted nature of Maitake D-fraction, revealing its role as both an apoptosis inducer and an immune enhancer [4]. 

In simpler terms, Maitake D-fraction has the remarkable ability to trigger controlled cancer cell death (apoptosis) and bolster the immune system, suggesting a dual mechanism for promoting health and wellness. 

Beta-Glucans: Nature's Immunomodulators

Complementing the effectiveness of Maitake D-fraction are Beta-glucans, essential polysaccharides found in Maitake mushrooms. Study findings have hinted at the ability of beta-glucans to influence programmed cell death, showcasing their role in potentially slowing down the harmful behaviour of cancer cells. [5]

In the context of Maitake mushrooms, the polysaccharides are considered immunomodulators because they have been shown to influence and enhance the activity of various immune cells, contributing to a more robust immune response.

Together, Maitake D-fraction and beta-glucans form a dynamic duo, offering a comprehensive approach to health. While Maitake D-fraction takes centre stage in regulating cell turnover and boosting the immune system, beta-glucans play a crucial role in influencing the programmed cell death of cancer cells and controlling the bodies’ immune response.

Maitake Mushroom Fruiting Body Growing An a Log

Maitake typically grows at the base of Oak, Elm, and Maple trees.

Health Benefits of Maitake

From traditional uses steeped in centuries of wisdom to cutting-edge scientific discoveries, read on to explore the unique attributes that set Maitake apart in the world of medicinal mushrooms.

Health Benefits At a Glance:

  1. Maitake as an Adaptogenic Mushroom
  2. Maitake’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  3. Maitake Supports the Immune System
  4. Maitake Can Help Manage PCOS
  5. Maitake Can Promote Gut Health and Help Treat IBD
  6. Maitake May Help Balance Blood Sugar Levels
  7. Maitake Supports Heart Health
  8. Maitake May Combat Herpes
  9. Maitake May Help Manage Menopause Symptoms
  10. Maitake and Cancer

Maitake as an Adaptogenic Mushroom

It's evident that stress levels have surged, with a reported 55% of American adults facing occasional stress, as highlighted by The New York Times in 2019 [6].

What makes this concerning is that episodes of stress can adversely impact various systems within our bodies. In such a scenario, the rise of functional mushrooms, including Maitake mushrooms, becomes particularly relevant. 

Renowned for their adaptogenic properties, these mushrooms aid the body in adapting to different stressors, whether physical, biological, or chemical. Functioning as adaptogens, they interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to stabilise cortisol levels during stress and facilitate the restoration of balance in the body.

Maitake’s Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Chronic inflammation is considered the root cause of many diseases known to humans, so it’s only reasonable to keep inflammation to a minimum. Maitake mushroom supplements may help lower inflammation.

The Maitake mushroom has been cited to lower the enzymatic activity of COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes known to trigger inflammation or at least be factors. This means the fungus can be part of treatments for conditions associated with chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, colitis, and asthma. The overproduction of COX enzymes often causes these conditions. [7]

Maitake supplementation has also been shown to regulate cytokine production. Cytokines are unique proteins that play a massive role in regulating our body’s immune and inflammation responses. [8]

Maitake Supports the Immune System

Antioxidants are known to protect the body from all sorts of harmful environmental toxins. A little-known fact about them is how they’re also in charge of providing the first line of defence in our immune system. It just so happened that Maitake has potent antioxidant properties.

Because of potent antioxidants found in Maitake, consumption has been linked to healthier and more responsive immune cells. Maitake mushrooms contain large beta-glucans, strengthening NK (natural killer) cells. This way, Maitake improves the body’s immune response against pathogens. [3]

Maitake has also been shown to strengthen T-cell production. T-Cells are more robust versions of the typical white blood cell and only attack the specific antigens they were designed to attack. Because of this, T-cells are one of the most critical parts of immunity against foreign substances. [2]

Maitake Can Help Manage PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a common hormonal disorder that affects people with ovaries, particularly during their reproductive years. It is characterised by an imbalance in reproductive hormones, leading to various symptoms such as irregular menstrual cycles, ovarian cysts, and elevated levels of androgens (male hormones). 

People with PCOS may experience difficulties with ovulation, leading to fertility issues. 

Additionally, PCOS is often associated with metabolic challenges, such as insulin resistance, which can contribute to weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

In one study, 26 women were given Maitake extract to induce ovulation. Notably, 6 out of 8 women who previously failed to ovulate after being treated with clomiphene citrate, experienced successful ovulation after Maitake extract treatment. [9]

Impressively, all 3 women desiring pregnancy were able to achieve it, thus suggesting that Maitake could also aid with treating infertility. 

Click here to learn more about natural ways to manage PCOS symptoms.

Maitake Can Promote Gut Health and Help Treat IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term to describe two conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both are long-term diseases associated with gut inflammation.

The exact cause of IBD isn’t confirmed, but experts agree it’s the culmination of a weakened immune system. They suggest IBD can occur if your immune system incorrectly responds to environmental hazards and triggers, including bacteria, viruses, and other toxins that can cause gastrointestinal distress or inflammation.

The Maitake mushroom has been shown to reduce markers of inflammation and compounds that trigger it, making a case for maitake to be part of chronic inflammation treatments, including IBD. 

Colon inflammation is associated with IBD, and a study in 2009 confirmed the mushroom’s potential as an IBD treatment. The researchers found that a maitake water extract can suppress TNF-alpha, an inflammatory response promoter involved in IBD. [10]

Click here to learn more about how mushrooms can help with IBD.

Maitake May Help Balance Blood Sugar Levels

Maitake presents a promising complementary treatment for individuals with Type 2 Diabetes, offering potential benefits in managing blood sugar levels. 

The primary symptom of Type 2 Diabetes is insulin resistance, which occurs when the body has trouble controlling the amount of circulating blood sugar. Research indicates that Maitake can enhance insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetes patients [9]. Insulin sensitivity is the body’s ability to scavenge glucose from circulation. These findings suggest that Maitake may be a natural alternative to other blood sugar management drugs, without causing side effects or long-term damage.

Maitake may also play a role in boosting insulin secretion in the pancreas, contributing to better control of blood sugar levels, especially in situations where dietary choices may lead to elevated blood sugar levels. [11]

Additionally, the beta-glucan SX-fraction found in Maitake has demonstrated its ability to lower blood glucose levels in clinical trials by activating insulin receptors and reducing insulin resistance, thus further supporting its potential in diabetes management. [12]

Maitake Supports Heart Health

Research has explored the potential of maitake mushrooms in promoting heart health, specifically in terms of cholesterol and blood pressure regulation.

The polysaccharides in Maitake, specifically Beta-Glucan, can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, considered “bad cholesterol,” without affecting your triglyceride or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. HDL cholesterol is considered “good cholesterol.” [13, 14]

In one study conducted in 2001, various mushroom fibres, including Maitake, were investigated for their cholesterol-lowering effects in rats. The results indicated that Maitake fibre exhibited potential in reducing cholesterol levels, suggesting a positive impact on cardiovascular health. [15]

Supporting these findings, a study conducted in 2013 on mice found that Maitake lowered cholesterol levels in mice. Furthermore, the extract was observed to enhance the presence of fatty acids associated with energy production. Based on these findings, the researchers theorised that the consumption of maitake mushrooms could potentially contribute to maintaining the health of arteries. [16]

Furthermore, animal studies conducted on rats with high blood pressure found that including Maitake in the rats’ diet led to a noticeable reduction in blood pressure [17, 18]. These findings further support that Maitake could contribute to cardiovascular health.

Maitake May Combat Herpes

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) is known for causing oral herpes and other infections. 

Researchers found a special protein in Maitake that has the ability to fight against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1). [19]

This discovery suggests that Maitake mushrooms could have natural antiviral properties, specifically against HSV-1. While more research is needed, this finding is exciting as it hints at the potential of Maitake mushrooms in helping combat certain viruses, providing a natural approach to antiviral strategies.

Maitake May Help Manage Menopause Symptoms

Maitake has shown potential to aid with the management of symptoms associated with menopause, particularly poor insulin sensitivity.

When women enter their menopausal stages, they are more likely to have poor insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is the body’s ability to scavenge glucose from circulation. 

Poor insulin sensitivity could also trigger fibroid growths, also known simply as fibroids. Fibroids are non-cancerous and develop in or around the uterus. Some refer to them as uterine myomas. Some symptoms include heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pressure/pain, frequent urination, and constipation.

As mentioned earlier, research indicates that Maitake can enhance insulin sensitivity [9], thus aiding with the management of symptoms related to poor insulin sensitivity.

Click here to learn more about the best mushrooms for menopause.

Maitake and Cancer

General Anti-Cancer Benefits

Recent studies have suggested that Maitake could hold potential in killing cancer cells.

One animal study conducted on mice investigated whether the Beta-glucans found in Maitake could activate a strong immune response against tumours and reduce the suppression of the immune system caused by tumours [20]. The study found that the Beta-glucans triggered a powerful immune response against tumours. 

Additionally, the Beta-glucans helped to decrease the immunosuppression caused by the tumours. This is very beneficial, as immunosuppression caused by tumours can hinder the body's natural ability to mount an effective defence against cancer.

This suggests that Maitake mushroom extracts could play a role in boosting the body's immune system to fight against cancer.

From animal to human studies, another study investigated whether Maitake mushroom extracts could enhance the ability of immune cells to attack various types of human tumour cells when combined with Interleukin-2 (IL-2). [21]

Interleukin-2 (IL-2), known as a cytokine, is a type of signalling protein that acts as a messenger between immune cells, helping to coordinate and stimulate their activities.

The researchers discovered that when Maitake extract is combined with IL-2, it makes the immune cells more effective in attacking different kinds of tumour cells. This suggests a potential synergy between Maitake and IL-2 in enhancing the body's ability to fight against various types of cancer.

Furthermore, another study investigated the potential healing properties of Maitake D-fraction for individuals already dealing with cancer. D-fraction is the bioactive extract of Maitake mushroom. Additionally, the study sought to explore whether Maitake D-fraction could serve as a preventive measure against the development of cancer. [22]

The study reported promising findings regarding the healing potential of Maitake D-fraction for cancer patients. It suggested that this specific component of Maitake mushrooms could play a role in supporting individuals in their recovery from cancer.

Furthermore, the study hinted at the preventive capabilities of Maitake D-fraction, indicating that it might have properties to lower the risk of developing cancer. These findings, while encouraging, emphasise the need for additional research to confirm and refine the understanding of Maitake D-fraction's effectiveness in both healing and preventing cancer.

Maitake and Bladder Cancer

Research on Maitake mushrooms and their potential impact on bladder cancer has yielded promising results across studies. 

One study investigated the effects of mushroom extracts on cancer development and the activities of immune system cells in mice treated with a carcinogen [23]. The study found that the administration of mushroom extracts from Shiitake, Maitake, and Pleurotus ostreatus, an edible mushroom also known as “the Oyster Mushroom,” had positive effects. These effects included a reduction in cancer development and enhanced activities of immune system cells.

Another study conducted in 2009 explored the possibility of achieving disease remission (improvement or disappearance of symptoms) in a patient with invasive bladder cancer using a D-fraction regimen. [24]

The Maitake extract was provided to the patient after they have received surgery to remove a bladder tumour. The findings report that the patient experienced disease remission (improvement or disappearance of symptoms).This implies that the ingestion of Maitake, and specifically the D-fraction extract, may have played a role in the improvement of the patient's condition.

These studies collectively unveil a promising path in harnessing the potential of Maitake mushrooms, particularly through D-fraction, to inhibit the growth and prevent the recurrence of bladder cancer. 

Maitake and Breast Cancer

When it comes to breast cancer, the D-fraction extract found in Maitake shines once again.

A 2009 study aimed to determine if Maitake could be safely administered to patients with breast cancer. They were also specifically looking at how the Maitake might affect the immune system. [25]

The results showed that Maitake mushroom extract was safe for people with breast cancer; they didn't have significant side effects. Additionally, the extract seemed to have a positive impact on their immune systems. 

Another recent study conducted in 2013 investigated the genes associated with the prevention of harmful behaviour in breast cancer cells [26]. The study explored how Maitake D-Fraction might have a positive impact on certain genes, potentially slowing down the harmful behaviour of breast cancer cells.

The findings showed that Maitake D-Fraction seemed to affect certain genes that are linked to stopping the aggressive behaviour of breast cancer cells, suggesting that Maitake D-Fraction might have a positive influence in calming down the harmful actions of breast cancer cells.

Maitake and Prostate Cancer

In the pursuit of discovering natural remedies for prostate cancer, researchers have turned their attention to the potential benefits of Maitake mushrooms. 

One study delves into the intriguing possibility that beta-glucan, a polysaccharide derived from Maitake mushrooms, may induce apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a crucial process that plays a role in controlling abnormal cell growth. [5]

The study uncovered promising findings, suggesting that beta-glucan has the potential to induce apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells. 

This implies that the compound may hold therapeutic promise in influencing programmed cell death, a critical aspect in the development of innovative approaches for prostate cancer treatment. 


How to Buy a Good Quality Maitake Supplement?

Choosing a good quality mushroom supplement can be a daunting task, as there are many options available in the market. However, there are a few key things to consider when selecting a high-quality mushroom supplement:

Fruiting Body vs. Mycelium

Quality control standards for functional mushroom products are currently lacking, highlighting the urgent need for systematic scientific verification of active compounds in these nutritional supplements. This is crucial for ensuring greater accountability regarding ingredient integrity and transparency.

When a product fails to specify the source of its Maitake, there's a risk that it relies on mycelium (the fungal root structure) rather than the Maitake fruiting body (the actual mushroom we see above the ground). To ensure the highest quality Maitake mushroom supplement, it is advisable to choose products with an ingredients label indicating the use of only organic fruiting body, free from mycelium or grain contaminants.

Explore the notable distinctions between supplements crafted from mycelium and those derived from the fruiting body by clicking here.

Beta-Glucan Content

What is the Beta-Glucan Content?

Beta-glucans are one of the primary compounds responsible for the unique immune system-supporting function and other health benefits of Maitake.

Many brands incorporate various starch, fillers, colorings, unnecessary additives, and other ingredients into their supplements, which offer no health benefits. Moreover, these additions suggest a low percentage of actual Maitake extract in the product, resulting in a diminished concentration of beta-glucans (medicinal compounds) and, consequently, lower therapeutic potency.

To obtain the most potent and high-value functional fungi supplement, scrutinise the product label for specific beta-glucan content. To ensure the optimal quality of your Maitake mushroom supplement, verify that the product specifies a beta-glucan concentration of at least 25%. This ensures you receive the full spectrum of health benefits associated with this mushroom.

Antioxi's Maitake Extract boasts a beta-glucan content exceeding 30%, guaranteeing that you receive the necessary benefits.

Beta-Glucan Benefits Explained

Beta-glucans, the key compounds found in mushrooms, play a pivotal role in fostering immune support and various medicinal attributes.

Widely recognized as Biological Response Modifiers (BRMs) [27], beta-glucans function by modulating the immune system, adjusting its activity as needed. These modifiers have the capacity to enhance the immune response, leading to a more effective defence against infections. Conversely, they can also dampen an excessively active immune response by modulating anti-inflammatory cytokines. Cytokine is a type of signalling protein that acts as a messenger between immune cells, helping to coordinate and stimulate their activities.

Organically Certified

Opt for certified organic options as mushrooms tend to absorb pollutants from their surroundings. Mushrooms that are organically grown refer to mushrooms cultivated in a natural manner, devoid of herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides.

Safety Tests

Heavy metals and pesticides tests are safety tests which will indicate whether mushrooms are safe to consume.

Extraction Method

Understanding the ingredients in your diet is crucial, especially when it comes to functional mushrooms and their quality. Opting for a low-quality mushroom supplement poses a risk to experiencing the full range of potential benefits, making your health a priority.

A key indicator of a high-quality functional mushroom product is its extraction from the mushroom (fruiting body) using the appropriate method. Three commonly used extraction methods for functional mushrooms are hot water, alcohol, and dual extraction (involving both hot water and alcohol). 

The choice of the extraction method can impact the quality, and research indicates that not all methods are equally effective for every mushroom. Some methods may even remove medicinal constituents during the process. Therefore, it is crucial for supplement producers to understand which extraction method ensures maximum benefit and efficacy for their product.

To maintain elevated beta-glucan levels, Antioxi employs the hot water extraction method for maitake.

To guarantee the top-notch quality of your Maitake mushroom supplement, check whether the product has utilised a hot water extraction method.

Click the link below to learn more about what to look for when choosing a high-quality mushroom supplement.

Learn More

Dose, Safety, Side Effects

Dose

General Health Maintenance:

For those incorporating mushrooms into their routine for overall health benefits, a suggested dose of 3g or 6 capsules is recommended. This non-treatment use aims to promote well-being and vitality.

Treatment-Targeted Use:

If you are utilising mushrooms as part of a treatment plan for a specific health condition, a suggested dose of 5g or 10 capsules is advised. This higher dose is intended to address targeted health concerns.

Flexible Dosage Regimen:

Whether you prefer splitting the dose throughout the day or taking it all at once, the choice is yours. For optimal absorption, it is recommended to consume mushrooms on an empty stomach. However, if you have a sensitive constitution, consider splitting the dose and taking it after a meal.

Why the Discrepancy in Recommended Doses?

You may have noticed that some mushroom distributors recommend lower doses, such as 1g. This is often as large companies typically suggest consulting with a health practitioner to ascertain the right dosage for individual health conditions, which can result in recommendations for lower quantities. However, our dosage recommendations are directly informed by clinical literature, enabling us to provide specific dosing instructions with a solid foundation in research.

Safety

Individuals with diabetes are advised to seek guidance from their healthcare provider before incorporating Maitake into their diet, as it may impact blood sugar levels. 

Additionally, Maitake has the potential to lower blood pressure, making it essential to discuss its usage with a doctor, especially for those with a history of low blood pressure.

Do not consume Maitake mushrooms within two weeks of undergoing surgery or if you suffer from a bleeding disorder.

For individuals who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have an autoimmune disease, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional before considering the use of Maitake mushrooms.

Do not consume Maitake if you are allergic to mushrooms.

Medication Interactions

While Maitake mushrooms boast potential health benefits, it's crucial to be mindful of potential interactions with medications. Understanding how Maitake may interact with certain conditions and medications can guide individuals in making informed decisions regarding its inclusion in their routine.

Individuals who are taking the following medications should also consult their healthcare provider before incorporating Maitake into their regimen:

  • Medications for diabetes management
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Blood pressure-lowering medications

If you have any concerns regarding the interaction between maitake and your medications, it's a good idea to discuss it with your healthcare provider. They can offer you the most appropriate guidance.

Please bear in mind that the information we provide is for educational purposes and shouldn't be considered a replacement for professional medical advice. 

Your health and safety are important to us and we want to ensure all our customers use our products to their benefit, not detriment.

Side Effects

Generally, Maitake mushrooms are well-tolerated. While it is infrequent, there is a possibility of experiencing an allergic reaction or an upset stomach when consuming Maitake.


How to Take Maitake Mushrooms for Health Support

Powders vs. Capsules

maitake mushroom extract from antioxi

For those with a fast-paced lifestyle, intricate recipes might not be in the cards. That's precisely why Antioxi has crafted an Organic Maitake Extract available in convenient capsule form. A mere 2 capsules a day deliver a substantial 1,000 mg of Maitake extract, ensuring simplicity without compromising the benefits.

If you're a cooking enthusiast or favour the convenience of a powder, our Organic Maitake Extract in powder form could be an ideal option for you. Our Maitake can be seamlessly incorporated into smoothies, stews, coffee and all your other favourite meals and drinks. 

It's essential to note that there is no difference in potency between our powdered extracts and capsules. Our capsules contain the exact same powdered extract, guaranteeing uniform effectiveness throughout our product line. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Mushrooms Organic?

All of our mushrooms have been organically sourced and certified.

Is It Safe To Consume Medicinal Mushrooms During Pregnancy or whilst Breastfeeding?

While medicinal mushrooms can offer some great benefits during pregnancy such as strengthening immune health, improving digestion and of course the much needed energy boost, there is unfortunately not yet enough information regarding studies during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding where we can confidently give advice.

The best would be to consult with your healthcare provider and/or midwife.

Can Children Use Medicinal Mushrooms?

Research regarding the use of medicinal mushrooms by children is still at its infancy. There is however an interesting study conducted in 2018 which investigated the effects of Reishi on immune system cells of 3-5 year olds. [28]

The study showed that Reishi increased immune system cell counts in the peripheral blood, which are crucial for defending against infections. The treatments were also well-tolerated and safe, with no abnormal increases in serum creatinine or hepatic aminotransferases. While the study shows promise in the safety and effectiveness of the use of medicinal mushrooms in children, we do always suggest consulting with your child's doctor prior to introducing anything new into their diet.

If you do get the go ahead we suggest reducing the diet to 1/4 of a dose for young children.

These findings suggest the need for more extended controlled clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal mushrooms in preventing infections in children.

What is the difference between the Powder and Capsules?

There is no difference in terms of benefits. The only difference is preference of use.

What is the difference between using the 8 Mushroom Blend and using an individual mushroom?

Our 8-blend mushroom product is like an all-in-one health elixir. It's perfect for those seeking overall well-being, boosting digestion, or just looking for a daily health lift.

However, if you're using mushrooms as targeted support for a specific health concern, say, Lion's Mane for cognitive clarity or Reishi for stress relief, the individual route is your best bet.

Are There Any Allergy Precautions/Medication Interactions?

Individuals with diabetes are advised to seek guidance from their healthcare provider before incorporating Maitake into their diet, as it may impact blood sugar levels. 

Additionally, Maitake has the potential to lower blood pressure, making it essential to discuss its usage with a doctor, especially for those with a history of low blood pressure.

Do not consume Maitake mushrooms within two weeks of undergoing surgery or if you suffer from a bleeding disorder.

Do not consume Maitake if you are allergic to mushrooms.

Individuals who are taking the following medications should also consult their healthcare provider before incorporating Maitake into their regimen:

  • Medications for diabetes management
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Blood pressure-lowering medications.

Which Mushroom Extraction do you use?

The optimal extraction method once again depends on the mushroom itself. Different methods are used to promote and dissolve the unique active ingredients in the mushroom extracts and hence create a high spectrum mushroom extract.

The 3 different extraction methods:

1. Alcohol (ethanol)

This extraction is used to draw out the fat-soluble compounds in the mushrooms, such as the adaptogenic terpenoids. 

2. Hot water 

This extraction is used to extract the water-soluble compounds, the polysaccharides, and the immunomodulating Beta-D-glucans. The dual extraction process ensures you’re getting the full spectrum of compounds when it comes to a potent mushroom extract.

3. Dual extraction

Dual extraction refers to a combination of water and alcohol extraction. The dual extraction process ensures you’re getting the full spectrum of compounds when it comes to a mushroom where the active ingredients benefit from both alcohol and well as a water extract.

Hot water extraction works best for:

Cordyceps, Turkey Tail & Maitake

Double (alcohol & water) extraction works best for:

Lion's Mane, Reishi, Chaga

Do you use the Fruiting Body or Mycelium?

We use the Fruiting Body of Maitake.

We have a helpful article here which explains the different mushroom parts. 

Resources

  1. Kim, H.S., Hong, J.T., Kim, Y. & Han, S.-B. 2011, “Stimulatory Effect of β-glucans on Immune Cells,” Immune Network, vol. 11, no. 4, p. 191. <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202617/>
  2. Inoue, A., Kodama, N., & Nanba, H. (2002). Effect of maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-fraction on the control of the T lymph node Th-1/Th-2 proportion. Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, 25(4), 536–540. https://doi.org/10.1248/bpb.25.536
  3. Kodama, N., Komuta, K., & Nanba, H. (2003). Effect of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) D-Fraction on the activation of NK cells in cancer patients. Journal of medicinal food, 6(4), 371–377. https://doi.org/10.1089/109662003772519949
  4. Maitake D-fraction. Apoptosis inducer and immune enhancer. Konno S. Altern Complement Ther. 2001;7(2):102–107.
  5. Induction of apoptosis in human prostatic cancer cells with beta-glucan (Maitake mushroom polysaccharide). Fullerton SA, Samadi AA, Tortorelis DG, Choudhury MS, Mallouh C, Tazaki H, Konno S. Mol Urol. 2000;4(1):7–13.
  6. Chokshi, N. (2019, April 25). Americans Are Among the Most Stressed People in the World, Poll Finds. The New York Times. Retrieved from <https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/25/us/americans-stressful.html?auth=login-email&login=email>
  7. Wu JY, Siu KC, Geng P. Bioactive Ingredients and Medicinal Values of Grifola frondosa (Maitake). Foods. 2021;10(1):95. Published 2021 Jan 5. doi:10.3390/foods10010095
  8. Vetvicka V, Vetvickova J. Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts. Ann Transl Med. 2014;2(2):14. doi:10.3978/j.issn.2305-5839.2014.01.05
  9. Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) extract induces ovulation in patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: a possible monotherapy and a combination therapy after failure with first-line Clomiphene Citrate. Chen J, Tominaga K, Sato Y, Anzai H, Matsuoka R. J Alt Comp Med. 2010;16(12):1295–1299
  10. Lee JS, Park SY, Thapa D, Choi MK, Chung IM, Park YJ, Yong CS, Choi HG, Kim JA. Grifola frondosa water extract alleviates intestinal inflammation by suppressing TNF-alpha production and its signaling. Exp Mol Med. 2010 Feb 28;42(2):143-54. doi: 10.3858/emm.2010.42.2.016. PMID: 20054232; PMCID: PMC2827831.
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  26. Eliana Noelia Alonso, Manuela Orozco, Alvaro Eloy Nieto, and Gabriela Andrea Balogh.Genes Related to Suppression of Malignant Phenotype Induced by Maitake D-Fraction in Breast Cancer Cells. Journal of Medicinal Food.Jul 2013.602-617.http://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2012.0222
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The information on this blog is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult a healthcare professional before using medicinal mushrooms, especially if you are on medication or have a health condition. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided. Use at your own risk. Statements about health benefits have not been evaluated by regulatory authorities. By using this blog, you agree to this disclaimer.