What is Maitake Mushroom (Grifola Frondosa, Hen of The Woods)?
Maitake Mushroom (Grifola Frondosa, Hen of Woods) have been long valued for its contributions to human nutrition and medicine. Penicillin was first discovered as a mold or fungus on bread and found to prevent the growth of bacteria. Mushrooms generally grow like mold on rotten logs on the trees or in the fertilizer. From various fungi, whose medicinal value tested including lentinan, PSK and Shiitake, Maitake (Grifola frondosa) has shown the most consistent anticancer effects of oral intake. Other mushrooms may have active ingredients that are effective when given injections, but not when taken orally. Maitake mushroom extract benefits are truly amazing!
Maitake literally means “dancing mushroom” because the Japanese when they discovered these mushrooms with size like basketballs “danced of joy” because of the taste and medicinal benefits of this Maitake mushroom. In the 1980s, Japanese companies have begun to grow Maitake mushrooms on sawdust and intensively explore the therapeutic value of this fungus. It was revealed that one isolated fraction, a maitake mushroom D-fraction, with the active components of 1.6 and 1.3 beta-glucans, is the strongest and the best absorbed from food.
Maitake Mushroom, Grifola Frondosa for Cancer Treatment
After our article on chaga mushroom benefits, it was natural to write about amazing properties of its twin brother – Maitake mushroom, , also known as Grifola Frondosa, or in United States as Hen of Woods. Maitake may help cancer patients through:
- Immune stimulation capability to double the activity of NK cells in animals. D-fraction could increase the release of interleukin-1 from macrophages and enhance delayed type hypersensitivity response, which is indicative of the suppression of tumor growth. (4)
- Adaptogen that reduces hypertension (5), lowers abnormally high levels of blood sugar, protects the liver, and has antiviral activity. (6)
- Stops cancer metastases by 81% in one study in animals (7)
- Increases anti-carcinogenic action of drugs such as Mitomycin. In a comparative study between the Maitake D-fraction and Mitomycin C, it showed that Maitake mushroom effectively stopped tumor growth by 80% to 45%, which provides that medicine. However, when it was given to both together, but only half the dose of each, stopping of tumors was at 98%.
- Reduces toxic side effects of chemotherapy while at the same time increases the ability to kill the tumor using the drug. There was a 90% decrease of loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, hair loss and leukopenia (deficiency of immune cell) in people – patients with cancer who are treated with Maitake D-fraction, while they were under chemotherapy.
Unlike other mushrooms with medicinal properties, in addition to soluble polysaccharide Maitake mushroom contains insoluble acid. Thanks to that it can be successfully dried and stored milled into a powder, which is added flavor to dishes. Also, it can be prepared in a form tea or soup as a supplement in the treatment of diseases.