Many supplements like maitake mushroom tend to be misunderstood because of the lack of a good resource that sums up their capabilities as well as the situations in which they’re used. Over the course of this short guide, we’re going to cover the benefits of maitake powder, the best maitake supplement, the link between maitake and cancer treatment, and more.

What is Maitake?

Maitake is the Japanese name for a fungus that is also known as grifola frondosa, ram’s head, sheep’s head, or hen of the woods. This mushroom typically grows beneath trees such as maples or old growth oaks. This polypore mushroom usually grows around early fall or late summer.

This fungus is native to Europe, North America, and China. Being perennial, this fungus will often grow in the same spot for multiple generations. In the United States, you’ll usually find this fungus in the northeast, though it has been found in other parts of the country more rarely.

Maitake originates from a sclerotium, which is a structure that is much like a tuber. Above ground, you’ll find the fruiting body, which can grow quite large. Most examples will max out at about 100 centimetres, though some will grow as large as 150 cm. 

The fruiting body looks like a cluster of caps that are grey-brown, and they feature a curly or curved shape. The maximum weight of a maitake mushroom is about 45 kg, and this has earned it the nickname “king of mushrooms” in Japan.

Maitake’s most traditional use has been as a culinary mushroom, and it is a common ingredient in tempura in Japan. 

The fact that the mushroom is so distinctive and has no resemblance to toxic mushrooms is what has historically led it to be so popular on a culinary level, as there’s no mistaking it for a potentially lethal fungus.

Maitake mushroom taste is rather neutral, which makes it an excellent choice for use in a variety of recipes, including maitake mushroom weight loss recipes. While maitake mushroom extract weight loss claims have yet to be proven, when cooked into a recipe, the mushroom is low-sodium, fat-free, and low-calorie.

Maitake Mushroom Benefits

Along with its health benefits when used in cooking, maitake mushroom has been demonstrated to potentially help with diseases, as well. While studies are still going over the mechanisms through which the mushroom helps make sure of this, there have been a few preliminary studies on Maitake’s abilities.

Maitake and Cancer

Studies have demonstrated that maitake may be able to help prevent various forms of cancer, including breast cancer and general tumour growth. This is due to maitake’s ability to cut down on the growth of cancer cells, curbing their reproduction and making the disease less likely to multiply.

Along with reducing the rate of cancer cell growth, maitake has also been shown to create additional cells to fight off tumours that are growing. The study suggests that oral use of maitake may be sufficient to help prevent cancer in humans, though it also calls for additional research.

Yet another study found that oral use of solgar reishi shiitake maitake mushroom benefits other cancer-fighting proteins, making them more effective. 


Reishi shiitake maitake mushroom extract has also been shown to help cut down on cholesterol levels. While these tests were performed on mice, scientists are currently looking into conducting a study on human beings to determine if the effects can be replicated.

If that is the case, maitake may be useful for helping fight high cholesterol levels in individuals where they have reached a threatening point.


A study in 2015 showed that dried maitake mushroom could also help cut down on the effects of type 2 diabetes in rats. The rats showed better glucose levels after taking the dried mushrooms, and while it hasn’t yet been proven in humans, it has shown promising results for the supplements ability to do the same in us.

Other Anecdotal Effects

The following effects of maitake haven’t been adequately studied, but regular users of maitake tend to mention them alongside the other benefits:

  • High and low blood pressure
  • Colds and flus
  • Chemo side effects
  • Better immune functioning

How to Take Maitake Mushroom

The most common way to get maitake mushroom into your system is simply to cook it into your food. If you would use another kind of mushrooms in a particular meal, you can substitute in maitake because of its tasty flavour and its wide range of health benefits.

If you’re consuming maitake as a supplement, you can take it in both dry and liquid form, and it can be found in capsules. The correct dosage of maitake depends on the brand and the concentration that you’re getting it, as well as your age. The instructions will likely outline the proper dosage for you.

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