The Maitake mushroom is the Japanese name for this edible mushroom scientifically known as Grifola frondosa. This mushroom has been used for both medicinal purposes and food in order to strengthen the immune system, as well as to achieve a longer life. In oriental cuisine, the Maitake mushroom is usually consumed dry or fresh, and it can be obtained in powdered or dehydrated form to be able to cook soups. Despite its origins in Eastern medicine and cuisine, this fungus was gaining ground in Western natural medicine for its positive effects for the treatments of cancer, AIDS, respiratory and circulatory diseases, among others. In this FastlyHealarticle we explain the properties of the Maitake mushroom .
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The name of the Maitake mushroom, which means “dancing mushroom or mushroom”, is of Japanese origin , where it began to be used in natural medicine and in cooking, in which they tried to take advantage of its health benefits. Despite its Japanese roots, this fungus can be found in some areas of Europe. In Spain it is known as the imperial mushroom or chestnut mushroom.
The Maitake mushroom has a shape similar to that of a fan, it is usually around 2 and 7 cm long and has a grayish-brown color. The mushrooms sprout and overlap one another, acquiring large dimensions that can weigh up to 45 kg. Its growth takes place on the trunks of the trees in the summer or autumn months.
Positive effects on cancer
The Maitake mushroom has gained ground in Western natural medicine for its medicinal properties. One of the most important is its ability to strengthen the immune system , which implies a large part of its benefits.
This fungus contains a complex carbonate called Beta-D-glucan polysaccharide , which has a positive effect on the immune system, increasing the amount of a protein that blocks the proliferation of viruses and tumors. As a result, the immune system is able to identify external agents that are harmful to the body and destroy them before they cause disease. In addition, the positive action of the Maitake mushroom has also been shown to reduce side effects in chemotherapy treatments, relieving vomiting, fatigue, and others. In oriental medicine, maitake is combined, along with two other mushrooms, shiitake and reishi.
Maitake mushroom has anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties that are helpful in treating respiratory diseases. Maitake and reishi supplements strengthen the immune system to fight these types of diseases and relieve symptoms in addition to reducing their duration. These benefits are justified by the presence of acetic acid and malic acid in maitake, which provide antibacterial properties, by which bacteria can be eliminated. Therefore, using maitake and reishi to treat diseases such as sinusitis or bronchitis can be effective.
Other properties of the Maitake mushroom
As we have explained previously, the properties of the Maitake mushroom are mainly due to the benefits it implies for the immune system. Other uses that can be made of this mushroom are:
As in the previous case, combining maitake with reishi strengthens the immune system, which is altered during AIDS. Using maitake helps improve defenses, one of the main problems in this disease.
Treatment of circulatory diseases
The anti-bloating, antihypertensive and anti-cholesterol properties make the Maitake mushroom an excellent remedy to treat diseases of the circulatory system. Some of these are from heart attacks, due to the ability to thin the blood and prevent the formation of clots that clog the arteries; hypertension, for its ability to lower blood pressure ; and cholesterol, helping to regulate bad cholesterol levels.
It is a good ally to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetic people, since it increases glucose when blood levels are low, and reduces levels when they are high.
Food properties of the Maitake mushroom
The Maitake mushroom contains a large amount of water and a very low level of fat and carbohydrates, so it can be a good ally to lose weight. This mushroom is rich in vitamins and minerals , such as potassium and phosphorus, highlighting its high content of selenium , a mineral with a strong antioxidant effect that helps fight free radicals in the body. This same mineral helps improve male and female fertility , increasing testosterone levels. Also, this ability of selenium to eliminate free radicals, can be helpful for people who smoke or who live in areas with high pollution.
Side effects and contraindications
The maitake used in adequate doses and previously consulting with a specialist in case of suffering from any disease, is a fungus that does not pose risks. However, consuming it for more than 3 months can cause side effects such as gastritis, dry mouth, blood in the nose or stools, itchy skin and rashes. Consuming fresh maisake can cause diarrhea, unlike its format in tablets or capsules, and at the beginning of its consumption it can induce alterations in sugar levels that are regulated after a few weeks.
The Maitake mushroom should not be consumed in the case of pregnant or lactating women, except when authorized by the doctor. Also, people who take anticoagulants should not consume this fungus because of the risk that the blood becomes excessively thin.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.