Meet Maitake: the Hen of the Woods

Another one of the lesser known ‘shrooms in our 8 Mushroom Mix is Maitake (Grifola frondosa) aka Hen of the woods (not to be confused with Chicken-of-the-woods….not to be confused with Turkey Tail….dude idk whats up with all this bird stuff. Guess the Audubon Society felt threatened and infiltrated the Mycological society early on.)

 

Maitake is a “dual-whammy” of being both a delicious gourmet AND a potent medicinal mushroom. This bundle of joy brings a LOT to the table and body, including human trials in a 2009 study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on immune system cell stimulation in women with breast cancer.




(Khanysile Buthelezi, female researchers on the biotechnology innovation team at UNICEF)

 

Native to China, and Northeast part of Japan & North America (mostly the Northeast but found as far west as Idaho!), Maitake is a polypore mushroom that grows at the base of trees, especially Oaks.  Its Japanese name, Maitake, is translated to “dancing mushroom.” (Potentially because of the overwhelming joy one experiences when stumbling upon it in the woods.)

 

 
(Reenactment of finding Maitake the "dancing mushroom" in the wild)



Besides the phase 1 & 2 human trials in 2009 study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where maitake stimulated the immune systems of breast cancer patients. Other research (in vitro) has shown maitake to actually inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

 

(Behold! Thee mighty mushroom) 

Additionally, Maitake lowers blood sugar and can help manage diabetes. What’s more, the FDA approved an Investigational New Drug Application for a portion of this mushroom in people with advanced breast cancer and prostate cancer! With all this clinical promise, it is a MUST HAVE in our 8 Mushroom Mix.

 

Sources:

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/maitake

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01099917

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2840554/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202470/

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