Maitake is considered a medicinal mushroom and is classified as an adaptogen. An adaptogen helps the body resist all forms of stress, either mental or physical and has a normalizing function on the body.
Unlike common mushrooms, Maitake is packed with healthy nutrients, such as powerful antioxidants, Vitamins B, C and niacin, minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, selenium, protein, amino acids, and fiber.
Many medicinal herbs don’t taste good and have to be mixed in juice or taken in capsules. Not so with Maitake. It tastes wonderful and can be used in cooking whenever you want to give your family a health boost. This would be especially good during cold and flu season.
It is thought to be the most powerful mushroom as far as strengthening the immune system. The glucans and polysaccharides in it stimulate the immune system by increasing the activity of the T-helper cells.
The mushroom has also been used to reduce pain, nausea, hair loss and other negative side effects of chemotherapy. It’s loaded with a very powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine that can help protect cells and reduce the risk of contracting chronic diseases.
Maitake also has very strong antiviral properties and has been shown to kill HIV virus in lab experiments. It has also been used to treat hepatitis and chronic fatigue syndrome. It may also have value in treating high blood pressure and improving insulin levels.
Many studies are currently underway to determine if this medicinal mushroom may be an effective treatment for cancer. Preliminary studies suggest it have value in tumor inhibition.
Besides it’s ability to stimulate the immune system, Maitake is often used to treat conditions such as, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high cholesterol. More studies need to be done in these area though.