A very large mushroom, maitake can be found growing in the mountains of Northeastern Japan and in a few regions of North American and Europe. Maitake is best known for its unique taste and medicinal benefits.
The maitake mushroom is a plant that is very sensitive to environmental changes making it a very difficult plant to cultivate outside of it natural surrounding. However, Japanese farmers have discovered new ways to cultivate the plant in captivity making it easier for both Japan and U.S. to cultivate maitake.
As is the case among a select variety of mushrooms and herbs, maitake contains complex polysaccharides. These polysaccharides help support immune function in the body and consequently are sometimes referred to as immunomodulators. The complex polysaccharides found in maitake are among the most potent polysaccharides found in any other mushroom or herb. Beta-D-glucan, the primary polysaccharide in maitake, is well absorbed when taken orally and is being researched for it ability to prevent or treat cancer and as a treatment for HIV infection.Dosage and Administration
Maitake can be consumed in the diet or can be taken in tea, capsule or tablet form. The fruit body of the maitake mushroom is much higher in polysaccharide content than the mycelium. Consequently, using the fruit body is recommended for consumption or supplementation. Recommended doses for pure maitake are 3 to 7 grams per day.
Liquid forms of maitake are also available for supplementation and should be taken as directed by the manufacturer.