Interesting Facts & Health Benefits You Need to Know About Maitake Mushrooms

Posted by Eliza Hedley on

An Overview About Maitake Mushrooms and Its History

An Overview About Maitake Mushrooms and Its History

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) has numerous names pointing to its potency and regency of this medicinal mushroom. It contains high nutritional value and unique Maitake medicinal properties.

Originating in traditional Japanese medicine and within the culinary world, Maitake Mushroom translates to “dancing mushroom” in Japanese.

This moniker refers to the reaction individuals would have upon finding this potent medicinal mushroom in the wild. The name "dancing mushroom" was not given because of its monetary value, but rather because of it’s vast healing benefits.

Maitake is also known as the “Hen of the Woods” (due to its appearance) and has a rich history within ancient Chinese medicine, spanning thousands of years due myriad of powerful healing properties.

Maitake mushrooms grow in temperate hardwood forests at the base of Oak, Elm and Maple tree’s and are found growing in the wild amongst remote regions of Japan and China, and also within Canada and North America (1).

In the West, the Maitake mushroom has been uncovered and studied in more recent decades and utilised to help with cardiovascular and metabolic conditions as well as immune support.

This article explores some interesting facts and health benefits you need to know about the dancing mushroom, Maitake mushroom medicinal uses and some delicious Maitake mushroom recipes you can create at home.

What Are Maitake Mushrooms?

What Are Maitake Mushrooms?

Maitake mushrooms are classified as polypore medicinal mushrooms or adaptogens.

Adaptogens refers to the name given to herbs, fungi and plants that enhance the resilience and adaptability of the individual who consumes them.

Adaptogenic herbs, such as Maitake mushroom Australia, are able to restore the body to homeostasis or promote balance which improves overall health, longevity and wellbeing.

Being a medicinal mushroom, the dancing mushroom, the benefits of Maitake mushroom are known to boost and support the immune system – a common health benefit among all the medicinal mushrooms including Reishi Mushroom, Cordyceps mushroom and Chaga Mushroom.

A Maitake mushroom supplement contains numerous polysaccharides such as beta-D-glucans, and heteroglycans and glycoproteins which have been shown to provide antitumor, immunomodulatory and antioxidant activities within the body (4).

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Interesting Facts You Should Know About Maitake Mushrooms

Interesting Facts You Should Know About Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake mushrooms have been a very popular culinary mushroom throughout Asia for centuries. The dancing mushroom is also an incredible medicinal mushroom and powerful superfood.

Some interesting facts about Maitake mushroom uses refer to their vast health benefits as well as nutritional benefits.

Nutritionally, the Maitake medicinal properties are rich in prebiotic fiber that supports the growth and presence of beneficial bacteria within the gut microbiome.

Maitake mushroom medicinal uses may help improve weight management, increase energy, boost immune function, and balance cholesterol and hormone levels.

Maitake medicinal properties also contains significant amounts of vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, folate, Vitamin D, choline, potassium, copper and zinc.

Most popular in East Asian cuisine, Maitake mushroom (the dancing mushroom) provides powerful medicinal benefits with profound nutritional value.

The most prominent benefits of the Maitake mushroom consist in helping reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improve blood glucose and insulin sensitivity. This makes Maitake mushroom medicinal uses as an incredible metabolic and cardiovascular superfood.

Health Benefits of Maitake Mushrooms

Health Benefits of Maitake Mushrooms

The benefits of Maitake mushrooms, also known as the "dancing mushroom" offer many profound health benefits whether consumed as a dietary supplement (concentrated extract powder) or enjoyed daily in its whole form.

The following list are the amazing Maitake health benefits:

Boosts Immunity

Maitake mushroom extract is a commonly used medicinal mushroom that works to modulates the immune system.

Immune modulation refers to enhancing and strengthening a weakened, depleted immune system, whilst also decreasing an overactive immune system as seen in autoimmune conditions, allergies and hayfever.

Maitake medicinal properties have been shown to beneficial in treating viral infections, is antibacterial, and improved recovery time in patients who took Maitake mushroom extract (7).

Gut Health

Maitake mushroom powder is a potent medicinal mushroom supplement for supporting and balancing gut health.

Maitake mushroom extract has been shown to improve gut microbial composition.

The polysaccharides fibers contain in Maitake mushroom uses the intestinal flora to create protective compounds such as SCFA which protect the gut lining and improve the abundance of beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus (L. acidophilus) and Bacteroides acidifaciens (B. acidifaciens) (7).

Balances Blood Sugar

Maitake mushroom powder may help balances blood sugar and be beneficial for diabetic patients.

Maitake medicinal properties have been studied extensively in its utilisation as a hypoglycemic agent (blood sugar lowering).

Type II diabetes, PCOS, metabolic disease, fatty liver disease and metabolic dysfunction are more common. The underlying driver of these conditions is imbalances blood glucose levels.

The benefits of Maitake mushroom may help balance and stabilise blood sugar is evident and such a powerful and easy tool to add in alongside a healthy diet and daily movement. (6, 7)

Insulin Resistance

Maitake mushroom powder has also been shown to improve insulin signalling which improves metabolic conditions, energy and weight management.

Insulin is the hormone released from the pancreas that enables the uptake and transport of glucose from the bloodstream and into the liver, muscles and cells to be used as cellular energy (5-7).

PCOS, gestational diabetes and T2D all commonly have insulin resistance as the driver of these conditions, with Maitake mushroom powder being beneficial in supporting the underlying cause - insulin resistance.

Lowers Cholesterol

Maitake mushroom uses may help lowers cholesterol and arterial plaque formation.

Maitake mushroom powder has been shown in animal studies to have cholesterol-lowering benefits, as well as upregulating fatty acid oxidation. This is the cellular process where the cells can use fats to make energy (glucose).

We can also go a step further and see the benefits of Maitake mushroom on decreasing plaque accumulation or atherosclerosis which is the driver of heart disease as it improves plasma cholesterol levels and transport (6, 7).


Maitake mushroom medicinal uses also shows promise with helping hypertension and high blood pressure.

Maitake health benefits may help lower blood pressure. Studies with mice showing a decrease in systolic blood pressure after the ingestion of Maitake mushroom powder extract (9).

PCOS and Fertility

It’s estimated that 1 in 10 women will be diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).

PCOS is driven by elevated androgens, blood sugar and insulin resistance - all of which Maitake health benefits can support and help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose utilisation.

Through these mechanisms Maitake medicinal properties are able to improve fertility and healthy periods, making it such an amazing adaptogen for all women.

Healthy Aging

Maitake mushroom uses show potential anti-ageing and longevity promoting qualities.

In small animal studies, Maitake mushroom powder extract have shown to enhance the antioxidant pathways and decreases reactive oxygen species that drive DNA damage and cellular dysfunction.

We know that oxidative stress is the underpinning of chronic inflammation which accelerates aging. The benefits of Maitake mushroom have been used for generations to improve longevity with recent studies proving its utilisation as an anti-ageing medicinal mushroom (9).

Weight Loss

The benefits of Maitake mushroom powder may be an ideal superfood to promote healthy weight management.

Newer research is emerging showing the role of the gut microbiome in regulating energy extraction from food. Essentially, certain microbial species will extract more energy from food (thus higher calories are consumed) which contributes to weight gain and obesity.

The prebiotic fibers in Maitake mushroom powder not only improve immune function, they also elevate species of bacteria such as Bacteroides which are shown to improve hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia (7).

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How to Consume Maitake Mushrooms

Whole Maitake mushrooms can be added into numerous culinary dishes or any Maitake mushroom recipe. You can reference some delicious Maitake mushroom recipes in the section below.

To enjoy the incredible health benefits of Maitake mushroom, you may want to try a concentrated fruiting body extract of Maitake mushroom powder.

A high-quality, dual extract powder such as Teelixir Maitake Mushroom supplement can be easily added to coffee, tea, latte blends, sauces, soups, stocks and baking recipes.

We recommend starting with ½ tsp per day of a high quality Organic Maitake Mushroom extract powder. This dosage provides many of the health benefits of Maitake mushroom.

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Some Healthy and Delicious Maitake Mushroom Recipes

Some Healthy and Delicious Maitake Mushroom Recipes

Enjoy these fantastic Maitake mushroom recipes. They can all be customised to suit your dietary requirements such as vegan, dairy free and gluten free.

Maitake Mushroom Sauce Recipe

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee or salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • ⅓ brown onion, diced finely
  • ⅓ cup Maitake mushrooms, cleaned and diced finely
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small pan, add your olive oil, butter, and onion, Once onion starts to brown add in your garlic, mushrooms and thyme. Stir constantly for 4-5x minutes or until mushrooms have softened. Add on top of steak, chicken, or your protein of choice.

Maitake Mushroom Recipes for Bolognaise

  • 1 cup fresh Maitake mushroom, diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced finely
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced finely
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tin organic tomatoes
  • ⅓ cup organic tomato paste
  • 1 tsp of each of the following - rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, tarragon, marjoram, chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Maitake mushroom supplement (extract powder)
  • 1 packet of GF pasta of your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, add your water, some sea salt and add your pasta to cook.

In a large pan, add your olive oil, onion, carrot, celery. Cook for 3-4x minutes or until onion browns, add in mushrooms, garlic and herbs. Add in stock and tomatoes and tomato paste. Once pasta is al dente, rinse well and plate up. Add your mushroom bolognese and top with cheese or vegan cheese of your choice.

Maitake Mushroom Recipes for a Caffeine Free Latte

  • 1 cup plant based milk of choice - we love coconut milk as it’s the most beneficial for balancing blood glucose levels
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Teelixir Maitake mushroom extract powder
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp mesquite powder
  • 1 tsp raw honey (or other sweetener you desire)

Heat milk and add in the Maitake mushroom supplement powder, cinnamon, pure vanilla, honey and mesquite and blitz with a milk frother until combined (can add to a food processor or blender also, just be careful not to burn yourself when taking the lid off) and enjoy!

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Side-Effects of Maitake Mushrooms

Maitake health benefits are profound and yet, Maitake mushroom side effects are rare. 

Maitake mushroom supplements are generally safe for most people, however, there are some precautions you may want to consider.

We recommend that you never consume raw Maitake mushroom and only utilising them in cooking or in a high quality organic extract powder form.

If you’re allergic to mushrooms (even the dancing mushroom), please avoid Maitake mushroom.

If you’re on blood sugar medications, blood pressure lowering medications or any medications, please discuss with your health care practitioner to ensure Maitake mushroom is a safe additional to your diet.

Maitake mushroom side effects are rare but if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a blood disorder or an autoimmune condition, please consult with your health care practitioner before adding a Maitake mushroom supplement to your diet.

Some Healthy and Delicious Maitake Mushroom Recipes

Final Words

Maitake mushroom, also known as the "dancing mushroom" and "hen of the woods", is an incredible adaptogen and medicinal mushroom.

Maitake mushroom uses may help to balance blood sugar, lower cholesterol, improve weight, cholesterol levels, blood pressure, sugar cravings, inflammation, immune function and fertility.

The beneficial Maitake medicinal properties have been used for thousands of years as a culinary mushroom and beneficial superfood.

Maitake mushroom medicinal uses offer many profound health benefits including longevity, gut health and metabolic health and immune support. Maitake mushroom is a powerhouse medicinal mushroom who earns the title “The Greatest Immune Mushroom Of All”.

Maitake mushroom side effects are rare and Maitake mushroom extracts are generally safe for most people. Enjoy the dancing mushroom and Maitake health benefits today!

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  1. Maitake Mushroom Uses – Fertility, Immunity and A Culinary Delight -
  2. Tasty Maitake Mushroom Recipes with Superfood Powder -
  3. The History and Health Benefits of Maitake Mushroom Medicinal Uses – Birch Boys, Inc. -
  4. Bioactive Ingredients and Medicinal Values of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) -
  5. Hypoglycemic effects of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) polysaccharides F2 and F3 through improvement of insulin resistance in diabetic rats -
  6. Effect of dietary Maitake mushroom Uses (Grifola frondosa) on plasma cholesterol and hepatic gene expression in cholesterol-fed mice -
  7. Bioactive Ingredients and Medicinal Values of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) - PMC -

Written by Eliza Hedley

Eliza Hedley is an Australian born health, mindset and abundance enthusiast obsessed with helping millennial's experience living at a higher level.

Eliza's relaxed new age approach and understanding of nutrition and wellness sees her empowering and coaching individuals to understand that their health is the ultimate asset. Upon experiencing first hand the power and place of tonic herbalism and medicinal mushrooms in everyday life, Eliza’s become an adaptogen fangirl and feels their utilisation in today’s world is essential for abundance and wellbeing.

Instagram: @the_holistic_sister_

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