Maitake - Grifola frondosa

Maitake - Grifola frondosa
Maitake - Grifola frondosa


According to legend, collectors in Japan did a dance of joy when they discovered the Maitake mushroom. Thanks to its healing powers, the fungus was considered very valuable, and, as its cultivation was only begun in the 1980s, people had to rely solely on being lucky enough to find it in the woods. The antioxidant power of the polysaccharides contained in Maitake is noteworthy. However, Maitake is used not only for human health but also as an aromatic supplement to a wide range of dishes. It is now among the most popular edible mushrooms of all.

Applications tested in practice

• Boosting the immune system

Maitake contains the beta-glucan grifolan, which can increase the activity of macrophages and thus bring about targeted immune activation. Indications of the antiviral properties of this medicinal mushroom in hepatitis, among other things open up new concomitant possibilities.

• Prevention of and complementary therapy for breast, lung, liver, pancreatic and prostate cancer

Various components of Maitake play a key role in tumour prevention. In studies, Maitake exhibits an inhibiting effect on the production and reproduction of tumour cells in vitro and in vivo. What’s more, analyses show that Maitake increases the activity of immunocompetent cells during conventional medical tumour therapy.

• Anti-diabetic effects

Tests have shown that a glycoprotein specific to Maitake can increase glucose tolerance without affecting insulin secretion. A blood sugar-reducing effect has also been documented. Maitake can also be used well in a preventative capacity if there is a risk of diabetes.

• Support for the skeletal system in osteoporosis

Maitake contains the vitamin D precursor ergosterol and thus create an important prerequisite for incorporating calcium from the food into the bones. This medicinal mushroom can also be used preventatively for bone health.

• Weight and blood pressure regulation

By influencing the renin–angiotensin system, Maitake can be used to reduce high blood pressure values. What’s more, the mushroom can reduce the storage of fat in tissue, thus promoting weight loss.

Other names

Grifola frondosa, ram's head, sheep's head, hen-of-the-woods, kumotake


Maitake grows in East Asia, Europe and North America. It is now cultivated in many countries as an edible and medicinal mushroom.

Special features

With its ability to regulate body weight and blood pressure and reduce high blood sugar and blood lipid levels, Maitake is an important helper in combatting metabolic syndrome.
The information on this page is of a general nature. It does not represent any advice for individual cases regarding the use of the individual medicinal mushrooms and is also unable to replace such advice. Please always discuss the consumption of medicinal mushrooms for preventative or therapeutic purposes with your treating doctor or alternative practitioner.