evered by ancient Egyptians as a plant of immortality (although it’s actually a fungus), according to the hieroglyphics of 4600 years ago, mushrooms are still known for health benefits today. Mushrooms are rich in B vitamins to help maintain a healthy metabolism.
Although they may not ensure everlasting life, over 250 types of edible mushrooms, such as the maitake mushroom, have been considered medically active or therapeutic, which can lengthen longevity.
Talk about Maitake
Have you ever tasted a maitake mushroom? What did you think?
If you’ve tried one, you’d remember, because they have a distinctive aroma and taste rich and earthy. Maitake is rich in fibre yet low in calories and fat.
“Maitake” means “dancing mushroom” in Japanese and is also known as “hen of the woods.” Both names are likely due to their appearance, comprised of small overlapping fan-shaped caps with stalks that often fuse together. Maitake looks like flapping wings of a dancing butterfly or hen.
Maitake Health Benefits
Maitake mushrooms and the maitake mushroom extract, like Dr. Perricone’s, contain a type of polysaccharide called beta glucan, found in yeasts and several mushrooms. Beta glucan is believed to stimulate the immune system and activate certain cells and proteins that attack cancer, like macrophages, T-cells, and natural killer cells.
Thanks to its ability to enhance the immune system and activate these cells and proteins, it potentially:
- Slows the growth of tumors
- Protects healthy cells from becoming cancerous
- Helps prevent cancer metastasis
Maitake may also minimize the side-effects of chemotherapy. Also thanks to its immune boosting property, a recent long-term human study found that the maitake mushroom extract appeared to stimulate the body’s natural defense system against HIV.
In addition, maitake has shown promise to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels, but this has not been proven in humans yet.
Research is also looking into maitake’s possible ability to reduce the need for insulin as it may have a blood-sugar balancing property. But do take caution if you have low blood sugar (i.e. hypoglycemia) or are taking medicines to reduce or control blood sugar, since the beta glucans of the type in maitake lowers blood sugar.
Finally, the maitake mushroom has also been reported to aid digestion by regulating the stomach and intestines.
You Know the Maitake Health Benefits, Now What?
With so many potential and verified maitake health benefits, the only question that remains is, when will you start reaping the benefits?