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Maitake mushroom is a fungus that has been eaten as food in Asia for thousands of years. People also use it to make medicine.
Maitake mushroom is used to treat cancer and also to relieve some of the side effects of chemical treatment (chemotherapy) for cancer. It is also used for HIV/AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), hepatitis, hay fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight loss or control, and infertility due to a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome.
If you decide to harvest maitake mushrooms, make sure you can tell them apart from poisonous mushrooms. This job is probably best left to experts.
How does it work?
Maitake mushroom contains chemicals which might help fight tumors and stimulate the immune system. There is some evidence that it can lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce weight in rats, but this has not been shown for humans yet.
Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...
- Diabetes. Early research suggests that taking maitake mushroom polysaccharides (MMP) by mouth may lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
- An ovary disorder known as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Early research shows that taking a specific product (SX-Fraction by Mushroom Wisdom) containing maitake mushroom extract can improve ovulation in women whose periods have stopped due to PCOS. Maitake mushroom does not appear to be as effective as clomiphene for PCOS, but the combination of these two agents seems to be more effective than either agent alone for improving ovulation.
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
- Hay fever.
- High blood pressure.
- High cholesterol.
- Weight loss or control.
- Chemotherapy support.
- Other conditions.
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).
Diabetes: Maitake mushroom might lower blood sugar levels. Your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.
Low blood pressure: Maitake mushroom can lower blood pressure. In theory, taking maitake mushroom might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.
Surgery: Maitake mushroom might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control difficult during and after surgery. Stop using maitake mushroom at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Maitake mushroom might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking maitake mushroom along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Medications for high blood pressure (Antihypertensive drugs)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Maitake mushroom might decrease blood pressure in some people. Taking maitake mushroom along with medications for high blood pressure might cause your blood pressure to go too low.
Some medications for high blood pressure include nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), verapamil (Calan, Isoptin, Verelan), diltiazem (Cardizem), isradipine (DynaCirc), felodipine (Plendil), amlodipine (Norvasc), and others.
Warfarin (Coumadin)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.
Maitake mushroom might increase the blood thinning effects of warfarin (Coumadin) and potentially increase the chance of bleeding. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor your blood more often if you take maitake mushroom along with warfarin (Coumadin). The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) medication may need to be changed.
The appropriate dose of maitake mushroom depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for maitake mushroom. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
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