Maitake Mushroom

Other Name(s):

Champignon Dansant, Champignon des Fous Dansants, Champignon Maitake, Dancing Mushroom, Grifola, Grifola frondosa, Hen of the Woods, Hongo Maitake, King of Mushrooms, Maitake, Monkey's Bench, Mushroom, Roi des Champignons, Shelf Fungi.


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.


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Uses & Effectiveness

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.
  • Cancer.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Hepatitis.
  • Hay fever.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.
  • Weight loss or control.
  • Chemotherapy support.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate maitake mushroom for these uses.

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).

Side Effects

Maitake mushroom is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth as medicine, but there isn't much information about the potential side effects.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking maitake mushroom if you are pregnant or breast-feeding . Stay on the safe side and avoid use..

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.

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Preuss, H. G., Echard, B., Bagchi, D., Perricone, N. V., and Zhuang, C. Enhanced insulin-hypoglycemic activity in rats consuming a specific glycoprotein extracted from maitake mushroom. Mol.Cell Biochem 2007;306(1-2):105-113. View abstract.

Sanzen, I., Imanishi, N., Takamatsu, N., Konosu, S., Mantani, N., Terasawa, K., Tazawa, K., Odaira, Y., Watanabe, M., Takeyama, M., and Ochiai, H. Nitric oxide-mediated antitumor activity induced by the extract from Grifola frondosa (Maitake mushroom) in a macrophage cell line, RAW264.7. J Exp Clin Cancer Res 2001;20(4):591-597. View abstract.

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Talpur, N. A., Echard, B. W., Fan, A. Y., Jaffari, O., Bagchi, D., and Preuss, H. G. Antihypertensive and metabolic effects of whole Maitake mushroom powder and its fractions in two rat strains. Mol.Cell Biochem. 2002;237(1-2):129-136. View abstract.

Tanaka, H., Tsunematsu, K., Nakamura, N., Suzuki, K., Tanaka, N., Takeya, I., Saikai, T., and Abe, S. Successful treatment of hypersensitivity pneumonitis caused by Grifola frondosa (Maitake) mushroom using a HFA-BDP extra-fine aerosol. Intern.Med. 2004;43(8):737-740. View abstract.

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Hanselin MR, Vande Griend JP, Linnebur SA. INR elevation with maitake extract in combination with warfarin. Ann Pharmacother 2010;44:223-4. View abstract.

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Konno S, Tortorelis DG, Fullerton SA, et al. A possible hypoglycaemic effect of maitake mushroom on Type 2 diabetic patients. Diabet Med 2001;18:1010. View abstract.

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