Common name: Maitake, Hen of the Woods, Sheep's Head
Part used: Fungal fruiting body
Habitat and Description: Maitake is a type of fungus that grows wild in the UK, Europe, China and Japan. It is often found at the base of old oak trees, and is distinctive by its feathery almost cauliflower like appearance.
Constituents: Polysaccharides, beta glucans ( a & b), antioxidants, minerals, amino acids.
Actions: Antioxidant, immunomodulator, antioxidant, hypotensive, antiviral, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, immunostimulating.
Traditional and current uses:
Maitake has traditionally been used in Japan and its translation stands for ‘dancing mushroom’. It is said that those who found it would dance with joy upon finding it due to its nutritional and medicinal benefit!
- Maitake enhances the actions of immune cells including macrophages, T cells and natural killer (NK) cells and interleukin 1.
- Effective in helping patients with PCOS with insulin resistance.
- Aids in balancing blood sugar levels with patients with diabetes.
- It's immunomodulating properties help to support overall immunity and the body in fighting infection.
- Exhibits antitumour properties due to its immune enhancing actions.
- Helps to treat viral and bacterial infections.
- Aids in reducing cholesterol levels.
- Helps to lower blood pressure.
- Supports cancer patients undertaking chemotherapy, helping to alleviate symptoms associated with the side effects of cancer treatment.
- Helps to support the immune system in patients with chronic fatigue.
- Supports absorption of key minerals in the small intestine including copper.
Immune Modulating Properties:
Tonic for enhancing immune function during states of depletion. Enhances macrophage and NK cell activity, and increases the secretion of cytokines including IFN-γ and TNF-α.
Used by some herbalists for:
HSV-1, HIV/ AIDS, hepatitis, L. monocytogenes, and convalescence
Disclaimer: The information on this website is provided for educational use only, and is not intended as a replacement for the services of a qualified medical herbalist, doctor or licensed health practitioner. The information contained herein is not diagnostic, always consult a medical health professional before embarking on a treatment programme. Urban Fringe Dispensary disclaims any liability, loss, injury or damage incurred as a consequence of the use and application of the advice given herein.