(Grifola frondosa)
extracted by tincture in distilled water and 80 proof alcohol

Plant Description/History: There are few places in the world where the Maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) grows in the best conditions for most potency. The Maitake mushroom in this tincture was wild harvested in Idaho, USA. The fungus is native to the Northeastern part of Japan and North America. It is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom; an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level. The Maitake mushroom is also a major culinary mushroom used in Japan.

Indications: Like other polyspores, Maitake contains polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system. As well as being identified to enhance the immune system, research has also indicated that whole Maitake has the ability to regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and both serum and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids, and may also be useful for weight loss. One active constituent in Maitake for enhancing the immune activity was identified in the late 1980s as a protein-bound beta-glucan compound.

Dosage for Adults: Take 1 teaspoon two to three times a day (10 to 20 ml a day) in water or juice.

Warnings: Allergic reactions in rare cases have been reported.

Constituents-Chemicals & Nutrients: Contains polysaccharide, a complex carbohydrate made up of smaller sugar molecules. These sugars stabilize blood pressure, blood sugar, and have an effect on free radicals. Specific polysaccharides, known as beta-D-glucans, are also suspected to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. The exact cancer fighting action of these molecules is still not clear and is under study. Rather than attacking tumors themselves, some researchers believe they stimulate the production of T cells to fight the afflicted cells.

An extract of these helpful glucans was patented and is known as the maitake D-fraction. You'll see this term all over the internet when searching for maitake mushroom supplements. The terms "D-fraction" and "MD-fraction" are simply referring to a concentration of maitake polysaccharides. So what do these D and MD-fractions do? Research has shown them to regress tumors, especially in breast, liver, and lung cancer. This is just a citation, not an in-depth paper, but it notes improvement in human cancer patients after using the MD-fraction.

In addition to fighting cancer, maitake mushrooms show potential for helping other conditions as well. Ongoing studies are testing for its action against cancer (especially breast, liver, and lung), diabetes (may control blood glucose levels), HIV/AIDS, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Research: In 2009, a phase I/II human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, showed Maitake could stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients.[1] Small experiments with human cancer patients, have shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells, like NK cells.[2][3] In vitro research has also shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells.[4] An in vivo experiment showed that Maitake could stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system.[5]

In vitro research has shown Maitake can induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines (human prostatic cancer cells, Hep 3B cells, SGC-7901 cells, murine skin carcinoma cells)[6][7][8][9] as well as inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells (canine cancer cells, bladder cancer cells).[10][11][12] Small studies with human cancer patients, revealed a portion of the Maitake mushroom, known as the "Maitake D-fraction", possess anti-cancer activity.[13][14] In vitro research demonstrated the mushroom has potential anti-metastatic properties.[15] In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an Investigational New Drug Application for a portion of the mushroom.[16]

Research has shown Maitake has a hypoglycemic effect, and may be beneficial for the management of diabetes.[17][18][19][20][21][22] The reason Maitake lowers blood sugar is due to the fact the mushroom naturally contains a alpha glucosidase inhibitor.[23]

Maitake contains antioxidants and may partially inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase.[24] An experiment showed that an extract of Maitake inhibited angiogenesis via inhibition of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).[25]

Lys-N is a unique protease found in Maitake.[26] Lys-N is used for proteomics experiments due to its protein cleavage specificity.[27]


Note: This information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare provider. It should not be construed to indicate that the use of this extract is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare provider before taking this tincture.