(Grifola frondosa)

What Is Maitake?

The Maitake is one of the most fascinating mushrooms we know of, and is referred to as the ‘king of mushrooms’. Literally, Maitake in Japanese means dancing mushroom (also known as Grifola frondosa). This highly valued edible mushroom has been used for its medicinal benefits for over 3000 years.

Powerful benefits of Maitake Mushrooms

Balances the immune system

Maitake’s medicinal properties work to increase the effectiveness of the immune system. Great for autoimmune conditions and allergies.


Certain compounds of Maitake helps the liver to eliminate toxins effectively.

Weight Control

Maitake contains powerful compounds that help reduce storage of fat in the body. Making this a wonderful mushroom for weight control and obesity.

Heart Health

Properties found in Maitake are useful in supporting heart health, reducing triglycerides and cholesterol levels.

Blood Pressure

Maitake can help people regulate and maintain blood pressure. A useful mushroom for people with hypertension.

Maitake's powerful nutrients
  • Polysaccharides
  • Significant number of Enzymes (including amylase, lectins an pectinases)
  • Metalloproteins, a protein responsible for important bodily functions
  • Ergosterol, the precursor of vitamin D
  • Rich in minerals magnesium, potassium and Phosphorus.
  • High in vitamins B1 and B2
  • Essential amino acids including glutamine, alanine, threonine.

1.Chen Y, Liu Y, Sarker MMR, Yan X, Yang C, et al. Structural characterization and antidiabetic potential of a novel heteropolysaccharide from Grifola frondosa via IRS1/PI3K-JNK signaling pathways. Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Oct 15; 198:452-461. PubMed PMID: 30093022.

2. Li Q, Chen G, Wang W, Zhang W, Ding Y, et al. A novel Se-polysaccharide from Se-enriched G frondosa protects against immunosuppression and low Se status in Se-deficient mice. Int J Biol Macromol. 2018 Oct 1;117:878-889. PubMed PMID: 29807076.

3. Li Q, Chen G, Chen H, Zhang W, Ding Y, et al. Se-enriched G frondosa polysaccharide protects against immunosuppression in cyclophosphamide-induced mice via MAPKs signal transduction pathway. Carbohydr Polym. 2018 Sep 15;196:445-456. PubMed PMID: 29891317.

4. Kawai J, Higuchi Y, Hirota M, Hirasawa N, Mori K. Ergosterol and its derivatives from Grifola frondosa inhibit antigen-induced degranulation of RBL-2H3 cells by suppressing the aggregation of high affinity IgE receptors. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2018 Jul 2;:1-9. PubMed PMID: 29968517.

5. Liu S, Zhuang X, Zhang X, Han W, Liu Y, et al. Enzymatic Modification of Rice Bran Polysaccharides by Enzymes from Grifola Frondosa: Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity and Antioxidant Activity. J Food Sci. 2018 Jul;83(7):1948-1955. PubMed PMID: 29939404.

6. Kou L, Du M, Liu P, Zhang B, Zhang Y, et al. Anti-Diabetic and Anti-Nephritic Activities of Grifola frondosa Mycelium Polysaccharides in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Rats Via Modulation on Oxidative Stress. Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2018 Jun 26;PubMed PMID: 29943275.

7. Aoki H, Hanayama M, Mori K, Sato R. Grifola frondosa (Maitake) extract activates PPARδ and improves glucose intolerance in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2018 Jun 6;:1-10. PubMed PMID: 29873587.

8. Rossi P, Difrancia R, Quagliariello V, Savino E, Tralongo P, et al. B-glucans from Grifola frondosa and Ganoderma lucidum in breast cancer: an example of complementary and integrative medicine. Oncotarget. 2018 May 15;9(37):24837-24856. PubMed PMID: 29872510; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5973856.

9. Alonso EN, Ferronato MJ, Fermento ME, Gandini NA, Romero AL, et al. Antitumoral and antimetastatic activity of Maitake D-Fraction in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2018 May 4;9(34):23396-23412. PubMed PMID: 29805742; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5955106.

10. Li Q, Zhang F, Chen G, Chen Y, Zhang W, et al. Purification, characterization and immunomodulatory activity of a novel polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa. Int J Biol Macromol. 2018 May;111:1293-1303. PubMed PMID: 29395342.

11. He Y, Li X, Hao C, Zeng P, Zhang M, et al. Grifola frondosa polysaccharide: a review of antitumor and other biological activity studies in China. Discov Med. 2018 Apr;25(138):159-176. PubMed PMID: 29723488.

12. Harada E, D’Alessandro-Gabazza CN, Toda M, Morizono T, Totoki T, et al. The Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola gargal, Ameliorates Allergic Bronchial Asthma. J Med Food. 2018 Feb;21(2):136-145. PubMed PMID: 29261008.

13. Bao H, Ran P, Sun L, Hu W, Li H, et al. Griflola frondosa (GF) produces significant antidepressant effects involving AMPA receptor activation in mice. Pharm Biol. 2017 Dec;55(1):299-305. PubMed PMID: 27937670.

14. Sato M, Miyagi A, Yoneyama S, Gisusi S, Tokuji Y, et al. CE-MS-based metabolomics reveals the metabolic profile of maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) strains with different cultivation characteristics. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2017 Dec;81(12):2314-2322. PubMed PMID: 29050513.

15. Nitheranont T, Watanabe A, Asada Y. Heterologous expression of two minor laccase isozyme cDNAs from the edible mushroom Grifola frondosa. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2017 Dec;81(12):2367-2369. PubMed PMID: 29090627.

16. Tangen JM, Holien T, Mirlashari MR, Misund K, Hetland G. Cytotoxic Effect on Human Myeloma Cells and Leukemic Cells by the Agaricus blazei Murill Based Mushroom Extract, Andosan™. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:2059825. PubMed PMID: 29238712; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5697368.

17. Zhao F, Zhao J, Song L, Zhang YQ, Guo Z, et al. The induction of apoptosis and autophagy in human hepatoma SMMC-7721 cells by combined treatment with vitamin C and polysaccharides extracted from Grifola frondosa. Apoptosis. 2017 Nov;22(11):1461-1472. PubMed PMID: 28894987.

18. Chen Z, Tang Y, Liu A, Jin X, Zhu J, et al. Oral administration of Grifola frondosa polysaccharides improves memory impairment in aged rats via antioxidant action. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017 Nov;61(11)PubMed PMID: 28752930.

19. Hou L, Meng M, Chen Y, Wang C. A water-soluble polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa induced macrophages activation via TLR4-MyD88-IKKβ-NF-κB p65 pathways. Oncotarget. 2017 Oct 17;8(49):86604-86614. PubMed PMID: 29156820; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5689710.

20. Zhang Y, Sun D, Meng Q, Guo W, Chen Q, et al. Grifola frondosa polysaccharides induce breast cancer cell apoptosis via the mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway. Int J Mol Med. 2017 Oct;40(4):1089-1095. PubMed PMID: 28765878; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5593468.

21. He X, Wang X, Fang J, Chang Y, Ning N, et al. Polysaccharides in Grifola frondosa mushroom and their health promoting properties: A review. Int J Biol Macromol. 2017 Aug;101:910-921. PubMed PMID: 28366857.

22. Zhao F, Wang YF, Song L, Jin JX, Zhang YQ, et al. Synergistic Apoptotic Effect of D-Fraction From Grifola frondosa and Vitamin C on Hepatocellular Carcinoma SMMC-7721 Cells. Integr Cancer Ther. 2017 Jun;16(2):205-214. PubMed PMID: 27151580; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5739120.

23. Su CH, Lai MN, Ng LT. Effects of different extraction temperatures on the physicochemical properties of bioactive polysaccharides from Grifola frondosa. Food Chem. 2017 Apr 1;220:400-405. PubMed PMID: 27855917.

24. Masuda Y, Nakayama Y, Tanaka A, Naito K, Konishi M. Antitumor activity of orally administered maitake α-glucan by stimulating antitumor immune response in murine tumor. PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0173621. PubMed PMID: 28278221; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5344464.

25. Meng M, Cheng D, Han L, Chen Y, Wang C. Isolation, purification, structural analysis and immunostimulatory activity of water-soluble polysaccharides from Grifola Frondosa fruiting body. Carbohydr Polym. 2017 Feb 10;157:1134-1143. PubMed PMID: 27987815.

26. Zhang C, Gao Z, Hu C, Zhang J, Sun X, et al. Antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-aging activities of intracellular zinc polysaccharides from Grifola frondosa SH-05. Int J Biol Macromol. 2017 Feb;95:778-787. PubMed PMID: 27932257.

27. Harada E, Morizono T, Saito M. Blood Glucose-Reducing and Fat-Reducing Effects of a Novel Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola gargal (Agaricomycetes). Int J Med Mushrooms. 2017;19(12):1071-1081. PubMed PMID: 29431068.

28. Ting Z, Yina F, Guanghua M, Weiwei F, Yanmin Z, et al. Purification, Characterization and Antioxidant Activities of Enzymolysis Polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa. Iran J Pharm Res. 2017 Winter;16(1):347-356. PubMed PMID: 28496488; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5423260.

29. Alonso EN, Ferronato MJ, Gandini NA, Fermento ME, Obiol DJ, et al. Antitumoral Effects of D-Fraction from Grifola Frondosa (Maitake) Mushroom in Breast Cancer. Nutr Cancer. 2017 Jan;69(1):29-43. PubMed PMID: 27892708.

30. Chien RC, Yang YC, Lai EI, Mau JL. Anti-Inflammation and Lipogenic Inhibition of Taiwanofungus salmonea Mycelium and Grifola frondosa Fruiting Body. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2017;19(7):629-640. PubMed PMID: 29199584.

31. Hetland G, Eide DM, Tangen JM, Haugen MH, Mirlashari MR, et al. The Agaricus blazei-Based Mushroom Extract, Andosan™, Protects against Intestinal Tumorigenesis in the A/J Min/+ Mouse. PLoS One. 2016;11(12):e0167754. PubMed PMID: 28002446; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5176274.

32. Roldan-Deamicis A, Alonso E, Brie B, Braico DA, Balogh GA. Maitake Pro4X has anti-cancer activity and prevents oncogenesis in BALBc mice. Cancer Med. 2016 Sep;5(9):2427-41. PubMed PMID: 27401257; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5055164.

33. Zhang Y, Wang J, Zhang J, Peng WF, Xu XL, et al. [Study on suitable distribution areas of Grifola umbellate in Sichuan province based on remote sensing and GIS]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2016 Sep;41(17):3148-3154. PubMed PMID: 28920363.

34. Ding Y, Xiao C, Wu Q, Xie Y, Li X, et al. The Mechanisms Underlying the Hypolipidaemic Effects of Grifola frondosa in the Liver of Rats. Front Microbiol. 2016; 7:1186. PubMed PMID: 27536279; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4971090.

35. Lin CH, Chang CY, Lee KR, Lin HJ, Lin WC, et al. Cold-water extracts of Grifola frondosa and its purified active fraction inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2016 Jul;241(13):1374-85. PubMed PMID: 27013543; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4994922.

36. Zhao C, Gao L, Wang C, Liu B, Jin Y, et al. Structural characterization and antiviral activity of a novel heteropolysaccharide isolated from Grifola frondosa against enterovirus 71. Carbohydr Polym. 2016 Jun 25;144: 382-9. PubMed PMID: 27083830.

37. Bao H, Ran P, Zhu M, Sun L, Li B, et al. The Prefrontal Dectin-1/AMPA Receptor Signaling Pathway Mediates The Robust and Prolonged Antidepressant Effect of Proteo-β-Glucan from Maitake. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 22;6:28395. PubMed PMID: 27329257; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4916609.

38. Ma X, Meng M, Han L, Cheng D, Cao X, et al. Structural characterization and immunomodulatory activity of Grifola frondosa polysaccharide via toll-like receptor 4-mitogen-activated protein kinases-nuclear factor κB pathways. Food Funct. 2016 Jun 15;7(6):2763-72. PubMed PMID: 27220562.

39. Han L, Cheng D, Wang L, Wang C. [Structure and immunomodulatory activity of extracellular polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa]. Sheng Wu Gong Cheng Xue Bao. 2016 May 25;32(5):648-656. PubMed PMID: 29019202.

40. Su CH, Lai MN, Lin CC, Ng LT. Comparative characterization of physicochemical properties and bioactivities of polysaccharides from selected medicinal mushrooms. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 May;100(10):4385-93. PubMed PMID: 26743656.

41. Loshchinina EA, Nikitina VE. [Role of the NO Synthase System in Response to Abiotic Stress Factors for Basidiomycetes Lentinula edodes and Grifola frondosa]. Mikrobiologiia. 2016 Mar-Apr;85(2):154-61. PubMed PMID: 27476203.

42. Harada E, Morizono T, Sumiya T, Kawagishi H. Effect of the Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola gargal (Agaricomycetes), on Bone Turnover Markers and Serum Lipids in Middle-Aged and Elderly Japanese Women. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(1):1-7. PubMed PMID: 27279439.

43. Vetchinkina E, Shirokov A, Bucharskaya A, Navolokin N, Prilepskii A, et al. Antitumor Activity of Extracts from Medicinal Basidiomycetes Mushrooms. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(11):955-964. PubMed PMID: 28008808.

44. He X, Du X, Zang X, Dong L, Gu Z, et al. Extraction, identification and antimicrobial activity of a new furanone, grifolaone A, from Grifola frondosa. Nat Prod Res. 2016;30(8):941-7. PubMed PMID: 26374926.

45. Mao GH, Ren Y, Li Q, Wu HY, Jin D, et al. Anti-tumor and immunomodulatory activity of selenium (Se)-polysaccharide from Se-enriched Grifola frondosa. Int J Biol Macromol. 2016 Jan;82:607-13. PubMed PMID: 26522247.

46. Cui F, Zan X, Li Y, Sun W, Yang Y, et al. Grifola frondosa Glycoprotein GFG-3a Arrests S phase, Alters Proteome, and Induces Apoptosis in Human Gastric Cancer Cells. Nutr Cancer. 2016;68(2):267-79. PubMed PMID: 27040446.

47. Zhao C, Tian XM, Wang GY, Song AR, Liang WX. High-Level Production of Exopolysaccharides by a Cosmic Radiation-Induced Mutant M270 of the Maitake Medicinal Mushroom, Grifola frondosa (Agaricomycetes). Int J Med Mushrooms. 2016;18(7):621-30. PubMed PMID: 27649730.

48. Mao GH, Ren Y, Feng WW, Li Q, Wu HY, et al. Antitumor and immunomodulatory activity of a water-soluble polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa. Carbohydr Polym. 2015 Dec 10;134:406-12. PubMed PMID: 26428141.

49. Masuda Y, Nawa D, Nakayama Y, Konishi M, Nanba H. Soluble β-glucan from Grifola frondosa induces tumor regression in synergy with TLR9 agonist via dendritic cell-mediated immunity. J Leukoc Biol. 2015 Dec;98(6):1015-25. PubMed PMID: 26297795.

50. Xiao C, Wu Q, Xie Y, Zhang J, Tan J. Hypoglycemic effects of Grifola frondosa (Maitake) polysaccharides F2 and F3 through improvement of insulin resistance in diabetic rats. Food Funct. 2015 Nov;6(11):3567-75. PubMed PMID: 26311233.

51. Harada E, D’Alessandro-Gabazza CN, Toda M, Morizono T, Chelakkot-Govindalayathil AL, et al. Amelioration of Atherosclerosis by the New Medicinal Mushroom Grifola gargal Singer. J Med Food. 2015 Aug;18(8):872-81. PubMed PMID: 25799023; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4523071.

52. Shen KP, Su CH, Lu TM, Lai MN, Ng LT. Effects of Grifola frondosa non-polar bioactive components on high-fat diet fed and streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic mice. Pharm Biol. 2015 May;53(5):705-9. PubMed PMID: 25431253.

53. Dai XW, Chen ZY, Yan MX, He BH. [Experimental study on intervention effect of Grifola frondosa on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis]. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2015 May;40(9):1808-11. PubMed PMID: 26323153.

54. Wesa KM, Cunningham-Rundles S, Klimek VM, Vertosick E, Coleton MI, et al. Maitake mushroom extract in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS): a phase II study. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2015 Feb;64(2):237-47. PubMed PMID: 25351719; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4317517.

55. Phan CW, David P, Naidu M, Wong KH, Sabaratnam V. Therapeutic potential of culinary-medicinal mushrooms for the management of neurodegenerative diseases: diversity, metabolite, and mechanism. Crit Rev Biotechnol. 2015;35(3):355-68. PubMed PMID: 24654802.

56. Park HS, Hwang YH, Kim MK, Hong GE, Lee HJ, et al. Functional polysaccharides from Grifola frondosa aqueous extract inhibit atopic dermatitis-like skin lesions in NC/Nga mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2015;79(1):147-54. PubMed PMID: 25248662.

57. Chen YH, Lee CH, Hsu TH, Lo HC. Submerged-Culture Mycelia and Broth of the Maitake Medicinal Mushroom Grifola frondosa (Higher Basidiomycetes) Alleviate Type 2 Diabetes-Induced Alterations in Immunocytic Function. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2015;17(6):541-56. PubMed PMID: 26349512.

58. Ma X, Zhou F, Chen Y, Zhang Y, Hou L, et al. A polysaccharide from Grifola frondosa relieves insulin resistance of HepG2 cell by Akt-GSK-3 pathway. Glycoconj J. 2014 Jul;31(5):355-63. PubMed PMID: 24908430.

59. Vetvicka V, Vetvickova J. Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts. Ann Transl Med. 2014 Feb;2(2):14. PubMed PMID: 25332990; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4202470.

60. Huyan T, Li Q, Yang H, Jin ML, Zhang MJ, et al. Protective effect of polysaccharides on simulated microgravity-induced functional inhibition of human NK cells. Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Jan 30;101:819-27. PubMed PMID: 24299844.

61. Wang Y, Shen X, Liao W, Fang J, Chen X, et al. A heteropolysaccharide, L-fuco-D-manno-1,6-α-D-galactan extracted from Grifola frondosa and antiangiogenic activity of its sulfated derivative. Carbohydr Polym. 2014 Jan 30;101:631-41. PubMed PMID: 24299820.

62. Wang Y, Fang J, Ni X, Li J, Liu Q, et al. Inducement of cytokine release by GFPBW2, a novel polysaccharide from fruit bodies of Grifola frondosa , through dectin-1 in macrophages. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Nov 27;61(47):11400-9. PubMed PMID: 24229406.

63. Cui F, Zan X, Li Y, Yang Y, Sun W, et al. Purification and Partial Characterization of a Novel Anti-tumor Glycoprotein from Cultured Mycelia of Grifola frondosa. Int J Biol Macromol. 2013 Oct 25;PubMed PMID: 24512992.

64. Tsao YW, Kuan YC, Wang JL, Sheu F. Characterization of a novel maitake (Grifola frondosa) protein that activates natural killer and dendritic cells and enhances antitumor immunity in mice. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Oct 16;61(41):9828-38. PubMed PMID: 24020458.

65. Frenkel M, Abrams DI, Ladas EJ, Deng G, Hardy M, et al. Integrating dietary supplements into cancer care. Integr Cancer Ther. 2013 Sep;12(5):369-84. PubMed PMID: 23439656.