Other Names:

Sheep’s head

What is Maitake?

The mushroom grows wild in parts of Japan, China and North America, at the bottom of Oak, Elm and Maple trees. It is considered an adaptogen, which helps the body in fighting against any type of mental or physical activity. Maitake has been used in China and Japan for centuries, and is praised for its promises of health, vitality and longevity.

Health Benefits:

Boost immune system

Maitake mushroom has an overall positive effect on the immune system as it is rich in vitamins and nutrients as well as containing polysaccharides which help to enhance the activity of certain immune system cells. Some studies show that maitake D-Fraction (a portion of the mushrooms complex sugars) could fight the growth and reproduction of cancerous cells, particularly in breast cancer. Other research has found it can suppress tumour growth in mice, whilst also increasing the number of cells fighting against the tumour. This could suggest that it would also be effective in managing cancer in humans.


Several studies have shown maitake to protect against diabetes. The mushroom is able to inhibit an enzyme that breaks down starch and simple sugars to glucose and slow the absorption of glucose in the body. These enzymes are called alpha-glucosidase, many conventional diabetic medications contain alpha-glucosidase inhibitors and therefore those who suffer from diabetes may look to maitake as a natural alternative.


Meaning ‘the dancing mushroom’ in Japanese, it is said to have gotten its name after people danced with happiness when they found a mass of the mushroom in the wild – as it was tradition for local lords to pay their subjects the equivalent weight of maitake in silver to gain their favour and they knew that would be paid generously.

Typical Uses:

This mushroom is often consumed as food, but is also available as a supplement. We suggest 0.5-2g per day of our Maitake Mushroom Extract Powder that can be added into shakes or meals for an additional health boost.