What is maitake?
Maitake mushroom is also named “hen of woods”. It has delicious wild fungal fruiting body that people with interest in mushrooms prefer to harvest. Maitake is called “king of mushrooms” in Japan. It has been used for a long time to treat different illnesses as adaptogenic and as a substantial medicinal mushrooms. Maitake mushrooms is a part of the Japanese culinary tradition for a long time.
The scientific name of maitake mushroom is Grifola frondosa. The name “hen-of-the-woods” is actually used in the English speaking diaspora. Maitake is also named signorina mushroom, ram’s head, hen, etc.
How to identify maitake mushrooms?
Maitake mushroom is one of the largest fungi. Oak trees are the main host of maitake in the wild. And more specifically they are found at the base and old decaying stumps of the oak. Maitake usually grow in the forests and they could be mistaken for a pile of old leaves against a stump especially if looked from a distant place. Maitake appear like ruffed feathers of the back of a hen. These mushrooms have white below caps and vivid-brown above so it is recommended to look for overlapping. A caps featuring is that they have a smooth rubbery texture and when bent down they quickly spring back and then released. The under-surface of caps is covered by fine pores. The stalk is multi-branched and its color is white. It is also very thick and short, and fat.
Maitake mushrooms is very similar to the edible Polypore G. umbellata whose caps have a form of an umbrella. These caps are also more open that the caps of maitake mushroom. The so called “hen-of-the-woods” is perplexed to Berkeley’s polypore, cauliflowers and others.
How is maitake mushroom cultivated?
Maitake is basically a fungus that is saprophytic polypore and perennial. A long time ago this mushroom has been cultivated only in the temperate woods of the states of the East of America, in Siberia (Russia), and in Japan. Nowadays, thanks to the commercial cultivation, people from all over the world have the opportunity to live healthier because of the benefits of this medicinal mushroom. The reason for this is the possibility of producing maitake in very big quantities.
Maitake is best grown in buried hardwood logs and stumps when it is located outdoors. When it is indoors the best place to harvest is supplemented hardwood sawdust. Generally, fruiting is slow. It takes about and year to an year and forth months for it to appear after spawn inoculation in the farms it is harvested. To be properly cultivated the entire mushroom should be pulled from the substrate at the base.
Maitake mushroom nutrition facts and health benefits
First of all, maitake mushrooms are low in calories. There are 31 calories in 100 gram of fresh mushroom. This gourmet mushroom is highly priced because it is full of bioactive components, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that are useful for human general health.
Secondly, maitake consists of beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide component. It’s main medical advantage is cholesterol reduction.
Thirdly, maitake mushroom is one of the most recognized fungi that has been used in the traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years. The other most recognized medicinal fungi in TCM is turkey tail mushroom. Maitake is considered to have immunomodulation, anti-tumor, anti-diabetic, and cholesterol lowering medical advantages.
The fourth of the maitake mushroom nutrition facts is that this fungi is the highest source of vitamin-D of all the edible mushrooms. There are 28.1 micrograms of vitamin D estimated as 280 percent of the daily use for only 100 grams of maitake mushroom. It is important to note that vitamin D is essential for bone development and calcium and phosphate absorption.
Maitake is an excellent source of vitamin B-3, also named niacin. Niacin is essential for DNA repair and the absorption of fat and carbohydrates.
When fresh maitake mushroom has a comparably good amounts of folic acid.
Maitake has lots of B-complex group of vitamins – riboflavin, thiamin, pantothetic acid and other.
Last but not least, maitake is a good source of minerals – copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus. There are 10 mg of magnesium in 100 grams of maitake mushroom. There are 74 mg of phosphorus, 204 mg of potassium, 2.2 micrograms of selenium.
Maitake mushroom is available as an extract in capsules offered by the online store healthybodag.com. It is mainly used for immune system support, hearth health and weight management. Maitake mushroom is 100 percent natural, bio, organic, vegan. There are no GMO ingredients! There are 120 capsules which are enough for four months or two months depending on the customers choice of the recommended dose. Recommendation: 1 or 2 capsules per day with water during the meal.