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Described as the King of Mushrooms in Japan, Maitake is rapidly gaining a reputation as one of the finest immuno-stimulants known.  Used in Oriental medicine for over three thousand years, new scientific research in Japan and the United States has discovered some powerful compounds that have shown significant carcinogenesis prevention activity in tests.  Regarded as the most potent immune-enhancing of all the mushrooms, current studies are revealing some promising data that may provide hope for HIV patients.  Maitake Mushroom is easily absorbed and is as effective when taken as an oral supplement as it is when given intravenously.

Plant Description:

Maitake Mushroom is a very large mushroom that has been used for over three thousand years in traditional Chinese and Japanese cooking and herbology, in which mushrooms have been used to maintain health, preserve youth and increase longevity.  

Among the several types of mushrooms used in traditional medicine, Maitake is said to contain the most potent healing qualities. It is described as a cluster of dark fronds with a firm and supple texture at the base, becoming slightly brittle and crumbly at the edges and exuding a distinctive aroma and rich, woodsy taste. 

In Japanese, Maitake means "dancing mushroom," because in ancient times, those who were fortunate enough to find them were said to dance with joy, since Maitakes could be exchanged for their weight in silver. The Maitake Mushroom grows wild in the deep mountainous regions of northeastern Japan and is difficult to cultivate because of its sensitivity to environmental conditions.  Members of this family all grow on rotting wood and tend to form very simple fruiting bodies. Until cultivation techniques were devised in 1979, they were collected in the wild, but are now successfully grown for ever-expanding food and medicinal markets in Japan, as well as export to the West.  Today, traditional Oriental herbal medicine functions side-by-side with modern medical techniques in Japan, as witnessed by the frequent use of Maitake Mushrooms to treat conditions that are routinely treated in the West with synthetic drugs. However, because of new scientific research, many promising benefits are emerging from the use of Maitake Mushroom in the area preventing carcinogenesis and HIV treatments, and many studies are now being conducted in the United States and Japan to substantiate these claims.  Maitake Mushroom is very nutritious and includes vitamins C, D and B-2, potassium, magnesium and a very powerful polysaccharide called beta-1, 6-glucan, which is thought to account for the mushroom's healing properties. 



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