The Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)mushroom
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The Maitake (Grifola Frondosa)mushroom

It may have anti-biotic properties as well as reducing blood pressure, has anti-viral affects, strengthens immune system, and limits or reverses tumor growth. It is said to enhance the effects of chemotherapy support such as hair loss, nausea, and pain. It may also be helpful in weight loss. You can freeze the Maitake raw and break off bits for cooking all Winter. The dried powder can be used to add flavor to pasta sauce, gravy and meatloaf or intact it can just be cooked in foil with butter. It has a crunchy, chewy texture

There are about 1400 different types of mushrooms. Many edible and some poisonous.

Five of the edible type mushrooms have been found to have health benefits. Those mushrooms are: Shitake(Lentinus edodes), Maitake(Grifola frondosa), Golden Needle(Flammulina velutipes), Agaricus Blazei(Agaricus blazei murrill), and Reishi Mushroom(Ganoderma lucidum). Maitake has been cultivated in China and Japan as a powerful herb supplement for centuries.

The Maitake mushroom is found growing in clusters at the base of trees, especially oaks. It is known as Ram’s Head or Sheep’s Head and Hen-of-the-Woods. This mushroom should not be confused with one known as Chicken-in-the-woods or laetiporus sulphureus.  Also known as dancing mushrooms because when the Japanese found the rare maitake mushrooms they would jump for joy.

The body of the fruit is 4-36 inches across and the cups are 3-5 inches across and can be wavy, spoon shaped and curled. When the cluster is fresh it is grey and grows white with age. As it passes it’s prime it may have some brown or yellow tones. It is found on mature oaks and even on dying branches. It looks like a feather duster or setting hen.

The Maitake can grow to around 50 pounds. It may grow in the same place for several years in succession. It grows in the Northeastern US and can be found as far west as Idaho.

You can freeze the Maitake raw and break off bits for cooking all Winter. The dried powder can be used to add flavor to pasta sauce, gravy and meatloaf or intact it can just be cooked in foil with butter. It has a crunchy, chewy texture.

It may have anti-biotic properties as well as reducing blood pressure, has anti-viral affects, strengthens immune system, and limits or reverses tumor growth. It is said to enhance the effects of chemotherapy support such as hair loss, nausea, and pain. It may also be helpful in weight loss.

Maitake mushrooms have not been thoroughly researched in humans. Patients with diabetes or hypoglycemia and those taking herbs and drugs that effect blood sugar should be cautious. Is alleged to cause allergic reactions in rare cases. And it is to be noted that this mushroom has been used for centuries without any adverse side effects.

Maitake is found to be high in such minerals as magnesium, calcium and potassium. It also has the vitamins D2, B2 and niacin. Plus amino acids and fiber.

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