Maitake: Inspiring 1,000 Years of Dancing

Maitake: Inspiring 1,000 Years of Dancing

Maitake Mushroom (Grifola frondosa) : Inspiring 1,000 Years of Dancing

aka "Hen of the Woods" and "Sheepshead Mushroom"


Maitake is traditionally known as the “Dancing Mushroom” based on Mai = Dance and Take = Mushroom in Japanese.

It’s unknown why Maitake is called the “Dancing Mushroom” - whether it’s because its layered appearance resembles dancing butterflies or because whoever was lucky enough to find Maitake in the wild would dance for joy

Why would mushroom hunters dance for joy at finding Maitake?

Well in Medieval times, Maitake was worth its weight in silver because of its known value in taste and health. 

Today, this joy of finding tasty and healthy Maitake in the wild remains the same. Mushroom hunters even guard their wild Maitake locations and keep them secret until they are passed down in wills. [R


Even, Justin the FunGi, founder of The Mushroom Pharm, dances when he finds Maitake in the wild! It's his favorite mushroom to forage!


Maitake brought Justin so much joy that it inspired him to create The Mushroom Pharm and start sharing mushroom medicines.


The Power of Mushrooms!


Nearly 1,000 years Maitake has naturally been inspiring humans to dance for joy and live a healthier life. 

This love of Maitake is reflected in the 40,000 tons of commercial Maitake production worldwide, which is equivalent to the weight of about 380 blue whales!

A lot of foraging of Maitake has been replaced with bag-culture cultivation to minimize over harvesting.


Thankfully, Maitake is abundant in Northwest Indiana! We wild forage 400-800 lbs. of Maitake in a year.


Which means, ALL of our Maitake is 100% wild-foraged!


When you invest in our tinctures or seasoning containing Maitake, you're investing in wild medicine straight from the Midwest forest.

What are the health benefits of Maitake?

Traditionally, Maitake was known for its immune enhancing effects and overall benefit on various systems and functions of the body.

When tradition met modern science, Maitake became one of the best studied medicinal mushroom extracts because of its unique molecular structure.

In the early 1980’s, research revealed Maitake had a unique molecular structure that exhibited greater antitumor activity than other medicinal mushroom extracts. [R]

Maitake doesn’t kill the cancer cells directly, but stimulates the body’s innate ability to marshal cellular defenses. [R]

Cancer patients under Maitake treatment claimed improvement of overall symptoms due to chemotherapy. In other words, hair loss, nausea, pain, vomiting, loss of appetite, we’re all reduced in cancer treatment with the help of Maitake. [R]

Beyond cancer treatment, this unique molecular structure of Maitake was put to the test in other scientific studies that revealed its ability to treat liver disorders, as well as, its antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and antiviral properties.

So for those looking for cardiovascular, circulatory, and nervous system support at the cellular level, Maitake may lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and weight gain. 

In general, Japanese medicine regards Maitake as an adaptogen that seems to balance bodily functions, enhance wellness, vitality, strength and vigor. [R]

Whether you’re in recovery or love supporting your bodily functions, we hope you dance for joy knowing we have wild Maitake for you!

No need to go forage or hunt down secret spots, we have 100% legal Maitake in tincture form for you right here at The Mushroom Pharm*

Explore our products that contain Maitake:

*   These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.


Written by Katherine Stanier 

Back to blog