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HEALTH Maitake Mushrooms and Cancer
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001

    Maitake Mushrooms and Cancer

    According to Dr. Russell Blaylock (Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients), maitake mushroom capsules can be taken to help fight cancer.

    But the effective dosage falls in a narrow range, with too little not doing much of anything, and too much being harmful as well.

    Specifically, he says you take 15 milligrams of D-Fraction three times a day on an empty stomach.

    My question: Where does a person find 15 milligram capsules of D-Fraction Maitake mushrooms?

    I have not been able to find them.

    Do you all know?

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    I don't know anything about the mushrooms but a friend is investigating hemp oil (hash oil) for reoccuring pancreatic cancer.
    "One day I will leave this world and dream myself to Reality" Crazy Horse

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    I understand the theory behind maitake mushroom use for cancer.

    What I do can not seem to figure out is where to purchase the stuff in the right dosages for cancer treatment.

    I'm looking for practical advice on how my wife can take it (what product, what specific dosage of that product, and where the product can be bought), not some history of the use of mushroom therapy or some discussion of how great it is in fighting cancer.

  5. #5
    Beating cancer with the help of medicinal mushrooms
    Many of the medicinal mushrooms, including chaga mushroom, maitake mushroom, ganoderma mushroom, and cordyceps mushroom, contain cancer-preventive and cancer-fighting actions. Research has focused on the polysaccharides with beta 1,3 glucan linkages. Indole-3-carbinol is a nutrient found in large quantities in cruciferous vegetables. It is a potent antagonist of breast cancer, reducing formation of cancerous compounds from hormones and participating in blockage of cancer cell progression.
    - The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments by Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay.

    Other mushroom extracts that have been shown to have clinical effectiveness against human cancers are D-fraction extracted from the Maitake mushroom, and extracts from the split gill, turkey tail and Reishi mushrooms. In 1998, Maitake Products received FDA approval for an Investigational New Drug Phase II pilot study of maitake mushroom extract in the treatment of advanced breast and prostate cancer. There is also some evidence that the consumption of mushrooms in the diet may ward off cancer.
    - You Don't Have to be Afraid of Cancer Anymore by Bill Sardi

    As with many of the medicinal mushrooms, Shiitake has been shown to be of benefit as an adjuvant cancer therapy. It has been shown to improve specific immune markers (including natural killer cells, tumor necrosis factor, T-helper cells, and a variety of interleukins), and patient outcomes.
    - The Health Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms by Mark Stengler

    Reishi is one of the most versatile medicinal mushrooms. It has long been used in Asia as an energy tonic to promote longevity and overall health. Studies indicate that reishi is an antioxidant and contains polysaccharides and other compounds that may boost the immune system. Reishi is taken to counter bacteria and viruses and has shown promise as an agent to help prevent or treat cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other conditions. Russian researchers at the Cancer Research Center in Moscow have had positive results using reishi extracts to boost the immunity of cancer patients.
    - The Health Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms by Mark Stengler

    Cancer patients may also wish to investigate medicinal mushrooms (such types as reishi, shiitake, cordyceps, maitake, agaracus, and coriolus) as immune-boosting companions to chemotherapy. These medicinal mushrooms are sources of antitumor and immunity-modulating polysaccharides (a type of carbohydrate) that have been extensively researched. Formulas containing concentrated extracts of medicinal mushrooms are available; talk with your oncologist about which he or she might recommend.
    - Supplement Your Prescription: What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutrition by Hyla Cass, M.D.

    Like many other medicinal mushrooms, reishi mushroom can be used to treat cancer patients due to its ability to activate NK cells, macrophages, T-lymphocytes, and cytokines, all important immune system components. Kee Chang Huang reports that reishi "exerts a synergistic effect with other anticancer chemothera-peutic agents or radiotherapy, to augment the clinical therapeutic effect in the treatment of cancer patients."
    - The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments by Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay.

    It takes about 15 pounds of reishi mushrooms to produce 1 pound of the powdered concentrate. Medicinal mushrooms make a significant contribution to the healing process by enhancing and stimulating the body's own immune system. This is a very important factor in diseases like cancer and HIV, which have components unique to each individual. In my protocols for people with cancer, I always include one or more medicinal mushroom extract products. Descriptions of some of the more frequently used mushrooms follow.
    - Herbal Medicine, Healing and Cancer: A Comprehensive Program for Prevention and Treatment by Donald R. Yance, j r.,C.N., M.H., A.H.G., with Arlene Valentine

    Although the Mayo Clinic regards the use of medicinal mushrooms as more traditional than scientific, they operate in a manner similar to prescription drugs known as monocle. Cancer patients need to understand the disconnect between the supposed mission to cure cancer and the objective of the companies that make monoclonal antibodies, which appears to be profits above delivery of an effective treatment. The total therapeutic monoclonal antibodies market was estimated at $296 million in 2002, and was projected to surge to $2.8 billion by 2010.
    - You Don't Have to be Afraid of Cancer Anymore by Bill Sardi

    In another study, researchers exposed mice to a known urinary bladder carcinogen, N-butyl-N'-butanolnitrosoamine (BBN), every day for eight weeks and then fed them medicinal mushrooms, including maitake, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. All of the mice treated with BBN developed bladder cancer. While each of the mushrooms reduced the number of bladder cancers, maitake was clearly most effective (carcinomas were observed in 46.7 percent of the maitake-treated mice compared to 52.9 percent and 65 percent for shiitake and oyster, respectively).
    - Natural Cancer Cures: The Definitive Guide to Using Dietary Supplements to Fight and Prevent Cancer by Freedom Press

    There have been 150 species of medicinal mushrooms found to inhibit the growth of different kinds of tumors, especially cancers of the stomach, esophagus, and lungs, but chaga seems to stand out from the rest. I learned about this mushroom from herbalist David Winston, who told me it has been used traditionally to treat different forms of cancer in Siberia, Canada, Scandinavia, the United States, and Russia. Chaga is a fungal parasite that draws its nutrients out of living trees, rather than from the ground.
    - The One Earth Herbal Sourcebook: Everything You Need to Know About Chinese, Western, and Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments by Alan Keith Tillotson, Ph.D., A.H.G., D.Ay.

    Japanese products containing LEM, a polysaccharide-rich extract from the shiitake mushroom, and similar extracts from maitake are currently undergoing trials in Japan and the U.S. to test their effectiveness in treating various forms of cancer. They show promise for treating people suffering from various forms of cancer and AIDS and are currently in strong demand in Japan.
    - Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, & Culture (Herbs and Health Series) by Christopher Hobbs

    Goro Chihara notes that medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake can play an important role in augmenting "intrinsic host defense mechanisms" - boosting the body's inherent abilities to fight off invading agents. He says that such "host defense potentiators" should be a more important focus for cancer research than the current fascination with cell-killing substances. Shiitake and reishi are the most common medicinal mushrooms in the United States today, though other varieties are beginning to become available either in fresh or packaged forms.
    - Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, & Culture (Herbs and Health Series) by Christopher Hobbs

    In Japan, pushcart vendors on the streets still sell medicinal mushrooms to the average citizen who uses them to maintain health and promote longevity. Some Japanese people have even been said to travel hundreds of miles in order to collect wild mushrooms that only grow on very old plum trees - such as the Reishi - renowned as a cure for cancer and degenerative diseases. Likewise, for over 3,000 years the Chinese have used and revered many fungi for their health-giving properties, especially tonics for the immune system (Liu and Bau, 1980; Yun-Chang, 1985).
    - Medicinal Mushrooms: An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, & Culture (Herbs and Health Series) by Christopher Hobbs

    Often called the "king of mushrooms," shiitake is just one of a number of medicinal mushrooms currently under study at research centers in Germany, the United States, Japan, and China. Shiitake is being used for a wide variety of conditions involving depressed immune function, from frequent colds to cancer. In Japan, physicians prescribe shiitake in two different forms to treat many health conditions, including asthma, hepatitis B, ulcers, high cholesterol, AIDS, kidney inflammation, herpes, and various skin problems.
    - The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs by Robert S. McCaleb, Evelyn Leigh, and Krista Morien

    In the 1980s, Japanese researchers began to investigate the folklore behind medicinal mushrooms and found that many had truly remarkable properties. For example, maitake mushroom stimulates the immune system by activating T-cells, the body's natural defenders against viruses and cancer cells. Recent animal studies have shown that maitake extract can shrink tumors in mice even better than a common chemotherapy drug.
    - Earl Mindell's Supplement Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to Hundreds of NEW Natural Products that Will Help You Live Longer, Look Better, Stay Heathier, ... and Much More! by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D.

    Here is a brief summary of published studies on medicinal mushrooms and beta glucans: Mushroom polysaccharides have remarkable anti-tumor activity. Mushrooms have anti-hyperlipidemic, hypotensive, and hypoglycemic actions. Beta-glucan from maitake mushrooms may induce apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Shiitake extracts have reduced cholesterol and have anti-viral effects. Mushrooms are high fiber and function as prebiotics, antioxidants, and antibiotics.
    - The Anti-Aging Solution: 5 Simple Steps to Looking and Feeling Young by Vincent Giampapa, Ronald Pero, and Marcia Zimmerman

    As with most of the medicinal mushrooms, unique polysaccharides present in H. erinaceus have immune-enhancing properties, and preliminary studies are demonstrating some anticancer effects. The most intriguing potential of H. erinaceus is that it may stimulate the production of a substance known as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). This specialized protein is necessary for the growth of sensory neurons. An in vitro study found that an extract from Hericium erinaceus mushroom promoted myelin sheath growth on brain cells.
    - The Health Benefits Of Medicinal Mushrooms by Mark Stengler

    Two species of medicinal mushrooms employed for healing purposes by Mazatec Indian shamans in southern Mexico have gone extinct in the past half century. And tribes themselves continue to disappear. This is just as great a tragedy, because almost every plant or plant derivative employed for medicinal purposes by Western society was investigated scientifically after being observed in use by "primitive" cultures. Everything from codeine for pain to quinine for malaria to podo- phyllotoxin for cancer is based on plants discovered by ancient healers.
    - Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets by Mark J. Plotkin

    Shiitake and reishi offer a diverse range of potential health benefits. You can take all of these supplements in perhaps eight to ten pills or capsules daily. If you take just three or four of these natural supplements at breakfast and the same number later in the day, you will have substantially increased your energy levels, boosted your immune system, lowered your risk of heart disease and cancer, and strengthened and balanced your overall system.
    - Medicine Quest: In Search of Nature's Healing Secrets by Mark J. Plotkin

    Learn more:

  6. #6
    Maitake Mushroom

    Other common name(s): maitake D-fraction, maitake, maitake extract, beta-glucan,

    Scientific/medical name(s): Grifola frondosa

    Maitake is an edible mushroom from the species Grifola frondosa. Maitake D-fraction® is an extract of this large mushroom native to the mountains of northeastern Japan. The maitake mushroom is eaten as a food, and maitake-D fraction is marketed as a dietary supplement in the United States and Japan. The substance in the maitake mushroom is thought to be active in humans and is called beta-glucan.

    Research has shown that maitake D-fraction has effects on the immune system in animal and laboratory studies. There is no convincing clinical evidence to date in available peer-reviewed medical journals reporting that the maitake mushroom is effective in treating or preventing cancer in humans, although some human research is now underway.
    How is it promoted for use?

    Promoters claim that maitake mushroom extract boosts the immune system and limits or reverses tumor growth. It is also said to enhance the benefits of chemotherapy and lessen some side effects of anti-cancer drugs, such as hair loss, pain, and nausea.
    What does it involve?

    Maitake D-fraction is available in liquid extract, tablet, and capsule in health food stores, although the amount of beta glucan contained in each form may vary. The usual dosage of dried mushroom is between 3 and 7 grams daily. Maitake mushrooms are also available in grocery stores and can be eaten as food or made into tea.
    What is the history behind it?

    For thousands of years, Asian healers have used certain edible mushrooms in tonics, soups, teas, prepared foods, and herbal formulas to promote health and long life. Until recently, the healing properties of mushrooms have been the subject of folklore only. In the past few decades, however, researchers in Japan have been studying the medicinal effects of mushrooms on the immune system, cancer, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

    The Japanese word "maitake" means "dancing mushroom" because people in ancient times were said to dance for joy when they found these mushrooms, which were literally worth their weight in silver. Modern research on the maitake mushroom and its D-fraction extract began in Japan in the mid-1980s and has only recently spread to the United States.

    As of the early 21st century, much has been written about maitake and its purported magic healing qualities. This has sparked a great deal of interest in its use for various human illnesses.
    What is the evidence?

    Maitake mushrooms and the maitake D-fraction prepared from them contain a type of polysaccharide (a large molecule formed by multiple sugar molecules linked together), called beta glucan (sometimes called beta glycan). Beta glucan is found in several mushrooms, yeasts, and other foods. A polysaccharide is a large and complex molecule made up of smaller sugar molecules. Beta glucan is believed to stimulate the immune system and activate certain cells and proteins that attack cancer, including macrophages, T-cells, natural killer cells, and interleukin-1 and -2. In laboratory studies, it appears to slow the growth of cancer in some cell cultures and in mice.

    Most of the research on maitake D-fraction has been done in Japan using an injectable form of the extract. A 1997 study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Science found that maitake D-fraction was able to enhance the immune system and inhibit the spread of tumors in mice implanted with breast cancer. In a 1995 report published in the same journal, researchers concluded that maitake D-fraction was able to activate the immune systems of mice that had been injected with liver cancer cells. The extract seemed to prevent the spread of tumors to the liver and prevent the development of cancer in normal cells. A nonrandomized study of fifteen dogs with lymphoma did not find any evidence of benefit from the use of maitake extract.

    While animal and laboratory studies may show a certain compound holds promise as a beneficial treatment, further studies are necessary to determine whether the results apply to humans. In 2002, a group of Japanese people with different types of cancer were given maitake D-fraction and maitake powder in addition to standard cancer treatment. Although the researchers thought some patients showed improvement, the study did not include a control group. Because of limitations in the study design, no reliable conclusions can be drawn. It is impossible to say for certain whether any effect was caused by the maitake treatments or standard cancer treatments the patients also received. More scientifically designed studies are needed to determine maitake's potential usefulness in preventing or treating cancer.

    The National Cancer Institute is sponsoring a very early (Phase I) study at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to learn whether beta glucan can increase the effectiveness of rituximab (a drug used for treating some types of lymphoma and leukemia) by increasing cancer cells' sensitivity to it. This clinical trial is studying the side effects and best dose of beta glucan when given with rituximab. It will look at young patients with relapsed or progressive lymphoma, leukemia, or similar disorders.

    In another clinical trial, beta glucan is being tested together with other drugs to learn whether they increase the effectiveness of a monoclonal antibody (3F8). Combining different types of biological therapy may kill more tumor cells. This is a small open label trial (so called because both patients and researchers know which treatment is being administered) in patients with neuroblastoma that has not responded to treatment. A trial of maitake extract as treatment for breast cancer is also in progress.
    Are there any possible problems or complications?
    This product is sold as a dietary supplement in the United States. Unlike drugs (which must be tested before being allowed to be sold), the companies that make supplements are not required to prove to the Food and Drug Administration that their supplements are safe or effective, as long as they don't claim the supplements can prevent, treat, or cure any specific disease.
    Some such products may not contain the amount of the herb or substance that is written on the label, and some may include other substances (contaminants). Actual amounts per dose may vary between brands or even between different batches of the same brand.
    Most such supplements have not been tested to find out if they interact with medicines, foods, or other herbs and supplements. Even though some reports of interactions and harmful effects may be published, full studies of interactions and effects are not often available. Because of these limitations, any information on ill effects and interactions below should be considered incomplete.

    The maitake mushroom itself has been used as food for centuries and is generally presumed to be safe. So far, studies have not shown any adverse effects from maitake D-fraction or beta glucan, but human studies of their effectiveness in treating cancer have not yet been completed.

    In animal studies, beta glucans of the type in maitake mushrooms lowered blood sugar and should be used with caution in people with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or those who are on medicines to reduce or control blood sugar. Beta glucans also reduced blood pressure in animals and may have a similar effect in people. Additional studies are needed to find out whether these effects occur in humans.

    Allergies to many types of mushrooms, including maitake, have been reported. Relying on this type of treatment alone and avoiding or delaying conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.

  7. #7
    Grifola frondosa

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to: navigation, search
    Scientific classification
    Kingdom: Fungi
    Phylum: Basidiomycota
    Class: Agaricomycetes
    Order: Polyporales
    Family: Meripilaceae
    Genus: Grifola
    Species: G. frondosa
    Binomial name
    Grifola frondosa
    (Dicks.) Gray

    Polyporus frondosus Fr.[1]

    Grifola frondosa is a polypore mushroom that grows in clusters at the base of trees, particularly oaks. The mushroom is commonly known among English speakers as hen-of-the-woods, ram's head and sheep's head. In the United States' supplement market, as well as in Asian grocery stores, the mushroom is known by its Japanese name maitake (舞茸), which means "dancing mushroom". Throughout Italian American communities in the northeastern United States, it is commonly known as the signorina mushroom. G. frondosa should not be confused with Laetiporus sulphureus, another edible bracket fungus that is commonly called chicken of the woods or "sulphur shelf". The fungus becomes inedible like all polypores when they are older, because it is too tough to eat.

    The fungus is native to the northeastern part of Japan and North America, and is prized in traditional Chinese and Japanese herbology as a medicinal mushroom, an aid to balance out altered body systems to a normal level. Due to the taste and texture of the mushroom, it is widely eaten in Japan, although the mushroom has been alleged to cause allergic reactions in rare cases.
    Grifola frondosa
    View the Mycomorphbox template that generates the following list
    Mycological characteristics
    pores on hymenium

    cap is offset
    or indistinct
    hymenium is decurrent
    lacks a stipe
    spore print is white
    ecology is parasitic
    edibility: choice

    1 Description
    2 Use in traditional Eastern medicine
    3 Maitake research
    4 Maitake gallery
    5 See also
    6 References


    Like the sulphur shelf mushroom, G. frondosa is a perennial fungus that often grows in the same place for a number of years in succession. It occurs most prolifically in the northeastern regions of the United States, but has been found as far west as Idaho.

    G. frondosa grows from an underground tuber-like structure known as a sclerotium, about the size of a potato. The fruiting body, occurring as large as 100 cm, is a cluster consisting of multiple grayish-brown caps which are often curled or spoon-shaped, with wavy margins and 2–7 cm broad. The undersurface of each cap bears approximately one to three pores per millimeter, with the tubes rarely deeper than 3 mm. The milky-white stipe (stalk) has a branchy structure and becomes tough as the mushroom matures.

    In Japan, the Maitake can grow to more than 50 pounds (20 kilograms), earning this giant mushroom the title "King of Mushrooms". Maitake is one of the major culinary mushrooms used in Japan, the others being shiitake, shimeji and enoki. They are used in a wide variety of dishes, often being a key ingredient in nabemono or cooked in foil with butter.
    Use in traditional Eastern medicine

    The sclerotia from which hen of the woods arises have been used in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to enhance the immune system. Researchers have also indicated that whole maitake has the ability to regulate blood pressure, glucose, insulin, and both serum and liver lipids, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and phospholipids, and may also be useful for weight loss.[citation needed]

    Maitake is rich in minerals (such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium), various vitamins (B2, D2 and niacin), fibers and amino acids. One active constituent in Maitake for enhancing the immune activity was identified in the late 1980s as a protein-bound beta-glucan compound.
    Maitake research

    In 2009, a phase I/II human trial, conducted by Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, showed Maitake could stimulate the immune systems of breast cancer patients.[2] Small experiments with human cancer patients, have shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells, like NK cells.[3][4] In vitro research has also shown Maitake can stimulate immune system cells.[5] An in vivo experiment showed that Maitake could stimulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immune system.[6]

    In vitro research has shown Maitake can induce apoptosis in cancer cell lines (human prostatic cancer cells, Hep 3B cells, SGC-7901 cells, murine skin carcinoma cells)[7][8][9][10] as well as inhibit the growth of various types of cancer cells (canine cancer cells, bladder cancer cells).[11][12][13] Small studies with human cancer patients, revealed a portion of the Maitake mushroom, known as the "Maitake D-fraction", possess anti-cancer activity.[14][15] In vitro research demonstrated the mushroom has potential anti-metastatic properties.[16] In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved an Investigational New Drug Application for a portion of the mushroom.[17]

    Research has shown Maitake has a hypoglycemic effect, and may be beneficial for the management of diabetes.[18][19][20][21][22][23] The reason Maitake lowers blood sugar is due to the fact the mushroom naturally contains an alpha glucosidase inhibitor.[24]

    Maitake contains antioxidants and may partially inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase.[25] An experiment showed that an extract of Maitake inhibited angiogenesis via inhibition of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).[26]

    Lys-N is a unique protease found in Maitake.[27] Lys-N is used for proteomics experiments due to its protein cleavage specificity.[28]

  8. #8
    Uses of the Maitake Mushroom

    Like reishi and turkey tails, the maitake mushroom has been used for many years as a powerful medicinal. Although known in Japan, it only started gaining attention in the United States in the last 20 years.

    Yet unlike its other polypore cousins, maitake is edible and tasty!

    Let's examine Grifola frondosa in more detail. I'll start with some basic facts and talk about how to eat it. Then we'll move on to its medical reputation and end with some things to keep in mind when using supplements.

    Share a maitake story here!

    Maitake Mushroom Facts

    maitake mushroom - grifola frondosaThe name maitake means "dancing mushroom" in Japanese. It is also known as the "hen of the woods", "sheep's head", "king of mushrooms" (due to its large size), and "cloud mushroom". The latin name is Grifola frondosa, referring to the mythical griffin.

    The maitake mushroom is a polypore. This means they have no gills on their undersides and release spores through small pores.

    Grifola frondosa is mainly found at the base of oak trees but will appear under other trees such as maple or elm.

    They are most common in the Northeastern areas of the United States and Canada. They also exist in hardwood forests in parts of Japan, China, and Europe.

    Remember where you find maitake mushrooms! They often appear in the same place each year.

    Maitake mushrooms fruit later in the season. Usually from early September to late October.

    It is characterized by its layers of caps that are curved like spoons. These layers sprout from a large fist-sized, tuber-like structure located underground.

    The brain-like folds of caps can grow fairly large. The entire fruit body can be a few feet across and can weigh as much as 40 or 50 pounds (around 18 to 23 kg)! Specimens as large as 100 lbs are said to exist.

    The caps start out darker when young and fade to a lighter gray or yellow. The edges of the caps often remain a darker color.

    Most mycologists consider maitake to be a saprotroph. Others classify it as a parasite so this matter is up for debate!

    Note that people often confuse the hen of the woods (maitake) with the chicken of the woods, which is a completely different mushroom. More info about the chicken of the woods is here.

    Return to top
    Eating the Hen of the Woods

    You may not suspect it at first glance but maitake mushrooms are edible. Many people consider them quite delicious with a strong flavor. Others find it can upset their stomach so try a small amount before you make a meal out of it.

    If you're not cultivating the hen and can't find it at your grocery store then it's time to hit the outdoors! Start looking at the base of oak trees near residential areas and at the edge of the woods. As always, make sure you check with someone knowledgeable if you're not absolutely sure of the mushroom you've found.

    An older specimen of Maitake mushroom, Grifola frondosaSince the stem is very tough only slice off the caps for cooking. They should be young and firm, not dry, old, or mushy like the picture to the left. Make sure you wipe them down, wash them, and dry them before eating. The base of a tree is not the most hygienic place!

    Once you have clean maitake mushroom caps there's no limit to how you can cook them! They can be stir fried, baked, sauteed, stuffed, or made into a tea.

    One of the most popular recipes is to simply fry them in oil or butter until crisp. Maitake can replace button mushrooms in any recipe for a more flavorful result.

    Many people also freeze them before cooking. The mushrooms freeze well so don't hesitate to do this if you want to save some for later. The frozen caps will get you through the winter until morel hunting season!

    Return to top

    Medicinal Effects of Maitake Mushrooms

    Maitake is one of the most promising medicinal mushrooms. Like other polypores, maitake contains polysaccharides that stimulate the immune system.

    A polysaccharide is a complex carbohydrate made up of smaller sugar molecules. These sugars stabilize blood pressure, blood sugar, and have an effect on free radicals.

    Specific polysaccharides, known as beta-D-glucans, are also suspected to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer. The exact cancer fighting action of these molecules is still not clear and is under study. Rather than attacking tumors themselves, some researchers believe they stimulate the production of T cells to fight the afflicted cells.

    An extract of these helpful glucans was patented and is known as the maitake D-fraction. You'll see this term all over the internet when searching for maitake mushroom supplements. The terms "D-fraction" and "MD-fraction" are simply referring to a concentration of maitake polysaccharides.

    So what do these D and MD-fractions do? Research has shown them to regress tumors, especially in breast, liver, and lung cancer. A summary of one such study can be found here. This is just a citation, not an in-depth paper, but it notes improvement in human cancer patients after using the MD-fraction.

    In addition to fighting cancer, maitake mushrooms show potential for helping other conditions as well. Studies are ongoing into its action against:

    cross section of Grifola frondosa, the maitake mushroomcancer (especially breast, liver, and lung)
    diabetes (may control blood glucose levels)
    high cholesterol
    high blood pressure

    You can start supplementing with maitake by either purchasing an extract of the D or MD fraction or with powdered capsules of the whole mushroom. Doses range from 1 to 3 grams per day, up to 7 for those fighting disease (check with a health practitioner before taking a high dose).

    Have you benefited from maitake? Please contact me, I'd love to hear your story!

    Return to top
    Things to Keep in Mind

    As with all supplements, talk to your doctor before starting something new.

    Maitake's effects are cumulative. You probably won't notice anything after using it just once or sporadically. Take it every day and be patient. It can take a few weeks to 2 months to notice an effect.

    Unlike reishi, maitake doesn't seem to have the same anti-inflammatory action. Thus those with autoimmune diseases and women who are pregnant should not take it.

    Take all pills, powders, and teas with some vitamin C. Research shows that vitamin C increases the absorption of polysaccharides in the body. So add an orange or a multivitamin to your maitake routine!

    Try to buy organically grown mushrooms only. They are safer and better for you.

    Purchase from a company that gives as much information as possible about their product. A good company will tell you how the mushroom was grown and the polysaccharide content. The more you learn about what goes in your body the better. However....

    Be aware of companies that make outrageous claims. Statements like "magic pill", "cancer cure", and "reverse aging" are simply not true.

    I like the maitake capsules from Mountain Rose Herbs, although I've learned it's best to start with smaller doses and work your way up. Starting off with 3 pills or more a day may cause stomach unpleasantness.

    Maitake mushroom research is still young here in the West! Hopefully future studies will reveal more about its medical potential.

  9. #9
    Maitake D-fraction: Healing and Preventive Potential for ... - MycoPro

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View
    by H Nanba - 1997 - Cited by 36 - Related articles
    Abstract. I have been studying medicinal mush- rooms for the last 15 years and have reported that of all mushrooms studied, Maitake. Mushroom (Grifola ...

  10. #10 MUSHROOM WISDOM Maitake Mushroom Extract D ... › ... › Herbal Supplements - Cached MUSHROOM WISDOM Maitake Mushroom Extract D-Fraction 360 Capsules: Health & Personal Care.

    Last edited by China Connection; 02-08-2013 at 02:36 AM.

  11. #11
    For an immune system primer, including info on various immune cells and function, click here .

    NK cell activity is one of the many targets of mushrooms, a variety of which have been studied for modulation of both adaptive and innate immune response. Agaricus blazeii Murill has been shown to increase NK cell activity in cancer patients, in addition to increasing IgG levels, stimulating T cell production in the spleen, enhancing phagocytic capability and improving the body’s resistance to bacterial infection.1,2,3

    The mushroom Pleurotus ostreatus may limit the immune suppression caused by sort-term, high-intesnity exercise, according to a 2010 Slovakian trial.4 Researchers found during recovery from intense exercise, supplementation with a beta-glucan-rich extract (as Imunoglukan P4H®, from Pleuran s.r.o.) in elite athletes for two months inhibited reductions in NK cell counts and activity that were experienced by athletes taking placebo.

    Matiake mushroom (Grifola frondosa) contains beta 1,3/1,6 glucans and can promote cytokine activity and up-regulate certain neutrophils in a dose-dependent manner.5 Further, maitake (as D-Fraction®, from Mushroom Wisdom) may activate immune cells, macrophages dendritic cells and T cells, in addition to enhancing the cytotoxicity of NK cells.6,7 In 2010, Japanese researchers reported a low molecular weight protein fraction from maitake administered to an animal model increased spenocyte proliferation and production of cytokines such as IL1a, TNFa, IL-10, IL-12 and IFN-gamma.8 They also noted the fraction activated NK cells, macrophages and dendritic cells.

    Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) has also generated positive immune research results, such as modulating T-cell activation by acting directly on monocytes; promoting splenic B cell activation and antibody secretion; and stimulating TNF-alpha and IL-6 production and IFN-gamma release.9,10,11,12 In 2010, Taiwan scientists published results showing reishi proteins can activate macrophages and T cells, while polysaccharides from the mushroom activate macrophages.13

    The proprietary Active Hexose Correlated Compound (AHCC®, manufactured by Amino Up Chemical Co., U.S. distribution by Maypro Industries), is a polysaccharide-rich mushroom-based ingredient derived from the mycelia of select basidiocymetes. AHCC can modulate both adaptive and innate immunity,14 including improved response to acute infections, influenza and West Nile encephalitis.15,16,17 A 2010 publication by Yale School of Medicine researchers outlines the effects of AHCC administration in healthy adults aged 50 years or older.18 Intake of AHCC increased the frequency of CD4 and CD8 T cell-production of INF-gamma and TNFa. They noted it took at least 30 days of AHCC intake to produce such results, which remained 30 days after discontinuing intervention.

    Polysaccharides are central to the actions of several other specialty supplement ingredients on immune function. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the source of a couple such ingredients developed for their beta-glucan content.

    A proprietary 1,3/1,6 glucopolysaccharide derived from the cell walls of the yeast (as Wellmune WGP®, from Biothera) has been shown to decrease the incidence of URIs in populations prone to experiencing stress-related immune suppression. For instance, firefighters taking Wellmune or placebo for 12 days (followed by a three-day washout period and another 14-day treatment period) were considerably less likely to develop URIs.19 In another trial, 150 subjects with high-lifestyle stress were randomized to receive placebo, 250 mg/d or 500 mg/d of Wellmune WGP for four weeks;20 fewer subjects taking Wellmune had any type of URI symptoms. Wellmune has also significantly reduced the incidence of URIs in marathon runners.21 In other research, healthy adults receiving 250 mg/d of Wellmune WGP or placebo for 90 days had less severe colds and shorter duration than those taking placebo,22 while Wellmune supplementation in children reduced the incidence of fever and eliminated the need for study subjects to miss school due to colds.23

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    zone 6a
    China Connection, as usual you are a fount of medical information!

    Katherine Albrecht used mushrooms with other things to cure her breast cancer, stage 4 I think it was. You may want to contact her for her source and dosing, she may even have it on her site (she's a frequent guest on Coast to Coast on privacy issues). Good luck!

    You may want to check out Dr. Leonard Coldwell's protocol as well, he apparently has an excellent trackrecord.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    North Central Louisiana
    I don't know about the dosage for cancer, but Vitacost and Amazon have them.


  14. #14
    You can try and
    I've found them to be a good company; I've bought mushroom kits from them in the past.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Sandhills North Carolina

    Dr Fuhrman speaks and writes about salads as the immune booster or cancer killer.

    1. 5 Foods That Help Fight & Prevent Cancer | Energetic Health
      Shitake, maitake, reishi, and even the inexpensive button mushrooms all have immune boosting properties which help prevent cancer. Reishi mushrooms have ...

    2. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.: GOMBBS: Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries ...
      Oct 9, 2011 – It's been said these compounds prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying ... oyster, shiitake, maitake and reishi mushrooms all have anti-cancer ..... tacos and untold salads yet some won't come near them because of ...

    3. Cancer Risk Factors and Cancer Prevention
      How to Prevent Cancer ... To prevent or reduce the chance of cancer, it is necessary to avoid exposure to .... [21] Many salad bars feature sliced raw mushrooms.

    4. A Surprising Spinach Salad - American Institute for Cancer Research
      Frisée au lardons, a salad of curly chicory topped with chewy bits of bacon and dressed with hot ... In place of bread croutons, I make a version from mushrooms. ... AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at ...

  16. #16
    Turkey Tails have a very good reputation for immune system enhancement and cancer fighting. Supposed to be good to take while doing regular cancer treatments, too. I've never used them but realized they're growing all over my property so I've been collecting and drying them. Plan to powderize them and keep 'em handy for use.
    Audio Bhagavad Gita downloadable

    This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Central Iowa
    Quote Originally Posted by Barry Natchitoches View Post
    I understand the theory behind maitake mushroom use for cancer.

    What I do can not seem to figure out is where to purchase the stuff in the right dosages for cancer treatment.

    I'm looking for practical advice on how my wife can take it (what product, what specific dosage of that product, and where the product can be bought), not some history of the use of mushroom therapy or some discussion of how great it is in fighting cancer.
    The mushroom is commonly known among English speakers as hen-of-the-woods, ram's head and sheep's head

    Make sure you read up on it about alcohol interactions, I don't remember if there are any or not.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Central Iowa
    Quote Originally Posted by Be Well View Post
    Turkey Tails have a very good reputation for immune system enhancement and cancer fighting. Supposed to be good to take while doing regular cancer treatments, too. I've never used them but realized they're growing all over my property so I've been collecting and drying them. Plan to powderize them and keep 'em handy for use.

    Make sure when you pick the turkey's tail that it's ACTUALLY turkey's tail, there's a look alike and while not dangerous it won't give you the same benefits as turkey's tail.


  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2001
    I was just speaking with a friend today, and he said that hyperbaric medicine has some very encouraging results in treating many ailments. It does make a lot of sense to think it would be useful in treating many cancers as well. From what I have read, oxygen inhibits cancer, and the increased pressure along with O2 enrichment seems to be having a beneficial effect.

    I think there are some independent places where you can try it out for a couple hundred dollars, but can't tell just where they are.
    "Freedom is not something to be secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction."
    -Ronald Reagan

  20. #20
    I buy the majority of these in powder from Ameriherb. I make a tea from the combination of them all and have been drinking a cup each morning for about a year. I also add the Chaga to the others. I think the website is I order from a catalog.

  21. #21
    Okay, this crowd seem to be up front. You are paying for the Polysaccharide Content of the mushrooms.

    Yes they are cultured or else the price would be out of this world. For instance I have some mushrooms in the fridge that cost me $1 for 500 grams. Try $350 for stuff from the wild.

    There are mushrooms also being sold under the same name much cheaper but they don't look anything like maitake mushrooms. Once they get powdered there is no way you would know.

    .................................................. ..............

    Powerful Anti cancer Dried maitake mushroom

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    FOB Price: US $40 - 80 / Kilogram Get Latest Price
    Port: Guangzhou
    Minimum Order Quantity:
    1 Kilogram/Kilograms Sample is available
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    Business type: Trading Company
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    Quick Details
    Product Type: Mushrooms Type: Maitake Style: Dried
    Drying Process: AD Color: Gray Source: Cultivated
    Part: Whole Processing Type: Raw Shelf Life: 24months
    Weight (kg): 1kg/bag Certification: Organic, normal Place of Origin: Guangdong China (Mainland)
    Brand Name: LK Model Number: MT-01 Keyword: Dried Maitake
    Keyword1: Medical Mushroom Color: Brown Polysaccharide Content: 20%-40%
    Packing: 1kg/bag Quality: Grade A Shelf life: 2 years
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    Packaging Detail: 1kg/bag, aluminium foil bag into carton
    Delivery Detail: within 7-15 working days after receive payment

    Dried maitake mushroom
    1.Polysaccharide Content:20-40%
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    Powerful Anti cancer Dried maitake mushroom

    Anti-Cancer, Anti- tumor, Imrpove immune system

    Powerful Anti cancer Dried maitake mushroom
    Also known as Grifola frondosa, Hen of the Woods, Sheep's Head Mushroom

    Maitake is a Japanese mushroom closely related to polyporus used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The word

    Maitake is literally translated from Japanese as "dancing mushroom," so named because in ancient times people

    who found Maitake could exchange it for its weight in silver., leading to their dancing in celebration. Maitake is

    recognized by its small, overlapping tongue- of fan-shaped caps, usually fused together at the base of a host tree

    stump or on tree roots.

    Powerful Anti cancer Dried maitake mushroom

    Maitake has proven itself to be an effective cancer fighter. In laboratory tests, powdered Maitake increased the


    of three types of immune cells-macrophages, natural killer (NIK) cells, and T cells by 140, 186, and 160 percent,

    respectively. A Chinese clinical study established that Maitake treatment reduces the recurrence of bladder surgery

    from 65 to 33 percent. Researchers have found that Maitake, when combined with the standard chemotherapy drug

    mitomycin (Mutamycin), inhibits the growth of breast caner cells, even after metastasis. Maitake also protects the liver.

    Chinese doctors conducted a controlled trial with thirty-two patients who had chronic hepatitis B. The recovery rate was

    72 percent in the Maitake treatment group, compared with 57 percent in the control group. Hepatitis antigens

    disappeared in more than 40 percent of the Maitake patients, indicating the virus had been purged from the liver.

    Laboratory studies also show that Maitake protects liver tissue from hepatitis caused by environmental toxins such as

    carbon tetrachloride and paracematol. These compounds go through a two-step process in the liver in which they are

    first activated into toxic forms and then deactivated into harmless forms. Since Maitake helps the liver handle chemical

    poisons in both steps, it protects this organ against a broad range of potential toxins. Finally, maitake provides nutritional support by enhancing the colon?s ability to absorb micronutrients, especially copper and zinc.

    Powerful Anti cancer Dried maitake mushroom

    Our company pay attention to not only the continuity of supplying goods but also the quality and safety


    1. Both of our plant base of cultivated mushroom and processing factory are strictly comply with the

    requirements of food safety and health.

    2. With the certificates of ISO, HACCP, GAP etc.

    3. All the products must be inspected by Chinese Commodities Inspection Bureau before exported.

  22. #22
    Thank you for all this imfo..

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by packyderms_wife View Post
    Make sure when you pick the turkey's tail that it's ACTUALLY turkey's tail, there's a look alike and while not dangerous it won't give you the same benefits as turkey's tail.

    I'm doing research on that topic, if you have any info I'd appreciate it, as I am just learning. It looks as though only these ones are the "real" turkey tails, what do you think? I have lots of slightly different colors on dead oaks but they are thinner and often slight ruffled, otherwise they look similar.

    This one is called Turkey Tail but now I'm wondering:
    Audio Bhagavad Gita downloadable

    This knowledge is the king of education, the most secret of all secrets. It is the purest knowledge, and because it gives direct perception of the self by realization, it is the perfection of religion. It is everlasting, and it is joyfully performed.

  24. #24
    Turkey Tail Mushrooms Help Immune System Fight Cancer
    Posted: 06/05/2012 8:13 am

    Natural Health , Trametes Versicolor , Mushroom Research , Mushrooms , Mushrooms Cancer , Turkey Tail Mushroom , Turkey Tail Mushroom Cancer , Turkey Tail Mushroom Research , Turkey Tail Mushroom Study , Turkey Tail Mushrooms , Turkey Tail Trametes Versicolor , Healthy Living News

    A promising clinical study shows that the turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) improves the immune systems of breast cancer patients. The multiyear study, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), tracked whether or not turkey tails could positively affect the immune system of patients rebound after they ended their radiation therapy.

    Immunity -- as measured by the number of lymphocyte cells and natural killer cell activity -- usually declines dramatically after radiotherapy. Natural killer (NK) cells protect us from tumors and viruses. Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Bastyr University Research Institute hypothesized that breast cancer patients' health can be improved after radiation treatment if NK cell counts increased quickly to attack remaining cancerous cells.

    The study titled "Phase I Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women with Breast Cancer," recently published in the ISRN Oncology Journal, shows that turkey tail mushrooms can augment conventional therapies for treating breast cancer by increasing NK and CD8+T cell activity. This study suggests that turkey tail mushrooms are an effective adjunct to conventional chemotherapeutic medicines and radiation therapy. The authors concluded:

    ... research by our center continues to indicate that Trametes versicolor represents a novel immune therapy with significant applications in cancer treatment ... The CD8+ T cell counts over the 9-week dose escalation study were enhanced in the 9 gm Tv dose cohort compared to both the 3 g or 6 g group. One-way ANOVA was used to analyze the overall difference between dosage groups over the treatment period (2-4-6 weeks). It showed the statistically significant increase in the CD8+ cytotoxic T cells for the 9 g group compared to both the 3 g and 6 g group (F(2, 6) = 42.04, P = 0.0003).

    Due to its long history of therapeutic use, however, turkey tail prepared and packaged as an immune therapy drug is unlikely to be patentable, deterring big pharmas from conducting costly clinical studies. Typically, the longer the historical use of natural medicines for treating an ailment, the less likely derivatized drugs from these natural products will be patentable. To fill this research gap, the NIH established The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (, which funded and oversaw this study. NIH's interest is not surprising -- more than 70 percent of new drugs are estimated to originate from natural sources.

    Turkey tail mushrooms have been used to treat various maladies for hundreds of years in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous peoples in North America. Records of turkey tail brewed as medicinal tea date from the early 15th century, during the Ming Dynasty in China. Our ancestors certainly encountered them and most likely explored their uses long before written history. Since the late 1960s, researchers in Japan have focused on how turkey tail benefits human health and how extracts of turkey tail can boost the immune system.

    What are turkey tail mushrooms?

    This super-abundant colorful mushroom grows on dead trees, logs, branches, and stumps. Turkey tail mushrooms are called bracket fungi, meaning that they form thin, leather-like and leaf-like structures in concentric circles. Rather than gills underneath, as in shiitake mushrooms, their undersides have tiny pores, which emit spores, placing them in the polypore family. These mushrooms grow throughout the world, practically wherever trees can be found. In fact, turkey tails are some of most common mushrooms found on wood on the planet

    They are commonly called "turkey tail" because their various colors: brown, orange, maroon, blue and green -- reminiscent of the plume of feathers in turkeys. In China, their common name is yun zhi. In Japan, this mushroom is known as kawaritake or "cloud mushrooms," invoking an image of swirling clouds overhead. In many Asian cultures, turkey tails' incurving cloud forms symbolize longevity and health, spiritual attunement and infinity.

    What are the medicinal properties and how is it used?

    Traditionally, our ancestors boiled mushrooms in water to make a soothing tea. Boiling served several purposes: killing contaminants, softening the flesh, and extracting the rich soluble polysaccharides. The mushrooms -- called fruiting bodies by mycologists -- are made of densely-compacted cobwebby cells called mycelium. With modern laboratory methods of cell tissue culture, the large-scale production of mycelium brought to light a whole new array of medicinal preparations. Nowadays, the commercial production of mycelium enables a cleaner and more digestible product than traditional mushroom preparations. Surprisingly, novel compounds are continually being discovered, which are not available using traditional preparations of the fruiting bodies, but are detectable within, and excreted from the rapidly growing mycelium.

    Turkey Tail, Trametes versicolor, is so named for its wide variety of colors.

    The natural killer cells promoted by ingesting turkey tails also target virally-infected cells. Moreover, turkey tail mycelium excretes strong antiviral compounds, specifically active against Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, and hepatitis C virus (HEP-C), which causes liver cancer. Viruses that induce cancer are called "oncoviruses." The virus-to-cancer connection is where medicinal mushrooms offer unique opportunities for medical research. The current thinking amongst many researchers is that turkey tails and other medicinal mushrooms lessen the odds of getting cancer by reducing causal co-factors such as oncoviruses.

    Turkey tail is renowned in Asia as a source for cancer therapy. The Japanese company Kureha first screened many polypore mushrooms and found that turkey tails produced a profound immune response, a discovery confirmed by many other subsequent studies. The Kureha researchers received a patent for extracting both the mycelium and mushrooms in 1976 and derivative U.S. patents through 1981 (long since expired). The extraction method led to marketing "PSK" (polysaccharide Krestin®) and later "PSP," both protein-bound polysaccharides. PSK became recognized as a cancer drug in Japan and approved under somewhat controversial conditions. Before approving a foreign-made drug, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has many requirements. One is that the Active Principal Ingredient (API) needs to be disclosed. Therein lies the problem. PSK is an assortment of sugars and attached proteins but has no unique molecule responsible for its impact on the immune system. Without that API, verification from batch-to-batch is not possible. Thus, it is classified as an undefined drug. This is one reason why PSK cannot be legally imported nor marketed in the United States.

    What products are available in the U.S.?

    While the fractionated "drug" version of turkey tail, known as PSK, is not legal to sell in the U.S., the pure turkey tail product used in the U.S. NIH breast cancer clinical study is widely available from Fungi Perfecti ( under the label "Host Defense." Since this turkey tail mycelium is presented in its unaltered form, it qualifies as a FDA approved "nutraceutical" ingredient. In this form, it can be advertised in the United States and Canada as a supplement to "support the immune system." Getting this nutraceutical on the shelves of health food stores lets physicians and patients access another tool to battle cancer. Enhancing the population and activity of NK cells and other lymphocytes and ensuring antioxidant effects against free radicals can both limit damage to healthy cells and reduce inflammation. These are some of the distinct advantages to using mushrooms in cancer therapy. Nature is a numbers game, and turkey tail helps tilt the balance in the complex battle to overcome cancer.

    Another factor to consider is that turkey tail mushrooms, like other varieties, can hyper-accumulate heavy metals, especially from air and soil pollution. Analyses of mushroom products from Asia, particularly Mainland China, have shown abnormally high levels of cadmium and other immuno-compromising metals -- not a good thing for people who want to bolster their immune defenses. This is one reason why it is important to find certified organic mushrooms and mushroom products. That said, another good characteristic of turkey tail and many other mushrooms like shiitake is that they can also accumulate selenium from the environment. When mercury meets selenium, they form a bimolecular unit that is totally non-toxic. This is why, whenever I eat fish, I like to have soup with organic shiitake -- or better yet, add turkey tails!

    Turkey Tail, as it ages, hosts algae and attracts insects.

    Wild turkey tail have a lifespan of a year or two at most, yet may persist years after they die, attracting and harboring successions of other organisms. Flat-footed flies, beetles and moths are super-attracted to the young turkey tail mushroom, so when you find these in the wild -- or grow them -- you often have an interesting community of co-existing organisms. Eventually the turkey tail, which has fine hairs on its upper sides, host algae communities, coloring the older mushrooms with tinges of green. (See above photo.) Because turkey tail is attractive to many other organisms, when you boil turkey tail mushrooms in water, you are probably extracting an assortment of other organisms in the process. In contrast, the mycelium can be grown under tightly-controlled clean room conditions, resulting in a more consistent, pure product.

    Dusty Yao holds turkey tail mushrooms being grown on sawdust.

    What should you look for when buying a turkey tail product?

    1. Is the product U.S. certified organic? Make sure that there is a certifying agency on the label. Most consumers are not aware that seeing "organic" on the label, within a trademark, does not mean the mushrooms are organic. This is a common deception, and a subject of great controversy within the organic food and dietary supplement industry.

    2. Is this product backed up with scientifically-valid studies? Many companies base their claims on studies, which have used mushrooms that come from other sources than the ones supplying them. Products can vary substantially, dependent on the culture, the growing techniques and the production method. Since independent studies are costly and time-consuming, the majority of mushroom products simply cite pre-existing research conducted on the same species, but do not test the specific mushroom products they are marketing. If possible, choose products supported by validated scientific research.

    3. Where are the mushrooms grown and who grew them? Only skilled growers are aware of the many pitfalls in the process of cultivation. Make sure that not only a recognized expert supports the product but one with skills in cultivation. Most companies selling mushroom health supplements today buy on the spot-market, switching suppliers based on pricing and availability, from unknown sources. Companies typically hide their sources from consumers, saying this information is confidential. This gives companies leeway in switching suppliers, resulting in inconsistent quality. Consistency and purity are issues of concern. If you do not know where the mushroom products you are consuming are grown, think twice before eating them.

    More information synopsizing the many research articles on turkey tail mushrooms can be found here:

    MD Anderson Cancer Center: Coriolus versicolor Detailed Scientific Review --

    American Cancer Society:

    To see Paul Stamets' TEDMED talk on the research on turkey tail and other medicinal mushrooms, see:

    Paul Stamets is a mycologist living in Kamilche Point, Wash. He is the author of six books on mushroom cultivation and identification, including "Growing Gourmet & Medicinal Mushrooms," "The Mushroom Cultivator" (co-author), and most recently "Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World." He has appeared at TED and TEDMED conferences, and runs a business whose website is

    Full disclosure: Paul Stamets and Fungi Perfecti, LLC supplied the turkey tail products used in the above clinical study.

    Photos by Paul Stamets.

    For more by Paul Stamets, click here.

    For more on natural health, click here.

  25. #25
    Hi Barry!

    I encourage you to contact the folks at Mushroom Wisdom They sell Maitake D-fraction Grifon Pro, a condensed liquid concentrate, in various strengths. I took it for over a year, back in 2000, after having a low malignancy potential ovarian tumor removed. They have quite a research staff and I see they are now working with several cancer centers. I contacted them back in 2000, they asked me several questions, and then recommended an appropriate dosage. The dosage differs if you are simply trying to boost your immune system vs. battling cancer. They were very, very helpful and asked if I would remain in contact with them as part of their data gathering process.

    FYI, they also sell capsules of dehydrated maitake but as I recall, the liquid form is far more concentrated, and I would assume, effective.

    Please feel free to PM me if you need additional info. The phone number to contact them is on their website, top of the page, "contact us" button.

  26. #26
    Barry -

    Golden Eagle here again . . .

    Forgot to mention:
    You may want to contact Dr. Evangelos Michelakis, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada. He has been doing signficant research on DCA (Dichloroacetic Acid), an inexpensive & readily available chemical which has shown to be very effective on a number of cancers. You can view a short news clip about it here:


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