Can there be any possible connection between Maitake and tumors, and what exactly is Maitake?
There is mounting evidence that Maitake can actually dissolve cancerous tumors, but may also has several other benefits.
They include fighting the HIV virus, lowering blood pressure, and also has tremendous benefits in fighting diabetes.
The Chinese and Japanese have been using this herb for both cooking and healing for centuries.
However, not until the last 20 years has modern medicine actually done any studies or given any real notice.
But there is so much evidence pouring in that it no longer can be ignored, just like vitamins and minerals and the many benefits that they provide.
It is a fungus, but an edible fungus that is a mushroom whose scientific name is Grifola frondosa.
All mushrooms are fungus, and fungi can be true pathogens that cause infections, or they can be opportunistic pathogens that cause infections in immune compromised people, such as cancer or HIV patients.
However, the same fungi are also used to develop antibiotic, antitoxins, and other type drugs to control various diseases.
And nature provides fungus that may have healing powers that many of us do not understand and are just learning about.
In fact, the healing potential of mushrooms has perhaps been folklore only; but folklore to those that did not understand it, as to those that did, it is much more than folklore.
The actual term maitake is a Japanese word that means dancing mushroom, as when they were found people would literally dance for joy. And still do.
To them it is not folklore as they know the healing properties.
Maitake is a giant of a mushroom, and is found in several parts of the world in mountain areas.
It is a light to golden brown in color and can grow the size of a basketball, but it is very sensitive to environmental changes which make it so very hard to find.
Although it has been used for centuries in cooking, it has also been used for healing.
The beta glucan in these fungi is what is known as a cell surface carbohydrate, meaning that it aids cell communications.
It is classified as a polysaccharide, which is a class of carbohydrate, such as starch and cellulose are, and as such, the glucan helps to activate white blood cells called macrophages.
Macrophage is critical in fighting antigen and foreign invaders in our bodies.
It is a type of white blood cell that actually ingests these invaders, and destroys bacteria, protoza, and yes, tumor cells.
It is perhaps one of the best, if not the best, natural builders of our immune systems to fight off these invasions.
There have been several studies on the benefits of Maitake, and here are some references:
A 1997 study published by the Annals of New York Academy of Science found that the an injectable form of extract of Maitake enhanced the immune system.
It was also effective in inhibiting the spread of tumors in mice that had been implanted with breast cancer cells.
In this case, Maitake and tumors look promising.
The same Journal in 1995 reported that that the immune system of mice that had been infected with liver cancer cells also had the same effects when injected with Maitake.
It prevented the spread of the tumors to the liver as well as protecting the development of any form of cancer in other cells in the body, another case where Maitake and tumors look promising.
Other research documented in the Academic Press, 1985, showed that in another study that Maitake was used to treat both allogeneic and syngeneic tumors in mice.
Both results showed a complete tumor inhibition in the mice.
However, this time they were not injected, it was given orally.
In yet another study documented in the Chemistry Pharmacy Bulletin, 1985, Maitake not only activated various effector cells to attack tumor cells, it also prevented tumor bearing hosts from attacking any cell.
This is yet another case where Maitake and tumors show promise.
There is ongoing research being done by the Cancer Treatment Center of America as well as the National Cancer Institute to continually study the effects of this amazing fungus.
This product is only sold in the United States as a dietary supplement, and as such, testing is not required to determine side effects.
The Food and Drug Administration does not require testing as long as there are no claims made that supplements can treat, prevent, or cure any specific disease.
Because of this it should be considered incomplete with Maitake and tumors.
In the testing with mice with Maitake and tumors, however, it did lower blood sugar levels, and should be taken with caution for people with low blood sugar levels.
Maitake has been used for centuries and is a mainstay in diets as well as used for treatments in several Asian countries.
Reducing, fighting, or eliminating cancerous tumors should always be left to your physician, but remember that it took the Medical community over 200 years to fully acknowledge that Thiamine cured Beriberi.
The benefits of this wonder mushroom as a supplement in either preventive measures or in conjunction with treatment could be absolutely enormous.
You be the judge. It will most likely never be recommended by your physician, but it is your body. Maitake and tumors and what it may be able to do look very promising.
Wagner, H. and Proksch, A., Immunostimulatory Drugs of Fungi and Higher Plants, Ecorpomic and Medical Plant Research, Academic Press, New York, 1985.
Nariba, Hiroald, Anfitumor Activity of Orally Administered 'D-Fraction' from Maltake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), J. of Nat. Med. 1(4):10-15,1993.