Maitake is a mushroom, making it both a food and a supplement. Has been found to be safe as a food source. Laboratory studies indicate possible anticancer properties but no results yet from human clinical trials. Some purported but unproven uses include immune stimulation, antihypertensive, antidiabetes, and ability to lower cholesterol.
Attention for Liver Disease: None known. If maitake stimulates the immune system, then theoretically, should be avoided by those with autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis or other autoimmune diseases; those taking immune suppressants, such as steroids and anti-rejection drugs for liver transplantation; and those using interferon.
Safety Information: Maitake may lower blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Safety for children, pregnant or breastfeeding women has not been established.
Interactions: Use cautiously if taking medications to treat blood pressure or blood glucose levels. Use cautiously if taking other herbs or supplements that are known to also lower blood pressure or blood glucose levels.
Lab Notes: May lower blood pressure and blood glucose tests.
Note: Be sure not to confuse maitake mushrooms with a poisonous variety.