Shiitake vs Maitake: What’s in a Name?

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) and maitake (Grifola frondosa) are two highly prized, versatile, delicious, umami-flavored mushrooms many of us enjoy today. Both have their roots in Asia, which is reflected in their etymology. In Japanese, take means mushroom. For shiitake, the shii prefix is the name of a tree in which the mushrooms naturally grow from. The mai in maitake means dancing — thus we get the “dancing mushroom.” This etymological story is less straightforward and more poetic. Upon finding maitake, people would dance with joy, as the mushroom was a revered food and medicine. As different as they are, these two mushrooms have many medicinal and culinary parallels. Keep reading to learn more about shiitake vs maitake mushrooms!

Experience the benefits of shiitake and maitake together in both our Myco Cleanse and Mush 10 formulas!

Spot the Difference

Shiitake has that classic cap and stem morphology. They come in all sizes, and usually grow as individual mushrooms (not fused together like maitake).

Maitake, commonly called “hen of the woods,” grows at the base of oak trees. The mushroom specimens you find are usually growing from the same mass, fanning out into a ghostly, taupe-colored bouquet of mushrooms.

Nutrient Difference: Shiitake vs Maitake

We referred to Versus, a very useful website for comparing many things edible, and we were able to pull some illuminating numbers on how the two mushrooms compare for specific nutrients. When it comes to shiitake vs maitake, neither mushroom triumphs over the other.

Numbers are based on per 100g of each:

Shiitake

Maitake

  • 9% more food energy (calories)
  • 15% more protein
  • Higher B-vitamin content
  • 2 times more calcium
  • 36% more iron
  • 49% more magnesium
  • 37% more zinc
  • 62 – 70 % more vitamin D
  • Twice as much niacin
  • Contains roughly 8% more dietary fiber
  • 13% less sugar

Shiitake vs Maitake

Shiitake vs Maitake Medicinal Highlights

Shiitake

A popular food source in Asia, and the second most widely cultivated edible mushroom in the world. Aside from it being delicious and versatile in the kitchen, shiitake has convincing properties to earn it the title of a “superfood.” Shiitake is commonly acknowledged for its benefits to our liver and skin, as well as its ability to combat the common cold. It is highly antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal; making shiitake a great choice for mitigating candida or other yeast infections. Because shiitake has such cleansing effects on our liver and is high in selenium, it is also used as a beautifying mushroom, helping our skin stay clear and glow from within.

Maitake

Maitake mushrooms contain the novel, immune-boosting compound called D-fraction. Our receptors for these polysaccharides account for a kind of white blood cell known as macrophages. These cells — which are activated when maitake is consumed — engulf pathogens, tumor cells, and other foreign particles. Maitake is also a star choice for anyone battling Syndrome X — such as diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol. According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, maitake can lower the oxidation in the body by up to 69%.

Both shiitake and maitake have credence in the medicinal mushroom world. Here at Mushroom Revival, we work with them both. With our products, you don’t have to choose between shiitake vs maitake; you can find both of them in our Mush 10 formula, as well as in our Myco Cleanse! Try yours today and amplify your health and wellbeing!

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