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Maitake mushrooms are grown in northern Japan, and have been sought after for centuries for their delicate flavour and unique medicinal properties. They can grow up to 20 inches in diameter and can weigh up to 100 pounds. Maitake means literally ‘dancing mushroom’ because legend has it that mushroom hunters would dance for joy when they found this rare delight.
Studies during the 1980’s showed that the mushrooms had many remarkable properties, such as stimulating the immune system by activating T-cells, and shrinking tumours in mice more effectively than common chemotherapy drugs (results showed 99% shrinkage within 14 days). Maitake has been found to not only enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy, but also appears to reduce some of the side effects experienced throughout the treatment, such as nausea and fatigue.
Studies by Cancer Institutes have revealed that maitake can also prevent the destruction of T-cells by HIV, by as much as 97%, and some doctors are already successfully using the extract on AIDS patients.
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