Guide Maitake Mushrooms in Australia: Where to buy

Last Updated on August 23, 2022

This buying guide will help you buy the best Maitake supplements in Australia. Maitake mushrooms have been shown to have potent medicinal properties, capable of helping regulate blood sugar, boosting immune function, and helping in cancer treatments to just name a few.
It is important to consume quality Australian medicinal mushroom products that have the fungally derived compounds that make it medicinal. Unfortunately, there are a lot of sub-par products on the market, some of which contain little to zero of the important Maitake compounds. 

Fortunately, it is often simple to distinguish a quality product from the label if you know what to look for. While some companies use some deceiving marketing and product labeling, this guide will show you exactly what to look for to judge the quality of your maitake products.

maitake mushroom

Our top 2 picks for Maitake supplements in Australia

Please read our buying guide below on how to purchase the best Maitakeproducts. One of our ongoing goals here at World Mushroom Society is to help Australian consumers choose the best medicinal mushroom products to get the full health benefits from their supplement products.
Our top 2 picks for the best Maitake supplements in Australia are from the following producers.

  1. Dr Noel’s Mushroom Powder
  2. Teelixir

1. Dr Noel’s Maitake Mushroom Powder

Our findings

  • Product: Concentrated Maitake Powder
  • Ingredients: 100% Pure Organic Maitake (Grifola frondosa) mushroom powder
  • Polysaccharides: ≥ 15%
  • Beta Glucans: ≥ 10%
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: Fujian and Zhejiang province, China
  • Price: $59.95 AUD
  • Number of servings: 80
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Serving suggestion or serving size: Mix 1/4-1/2 tsp (1g) into hot or cold beverage or dish multiple times daily for best results.

Pros – what we like

  • Over 50 years of experience in studying mushrooms
  • Founded by Australian mycologist Dr. Arnold Noel in Southern Highlands NSW and Xingli Wang, the founder of Biosan Biotech Co. Ltd.
  • 30 years of experience in the organic health food industry – both in Australia and China
  • For greater bioavailability and digestibility, the Maitake mushroom fruiting bodies have been preheated before pulverisation to powder to be more bioavailable – this helps break down the mushroom cell walls known as Chitin
  • Does not contain any grain filler or mycelium
  • Beta-glucan amount of >10% specified on the label
  • 100% Organic, non GMO, Di Dao sourced
  • Certificate of Analysis report provided on request
  • Health benefits: Powerful antiviral support for cold and allergies, fights inflammation, supports liver health, boosts the immune system, assists in fertility, helps regulate normal blood pressure.

Cons – how it could improve

  • Not hot water extracted for those who prefer extracted mushrooms for higher beta-glucan content

2. Teelixir Maitake Powered Extract

Our findings

  • Product: Maitake Mushroom
  • Ingredients: Wild cultivated and 100% wood-grown Grifola frondosa Maitake Mushroom fruiting body
  • Extraction Method & Extraction Ratio: Dual Extracted 10:1
  • Polysaccharides: >2%
  • Beta Glucans: >21%
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: Jilin province, China
  • Price:
    $29.99 AUD for 50 g (1.8 oz)
    $188 AUD for 500 g (1.1 lb)
    $343 AUD for 500 g (1.1 lb)
  • Number of servings: 31
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Serving suggestion or serving size: 1/4 – 1/2 tsp (1.6g) Maitake extract per day

Pros – what we like

  • Highest beta-glucan amount of >21% specified on the label
  • Does not contain any grain filler
  • Third party lab tested for heavy metal content
  • 100% Australian Certified Organic (ACO), non GMO, Di Dao sourced
  • Health benefits: immune system enhancement, stress management, hormone balance support, energy support, organ function support (heart, liver, spleen), metabolism support, high blood pressure regulation

Cons – how it could improve

  • Only available in powder form. It would be great to have Maitake in capsule form for convenience and combining it to my daily stack of other vitamins and supplements


How to buy the best Maitake supplements in Australia

Choose Maitake fruiting bodies over mycelium

The first thing to consider when buying a maitake supplement in Australia, and any mushroom supplement for that matter, is to see what sort of fungal material the supplement is derived from. In general, most supplements are either made from the mushroom fruiting bodies, such as the ones we eat for food, or the fungal mycelium. Mycelium are the white filamentous roots of mushrooms, such as the ones readily seen in rotting wood. 

While mushroom fruiting bodies are the most traditionally used in medicine many producers use mycelium based mediums to produce their supplements. Although mycelium has been shown to have many medicinal properties, it is often produced in ways where desired fungal compounds are absent or in low concentrations. This is the case for products made from myceliated grain. 

Myceliated grain is fungal mycelium cultivated in grain medium such as brown rice, wheat, or millet. Once fully colonized this grain is then processed for the production of supplements. While this does contain fungal biomass, it is in much lower proportions than a mushroom fruiting body. This results in supplements that are still largely composed of grains. This means these supplements contain many of the starches found in grain (which many people try to eliminate from their diets) and small quantities of the medicinal compounds. 

While there are studies that show myceliated grains have beneficial properties, chemical analysis shows that they contain much less of the bioactive compounds found in mushroom fruiting bodies. The reason for producing supplements from myceliated grain is because it is much cheaper to produce than using fruiting bodies. 

How to Know if Your Supplement is Made From Myceliated Grain or Fruiting Bodies

● Read the ingredients. While some products may not directly mention it on their label, some will list grains directly on their ingredient list.

● Look for products that specify. A supplement producer that uses fruiting bodies in their product will typically display this in their labels saying something along the lines of “100% Mushroom Fruiting Body”. 

● Some supplements may simply say “Maitake Mushroom Powder” or other ambiguous ingredients which could still technically be made from grains. If your producer does not specify that they are fruiting bodies you should think twice. 

● Ideally a product should verify its contents with a chemical analysis to confirm the presence of desired compounds. Products may either display this directly or give necessary information needed to find the results online. We will discuss this further in the article. 

Ideal extraction method 

Extractions are processes that can concentrate medicinal compounds found within Maitake and make them more bioavailable to the human body. They are also generally practical for consumption, storage, and to use in other supplement formulas. Maitake can technically be incorporated into your diet to receive its medicinal properties but it may not be so convenient for regular consumption. 

The most common forms of extracts for Maitake are powdered extracts and tinctures. These can be produced through a number of different methods which may affect their effectiveness. Powdered extracts are generally considered the most potent since they don’t contain liquids, but potency can always vary. 

Understanding extraction ratios 

A quality Maitake extract will often mention its extraction ratio on the label. An extraction ratio is a term used to explain the concentration of a product. It usually appears on the label saying “10:1 Extract” or something along those lines. What this means is that there were 10kg of mushroom used to produce every 1kg of extract. While the higher the ratio generally means it’s more potent, it does not always mean a 20:1 extract is twice as potent as a 10:1 extract. That’s because it only reflects the quantity of mushrooms used for the process and not necessarily the concentration of medicinal compounds successfully extracted. You can also find 1:1 Extract Powders which typically contain the entire fruiting body and fungal biomass.

Dual extractions for Maitake

Many mushroom extracts specify that they are produced using “Dual Extraction”. This is a common way to make extracts that utilize both water and alcohol as solvents. This ensures the presence of both alcohol and water-soluble compounds. While this is important for many medicinal mushrooms, it is not necessarily preferable for Maitake.

This is because the medicinal compounds found within Maitake mushrooms are generally considered to be water-soluble. In particular, these are polysaccharides known as beta-glucans that are particularly bioavailable. 

The benefits of alcohol extractions are that they may also provide any less-studied novel compounds and in the case of tinctures, it helps with shelf-life. This being said, Maitake tinctures only need about 20% to stabilize shelf life and any more is overkill. It reduces the concentration of water-soluble compounds and can cause them to precipitate from the solution.

Advanced extractions and refined fractions

If you are looking for some of the most potent and refined Maitake extracts, you may want to consider using the advanced extracts from the company known as Mushroom Wisdom. Mushroom Wisdom makes highly refined extracts of specific components from the Maitake Mushroom. These advanced extracts are also known as “fractions” and are much more refined than the classic dual-extracts. Instead of being composed of many different compounds with various levels of bioactivity, these advanced extracts isolate specific compounds known to be useful for specific disorders. This being said, dual-extracts have the benefit of being “full-spectrum” and containing various active biochemicals while these advanced extracts only contain very specific compounds that generally have a specific targeted use.

  • SX-Fraction is a glycoprotein specifically used to regulate blood sugar and help in the treatment of diabetes. The Maitake SX-Fraction is likely the most potent and effective medicinal mushroom supplement for this purpose. The SX fraction triggers specific insulin receptors that then through subsequent processes increase the ability to uptake glucose from the blood.
  • D-Fraction is made from specific polysaccharides from Maitake that have been shown to potentially have particularly potent anti-cancer properties and also greatly improve immune function. There also exists an MD-Fraction which is even more refined and considered to be more potent.

Just to clarify, normal dual-extracts contain the same compounds as SX-Fraction and D-Fraction, plus they have many other components typically found within Maitake Mushrooms. So with a normal extract, you will get these components but in much lower concentrations. These fractions are generally a bit more costly and better suited for people looking to treat serious medical conditions. 

Beta-glucan content on the label 

The best way to know the potency of a Maitake supplement is by the quantity of beta glucans in the product. This is particularly true for maitake where beta glucans are the most known bioactive compounds. Beta glucans can also be an indicator of other fungally derived compounds. This is why the best mushroom supplement products will display beta glucan content directly on the label. 

Some products may mention the polysaccharide content but this may not always represent the true beta glucan content. While beta glucans are polysaccharides, it is important to consider polysaccharides could originate from other plant derived sources. A high-quality product should contain at least 10% beta-glucans and less than 4% starch content. Supplements should contain no more than 5% greater total polysaccharide content than beta-glucan content. You should also check the ingredient list to ensure that beta-glucans are not originating from yeast, oats, and other natural sources of beta-glucans which will not have the same effect. 

Chemical analysis can also be a great way to ensure your product is clean and free of any unwanted contaminants. This is important because mushrooms themselves and extracts derived from them can concentrate heavy metals and other toxic compounds.

Australian grown Maitake vs Chinese grown

China is the largest producer of Maitake mushrooms in the world and has been growing and cultivating medicinal mushrooms for centuries. The majority of the best quality Maitake products are grown in China. After all, Maitake and other medicinal mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years, long before usage by Western society.

There is online discussion about the quality of health foods and supplements coming from China. China has high rates of air pollution which can negatively affect the quality of soil with unwanted pollutants and heavy-metals. This is something to consider when purchasing Maitake products in Australia. We suggest always looking for a Certification of Analysis that has stringent testing and on heavy metals and pesticides.


Certificate of analysis

If you are unsure of the quality of the Maitake product, ask the Australian producer for a third party Certificate of Analysis (COA). A Certificate of Analysis from a third party lab is important to identify the beneficial compounds (eg. beta-glucans, PSP, PSK) in the Maitake product, as well as to avoid heavy metals, pesticides and other foreign contaminants. Heavy metals that are typically tested for range from arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. If an Australian producer does not have this on their website, they may be able to provide a COA upon request.

7. Organic

Certified organic Maitake products ensure that your products do not contain herbicides, fungicides or pesticides and other harmful chemicals. Look for the Australian Certified Organic logo stamp of quality and integrity on the label of the bottle or pouch.

Maitake supplements types you can buy in Australia

Maitake powder

Mushroom powders can be a great and easy way to incorporate Maitake into your diet. These differ from powdered extracts because they are composed of 100% powdered Maitake. 

Maitake extract

Extracts contain the individual medicinal compounds of Maitake without the biomass. This is done via an extraction process with hot water and/or alcohol and solvents (dual extraction). This makes small doses of Maitake highly potent, extremely compact, and have a longer shelf life. 

There are two different types of extracts available in Australia:

1. Maitake tinctures

Tinctures are liquid extracts that most often use water and alcohol solvents. They are a convenient method of consuming Maitake.

2. Maitake powdered extracts

Powdered extracts are the dry powdered result of extracting the individual medicinal compounds from the Maitake mushroom. Powdered extracts can be extracted from both the fruiting body and/or the mycelium.

Maitake capsules

Capsules or pills either contain activated mushroom powders or powdered extracts. They can be particularly easy to adapt for those who are already consuming medications in this form. They are useful in the fact that they come pre-dosed and are easy to consume.

Maitake coffee and tea

Maitake can be incorporated into hot drinks such as coffee and tea. The big benefit these products have is that they are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

Maitake Tea can be purchased as tea bags containing both Maitake powder and dried tea herbs; leaves.

Maitake Coffee products are sold as ground coffee beans mixed with Maitake powder.

Fresh Maitake mushrooms

Fresh Maitake mushrooms are edible and considered delicious. Slow-cooked at low temperatures in soups or stews can be a great way to preserve the active compounds and make them bioavailable.

Fresh Maitake mushrooms as whole fruiting bodies are rare to find for sale in Australia. We are not aware of Australian stores that sell these fresh.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to grow Maitake mushrooms in Australia? 

No, Maitake is illegal to grow in Australia – according to Dr Noel. They are however, legal to be imported.

Is Maitake mushroom legal for purchase in Australia? 

Yes, Maitake is legal for purchase and consumption in Australia. All Maitake supplements and medicinal mushroom products must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA). 

Can Maitake be purchased from my doctor?

Maitake cannot be purchased from a western doctor, but can be purchased through a Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor. Maitake is considered a complementary medicine that can be purchased online or in stores, and does not require a prescription for purchase.

In Australia, medicinal products containing such ingredients as certain herbs, vitamins and minerals, nutritional supplements, homeopathic medicines and aromatherapy products are referred to as ‘complementary medicines’ and are regulated as medicines by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) under the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 (the Act) and the supporting Therapeutic Goods Regulations 1990.

Can Maitake products be purchased from a naturopath?

Yes, many Australian naturopaths sell Maitake supplements as part of their treatment for various illnesses.

Does Chemist Warehouse sell Maitake?

Yes, Chemist Warehouse sells some mushroom products that contain Maitake in their ingredients. 

How much does Maitake mushrooms cost in Australia?

The price of Maitake in Australia can vary, depending on the product type and producer.
Maitake Extracts, powders and capsules can range from $20 per product to over $100.

Health benefits of Maitake

Maitake Has Anti-Tumor Properties and May Help In Cancer Treatment

Maitake Has Immunomodulating Properties

Maitake Has Anti-Glycemic Properties and May Help Against Diabetes

Other Potential Applications

  • Maitake Mushroom extract was shown to induce ovulation in patients with polycystic ovary syndrome. (Chen, 2010)
  • Spontaneously hypertensive rats 10 weeks in age showed a significant reduction in blood pressure after consuming Maitake mushrooms for 8 weeks. (Kabir, 1989)
  • Studies done on mice suggest Maitake may help reduce cholesterol and improve lipid metabolism. It does this by inhibiting both liver lipid and serum lipid which are increased by the ingestion of high-fat foods. (Kubo, 1997)

Conclusion

Maitake supplements continues to grow in popularity in Australia and consumers should be aware of how and where to purchase the best Maitake mushroom supplements. Maitake should be used as a supplement to a holistic treatment that often includes changes in diet, habits, and daily lifestyles. We hope this guide gives you all the right information to choose a top quality Maitake product in Australia. 

Check out our other medicinal mushroom buying guides for Australia:

We are not a traditional society or club. World Mushroom Society is a collective of fungi enthusiasts and health advocates, sharing information and identifying top producers of high quality medicinal mushroom supplements.

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DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information found here is not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information from your doctor for ongoing medical treatment you currently receive. If unsure, please consult with your doctor before using medicinal mushrooms. Any content related to cancer should not be considered as prescriptive medical advice and should not be a substitute for any cancer treatment, unless advised by your doctor first. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by TGA and FDA-approved research. If you are pregnant or on prescription drugs that thin the blood, consult with your medical professional before using medicinal mushrooms.
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