Bioactive ingredients and medicinal values of grifola frondosa (Maitake)

Jian Yong Wu, Ka Chai Siu, Ping Geng

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Grifola frondosa (G. frondosa), generally known as hen-of-the-woods or maitake in Japanese and hui-shu-hua in Chinese, is an edible mushroom with both nutritional and medicinal properties. This review provides an up-to-date and comprehensive summary of research findings on its bioactive constituents, potential health benefits and major structural characteristics. Since the discovery of the D-fraction more than three decades ago, many other polysaccharides, including β-glucans and heteroglycans, have been extracted from the G. frondosa fruiting body and fungal mycelium, which have shown significant antitumor and immunomodulatory activities. Another class of bioactive macromolecules in G. frondosa is composed of proteins and glycoproteins, which have shown antitumor, immunomodulation, antioxidant and other activities. A number of small organic molecules such as sterols and phenolic compounds have also been isolated from the fungus and have shown various bioactivities. It can be concluded that the G. frondosa mushroom provides a diverse array of bioactive molecules that are potentially valuable for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical applications. More investigation is needed to establish the structure-bioactivity relationship of G. frondosa and to elucidate the mechanisms of action behind its various bioactive and pharmacological effects.

Original languageEnglish
Article number95
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2021


  • Functional foods
  • Grifola frondosa
  • Maitake mushroom
  • Molecular structures
  • Polysaccharide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science


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