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    Lentinus edodes

    This mushroom is the second most extensively cultivated mushroom worldwide. It has been a popular food source in the food of asia for hundreds of years. In america, we have actually enjoyed it in chinese and japanese dining establishments. Following recent improvements in cultivating strategies, it is rapidly becoming a preferred in markets and on dining tables in the united states and canada. In addition, people can now grow it in the house utilizing simple packages prepared by mushroom specialty business.

    The shiitake has a medium-sized, umbrella-shaped, tan to brown cap. The edges of the cap roll inwards. The underside and stem are white. You will discover lots of variations when you purchase this mushroom.

    It has been estimated that the origin of shiitake mushrooms can be traced to the cretaceous period, over one hundred million years ago. It is discovered growing wild in the mountainous regions of china, japan, indonesia, and taiwan. The scattering of shiitake spores has been traced utilizing tropical cyclone wind patterns as the mushrooms were distributed from one to the other of these nations. It is not found wild in the united states or in other places.

    In china it is called dongo and shanku. When served in chinese dining establishments here it is called “the black forest mushroom.” the japanese call the most extremely treasured and priced specimens donko. These have closed caps. Koshin types (spring season range) have open caps and are more economical.

    The chinese were the first to cultivate this mildly fragrant mushroom more than six a century back. Yield and quality differed from year to year up until scientific strategies were established. Japanese scientists established a method of placing pencil-shaped plugs of mycelial generate grown from specifically selected ranges of lentinus edodes into holes tired in oak logs. Thoroughly monitored in the forest, the ready logs performed the work that supported the whole shiitake industry. Today it is grown in the united states along with in asian countries on a range of products consisting of cellulose, such as sawdust enriched with rice bran. It is sold fresh in addition to dried.

    In japan and china the chemicals found in shiitakes have actually been evaluated for medical homes. Extracts have actually been utilized in treating cancer, and claims have actually been made that they minimize cholesterol, boost sexual power, lengthen life, eliminate viruses, and enhance blood circulation. Most people will be skeptical of such panaceas, however at the minimum, this is the most pleasurable way of taking medicine we have experienced. Check out mushrooms as health foods by kisaku mori if you want to know more about the subject.

    Shop with care when acquiring dried shiitakes, given that there are lots of grades and costs. The caps might be thick and fleshy, or thin; large or little; cracked on top or smooth. The extremely thick, cracked-topped donko types are pricey, but worth the price. They are meaty and can withstand any food.

    In the united states bottled extracts of shiitake are sold for medical functions, and it is packaged as a powder. (1 )

    Common names

    • Forest mushroom
    • Lentinula
    • Pasania fungi
    • Hua gu (2 )


    Lentinan is a polysaccharide originated from the vegetative parts of the edible japanese shiitake mushroom. It is the cell wall constituent drawn out from the fruiting bodies or mycelium of l. Edodes. The light, amber fungi are discovered on fallen broad-leaf trees, such as chestnut, beech, or mulberry. They have decurrent, even, or ragged gills, a stem, and are covered with fragile white flocking. Shiitake mushrooms are typically sold in food markets in asia and are now extensively offered in the united states, canada, and europe. Synonyms include cortinellus edodes, armillaria edodes, cortinellus shiitake, and tricholomopsis edodes.


    The shiitake mushroom consists of starch, fiber, chitin, and high amounts of protein.2 lentinan is a water-soluble, high molecular weight polysaccharide in a triple helix structure, consisting of only glucose molecules with mainly (1-3)- beta-d-glucan linkages in the regularly branched main chain with 2 beta (1,6)- d-glucopyranoside branchings for every 5 beta-( 1,3)- glucopyranoside direct linkages. Lentinan, which is thermolabile4 is found in very low concentrations in fresh shiitake mushrooms (around 0.02%); at least 5 additional polysaccharides have been separated from l. Edodes.

    Other constituents of interest found in the mushroom include the antioxidant phenolic compounds gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, and catechin6; along with eritadenine selenium (as selenomethionine) ergosterol, vitamin d, and calcium. (3 ).

    How to select

    Fresh: when purchasing fresh shiitakes, prevent those grown in a sawdust medium and opt for log-grown mushrooms. You can acknowledge a shiitake grown on outside logs: it has a dark brown cap that curves under and is nearly round. Ideally, connected to the cap’s underside is a thin “veil,” through which the gills show up. The gills should be firmly formed and wet. Sawdust-medium shiitakes have flat tops, are drier, and typically do not have the flavor of log-grown mushrooms.

    Dried: when purchasing dried shiitakes, search for mushrooms with thick brown caps ridged with white.

    How to prepare

    Fresh: shiitakes never been available in contact with dirt, so the only washing typically required is a gentle wipe with a moist fabric or a paper towel. Use a knife to get rid of the stems where they fulfill the cap. The stems are too fibrous to consume by themselves, however they make an excellent addition to the stockpot.

    Shiitakes are rather good raw, if you don’t mind their chewiness. Sautéing is the most common treatment for shiitakes. Among the most crucial techniques for sautéing shiitakes is preserving the noise of constant sizzling while they’re in the pan, which implies you’re cooking them over vibrant heat. You want the shiitakes to establish a brown, crisp exterior, which will improve their taste.

    Dried: prior to utilizing dried shiitakes in a dish, even if it’s a soup or a stew, it’s finest to rehydrate them in hot water. The stems tend to be woody, so trim them off and discard after soaking.

    How to save

    Fresh: if you need to keep fresh shiitakes, put them in the refrigerator and cover them with moist paper towels. They can last for as long as two weeks, however it’s finest to consume shiitakes right after harvesting.

    Dried: to store dried shiitakes for a short time (a month or less), seal the mushrooms in an airtight container or ziptop bag and shop in a cool, dark location. For long-lasting storage, seal the dried mushrooms in sturdy zip-top freezer bags and put them in the freezer where they’ll keep forever. (4 ).


    4 whole shiitake mushrooms (76 g):.

    • 26 calories
    • 0 g of fat
    • 5 g of carb
    • 2 g protein
    • 304 mcg of vitamin d (5 )

    How are they used?

    Shiitake mushrooms have 2 primary usages– as food and as supplements.

    Shiitake as entire foods

    You can cook with both fresh and dried shiitake, although the dried ones are slightly more popular.

    Dried shiitake have an umami flavor that’s a lot more intense than when fresh.

    Umami flavor can be referred to as mouthwatering or meaty. It’s frequently considered the 5th taste, together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

    Both dried and fresh shiitake mushrooms are utilized in stir-fries, soups, stews, and other dishes.

    Shiitake as supplements

    Shiitake mushrooms have long been utilized in conventional chinese medicine. They’re also part of the medical customs of japan, korea, and eastern russia.

    In chinese medicine, shiitake are thought to boost health and longevity, along with enhance circulation.

    Research studies recommend that a few of the bioactive substances in shiitake might safeguard against cancer and inflammation.

    Nevertheless, much of the research studies have been performed in animals or test tubes instead of people. Animal studies often use doses that far go beyond those that individuals would generally receive from food or supplements.

    In addition, many of the mushroom-based supplements on the marketplace have actually not been tested for effectiveness.

    Although the proposed benefits are appealing, more research is needed.


    Shiitake have a long history of use, both as a food and in supplements.

    May aid heart health

    Shiitake mushrooms may increase heart health. For instance, they have three compounds that help lower cholesterol:.

    • This compound inhibits an enzyme involved in producing cholesterol.
    • These particles help obstruct cholesterol absorption in your gut.
    • Beta glucans. This type of fiber can lower cholesterol.

    One study in rats with hypertension discovered that shiitake powder prevented a boost in blood pressure.

    A study in lab rats fed a high-fat diet demonstrated that those offered shiitake developed less fat in their livers, less plaque on their artery walls, and lower cholesterol levels than those that didn’t consume any mushrooms.

    Still, these effects need to be validated in human research studies prior to any strong conclusions can be made.


    Numerous compounds in shiitake help lower cholesterol and may minimize your threat of heart disease.

    May improve your body immune system

    Shiitake may also assist reinforce your immune system.

    One study gave people 2 dried shiitake daily. After one month, their immune markers improved and their inflammation levels dropped.

    This immune effect might be partially due to among the polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms.

    While individuals’s immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, a mouse study found that a supplement originated from shiitake assisted reverse some age-related decline in immune function.


    Consuming shiitake mushrooms regularly may help boost your body immune system.

    Contain compounds with possible anticancer activity

    Polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms might also have an anticancer result.

    For instance, the polysaccharide lentinan helps combat growths by activating your immune system.

    Lentinan has been shown to prevent the growth and spread of leukemia cells.

    In china and japan, an injectable type of lentinan is used along with chemotherapy and other major cancer treatments to improve immune function and quality of life in individuals with gastric cancer.

    Nevertheless, evidence is insufficient to identify whether consuming shiitake mushrooms has any effect on cancer.


    Lentinan is a polysaccharide in shiitake mushrooms that might assist fight cancer.

    Other possible advantages

    Shiitake mushrooms may likewise help fight infections and promote bone health.

    Promising antibacterial and antiviral results

    Numerous compounds in shiitake have anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal impacts.

    As antibiotic resistance is growing, some scientists think it is very important to check out the antimicrobial potential of shiitake.

    That stated, while isolated compounds reveal antimicrobial activity in test tubes, eating shiitake is unlikely to have any effect on viral, bacterial, or fungal infections in individuals.

    May reinforce your bones

    Mushrooms are the only natural plant source of vitamin d.

    Your body needs vitamin d to develop strong bones, yet very couple of foods contain this crucial nutrient.

    The vitamin d levels of mushrooms vary depending on how they’re grown. When exposed to uv light, they develop higher levels of this compound.

    In one research study, mice fed a low-calcium, low-vitamin-d diet plan developed symptoms of osteoporosis. In contrast, those provided calcium and uv-enhanced shiitake had greater bone density.

    Nevertheless, keep in mind that shiitake offer vitamin d2. This is an inferior kind compared with vitamin d3, which is discovered in fatty fish and some other animal foods.


    Substances in shiitake have antimicrobial homes, though you’re unlikely to get take advantage of eating the mushrooms themselves. Shiitake with greater vitamin d levels may enhance your bone density. (6 ).

    Shiitake mushrooms vs. Other mushrooms

    How does the shiitake stack up with other mushrooms? Let’s take a quick picture.

    Shiitake: fights cancer cells and infectious disease, improves the immune system, promotes brain function, and functions as a source of b vitamins.

    Maitake: can help enhance the health of help patients and manages blood glucose levels of diabetics. May minimize high blood pressure and enhances the immune system.

    Reishi: fights swelling, liver illness, tiredness, tumor development and cancer. Improves skin conditions, and soothes digestive issues, stomach ulcers and leaking gut syndrome.

    Cordyceps: has anti-aging effects and boosts immune function. Enhances stamina and athletic efficiency, acts as a natural aphrodisiac, fights diabetes, and enhances liver function.

    How to prepare?

    The shiitake is a flexible food that can be integrated into a range of dishes. You can buy these mushrooms raw, prepared or dried.

    Due to the fact that they’re becoming more popular due to their nutritional worth, you can find shiitake mushrooms at most grocery stores.

    When purchasing your shiitakes, try to find mushrooms that are firm and plump. Avoid mushrooms that look slimy or old and wrinkly– those aren’t fresh.

    Keeping fresh mushrooms in the refrigerator in a closed bag or container with a lid keeps them fresh for about a week. If you utilize dried mushrooms, keep them in a sealed bag and shop them in the fridge or freezer, where they can stay fresh for up to year.

    When preparing shiitake mushrooms, you wish to cut off the stems since they’re too woody to eat, however you do not need to toss them out. Add the stems to a veggie stock to take in all of those nutrients.

    Make certain to rinse the mushrooms thoroughly. They can be put in a bowl of warm water for about 10 minutes to get rid of any residue and after that rinsed.

    Now you’re ready to add them to your breakfast, lunch or dinner. Here are some ideas to get you began:.

    Include them to an omelet with veggies. Try this tasty vegetable omelet dish. You can even include avocado to the top for some healthy fats.

    Produce a brown rice or quinoa bowl with shiitake mushrooms, garlic, grated lemon zest and extra-virgin olive oil.

    Use shiitake mushrooms in this green bean casserole dish.

    Prepare lettuce or collard green wraps with a mix of natural ground turkey, shiitake mushrooms and chestnuts.

    Make a hearty spinach and shiitake mushroom quiche.

    Make a scrumptious soup by combining peeled shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, fresh ginger, cilantro, lime juice, chicken stock and coconut milk.

    Create a stir-fry with shiitake mushrooms, great deals of veggies and your favorite source of protein, like shrimp, chicken or beef. (7 ).

    Shiitake mushroom adverse effects to be knowledgeable about

    1. Gastrointestinal issues

    The shiitake mushrooms you receive from the supermarket are usually safe to consume. However wild-picked mushrooms can in some cases consist of toxic substances that cause throwing up and diarrhea, according to colorado state university.

    Shiitake mushrooms are likewise hard to absorb for individuals with an intolerance, which can take place when your body has problem processing a particular food, per the american academy of allergic reaction, asthma & & immunology (aaaai). Food intolerance symptoms include:.

    • Gas
    • Bloating
    • Stomach pain
    • Diarrhea

    repair it: if you have an intolerance to this food, it’s best to go with a shiitake mushroom replacement in your meals (like veggies) rather.

    Is mushroom high in histamine?

    Mushrooms are low in histamines, according to august 2020 research in biomolecules. However, they do consist of other amines (like putrescine), which is why they’re often excluded from low-histamine diet plans for people with a histamine intolerance.

    2. Allergic reaction

    Though it’s not one of the most typical food allergens, it’s possible to have a shiitake mushroom allergy or allergies to other wild mushrooms, according to the harvard t.h. Chan school of public health.

    An allergic reaction takes place when your immune system overreacts to a food, per the aaaai. Signs can consist of:.

    • Hives
    • Scratchy skin
    • Swelling
    • Wheezing
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea

    fix it: if you know you have a mushroom allergic reaction, prevent consuming shiitakes and any associated items.


    Some individuals can have an extreme allergy called anaphylaxis, which can make it hard to breathe or cause loss of awareness, per the aaaai. Seek medical care instantly if this takes place to you.

    3. Skin rash

    When it pertains to shiitake mushroom negative effects, a mushroom allergic reaction rash isn’t the only skin response you might experience.

    Undoubtedly, eating the fungus raw or undercooked can likewise lead to a shiitake mushroom rash called shiitake dermatitis, according to november 2016 research study in pharmacognosy review.

    A shiitake rash usually develops a day or more after you consume the mushrooms, and shiitake dermatitis images reveal that the rash looks like whiplash marks. It’s triggered by a poisonous reaction to lentinan, a substance in the mushroom, per the pharmacognosy review research.

    One older 1993 study in dermatology discovered that this rash might be sensitive to sunshine, though new research is needed to much better understand if this holds true.

    repair it: shiitake mushroom dermatitis can be treated with anti-histamine or corticosteroid medications, and generally gets better within about two weeks, per the pharmacognosy evaluation research.

    4. Gastrointestinal disorder

    There aren’t numerous recorded break outs of food poisoning from mushrooms in the u.s., according to colorado state university.

    Still, it’s possible to get foodborne illness from bad shiitake mushrooms. This might be the case if you eat mushrooms that were contaminated with bacteria during the growing or processing stage, per colorado state university. Rotten mushrooms that were then canned, dispersed and eaten have likewise caused food poisoning in the past.

    Pathogens from raw meat, poultry, seafood or eggs can also move onto mushrooms (or any other food, for that matter) if dealt with in close proximity, according to the centers for disease control and avoidance (cdc).

    Mushrooms are also disposable, according to the fda. In other words, old mushrooms can make you sick if they haven’t been properly saved.

    So, what occurs if you consume spoiled mushrooms here are mushroom gastrointestinal disorder symptoms:.

    • Nausea
    • Throwing up
    • Watery or bloody diarrhea
    • Stomach pain and cramping
    • Fever

    repair it: to prevent foodborne disease, follow these suggestions from the cdc:.

    • Clean your hands, utensils, surfaces and food prior to preparing and consuming a dish
    • Store and manage raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs separately
    • Completely cook food
    • Promptly cool perishable food

    Are shiitake mushroom stems toxic?

    Possibly you have actually heard the myth that shiitake mushrooms stems are harmful and can even trigger extreme responses like mushroom paralysis. But this isn’t true– the stems are edible and safe to consume, per colorado state university, so long as you follow correct food security protocol to avoid foodborne illness. (8 ).


    Medications that reduce the body immune system (immunosuppressants) communicates with shiitake mushroom

    Shiitake mushroom can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those utilized after a transplant, reduce the activity of the body immune system. Taking shiitake mushroom together with these medications may decrease the effects of these medications. (9 ).

    The bottom line

    Shiitake mushroom extract is a natural and safe supplement that can offer lots of advantages. Whether you are taking it for a healthy heart or to enhance your immune system, shiitake mushroom extract can make a visible difference. (10 ).



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