Lentinus edodes

This mushroom is the 2nd most extensively cultivated mushroom worldwide. It has actually been a popular food source in the cuisine of asia for centuries. In america, we have actually enjoyed it in chinese and japanese dining establishments. Following recent enhancements in cultivating techniques, it is quickly becoming a preferred in markets and on dining tables in the united states and canada. In addition, people can now grow it in your home using easy packages prepared by mushroom specialized 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 find numerous variations when you buy this mushroom.

It has been approximated that the origin of shiitake mushrooms can be traced to the cretaceous duration, over one hundred million years back. It is found growing wild in the mountainous regions of china, japan, indonesia, and taiwan. The scattering of shiitake spores has actually been traced using hurricane wind patterns as the mushrooms were dispersed from one to the other of these countries. It is not discovered wild in the united states or elsewhere.

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 highly valued and priced specimens donko. These have closed caps. Koshin types (spring season range) have open caps and are cheaper.

The chinese were the first to cultivate this slightly fragrant mushroom more than 6 a century earlier. Yield and quality varied from year to year up until clinical techniques were established. Japanese researchers developed a method of placing pencil-shaped plugs of mycelial generate grown from specifically selected varieties of lentinus edodes into holes tired in oak logs. Carefully supervised in the forest, the ready logs performed the work that supported the entire shiitake market. Today it is grown in the united states along with in asian nations on a range of materials containing cellulose, such as sawdust enhanced with rice bran. It is sold fresh as well as dried.

In japan and china the chemicals discovered in shiitakes have actually been analyzed for medicinal residential or commercial properties. Extracts have actually been used in treating cancer, and claims have been made that they lower cholesterol, improve sexual power, extend life, eliminate infections, and improve blood circulation. The majority of people will be hesitant of such panaceas, however at the very least, this is the most pleasurable method of taking medicine we have experienced. Read mushrooms as organic food by kisaku mori if you need to know more about the subject.

Shop with care when buying dried shiitakes, considering that there are numerous grades and rates. The caps might be thick and fleshy, or thin; large or little; cracked on top or smooth. The really thick, cracked-topped donko types are expensive, but worth the price. They are meaty and can withstand any food.

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

Typical names

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


Lentinan is a polysaccharide derived from the vegetative parts of the edible japanese shiitake mushroom. It is the cell wall constituent extracted from the fruiting bodies or mycelium of l. Edodes. The light, amber fungis 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 delicate white gathering. Shiitake mushrooms are commonly offered in food markets in asia and are now commonly available in the united states, canada, and europe. Synonyms consist of cortinellus edodes, armillaria edodes, cortinellus shiitake, and tricholomopsis edodes.


The shiitake mushroom includes starch, fiber, chitin, and high quantities of protein.2 lentinan is a water-soluble, high molecular weight polysaccharide in a triple helix structure, containing just glucose particles with mainly (1-3)- beta-d-glucan linkages in the frequently branched primary chain with 2 beta (1,6)- d-glucopyranoside branchings for each 5 beta-( 1,3)- glucopyranoside direct linkages. Lentinan, which is thermolabile4 is found in very low concentrations in fresh shiitake mushrooms (approximately 0.02%); at least 5 additional polysaccharides have actually been separated from l. Edodes.

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

How to choose

Fresh: when shopping for 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, attached to the cap’s underside is a thin “veil,” through which the gills are visible. The gills ought to be firmly formed and moist. Sawdust-medium shiitakes have flat tops, are drier, and typically lack the flavor of log-grown mushrooms.

Dried: when buying dried shiitakes, try to find mushrooms with thick brown caps ridged with white.

How to prepare

Fresh: shiitakes never ever can be found in contact with dirt, so the only washing usually necessary is a mild clean with a wet cloth or a paper towel. Use a knife to eliminate the stems where they meet the cap. The stems are too fibrous to consume by themselves, however they make an outstanding addition to the stockpot.

Shiitakes are rather good raw, if you do not mind their chewiness. Sautéing is the most common treatment for shiitakes. One of the most essential techniques for sautéing shiitakes is preserving the sound of consistent sizzling while they’re in the pan, which suggests you’re preparing them over lively heat. You want the shiitakes to establish a brown, crisp exterior, which will boost their taste.

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

How to store

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 2 weeks, but it’s best to eat shiitakes not long after collecting.

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 place. For long-term storage, seal the dried mushrooms in heavy-duty zip-top freezer bags and put them in the freezer where they’ll keep indefinitely. (4 ).


4 entire 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 utilized?

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

Shiitake as whole foods

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

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

Umami flavor can be referred to as tasty or meaty. It’s frequently thought about the 5th taste, alongside sweet, sour, bitter, and salty.

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

Shiitake as supplements

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

In chinese medication, shiitake are thought to improve health and longevity, as well as improve blood circulation.

Studies suggest that a few of the bioactive compounds in shiitake may secure versus cancer and inflammation.

Nevertheless, many of the research studies have actually been performed in animals or test tubes rather than people. Animal research studies frequently use doses that far surpass those that people would usually get from food or supplements.

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

Although the proposed advantages are promising, more research study is required.


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

May aid heart health

Shiitake mushrooms might boost heart health. For example, they have 3 substances that help lower cholesterol:.

  • This compound inhibits an enzyme associated with producing cholesterol.
  • These particles help obstruct cholesterol absorption in your gut.
  • Beta glucans. This kind of fiber can reduce cholesterol.

One research study in rats with high blood pressure discovered that shiitake powder avoided an increase in blood pressure.

A research study in lab rats fed a high-fat diet showed that those given shiitake established less fat in their livers, less plaque on their artery walls, and lower cholesterol levels than those that didn’t eat any mushrooms.

Still, these impacts need to be verified in human studies prior to any strong conclusions can be made.


A number of compounds in shiitake aid lower cholesterol and may decrease your risk of heart problem.

May boost your immune system

Shiitake might also assist reinforce your body immune system.

One research study gave individuals 2 dried shiitake daily. After one month, their immune markers enhanced and their inflammation levels dropped.

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

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


Consuming shiitake mushrooms routinely might help boost your immune system.

Contain compounds with prospective anticancer activity

Polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms may also have an anticancer impact.

For instance, the polysaccharide lentinan helps battle growths by triggering your body immune system.

Lentinan has actually been revealed to inhibit the development and spread of leukemia cells.

In china and japan, an injectable kind of lentinan is used together with chemotherapy and other major cancer treatments to improve immune function and quality of life in people with stomach cancer.

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


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

Other potential benefits

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

Appealing antibacterial and antiviral impacts

A number of compounds in shiitake have anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal results.

As antibiotic resistance is growing, some scientists think it’s important to explore the antimicrobial potential of shiitake.

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

Might strengthen your bones

Mushrooms are the only natural plant source of vitamin d.

Your body requires vitamin d to develop strong bones, yet really few foods include this crucial nutrient.

The vitamin d levels of mushrooms differ depending on how they’re grown. When exposed to uv light, they establish greater levels of this substance.

In one research study, mice fed a low-calcium, low-vitamin-d diet established symptoms of osteoporosis. In comparison, those given calcium and uv-enhanced shiitake had greater bone density.

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


Substances in shiitake have antimicrobial properties, though you’re not likely to get benefits from consuming the mushrooms themselves. Shiitake with higher 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: battles cancer cells and infectious disease, enhances the body immune system, promotes brain function, and acts as a source of b vitamins.

Maitake: can assist improve the health of aids patients and regulates blood sugar level levels of diabetics. May lower hypertension and increases the body immune system.

Reishi: fights inflammation, liver illness, fatigue, tumor development and cancer. Improves skin disorders, and soothes digestion issues, stomach ulcers and dripping gut syndrome.

Cordyceps: has anti-aging impacts and boosts immune function. Enhances endurance and athletic efficiency, serves as a natural aphrodisiac, fights diabetes, and improves liver function.

How to cook?

The shiitake is a versatile food that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. You can buy these mushrooms raw, prepared or dried.

Because they’re ending up being more popular due to their dietary value, you can find shiitake mushrooms at most supermarket.

When purchasing your shiitakes, search for mushrooms that are firm and plump. Prevent mushrooms that look slimy or old and wrinkly– those aren’t fresh.

Saving fresh mushrooms in the fridge in a closed bag or container with a lid keeps them fresh for about a week. If you use dried mushrooms, keep them in a sealed bag and store them in the fridge or freezer, where they can remain fresh for as much as year.

When preparing shiitake mushrooms, you want to cut off the stems because they’re too woody to consume, but you do not have to throw them out. Add the stems to a veggie stock to absorb all of those nutrients.

Make certain to rinse the mushrooms thoroughly. They can be positioned in a bowl of hot water for about 10 minutes to get rid of any residue and then rinsed.

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

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

Develop a wild rice or quinoa bowl with shiitake mushrooms, garlic, grated lemon enthusiasm and extra-virgin olive oil.

Usage shiitake mushrooms in this green bean casserole recipe.

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

Make a hearty spinach and shiitake mushroom quiche.

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

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

Shiitake mushroom side effects to be knowledgeable about

1. Gastrointestinal issues

The shiitake mushrooms you obtain from the grocery store are normally safe to consume. However wild-picked mushrooms can often include toxins that trigger throwing up and diarrhea, according to colorado state university.

Shiitake mushrooms are also tough to digest for people with an intolerance, which can occur when your body has problem processing a specific food, per the american academy of allergic reaction, asthma & & immunology (aaaai). Food intolerance signs include:.

  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea

fix it: if you have an intolerance to this food, it’s finest to choose a shiitake mushroom replacement in your meals (like veggies) instead.

Is mushroom high in histamine?

Mushrooms are low in histamines, according to august 2020 research study in biomolecules. Nevertheless, they do include other amines (like putrescine), which is why they’re in some cases left out from low-histamine diet plans for individuals 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 body immune system overreacts to a food, per the aaaai. Signs can include:.

  • Hives
  • Scratchy skin
  • Swelling
  • Wheezing
  • Throwing up
  • Diarrhea

fix it: if you understand you have a mushroom allergy, avoid consuming shiitakes and any associated products.


Some people can have a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, which can make it tough to breathe or result in loss of consciousness, per the aaaai. Look for healthcare instantly if this takes place to you.

3. Skin rash

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

Certainly, consuming the fungus raw or undercooked can also result in a shiitake mushroom rash called shiitake dermatitis, according to november 2016 research in pharmacognosy review.

A shiitake rash generally establishes a day or 2 after you eat the mushrooms, and shiitake dermatitis photos reveal that the rash appears like whiplash marks. It’s brought on by a hazardous response to lentinan, a compound in the mushroom, per the pharmacognosy evaluation research.

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

repair it: shiitake mushroom dermatitis can be treated with anti-histamine or corticosteroid medicines, and generally improves within about two weeks, per the pharmacognosy review research.

4. Food poisoning

There aren’t many documented outbreaks of food poisoning from mushrooms in the u.s., according to colorado state university.

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

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

Mushrooms are likewise disposable, according to the fda. To put it simply, old mushrooms can make you sick if they haven’t been correctly kept.

So, what takes place if you eat ruined mushrooms here are mushroom food poisoning symptoms:.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal discomfort and cramping
  • Fever

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

  • Tidy your hands, utensils, surfaces and food before preparing and eating a dish
  • Shop and handle raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs independently
  • Completely cook food
  • Quickly cool perishable food

Are shiitake mushroom stems harmful?

Possibly you have actually heard the myth that shiitake mushrooms stems are toxic and can even trigger serious reactions like mushroom paralysis. But this isn’t real– the stems are edible and safe to consume, per colorado state university, so long as you follow correct food safety protocol to avoid foodborne disease. (8 ).


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

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

The bottom line

Shiitake mushroom extract is a natural and safe supplement that can provide plenty of advantages. Whether you are taking it for a healthy heart or to strengthen your body immune system, shiitake mushroom extract can make a noticeable difference. (10 ).


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