Shiitake (Lentinus edodes) is one of the most popular mushrooms worldwide. Native to east Asia, it is prized for its rich, buttery taste and extensive health benefits.
The fungi naturally grow and thrive on decaying trees. They range from tan to dark brown, with umbrella-shaped caps of 5 to 10 cm. Translated from Japanese, the ‘Shii’ refers to the tree on which the fungi grow, while ‘take’ means mushroom.
Shiitake mushrooms can be used fresh or dried in cooking. Today, they are also ground into a powder and sold as a potent health supplement.
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc and selenium, many of which are natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. They’re a great source of Vitamins A, B2, B12, C and D and contain many of the same amino acids as meat. Additionally, Shiitake mushrooms boast polysaccharides, beta glucans, terpenoids, sterols and lipids, which enhance their medicinal quality.
Polysaccharides - Long complex chains of carbohydrate molecules that store energy, send cellular information and support the cells and tissue.
Beta Glucans - Sugars that are found within the cell walls of fungi. These are effective in reducing cholesterol levels and strengthening the immune system.
In ancient times, natives in Japan, China and Korea found Shiitake growing on rotting ‘Shii’ trees. To ensure their continued growth, they would take the mushroom-filled logs and place them next to fresh logs, allowing the wind to spread the spores across.
The first major cultivation of Shiitake is believed to have been carried out by Wu Sang Kang. He discovered that the mushrooms would only grow on logs of certain tree species and in certain conditions.
The health benefits of Shiitake have been utilised in traditional Asian healing systems for centuries, as well as in Eastern Russia. In Ancient Chinese medicine, Shiitake is used to boost health and longevity, while also improving blood circulation.
Shiitake mushrooms contain 3 compounds; Eritadenine, Sterols and Beta Glucans, which help to lower cholesterol. One study of lab rats on a high-fat diet showed that those given Shiitake had less plaque on their artery walls and lower levels of cholesterol than those that didn’t eat the mushrooms.
The rich nutrient content of Shiitake mushrooms makes it a potent immune booster. One study gave people 2 dried Shiitake daily & after 1 month their immune markers had significantly improved. Additionally, their inflammation levels had dropped.
Mushrooms are the only natural plant source to contain vitamin D, an important nutrient for strong bones. One study found that mice given calcium and UV-enhanced shiitake had a higher bone density than those fed a low calcium, low vitamin D diet.
Shiitake mushrooms contain a powerful antioxidant, L-ergothioneine, which helps to prevent cell breakdown and exfoliate the skin. They are also a rich source of the natural skin brightener, Kojic acid, which can fade sunspots and acne scarring.
The eritadenine and b-glucan in Shiitake mushrooms have fat-reducing properties. Research has shown they can help reduce food intake, increase satiety and reduce the level of fat in the plasma.
The polysaccharides in Shiitake, including lentinan, are said to have an anticancer effect. They may help to fight tumors by activating the immune system and inhibiting the growth and spread of certain cancerous cells.
Shiitake mushroom powder has a complex, intense flavour with a hint of smokiness.
We recommend taking ½ tsp (2g) of Mountainlife Shiitake mushroom powder daily. Add water to create a traditional tea, or mix it in stews, soups or smoothies.
We provide 100% natural Shiitake Mushroom Powder of Chinese Medicinal quality, Di Tao sourced from Zhejiang & Guizhou, China. Our Shiitake Mushroom powder is perfect for those wanting to boost their immune system, improve their skin and enjoy greater vitality.
Turbocharge your body today with Mountainlife Shiitake Mushroom Powder.