The shiitake (Lentinus edodes) fungus is native to Japan, China and Korea. It is currently cultivated worldwide, although Japan is still the largest producer. It has been used in Asian cuisine for thousands of years. The Japanese consider it not only a food, but “the elixir of life.”
It is an excellent source of amino acids, plant proteins, iron, thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamins B6, B12 and D.
Traditionally, shiitake has been used in medicine for various disorders:
• Colds and flu.
• Sexual dysfunction.
• Diabetes .
Shiitake has now been shown to boost the immune system , act as an antiviral and antimicrobial agent, and possibly reduce the size of tumors. Most scientific studies on its health benefits have been made in Japan, although the Western world has been interested in this fungus as a possible treatment of cancer and HIV infection .
This fungus also contains chitin, eritadenine and lentinacin, which appear to lower serum cholesterol .
Perhaps the most beneficial ingredient of shiitake is an activated compound containing hexose (also known as 1,3-betaglucan). Studies on this compound have provided evidence that it has anti-cancer properties in humans and animals.
This compound is already used as a nutritional supplement in many countries and is also used regularly in hospitals in Asia and Japan along with allopathic treatment for various types of cancer. The first clinical trial in humans outside Japan is underway to determine the antitumor effectiveness of this fungus in cancer patients .
The hexose-containing activated compound is isolated from the spores of the partially developed fungi which have been subjected to a treatment to release the compound. It is not abundant in fungi that are available in grocery stores, although its overall health benefits are wide.
As for its power to lose weight , it is based on its satiating power (feeling full) and its low calories. Therefore, it is recommended in regimens to lose weight.
Shiitake mushrooms can be prepared and eaten in the same way as most fungi. The dried mushrooms are used in soup and to make sauces. It is advisable to eat between one or two fresh mushrooms or between one and two tablespoons of dried mushrooms each day.
Shiitake supplements are also available as gel, powder, extract and infusion in food stores.
It is also an ingredient in formulas that strengthen the immune system. Always follow the recommended doses on the labels of the product presentations.
-Remedy with shiitake to lose weight : Consume, once a day, a vegetable salad that contains 3 shiitake mushrooms chopped for 15 days.
-Remedy with shiitake for cholesterol: Eat salads containing only shiitake, onions and garlic 3 times a day for 15 days.
-Remedy with shiitake for cervical dysplasia: Consume shiitake mushrooms twice a week.
-Remedy with shiitake for ovarian cancer : Consume 6000 mg of sihiitake fungus spread in three daily intakes.
-Remedy with shiitake to strengthen the immune system: Pour 3 drops of shiitake tincture (available from botanical pharmacies or herbalists) in a cup of water. Take 1 time per day.
-Shiitake is non-toxic and harmless for human health.
-High daily doses over a prolonged period of time can cause diarrhea.
-No interactions with other plants or drugs have been described.