After the button mushroom, the shiitake is the most commonly consumed edible mushroom. But the spicy-tasting “king of mushrooms” is also said to have positive effects on cholesterol and inflammation.
Which description fits shiitake?
The shiitake also has the botanical name Lentinula edodes, which in Japanese means something like “mushroom (take) that grows on the paranoia tree (shiva)”. Because it grows on trees, especially on so-called hardwood trees such as beech, oak, or maple. The shiitake is extremely aromatic and has a garlic-like aroma, which is why the mushroom is very popular as an edible mushroom alongside the button mushroom. This is how the description of its appearance can be summarized: Its light to dark brown hat measures between five and twelve centimeters, and its flesh is white and firm. Shiitake has a firm place in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and is used to treat many ailments.
What are the areas of application and what is the effect of Shiitake?
In addition to around 25 percent protein, the shiitake also provides vitamins from the B group such as B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and niacin as well as ergosterol (provitamin D). It also contains minerals such as potassium, calcium, and phosphorus as well as the trace elements iron and zinc. In traditional Chinese medicine, Shiitake is said to have an effect in the following areas of application:
- mushroom poisoning
- measles in children
- stomach pain
- high cholesterol levels
- high blood pressure
- liver diseases
- a cold
Does shiitake have a proven effect on cancer?
Medicinal mushrooms such as shiitake are not medicinal. Several positive effects have also been proven in studies. But about cancer, it must be expressly mentioned that there are studies on cells and animals that indicate the effects of shiitake against cancer cells. However, there are no meaningful studies that confirm these findings. In addition, the results cannot be extrapolated to humans, which is why there is a need for further research. Those affected should therefore never stop taking medication that has been prescribed by the doctor. If necessary, Shiitake can supplement conventional medical treatment.
In what dosage is Shiitake used?
There are no general dosage recommendations for shiitake. In traditional Chinese medicine, six to eight grams of mushrooms as an extract or tea daily are recommended. Shiitake is not only available as a natural product, but also in dried, crushed form as a powder, capsule, or tablet form. Homeopathically trained doctors or naturopaths can give tips on individual dosage. When children are ill, the first point of contact should always be the pediatrician.