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Shiitake Mushroom : Basic Details | Mushroom supplier | Biobritte mushroom center

Shiitake Mushroom: Basic Details

After the white button mushroom, shiitake is the most popular culinary mushroom in the world. The mushroom’s meaty flavor can complement almost any dish and, as it turns out, the mushroom that delights so many with its distinctive flavor is also a medicinal mushroom. 

Shiitake Mushroom: Basic Details

• Name: Latin name, Lentinula edodes: lent means “supple,” inus means “resembling,” and edodes means “edible.” Shiitake comes from the Japanese word for a variety of chestnut trees, shita, and the word for mushroom, take. Sometimes called the “Forest Mushroom” and the “Black Forest Mushroom.” In China, known as Shaingugu (or Shiang-ku), which means “fragrant mushroom.” The name may derive from the Shii tree, Japanese for “oak”; the name shiitake would therefore mean “oak mushroom.” 

• Description: Cap is dark brown at first and grows lighter with age; spores are white and the edges of the gills are serrated. 

• Habitat: Shiitake grows on dead or dying hardwood trees (chestnut, beech, oak, Japanese alder, mulberry, and others), during the winter and spring. Native to Japan, China, the Korean peninsula, and other areas of East Asia. 

• Active ingredients: 1-3 beta-glucans; polysaccharide KS-2; glycoproteins (LEM, LAP); eritadenine; iron, niacin, vitamins B1 and B2. 

• Uses: Major anti-cancer agent in Japan (Lentinan®); anti-viral (HBV, HIV); anti-bacterial (strep throat; fights caries); protects the liver; lowers cholesterol; helps control high blood pressure.

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