Shiitake mushroom is known as the king of medicinal mushrooms. Due to its impressive healing effects, it is among the most effective medicinal mushrooms globally.
Shiitake mushrooms – healing effects
Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) is an excellent edible mushroom and a medicinal mushroom with beneficial medicinal properties.
Shiitake mushroom has been known in Japan and China for centuries, also because it grows wild there and because of its ingredients it is valued in traditional Chinese medicine. Shiitake helps with inflammation, headaches, dizziness, and stomach ailments. Even small amounts are said to help fight high blood pressure and lower high cholesterol. Shiitake mushroom is also very popular in Europe because of its taste.
Shiitake mushrooms have a good protein content but, at the same time, very few calories and no fat. 100 grams of shiitake contains about 2.2 grams of protein and can therefore be a good source of protein, especially for a vegan diet. 100 grams also covers 40 percent of the daily requirement for vitamin B5, important for hormones, nerves, and energy metabolism. It also contains vitamin C and vitamin B12. Shiitake supports beautiful skin and strengthens hair. Contained copper – 100 grams contains 30 percent of daily needs – promotes strong and shiny hair. Vitamin D can be absorbed not only from the sun but also from shiitake mushrooms: 100 grams of mushrooms already cover 40 percent of the daily requirement. Vitamin D has a positive effect on the immune system.
“Take” means mushroom. The Japanese word “Shii” means Pasania tree, a pseudo-chestnut tree native to Asia.
Shiitake originates from China and Japan’s forests, where for more than 2,000 years, it has been one of the most important medicinal mushrooms with pronounced healing properties.
Healing effects in TCM and Japanese medicine
An extensive range of effects characterizes shiitake.
In Japan, it is recommended, for high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, gout, constipation, neuralgia, and cancer. Typical areas of application in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) include arteriosclerosis, liver disease (e.g., hepatitis), diabetes, measles, and anti-aging.
Since Shiitake is not a European mushroom, it took some time before it managed to be accepted in our latitudes. Nevertheless, the first breeding attempts were made in Germany as early as 1909. years.
Since then, its popularity has grown steadily, and more and more people – including many researchers – are interested in its nutrients and medicinal substances.
Shiitake mushrooms: a high-quality protein supplier
Shiitake contains about 2.2 grams of protein per 100 grams of its mass. Interestingly, its protein contains all the essential amino acids (e.g., leucine and lysine) in a similar ratio as milk or meat and is, therefore, a high-quality protein source.
A Japanese study on adult males also showed that the protein in shiitake, compared to other mushrooms, is elementary to digest.
Shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of copper.
In terms of trace elements, shiitake dominates, especially due to its high copper content. Copper is vital because certain enzymes would not function without copper.
So is copper z. B. Involved in the formation of connective tissue and blood and the functioning of the nervous system.
The recommended daily requirement for copper is about 1 to 2.5 milligrams, so about 70 grams of cooked shiitake mushrooms is enough to cover 72 percent of the daily copper needs.
Shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of B vitamins for nerves and metabolism.
In addition to vitamin B2, vitamin B3, and vitamin B6, shiitake also contains a lot of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), and therefore a lot of positive effects for a healthy metabolism and healthy nerves.
The daily requirement for vitamin B5 is 6 milligrams, of which you covered a quarter with only 5 shiitake mushrooms (approximately 65 g).
Shiitake mushrooms: healing effects in intestinal problems
People who are struggling with an intestinal disease or chronic inflammation can especially benefit from shiitake’s healing effects.
These people often suffer from an insufficient supply of vital substances, so they should put shiitake on their menu more often. Also, shiitake stimulates digestion and positively affects the intestinal flora.
The study proved that the medicinal fungus promotes the growth of probiotic bacteria important for the intestines, and due to its antibacterial properties, also against harmful pathogens. B. Dela Candida albicans.
Shiitake mushrooms: An interesting source of vitamin D.
In Central and Northern Europe, many people suffer from an insufficient supply of vitamin D. The vitamin is mainly produced in the skin under sunlight.
During low-sun seasons, there is often a lack of vitamin D in the northern regions.
Low levels of vitamin D favor almost every chronic disease and prevent its cure if it already exists.
Therefore, other foods contain almost no vitamin D and cannot be used for these purposes.
In addition to some types of fish and fish liver (cod liver oil), mushrooms can also become vitamin D suppliers.
Finnish researchers found in the study that many mushrooms – including shiitake – have an excellent ergosterol content and can therefore be an important source of vitamin D.
The daily requirement for vitamin D is officially given at 600 – 800 IU, unofficially at 4000 to 8000 IU. Studies have now shown that 100 grams of shiitake mushrooms, which initially contained only 100 IU (2.5 µg) of vitamin D, totaled 46,000 IU after 2 days in the sun for 6 hours (i.e., drying there).
So, 2 to 10 grams of shiitake mushrooms would be enough to meet the daily needs for vitamin D, of course only if the mushroom was in the sun.
Good levels of vitamin D in the body also lead to a strong immune system.
Shiitake mushrooms strengthen the immune system.
In China and Japan, shiitake is used today, and the symptoms worsen due to a weakened immune system.
AIDS or HIV
The shiitake mushroom’s healing effect seems to be based specifically on boosting the immune system. In this way, the body’s own defense mechanisms can fight fungi, parasites, bacteria, and viruses.
Also, shiitake should prevent these organisms’ spread and settlement in a straightforward way, which increases its efficiency.
Above all, the polysaccharides in shiitake mushrooms play a major role. These include beta-glucan lentinan, found in the ovary, and shiitake mycelium.
According to American and Asian scientists, Lentinan is one of the most effective immune system activators. It is so effective that it is even used in AIDS.
Plum mushroom and its healing properties for cancer
1969. Researchers at the National Cancer Research Institute in Tokyo used shiitake for the first time to conduct scientific studies.
The results on the curative effects of the fungus on cancer were so revolutionary that shiitake in Japan is now at 8. place among all the drugs most commonly used to treat cancer.
On the one hand, the ingredient lentinan can help the body locate and destroy faster cancer cells. On the other hand, shiitake juice should inhibit tumor cell lines’ uncontrolled growth.
It was also noticed that the number of metastases was smaller and that radiation and antibody therapy was increased.
In Japan, lentinan is usually injected in cancer therapy. The active ingredient can also be taken orally if you eat fresh mushrooms but to a lesser extent.
Stomach cancer: Shiitake mushroom prolongs the life
If stomach cancer is already in an advanced stage and the tumor has spread to neighboring organs, unfortunately, only a small number of people can count on a cure.
The reason is that some advanced tumors are considered inoperable. Even if the chances of recovery are minimal, conventional medicine often recommends a combination of radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
In a clinical study of 89 patients with gastric cancer, one group was treated with chemotherapy alone, while the other group was additionally injected with lentinan from shiitake.
Investigations have shown that survival time could be significantly increased with the help of Lentinan. Other studies have also shown that lentinan can prolong life even with a poor prognosis for breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer.
In addition to lentinan, there are several other active ingredients in shiitake mushrooms, such as B. erythadenine for lowering cholesterol or alpha-glucan AHCC (active hexose-related compound), which also has antitumor properties, which has been particularly shown in cervical cancer.
Shiitake mushroom: healing properties for cervical cancer
Scientists from the University of Texas investigated the healing effects of shiitake on cervical cancer. They found that the AHCC in mushrooms promotes the production of natural killer cells, scavenger cells, and immune messenger substances.
AHCC is a unique blend of polysaccharides, amino acids, and minerals, whereby the power of one’s own killer cells can increase by up to 900 percent in a short time.
Also, AHCC can kill viruses directly. Since cervical cancer is most likely caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), shiitake can prove to be very useful in this area in several ways.
Shiitake mushrooms: how to properly dose
Since shiitake is not yet classified as a medicinal product in Europe and is therefore only available as a dietary supplement, there is a wide range of dosing information.
Mycologist Professor Jan Ivan Lelli, who accidentally coined the term “psychotherapy” and is an expert in this field, recommends 6 to 16 grams of dried mushrooms a day.
The dosage depends on whether the shiitake will be used preventively or to treat the disease.
In the initial anti-cancer therapy, an extract such as our capsules is used. The initial daily dose is increased from 1 gram to 3 grams.
If shiitake is used for serious diseases, the dosage should definitely be discussed with an experienced naturopath. You can contact our nutritionists and consult about the problem for this purpose.
Shiitake mushrooms as a combination therapy
Many experts believe that combining different medicinal mushrooms can increase efficiency. Here z. B. concerned Cordyceps or Reishi, which we have already reported on here:
For example, it is recommended for the general therapy of migraine to take a combination of shiitake and reishi because both medicinal mushrooms improve blood circulation in the brain.
According to the Society for Medicinal Mushrooms, we must not exceed the maximum amount of 5 grams per mushroom when using two or more medicinal mushrooms.
Tip: If you combine shiitake with vitamin C – preferably in the form of a natural source of vitamin C. Acerola powder – The absorption of active ingredients specific to mushrooms can be improved.