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Shiitake

Also indexed as:Fungi (Shiitake), Hua Gu, Lentinus edodes
Shiitake: Main Image© Steven Foster

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Common names:
Fungi (Shiitake), Hua Gu
Botanical names:
Lentinus edodes

Parts Used & Where Grown

Wild shiitake mushrooms are native to Japan, China, and other Asian countries and typically grow on fallen broadleaf trees. Shiitake is now widely cultivated throughout the world, including the United States. The fruiting body is used medicinally.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Hepatitis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
One study found that shiitake formulations containing Lentinus edodes mycelium may help decrease blood markers of liver inflammation
HIV and AIDS Support
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Shiitake is medicinal mushroom immune-modulating effects that may be beneficial for people with HIV infection.
Infection
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Shiitake supports the immune system and protects against microbes.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

Shiitake has been revered in Japan and China as both a food and medicinal herb for thousands of years. Wu Ri, a physician from the Chinese Ming Dynasty era (A.D. 1368-1644), wrote extensively about this mushroom, noting its ability to increase energy, cure colds, and eliminate worms.1

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.