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Herbal medicine
A mushroom that contains B vitamins, cortinelin (an antibacterial) and lentinan (­a polysaccharide complex that stimulates the immune system). Shiitake has been used as a medicinal mushroom for upper respiratory diseases, poor circulation, liver disease, exhaustion and weakness, and to boost qi/chi. It is also said to prevent premature ageing, hypertension, AIDS and the occurrence of hang nails.
Fringe oncology
Shiitake mushrooms have been used for cancer via proprietary extracts (e.g., PSK, Lentinan).

Dubious at best.


n See lentinan.
References in periodicals archive ?
The latest data show shiitake imports declined 66% in the week to March 29 from a year earlier, but some farmers still want the government to invoke safeguard curbs to protect them from pressures from cheap Chinese exports.
After cutting the trees, the logs must be inoculated with shiitake spawn plugs.
Other studies are focusing on reishi's polysaccharides which, like shiitake and maitake, show antitumor and immune-boosting effects.
With the aid of a new state-of-the-art facility in Kennett Square, the Caputo and Guest operation--the parent of Kennett Square Specialties and Highland Oysters--pumps out 20,000 shiitake logs a week and produces a half-dozen varieties from eight mushroom "farms" across the Kennett Square region.
Import and Export of China's Shiitake Mushroom Industry
Pan-seared Asparagus with Shrimp, Shiitakes and Chilies
Business owner Cynan Jones said: "The profile of the business has changed dramatically in the last two years, as only 15% of our sales is now for fresh shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
With as few as two acres, you have the ability to grow more than 500 pounds of shiitake on one cord of wood.
Grown in a chemical-free environment, the mushrooms produced by The Mushroom Garden, including the sought-after Shiitake Asian mushroom, can take up to three months to produce.
The shiitake contains another toxic chemical that will surprise you: formaldehyde
Last Thursday, shiitake mushrooms from Fukushima city were found to have a level of radioactive cesium of 880 becquerels per kilogram against the limit of 500 becquerels.
Because shiitake colonize recently dead trees rather than those already decomposing on the forest floor, you can cut shiitake nursery logs from living trees--preferably young, healthy trees that need to be thinned anyway.