Organic Shiitake Mushroom Powder (Immune System, High in Vitamin D)
Organic Shiitake Mushroom Powder
Shiitake mushrooms (Lentinus edodes) are fungus that have obtained their name as a result of association with the ‘Shii’ tree which grows in Japan. Shiitake mushrooms normally grow around dead, felled trees since they thrive on the nutrients from the trees. The Shiitake mushroom is also referred to as ‘fragrant mushroom’ or ‘black forest mushroom’. The shiitake mushroom is the second most cultivated mushroom worldwide. It is popular for its health benefits both as food and for supplements. The edible fungus grow best on certain species of hardwood trees and logs. Oaks are among the best preferred trees used to grow the mushrooms.
Compared to other mushrooms, Shiitake mushrooms are relatively bigger, fleshier and firmer as they rest on the felled logs. They have a pleasant aromatic flavour and their protein content is higher compared to that of other mushrooms. Also, mushrooms are the only plant source of vitamin D which makes them quite special. Shiitake mushrooms are quite specific when it comes to their cultivation. The mushrooms do not grow on living tissue. Also on the dead logs, they should be propagated early enough before other competitive fungi take over. Also, they prefer to go under sunlight and not in damp, darkened beds. The mycelium, which is the vegetative part of the fungus, is what is mostly dried and ground to come up with Shiitake mushroom powder.
Shiitake Mushrooms have been in use for over 6,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine. The mushrooms which are native to Japan and China are revered by the natives and are perceived as special given their special method of propagation. In the ancient times, the natives in Japan, China and Korea found the mushrooms on downed ‘Shii’ trees. The mushrooms obtained their name as a result of growing from these specific trees. In ensuring their continued growth, the natives would take the mushroom-filled logs and place them next to others that didn’t have mushrooms. This way the wind would disperse the spores and they would start growing on the fresh logs as well. The first major cultivation of Shiitake mushrooms was carried out in China by the legendary Wu Sang Kang. He discovered the magical mushroom growing in the wild forests in his hunting and gathering escapades. What amused him was the fact that how fast and vibrantly the Shiitake mushrooms grew from the fallen logs. Wu Sang Kang is given credit for coming up with the present methods of cultivating the quite popular fungi. He discovered that the mushrooms only grew on logs of certain tree species and in certain conditions.
Shiitake mushroom powder contains quite a number of essential nutrients. Some of these include dietary fiber, proteins, vitamin B, iron, manganese and copper, among others. The mushrooms also contain a special compound referred to as ergosterol. It supplies the body with the right proportions of vitamin D. The mushrooms also contain another bioactive chemical, polysaccharide lentinan. It has anti-inflammatory properties which counters the inflammation attributed to various conditions. The vitamin D present in Shiitake mushrooms is responsible for improving bone strength and density. This is turn prevents premature aging. Shiitake mushrooms are also credited with improving immunity. They polysaccharides present in the mushrooms boost cell-mediated immune responses. This way, the body is kept alert in case of invasion by any disease-causing organisms.
How to use Shiitake
4 - 6 grams a day, can be made into a hot tea, mixed int stews and soups or smoothies, but can also add to smoothies, or just mixed with water.