Shiitake mushrooms are arguably one of the few mushrooms which people can mix with various dishes for a distinctive Asian taste. It is one of the most popular mushrooms from Asia to have reached the West, not only in terms of cuisine but also in the field of medicine. Shiitake mushrooms may be considered nature’s janitors as it cleanses the body of toxins and improves blood circulation.
Based on the Japanese word “shii,” which pertains to a species of oak, these mushrooms grow on wood. Although they sound close to the Japanese tongue, shiitake mushrooms are also native to other countries like China and Korea. Like most mushrooms, they thrive on the dead tissue of select species of hardwood trees. In 1972, the United States government allowed shiitake mushrooms to be cultivated in the country, signaling the start of the shiitake industry. Synthetic logs as the base for growth increased shiitake production four times as much as natural wood.
Shiitake mushrooms are usually dried to create a stronger flavor for use in cooking up various Eastern dishes. When processed for medicinal use, however, shiitake mushrooms become the body’s best friend in taking out the trash literally. To start with, it helps normalize cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. When taken in extract form, the beneficial effects are magnified.
The secret weapon of the shiitake mushroom extract for cholesterol control is a substance called eritadenine. According to a certain study, four ounces of fresh shiitake or two ounces of dried shiitake can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as ten percent in a week. Other studies say that the rate can be much higher in the same amount of shiitake consumed within the same period. This just goes to show how shiitake mushrooms can save you from a clogged artery.
Along with cholesterol control, shiitake mushroom extract is also packed with loads of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for proper bodily functions. People can eat it with their favorite dish, but its effects are more potent when taken as herbal medicine. Furthermore, the amount of amino acids in the shiitake mushroom is more than what meat and eggs can provide. In addition, it helps control the level of fat in the bloodstream, thus helping you lose a few pounds.
Since it is now possible to growing shiitake mushrooms on synthetic wood, a drastic increase in production is highly possible. Due to its wonderful health benefits, the shiitake mushroom extract is sometimes dubbed as the “miracle mushroom.” It may also be Mother Nature’s way of telling you to clean up your body.