Sunday, July 22, 2007


Shiitake, is the common Japanese name for the edible mushroom Lentinula edodes, which is now cultivated and is the second most commonly produced edible mushroom in the world.It grows naturally on fallen wood of broadleaf forests and according to a Chinese physician of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Wu Juei, it preserves health, improves stamina and circulation, cures colds and lowers blood cholesterol. Chinese Medicine is prescribed as a concoction of several herbs, whereas Western medicine employs pure, single compounds, either natural or synthetic Traditional Chinese medicine uses many products derived from fungi, including Lentinula edodes, or the shiitake fungi. Its place in traditional Chinese medicine and the West’s science based medicine has been examined. The Institute for Scientific Information’s (ISI) impact factor (IF), which is measured by the number of citable articles in a journal divided by the number of journals it has been cited in, has been used as a method of critique. Scientific study has also determined that the shiitake may have health benefits as well. The mushrooms are high in fiber and antioxidants, and it has been suggested that they could be beneficial in a cancer preventing diet. Shiitake mushrooms are also high in iron and vitamin C, and supposedly help to boost the immune system. In addition, like many fresh fruits, vegetables, and fungi, the shiitake can also lower levels of bad cholesterol and promote heart health. Its immune-boosting activities are used to help AIDS