An interesting and healing shiitake mushroom was known in China more than two thousand years ago. This mushroom is so popular, not only in Asian countries, but also in the world, the beneficial properties of Shiitake mushrooms are described in so many articles and brochures that this mushroom is listed in the Guinness Book of Records.

The shiitake mushroom is comparable in its healing properties, perhaps, to ginseng. Shiitake mushroom is absolutely harmless and can be used as a valuable gourmet product, as well as a medicine for almost all diseases. A wide range of beneficial properties of the shiitake mushroom make it possible to use this mushroom as a prophylactic agent that prolongs youth and health.

In shape and taste, shiitake mushrooms are very similar to meadow mushrooms, only the cap is brownish. Shiitake mushrooms are gourmet mushrooms – they have a very pleasant delicate taste and are absolutely edible. Shiitake mushrooms composition.

Composition and calorie content


Shiitake contains 18 amino acids, B vitamins – especially a lot of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin. Shiitake mushrooms contain a lot of vitamin D. The mushroom contains a unique, rare polysaccharide lentinan, which has no analogue in herbal preparations.

Lentinan increases the production of a special enzyme called perforin, which destroys atypical cells and also increases killer cells of necrosis and tumors. Due to its unique properties, shiitake is used as a prophylactic agent for patients who have an increased risk of oncological diseases.

  • Proteins 6.91 g
  • Fat 0.72 g
  • Carbohydrates 4.97 g
  • Caloric content 33.25 kcal (139 kJ)

The benefits of shiitake mushrooms


Shiitake mushrooms effectively fight the side effects of radiation exposure and chemotherapy, and can be used to reduce the effects of anti-cancer treatment in patients in this group.

Useful properties of shiitake mushrooms.

  1. The intensive antitumor effect of fungi helps the human body to resist the development of oncological and benign tumors.
  2. Shiitake mushrooms are a very strong immunomodulator – it increases immunity, the body’s defenses.
  3. Shiitake mushrooms help build an antiviral barrier in the body, an effective defense against inflammatory processes.
  4. Shiitake mushrooms fight against pathogenic microflora in the human body and stimulate the growth of normal microflora.
  5. Shiitake mushrooms help restore blood formula.
  6. The mushrooms themselves, and preparations from them, heal ulcers and erosion in the stomach and intestines.
  7. Shiitake mushrooms remove “bad” cholesterol from the blood, normalize cholesterol levels, and prevent the formation of cholesterol plaques on the walls of blood vessels.
  8. Shiitake mushrooms lower the level of sugar in human blood, help to improve the condition of patients with diabetes.
  9. Shiitake mushrooms normalize the body’s metabolism, improve the processes of interstitial nutrition and cell respiration.
  10. Shiitake mushrooms help normalize carbohydrate metabolism and stimulate weight loss, treat obesity.

Shiitake mushrooms are universal in use: they can be used for almost any disease, and as an independent remedy, and as an addition to the main treatment of official medicine.


The results of scientific observations and experiments carried out amaze the imagination: they prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels already at the stage of the disease, and are used to treat both atherosclerosis and hypertension.

Daily consumption of nine grams of shiitake powder for one month lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood of the elderly by 15%, in the blood of young people by 25%.

Shiitake is effective for arthritis, diabetes mellitus (stimulates the production of cholesterol by the patient’s pancreas). Used by patients with multiple sclerosis, shiitake mushroom helps to normalize immunity, relieve chronic stress, and restore damaged myelin fibers.

The zinc contained in shiitake mushrooms has a positive effect on potency, normalizes the functioning of the prostate gland, and prevents the formation of adenoma and malignant tumors of the prostate.

Industrial, or intensive, cultivation of shiitake

The period of cultivation of shiitake with the use of heat treatment of the substrate on sawdust or other free-flowing ground plant materials is shorter than the period of natural cultivation. This technology is called intensive, and, as a rule, fruiting occurs year-round in specially equipped chambers.


The main constituent of substrates for growing shiitake, which occupies from 60 to 90% of the total mass, is oak, maple or beech sawdust, the rest is various additives. You can also use sawdust of alder, birch, willow, poplar, aspen, etc. Only sawdust of coniferous species is not suitable, since they contain resins and phenolic substances that inhibit the growth of mycelium. The optimum particle size is 2-3 mm.

Smaller sawdust strongly restricts gas exchange in the substrate, which slows down the development of the fungus. Sawdust can be mixed with wood chips to create a loose, aerated structure. However, the increased content of nutrients and the availability of oxygen in the substrates create favorable conditions for organisms that are competitors of shiitake.

Competitive organisms often develop significantly faster than shiitake mycelium, so the substrate must be sterilized or pasteurized. The mixture cooled after heat treatment is inoculated (seeded) with seed mycelium. The substrate blocks are overgrown with mycelium.


The mycelium grows warm for 1.5-2.5 months, and then it is freed from the film or removed from the container and transferred for fruiting in cool and humid rooms. The harvest from open blocks is removed within 3-6 months.

Nutritional supplements are added to the substrate to accelerate mycelium growth and increase yields. In this capacity, grain and bran of cereal crops (wheat, barley, rice, millet), flour of leguminous crops, waste of beer production and other sources of organic nitrogen and carbohydrates are used.

With nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, microelements also enter the substrate, which stimulate not only the growth of the mycelium, but also fruiting. To create the optimal acidity level and improve the structure, mineral additives are added to the substrate: chalk (CaCO3) or gypsum (CaSO4).

The components of the substrates are well mixed by hand or by mixers such as a concrete mixer. Then water is added, bringing the humidity to 55-65%.

Shiitake culinary properties


The Japanese put shiitake first for taste among other mushrooms. Soups made from dried shiitake or from their powder are especially popular in Japan. And although Europeans have a specific, slightly pungent taste of shiitake at first, they usually do not delight, people accustomed to shiitake find its taste attractive.

Fresh shiitake has a pleasant mushroom scent with a slight admixture of radish scent. Mushrooms, dried at a temperature not higher than 60 ° C, smell the same or even better.

Fresh shiitake can be eaten raw without boiling or any other cooking. During boiling or frying, the specific, slightly pungent taste and smell of raw shiitake becomes more mushroomy.

The mushroom legs are very much inferior to the caps in taste, and they are much more fibrous than the caps.

Dangerous properties of shiitake


Eating shiitak mushrooms can provoke allergic reactions, so people who are prone to allergies need to be careful about this product. Also, the fungus is contraindicated during lactation and pregnancy due to the high content of biologically active substances.

Where does shiitake mushroom grow?

Shiitake is a typical saprotrophic fungus that grows exclusively on dead and fallen trees, from the wood of which it receives all the nutrients necessary for growth and development.

Under natural conditions, shiitake grows in Southeast Asia (China, Japan, Korea and other countries) on stumps and felled trunks of deciduous trees, especially castanopsis spiky. On the territory of Russia, in the Primorsky Territory and in the Far East, Shiitake mushrooms grow on Mongolian oak and Amur linden. They can also be found on chestnut, birch, maple, poplar, liquidambar, hornbeam, ironwood, mulberry (mulberry tree). Mushrooms appear in spring and bear fruit in groups throughout the summer until late autumn.

Edible lentinula grows very quickly: it takes about 6-8 days from the appearance of tiny pea-sized caps to full ripeness.

Interesting facts about Shiitake

  1. The earliest written mention of the Japanese mushroom dates back to 199 BC.
  2. More than 40,000 deep research and popular works and monographs have been written and published about edible lentinula, revealing almost all the secrets of a tasty and healthy mushroom.

Growing shiitake at home

Currently, the mushroom is actively cultivated all over the world on an industrial scale. What is interesting: they learned how to grow shiitake mushrooms correctly only in the middle of the twentieth century, and until then they were bred by rubbing cuts on rotten wood with fruit bodies.


Now edible lentinula is grown on oak, chestnut and maple logs in natural light or on sawdust indoors. Mushrooms grown in the first way almost completely retain the properties of wild-growing ones, and sawdust is believed to increase the taste and aroma, however, to the detriment of the healing qualities of shiitake. World production of these edible mushrooms at the beginning of the XXI century has already reached 800 thousand tons per year.

Mushrooms are easy to grow in the country or at home, that is, outside the natural area, since they are picky about the conditions of their existence. Observing some nuances and mimicking the natural habitat of mushrooms, you can achieve excellent results in breeding them at home. The mushroom bears fruit well from May to October, but growing shiitake is still a laborious task.

Growing technology on a bar or stump

The main thing that is required for mushroom cultivation is wood. Ideally, these should be dry trunks or hemp of oak, chestnut or beech, sawn into bars 35-50 cm long. If you intend to grow shiitake in the country, then it is not necessary to saw the stumps. The material should be harvested in advance, preferably at the very beginning of the spring period, and be sure to take only healthy wood, without signs of damage by rot, moss or tinder fungus.


Before laying the mycelium, the wood must be boiled for 50-60 minutes: such a manipulation will fill it with the necessary moisture, and at the same time disinfect it. In each bar, you need to make holes with a diameter of about 1 centimeter and a depth of 5-7 cm, making an indent of 8-10 cm between them. Shiitake mycelium should be placed in them, closing each hole with sowing with wet cotton wool.

When planting, the moisture content of the wood should not exceed 70%, but at the same time it should not be lower than 15%. In order to prevent moisture loss, you can wrap the bars / hemp in a plastic bag.

Prerequisite: keep an eye on the temperature in the room where your mushroom plantation is located: colonies of Japanese mushrooms love changing temperatures (from +16 during the day to +10 at night). This temperature spread stimulates their growth.

If shiitake is supposed to be grown outdoors in the country, choose a shaded place, and a bar or an uncut stump with mycelium should be buried about 2/3 into the ground to prevent it from drying out.

Growing on sawdust or straw

If it is impossible to grow this mushroom on wood, growing shiitake on barley or oat straw, or on sawdust of deciduous trees (conifers are definitely excluded) would be an excellent option.


Before sowing, these materials are processed according to the principle of boiling for one and a half to two hours, and to increase their fertility it will not be superfluous to add bran or malt cake. Containers with sawdust or straw are filled with shiitake mycelium and covered with polyethylene, ensuring a temperature of about 18-20 degrees. As soon as the germination of the mycelium is outlined, the temperature should be reduced to 15-17 degrees in the daytime and to 10-12 at night.

Growing shiitake in straw is not only a container method. Fill a bag made of dense fabric or thick polyethylene with steamed straw, after placing two or three rows of mycelium between the layers of straw. Slots are made in the bag through which mushrooms will germinate. If the temperature is favorable for the mushroom, a high yield is guaranteed.

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