Shiitake Mushroom

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What is it?

Shiitake mushroom is a fungus. An extract made from this mushroom is used as medicine.

Shiitake mushroom is used to boost the immune system and to treat HIV/AIDS, common cold, flu (influenza), and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

It is effective?
Natural Medicines rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate.

Possibly Ineffective for …

  • Tooth plaque. Rinsing the mouth with a liquid containing shiitake mushroom does not seem to reduce tooth plaque.

Insufficient Evidence to Make a Determination for …

  • Prostate cancer. Early research suggests that shiitake mushroom does not prevent prostate cancer from becoming worse.
  • Aging.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Common cold.
  • Diabetes.
  • Flu (influenza).
  • Genital herpes.
  • Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • High cholesterol.
  • High blood pressure.
  • HIV/AIDS.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (hepatitis B).
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of shiitake mushroom for these uses.

How does it work?
Shiitake mushroom contains chemicals that might stimulate the immune system.

Is there concern for the safety of its use?
When taken by mouth:
Shiitake mushroom is LIKELY SAFE when consumed in food amounts. It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE in medicinal amounts, or when the uncooked mushroom is eaten. It can cause stomach discomfort, blood abnormalities, and skin swelling (inflammation). It might also cause an increased sensitivity to the sun, allergic skin reactions, and breathing problems.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if shiitake mushroom is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Shiitake mushroom might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using shiitake mushroom.

A blood disorder called hypereosinophilic syndrome: Don’t use shiitake mushroom if you have this condition. It might make it worse.

Are there any drug interactions?
There are no known interactions with medications. Before taking this product, talk with your health professional if you take any medications.

Are there any interactions with herbs and supplements?
There are no known interactions with herbs and supplements.

Are there any interactions with food?
There are no known interactions with foods.

What dose is used?
The appropriate dose of shiitake mushroom depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for shiitake mushroom. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

By what other names is the product known?
Champignon Noir, Champignon Parfumé, Champignon Shiitake, Champignons Shiitake, Forest Mushroom, Hongos Shiitake, Hua Gu, Lenticus edodes, Lentin, Lentin des Chênes, Lentin du Chêne, Lentinan edodes, Lentinula, Lentinula edodes, Lentinus edodes, Mushroom, Pasania Fungus, Shitake, Shiitake, Snake Butter, Tricholomopsis edodes, Xiang Gu.

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