What is it?
Shiitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) is a type of edible fungus. It’s native to Japan and China, and contains a chemical called lentinan.
Shiitake mushrooms are the second most commonly eaten mushrooms in the world. Lentinan and other chemicals in shiitake mushrooms might stimulate the immune system.
People use shiitake mushroom for HIV/AIDS, common cold, flu, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.
Possibly Ineffective for …
- Tooth plaque. Rinsing the mouth with a liquid containing shiitake mushroom doesn’t seem to reduce tooth plaque.
There is interest in using shiitake mushroom for a number of other purposes, but there isn’t enough reliable information to say whether it might be helpful.
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.
Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Shiitake mushroom can increase the activity of the immune system. Some medications, such as those used after a transplant, decrease the activity of the immune system. Taking shiitake mushroom along with these medications might decrease the effects of these medications.
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