Shiitake mushroom, also known with its Chinese name Tong-Ku and part of Lentinula edodes species, is a mushroom native to East Asia, whose name means “oak tree mushroom”: Shii (oak tree) and Take (mushroom). As a matter of fact this mushroom grows on oak trees. It is the second more consumed edible mushroom in the world. It is thought it has a myriad of properties: for stomach diseases, headaches, inflammations.
Shiitake mushroom: Cultivation
As written above, Shiitake mushrooms naturally grow on oak tree trunks. Thanks to recent farming techniques its production has increased all over the world, in Italy too. There, this mushroom is cultivated in controlled environments where temperature, light, humidity and ventilation remain constant.
An example of an Italian Shiitake mushroom cultivation is Tenuta Pozzi. In this Lombardy company, mushrooms are cultivated under a big photovoltaic system. The heat is dispersed by the photovoltaic panels and conveyed to determine the temperature necessary for the growth of mushrooms. Their contribution of water necessary for development is also used to cool the panels. These organic products, chemical substances are not employed. This happens thanks to a constant monitoring which guarantees the ideal condition for an harmonic and good cultivation development.
Benefits and properties
Good taste, low calorie intake, rich in vitamin D and B, this mushroom is thought to have amazing nutritional qualities. In the Oriental culinary tradition, which bounds together food pleasure and healing properties, it is very popular and it is considered an elixir of long life. Georges Halpern, a scientist engaged in research into the curative properties of mushrooms, places it among the “healing mushrooms“, in his book of the same name. It is thought that Shiitake mushrooms have lots of proprieties. They stimulate the immune defenses, having a great action against bacteria and viral agents. Hepatoprotective properties (which protects the liver) are associated too. It is believed that they contribute to reduce cholesterol, to fight dental caries and arteriosclerosis. This mushroom group would have an antitumor, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial action. These “healing mushrooms” would also help to control Alzheimer symptoms, to increase the the immunitary system level and to detoxify the liver. Furthermore they would work as a support to the intestinal flora.
- support to the immunitary system, thanks to anti bacterial and viral properties
- good cardiovascular health as it helps to reduce cholesterol
- good for the liver due to the hepatoprotective properties
- antitumorali, anti-inflammatory
- it fights against dental caries
- it fights against arteriosclerosis
- it helps the intestinal flora
- it provides vitamin D and B