What is Shiitake Mushroom good for? (HPV and Skin Benefits)


What is Shiitake mushroom good for?

Shiitake mushrooms are beneficial to your health as well as your nutrition. Having a rich nutritional profile of vitamin B, fiber, and essential minerals – they offer multiple health benefits including:

  • Improving heart health
  • Fighting Cancer
  • Enhancing immunity
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Gut wellness
  • Antimicrobial effect
  • Strengthening of bones
  • Inflammation reduction
  • Energy booster
  • Decreasing stress

All these medicinal advantages of Shiitake mushroom make it so popular that it’s deemed as the second most commonly used mushroom globally.

In the video below, Dr. Paul Haider explains the Health Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms and how it can act as a Superfood:

This is our recommended Shiitake Mushroom supplement (Amazon’s Choice):

Nutricost Organic Shiitake Mushroom Capsules 1000mg, 90 Servings – Certified CCOF Organic, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, 500mg Per Capsule, 180 Capsules

Can Shiitake mushrooms help in fighting Cancer? 

Shiitake mushrooms have been investigated for their role in treating cancer patients, showing promising results in different cancer types namely: breast, lung, and gastric cancer.

A recent study done on mice to determine the effect of edible Shiitake mushroom extract on human colon cancer samples proved in favor of the mushrooms where they showed a delay in tumor cells growth. 

On the other hand, there seems to be some data that’s against the previous positive results, claiming no treatment improvements for the patients after taking Shiitake mushroom supplements for 6 months.

Does Shiitake mushroom have benefits for the skin?

Packed with vitamins, proteins, lipids, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties here’s a list of the benefits of Shiitake mushroom for the skin:

  • Prevents acne and skin breakouts
  • Reduces inflammation and skin irritation
  • Lightens the skin tone
  • Supports hydration
  • Has anti-aging properties
  • Promotes collagen synthesis

Scientists are looking more and more into the possible uses of Shiitake mushrooms in both the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. 

Evidently, the literature proposed several advantages for Shiitake mushrooms in healing the skin and elevating its properties.

Does Shiitake mushroom help in treating HPV?

Shiitake mushrooms may prove useful in providing a cure for the human papillomavirus (HPV) and subsequent complication of cervical cancer.

This medicinal effect of a specific extract from Shiitake mushroom goes back to its composition with a mixture of sugars, proteins and minerals called active hexose correlated compound (AHCC).

Two initial studies done on 10 women with chronic persistent HPV who took AHCC supplements for 6 months showed encouraging results in eradicating HPV in 4 of those patients.

Although further studies should confirm previous results, so far the results are in favor of the mushroom for utilizing as a potential treatment.

Can Shiitake mushrooms help in weight loss?

Shiitake mushrooms can fight obesity, help in losing weight, and provide a nutritional replacement for meat.

They’re constituted of some fat-reducing components like eritadenine and b-glucan that reduce fats and have the highest amount of fiber which in turn decreases cravings.

This was further confirmed by a study on laboratory rats that were given Shiitake mushroom-based diets and weighed against others who were put on normal diets. Results revealed that a Shiitake mushroom diet had a noticeable effect in reducing fats.

Additionally, Shiitake mushroom is a rich source of vitamin B, which increases energy levels and burns fat.

Is Shiitake mushroom good for diabetics?

Among its multitude of advantages, the Shiitake mushroom has a very low-carbohydrate index, which is good for diabetics. 

One such study that was conducted on rodents highlighted the effect of the soluble sugary fiber beta-glucan in controlling blood sugar levels by increasing the time for absorption and slowing digestion. 

Another study also reports that they are beneficial for diabetes both as an extract or a vegetable.

Some of Shiitake mushroom’s anti-diabetic benefits:

  • Regulates blood sugar levels in the blood
  • Helps with digestion
  • Increases the time for sugar absorption after meals
  • Considered as a low-carb food 

Is there fiber in Shiitake mushrooms?

Shiitake mushroom contains 2.5 grams of dietary fiber in its rich nutritional profile. This is almost 150% more than other mushrooms.

There’s also evidence concluded from rat studies to indicate that the fiber content in Shiitake mushroom promotes its anti-inflammatory properties which improves gut health and digestion.

Below is the list of the highest containing types of Shiitake and their fiber content in 100 grams:

  • Dried = 11.5 grams 
  • Stir-fried = 3.6 grams 
  • Raw = 2.5 grams 

Beta-glucan is the dominant form of fiber in Shiitake mushroom which helps in lowering cholesterol levels.

How to use dried Shiitake mushrooms?

Dried Shiitake mushroom can be used in many Chinese and Japanese cooking recipes. They’re known to have a stronger deeper flavor than fresh Shiitake mushrooms.

Here’s how to prepare a Shiitake mushroom soup in 3 simple steps:

  • Soak your Shiitake mushroom in boiling water for 20 minutes (be careful they can double in zie with heat)
  • Squeeze any extra water and remove any sticking dirt (make sure they’re clean)
  • Chop off the stems, and cut them up to you’re size-liking

They can serve as a substitute for meat with their meaty texture and nutrient supply which can be great for vegetarians.

What is Shiitake mushroom extract?

Shiitake mushroom extract is a concentrated amount of the active substance known as ‘lentinan’ which provides most of the beneficial properties of Shiitake mushroom that was previously mentioned.

It’s a type of complex sugar (polysaccharide) that’s composed of:

  • Vitamins (B1, B2, and D2)
  • Eight essential amino acids 
  • Enzyme activators (Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, and Zinc)

Even though Shiitake mushrooms have several health benefits, there are reports claiming that consuming the powdered extract of Shiitake mushrooms can affect digestion, skin, and stomach negatively. 

What is a recommended Shiitake mushrooms powder dosage?

The FDA hasn’t set an official Shiitake mushroom powder dosage yet but most suppliers’ recommendation is to take around (10-20 grams) of powder daily. 

Sources for Shiitake mushrooms can vary according to each ones’ preference. Aside from obtaining fresh or dried mushrooms. We can’t forget extract sources of Shiitake mushroom supplements in these forms:

  • Liquid
  • Dry
  • Powder

It’s very important to choose a trustworthy supplier to ensure the best quality of powdered extract and to always consult a healthcare professional for a specific regimented plan that will suit you.

Does Shiitake mushroom extract have any side effects?

As with many supplements, Shiitake mushroom extract has been reported to have the following side effects:

  • Food poisoning (happens due to ingesting contaminated mushrooms)
  • A type of rash on the skin – a condition called ‘Shiitake dermatitis’
  • Sensitivity to sun exposure
  • Eosinophilia (a type of white blood cells that when large in number causes gut inflammation)
  • Allergic reaction and swollen skin
  • Breathing problems

Signs of any adverse effects from Shiitake mushrooms will usually appear within the first 24 hours of ingestion. 

Make sure to stop immediately and take advice from your doctor if you experience any of the aforementioned side effects.

Can Shiitake mushrooms cause a rash?

There have been emerging evidence from a study that shows the possibility of a rash caused by consuming Shiitake mushroom. 

However, this same study also concurred that as serious as this rash appears to be it doesn’t pose any threat of subsequent clinical development into anaphylaxis or a serious adverse event.

This rash usually develops a day or two after eating the mushrooms and is mainly caused by eating raw or undercooked mushrooms. 

This condition is known as ‘Shiitake dermatitis’ and so far the data suggest that aside from the way it looks, it’s harmless.

How common is Shiitake dermatitis?

Shiitake dermatitis (also known as ‘flagellate dermatitis’) is not very common, it only affects about 2% of people who consume undercooked mushrooms. It will lead to eating lentinan protein and developing a reaction which is otherwise destroyed by heat.

A case report carefully demonstrates the cause and side effects of a 25-year-old man in Brazil presenting with symptoms of Shiitake dermatitis with its signature whiplash marks. Fortunately, these symptoms subsided within 10 days. 

Another case of a 65-year-old man in the US was treated with antihistamines and corticosteroides to manage the inflammation.

How long does Shiitake dermatitis last?

For Shiitake dermatitis, the signs usually start within 24-48 hours and last about 10 days. Though, even after treatment, some symptoms may still persist for months.

There are multiple case reports sharing that the only treatment needed for Shiitake dermatitis is management by topical anti-inflammatory products and anti-histamines.  

The only difference between these cases is the time it took for the patients to complete healing after treatment. A patient showed resolving results after 10 days, another patient in Ireland was treated after 4 weeks, and finally, a 62-year-old man showed improvement results after just 7 days.

Is there a cure for Shiitake dermatitis?

There’s no magic cure for Shiitake dermatitis. While some references claim that it’s untreatable.

Here’s how it’s managed from presented multiple presented case reports:

  • Antihistamines
  • Topical steroids
  • Oral steroids
  • Staying away from sun exposure (can worsen the rash)

The best way however, is to prevent it by staying away from eating raw Shiitake mushrooms.

Can Shiitake mushrooms cause a stomach ache?

Shiitake mushrooms can bring about aching and pain in the stomach. This happens when they trigger the immune system to form an allergic reaction to its components.

Taken in small amounts, Shiitake mushrooms can be harmless. On the other hand, taking too much of them can cause undesirable intestinal problems like:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach ache

Thus, it’s best to stay on the safe side by making sure the mushrooms are dirt-free and well-cooked.

Can Shiitake mushroom be used as a psychedelic?

Psilocybin and psilocin are two chemicals present in Shiitake mushrooms that are known to cause psychedelic hallucinations.

Thankfully though, they don’t cause addiction or dependency. The lethal dose is about 17,000,000 mg, so it’s almost impossible to reach with normal consumption.

Some research is being currently done on how to use this information to possibly treat anxiety and depression. However, no real-world evidence has panned out yet.

What’s the scientific name for Shiitake mushrooms?

Lentinula edodes is the scientific name for Shiitake mushroom. ‘Lentinula’ comes from lens, while ‘edodes’ comes from edible.

It was first scientifically described by Miles Joseph Berkeley in 1877. It also goes by some common names like:

  • Black forest mushroom
  • Sawtooth oak mushroom
  • Golden oak mushroom
  • Black mushroom
  • Oakwoord mushroom

What does Shiitake mean in Japanese?

Shiitake (椎茸) mushroom in Japanese means ‘mushroom of the shee or oak tree’. This is the tree that provides its growth and development.

Even though it’s native to Asia, it has been grown in the US for the past 20 years. There are some people who grow them in their home gardens as well.

There are two types of Shiitake mushrooms:

  • Donko (Larger in size and mostly used)
  • Koshin (Smaller and thinner)

Where do Shiitake mushrooms come from?

Originally, Shiitake mushrooms came from forests in Japan, China and Korea. Their cultivation started more than two thousand years ago. But now, they’re so spread out across the globe that they can be found in Europe and the US as well.

They generally need warm and moist climates to grow in. Currently, Shiitake mushrooms contribute to almost 25% of the total annual production of mushrooms.

Used as food first, there was an international effort to investigate the other more prominent benefits for Shiitake mushroom in both medicinal and mental health properties.


This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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What is Shiitake Mushroom good for? (HPV and Skin Benefits)
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