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Lentinus edodes

Latin Name: Lentinus edodes

Common name: Shitake 

Family: Marasmiaceae

Parts used: Fruiting bodies

Constituents: Nutrients, polysaccharides, alkaloids

Medicinal actions: Immune stimulation/modulation, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer, anti-hypertensive antioxidant, adaptogen.

Medicinal use: Chronic immune dysfunction/disease, altered adrenal function, cancer, chronic fatigue immunodeficiency syndrome, HIV infection and AIDS, cancer, Lyme disease, high cholesterol, hyperglycemia and diabetes.


  • Polysaccharides are responsible for immune modulation, they induce interferon production, thus disrupting viral replication and inhibiting bacterial infection. Also increase RNA and DNA in bone marrow, thus increasing lymphocyte production.
  • Alkaloids inhibit release of histamine and reduce immune response to allergens, as well as improve oxidative damage.


  • Powder 5-10g daily in divided doses.
  • Infusion: 1-2 tsp/cup, TID.
  • Tincture: (1:4, 40%), 2-4ml TID
  • Food (in soups)

Toxicity: None known.

Contraindications: Avoid in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Interactions: Use with caution with anti-coagulants. Vitamin C appears to enhance the absorption of these immuno-stimulatory polysaccharides and reduces the high molecular weight of mushroom polysaccharides, reducing their viscosity and hence increasing their bioavailability.


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