Food as medicine: Mushrooms for longevity

Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms in the world, and for good reason. Revered in Asia for centuries for their potent medicinal properties, shiitake mushrooms have become a symbol of longevity in some cultures. Hearty and versatile, shiitakes can be consumed raw or cooked, and are found in powdered supplement form in many herbal pharmacies. Shiitakes grow in clusters on decaying hardwood trees, and are also commonly cultivated for food and medicinal uses. A classic umbrella shape, shiitakes are both beautiful and substantial. Caps range from white to light brown with white spots, and can reach up to eight inches in diameter. Cooking releases a “garlic pine” aroma and a rich, earthy flavor. Good luck for us – shiitakes are available year-round in most areas.

References

  1. Fungus
  2. Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World (Stamets, Paul, 2005, ISBN 1-58008-579-2)
  3. mushroom-appreciation.com
  4. Effect of Dietary Maitake (Grifola frondosa) Mushrooms on Plasma Cholesterol and Hepatic Gene Expression in Cholesterol-Fed Mice
  5. Submerged-Culture Mycelia and Broth of the Maitake Medicinal Mushroom Grifola frondosa (Higher Basidiomycetes) Alleviate Type 2 Diabetes-Induced Alterations in Immunocytic Function.