Shiitake mushroom is a fungus. An extract made from this mushroom is used as medicine.
Shiitake mushroom is used for boosting the immune system, lowering blood cholesterol levels, treating prostate cancer, and as an anti-aging agent.
Shiitake mushroom is also eaten as food.
How it works
Shiitake mushroom contains chemicals that might help lower cholesterol levels. It also contains very small amounts of a chemical that seems to keep tumors from getting bigger.
Possibly IneffectiveProstate cancer
Shiitake mushroom extract does not seem to stop prostate cancer from advancing, at least according to a laboratory test that measures prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. PSA levels can be used to measure the progress of prostate cancer.
Shiitake mushroom is LIKELY SAFE when consumed by mouth in food amounts, but it seems POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take by mouth in medicinal amounts. It can cause stomach discomfort, blood abnormalities, and skin swelling (inflammation). It might also cause an increased sensitivity to the sun, allergic skin reactions, and breathing problems.
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking shiitake mushroom if you arepregnantorbreast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.Are there any interactions with medications?
“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (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 eosinophilia: Don't use shiitake mushroom if you have this condition. It might make eosinophilia worse.
ModerateMedications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)
Shiitake mushroom seems to increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, shiitake mushroom might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease immune system function.Some medications that decrease immune system function include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.