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Functional Mushrooms: The beauty of Shiitake

Posted by Life Cykel on
Functional Mushrooms: The beauty of Shiitake

As a staple in Japanese and Chinese cuisine, Shiitake mushrooms are no secret to the world, they rank second in the global mushroom market.

In case you’ve never had shiitake mushrooms, they taste a little bit like chicken and are absolutely phenomenal in a soup.

What are Shiitake mushrooms used for?

Aside from tasting great in food, Shiitake mushrooms are now being recognized for their health properties, including beneficial affects on cardiovascular health, as well as for skin and hair. 1

Shiitake has been found to contain beta-glucans and ergosterols that can help to prevent sclerosis (hardening) of the arteries, which in turn supports a healthy cardiovascular system. 2

As for helping skin, Shiitake extract is known to help protect skin by decreasing the activity of an enzyme called elastase. As we age, or should I say mature or senesce (or which ever term makes you feel better about the inevitable), elastase decreases the amount of elastin, a protein which helps your skin to bounce back into its plump self. Shiitake extract has been shown to dramatically inhibit elastase and therefore preserving the elastin in you skin. 1 

The Shiitake doesn't stop there, it contains many polysaccharides, triterpenes and proteins that serve as potent anti oxidants and anti-irrants, as well as accelerating the natural renewal process of the skin. 1

And for the cherry on top, Shiitake also contains large quantities of the amino acid l-Ergothioneine, which helps to reduce damage from UV light, what a mushroom! 3, 4

How do Shiitake mushrooms grow? 

In nature, the mushroom grows from deciduous wood and are native to China and East Asia. However, at Life Cykel, we grow our Shiitake Mushrooms locally in Byron Bay.

Shiitake mushrooms taste great in soups and dumplings. We know this from personal experience.

If eating delicious Asian food isn’t your thing, Life Cykel also has a liquid shiitake extract that goes great in baking recipes, or in a mushroom coffee.

For awesome shiitake mushroom recipes, please visit our mushroom recipe blog.

Mushroom Research:
  1. Cosmetic Benefits of Natural Ingredients: Mushrooms, Feverfew, Tea, and Wheat Complex. Whitney P. Bowe MD. Journal Of Drugs in Dermatology 2013. SUNY Downstate College of Medicine, Brooklyn, NY.
  2. Rahman, M. A., Abdullah, N., & Aminudin, N. (2016). Lentinula edodes (shiitake mushroom): An assessment of in vitro anti-atherosclerotic bio-functionality. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. doi:10.1016/j.sjbs.2016.01.021
  3. Bazela, K., Solyga-Zurek, A., Debowska, R., Rogiewicz, K., Bartnik, E. and Eris, I. (2014). l-Ergothioneine Protects Skin Cells against UV-Induced Damage—A Preliminary Study. Cosmetics, 1(1), pp.51–60.
  4. Nachimuthu S., Kandasamy R., Ponnusamy R., Deruiter J., Dhanasekaran M., Thilagar S. (2019) L-Ergothioneine: A Potential Bioactive Compound from Edible Mushrooms. In: Agrawal D., Dhanasekaran M. (eds) Medicinal Mushrooms. Springer, Singapore

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the Therapeutic Goods of Australia. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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