Lentinula edodes (generic name)
treats Immunomodulator, HIV, Cancer, and Genital warts
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Adults (over 18 years old)
There is no proven effective medicinal dose for shiitake. Traditionally, 6-16 grams of the whole, dried shiitake mushroom has been ingested daily. It is typically eaten in soups or taken as a decoction (i.e. boiled for 10-20 minutes, cooled, strained, and consumed). A dose of 1-3 grams of Lentinus edodes mycelium (LEM) has been taken two to three times per day. Shiitake-containing capsules have been taken three times daily for six months. A dose of 4 grams of shiitake powder has also been taken daily for 10 weeks.
Injections should only be given by a qualified healthcare provider.
Intranasal application of lentinan has been studied at a dose of 1 milligram per kilogram, used three times at two-day intervals. Safety and effectiveness have not been proven.
Children (under 18 years old)
There is not enough available evidence to recommend the use of shiitake in children.
SafetyDISCLAIMER: Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
Avoid if known allergy/hypersensitivity to shiitake mushrooms. Rash, toxic epidermal necrolysis, and photodermatitis may occur from contact or ingestion. Allergic contact dermatitis has been induced by shiitake hyphae (filaments). Mushroom workers exposed to shiitake spores by inhalation have experienced hypersensitivity pneumonitis. A case report exists of an anaphaylactoid (life-threatening) reaction in a patient with HIV who was taking lentinan.
Side Effects and Warnings
Most minor adverse effects are believed to be caused by lentinan, the polysaccharide derivative of shiitake. There has been one report each of depression, rigor, fever, chills, and abnormal blood cell counts (granulocytopenia); elevated liver enzymes were reported in one study following treatment with lentinan in cancer patients.
Shiitake can cause abdominal discomfort and abnormal blood cell counts (eosinophilia) when taken by mouth. Abdominal obstruction and death was reported due to the ingestion of a whole shiitake mushroom. Temporary diarrhea and abdominal bloating may occur after taking high amounts of shiitake.
Mushroom workers exposed to shiitake spores by inhalation have experienced hypersensitivity pneumonitis (lung inflammation).
Rapid IV infusion of lentinan, the polysaccharide derivative of shiitake, to advanced cancer patients was reported to cause anterior chest depression and dryness of the throat in one study; slow infusion relieved these symptoms.
Back pain and leg pain has been reported following the administration of lentinan in cancer patients.
Shiitake can cause "shiitake" dermatitis and possibly photosensitivity when taken by mouth. Allergic contact dermatitis has been induced by shiitake hyphae (filaments).
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Shiitake mushroom is not recommended in pregnant or breastfeeding women in medicinal amounts due to a lack of available scientific evidence.