Shiitake Mushrooms

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A Primitive Foodstuff

Shi-i-take (formal spelling) is also known as oyster, enoki, and straw mushrooms.

As an organism, mushrooms are among the most primitive of man's foodstuffs. They are related to the molds and the yeasts, and are saprophytic, meaning they are unable to photosynthesize sugars and must live on the decaying remains of other organisms.

Shiitakes have four to ten times the flavor of common white button mushrooms. In addition to their robust/pungent, woodsy flavor and meaty texture, shiitakes provide high levels of protein (18-percent), potassium, niacin and B vitamins, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

Anti-Viral and Immunity Properties

Shiitakes have natural antiviral and immunity-boosting properties and are used nutritionally to fight viruses, lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.

Shiitake Mushrooms Lentinan, an immunostimulant derived from shiitakes, has been used to treat cancer, AIDS, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibrocystic breast disease, and other conditions with impressive results.

Researcher also found that a raw shiitake eaten daily for one week lowered serum cholesterol by 12-percent.

The basis of the mushroom's impressive health properties are complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides that build the immune system.

Shiitake mushrooms have no toxic effects on humans, and are clinically safe.

Ancient Mushroom History

Thousands of years ago, Egyptian Pharaohs declared mushrooms sacred and reserved them for their own godly use. They were also called "the food of the gods" by Romans--and even today psylocype species of the mushroom are sacred to some Indians in Mexico, South America, and the North America southwest, where they are used to induce religious trances and hallucinations. Carlos Casteneda's The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yacqui Way of Knowledge recounts his experiences with this sacred mushroom, administered to him by the Shaman Don Juan.

Shiitake and Cheese Muffins Recipe Card

Shiitake and Cheese Muffins Recipe Card

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