Lentinula edodes (L. edodes) is the scientific name of this edible mushroom, known in Japan as Shitake. Its geographical distribution in Nature is girdled to Northeast Asia, in countries such as Japan and China.
It is the second most important edible mushroom among the species of industrially cultivated mushrooms.
The interest in this medicinal mushroom has been increasing, mainly due to its high nutritional value and medicinal properties, long known to the Eastern cultures.
It is mainly used for diseases involving the immune system’s depression (like AIDS), cancer, allergies, fungal infections, flu and recurrent colds, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, among others.
L. edodes major compounds, responsible for these actions, include lentinan, the water-soluble polysaccharide, which is a constituent of the mushroom cell wall.