Shiitake can be used as a tonic to promote overall liver and kidney health (Marley, 2009). In addition to acting as a general immune system booster,Shiitake also contains high concentrations of the substance eritadenine, which may be beneficial in reducing blood cholesterol levels (Enman et al., 2007). Beyond helping relieve ailments, Shiitake has nutritional value due to its ability to absorb Vitamin D. Drying Shiitake in the sunlight will increase Vitamin D levels by more than a hundred times compared to Shiitake dried in the dark (Stamets, 2005).
Shiitake has a meaty texture when cooked and is good for drying and reconstituting in winter soups. It pairs beautifully with tamari, ginger, and garlic and can bring needed umami to many different dishes.