Botanical Name: Lentinus edodes | Family: Tricholomataceae or Marasmiaceae or Omphalotaceae

Common name(s): Shiitake Mushroom, Black Mushroom, Hua Gu


  • Fungi | Zones 3-9 | mushrooms will sprout for 1-2 weeks in the spring and fall
  • Part shade | grown on logs (see SFGate and Rodale’s Organic Life links for how to grow your own mushrooms on logs)


Harvest mushrooms within 5-7 days after sprouting. If drying, allow to dry in the sun for 2 days to increase the vitamin D content.


Double Extraction Tincture: 1/2 – 1 tsp, 2x/day

Food: Eat, cooked from fresh or rehydrated dried mushrooms (soak for 30 minutes), or add dry powder to foods (recommended intake is 4-8 whole caps, daily)

Note: Rosemary mentions a way to make mushroom gravy in the video I posted below.


Constituents: (in dried shiitake) vitamin D, protein, amino acids, potassium, polysaccharides.

Actions: Antitumor, Antiviral, immunomodulator, liver protector

Uses: Deep immune activation, anti-cancer treatment, chronic health issues, hepatitis and other viral diseases, maintaining good health

Cautions: any mushroom should be dried or cooked to provide proper bioavailability of their medicinal properties


I found a lot of neat sources on mushrooms while looking outside of my existing herbal resources. If you want to dive deeper, check out the links in the resources. The SFGate and Rodale’s links tell you how to grow your own.

And here is a treat for you. A video with Rosemary Gladstar, the author of my herbal correspondence course. Enjoy!