Shiitake mushrooms originate from parts of East Asia and have been cultivated for both their nutritional properties and use in traditional Chinese medicine. Our organic shiitake powder is sourced from mushroom specialists in China and is a great nutrient-dense addition to savoury dishes.
As part of the marasmiaceae family, the name shiitake comes from shii– a type of tree and take meaning mushroom. Thriving in damp conditions, the mushrooms grow at the base of deciduous trees in Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea. Chinese cultivation of shiitake was pioneered by a man named Wu San-Kwung and involves the ‘soak and beat’ method where trees are struck with an axe and left in the damp forests for the mushrooms to grow. A family tradition evolved from this method whereby logs are struck after a child is born for them to inherit the ‘fortune’ in the years to come.
Traditional Chinese medicine holds that shiitake mushrooms prevent cold and flu symptoms, increase energy and “qui” (life force) and prevents hunger. In Japan, shiitake mushrooms are symbolic of longevity; renowned as “the elixir of life” and were once only a food for royalty.