Shiitake mushroom are native to Japan, China and Korea, and have been grown in all three countries since prehistoric times. They have been cultivated for over 1,000 years with the oldest record regarding the shiitake mushroom dating back to AD 199. The fruiting body is used as a food and medicine, and it’s a rich source of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Shiitakes are revered in Asian medicine for their health-promoting effects, as they boost the immune system, lower cholesterol, and work as an anticoagulant. Shiitakes also have anti-cancer properties due to a polysaccaride compound called lentinan, which helps product T-cells to destroy bacteria, viruses and tumors. They contain other nutrients helpful in strengthening the immune system and fighting disease-causing organisms. Shiitakes work to prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, helping pull fat from the system and working as an anticoagulant.