The common Japanese name for Lentinula Edodes, Shiitake, derives from its association with the shiia tree. Also known as snake butter, Pasania fungus, or forest mushroom and Hua Gu in Chinese.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, Shiitake is said to have a sweet taste and to be mild in nature. Shiitake is a food that is both strengthening and restorative.
Shiitake is used medicinally for any and all diseases involving depressed immune function, including cancer, AIDS, environmental allergies, candida infections, and frequent colds and flu. It also appears to be beneficial for soothing bronchial inflammation and regulating urine incontinence, as well as for reducing chronic high cholesterol.
from 'Medicinal Mushrooms, An Exploration of Tradition, Healing, and Culture,' Christopher Hobbs, Botanica Press, 1995