All About Mushrooms

It is said that mushrooms have existed no less than 100 million years. It is no wonder then that the Chinese regard mushrooms as precious foods for longevity, particularly the Shiitake mushrooms, which are rich in nutrients, minerals, vitamins, amino acids and more. In addition to being used as food ingredients, mushrooms are well-known for their medicinal value. In traditional Chinese medicine, different mushrooms also have different functions. Generally, they are beneficial for ‘qi’, spleen and stomach-nourishing, and are suitable for all ages. Modern medical research has also found that mushrooms could boost the immune system and improve body resistance to viruses.OriginZENXIN’s dried mushrooms are sourced from Qingyuan, Zhejiang, China- the birthplace of the earliest Shiitake mushroom cultivation with more than 800 years history. Qingyuan is surrounded by green mountains and rivers, with endless tall and precipitous mountain peaks, and forest coverage rate of up to 86%. In addition, Qingyuan has no extreme cold weather in winter or severe heat in summer, but a short frost-free period, and great day and night seasonal temperature difference, all of which are conditions suitable for the growth of mushrooms and other fungi. In Song Dynasty, Wu Sangong, a farmer who lived in Longyan Village, Qingyuan County, Zhejiang Province, was the first to invent the method of ‘wood chopping’ for mushroom cultivation, which earned him the title of “Mushroom God”.Adapted from article written by Ms Theresa Kok from Ori Kitchen

Find here a list of mushrooms you should add to your diet

Shiitake mushrooms:

  • Neutral and sweet in property, associated with stomach and liver meridians.
  • Have the functions of strengthening spleen and stomach, invigorating ‘qi’ and reducing phlegm
  • Improve chronic fatigue, chronic hepatitis, fatty liver, high blood lipids, high blood pressure
  • Rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids, as well as polysaccharides, all of which can strengthen the body’s immune system
  • Sun-dried mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D, which helps prevent loss of bone mass.

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  • Neutral & sweet in property, associated with stomach, liver & heart meridians
  • From ancient times, hericiums have been an expensive food, as they have the strengthening effects on spleen and stomach, and are kidney-nourishing.
  • Mind-calming effect, great for people prone to nervous breakdown and mild insomnia.
  • Also contain polysaccharides that help in gastrointestinal cancer prevention.
  • Modern research has found that Hericiums may help improve cognitive function and prevent dementia.

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Enoki mushrooms:

  • Cool & sweet in property, associated with spleen & large intestine meridians
  • Have the function of replenishing ‘qi’ and invigorating the body, thus are suitable for those who are weak and with ‘qi’ deficiency
  • Also known as ‘Intelligent mushrooms’ as they are rich in lysine which helps promote children’s intellectual development.

Black fungi:

  • Neutral & sweet in property, associated with stomach & large intestine meridians
  • Rich in iron, blood-nourishing and prevent iron deficiency anaemia
  • Possess anticoagulant properties, reduces blood clots formation, prevents thrombosis, atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease occurrence
  • Pectin in black fungus helps absorb and excrete impurities out of body, 
  • Moisturises lungs, and cleanses stomach & intestines

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White fungi:

  • Neutral and sweet in property, associated with lungs and stomach meridians.
  • Nourish ‘yin’, lungs, stomach and intestines; also great for beauty
  • White fungus soup is extremely great for ‘heaty’ individuals with ‘yin’ deficiency, who may display symptoms like dry cough, constipation during hot weather
  • Also great for children or ‘heaty’ individuals who cannot take medicinal herbs or warm tonic
  • Excellent food ingredients that clears body heatiness

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King oyster mushrooms:

  • Neutral & sweet in property
  • Spleen& stomach-nourishing, able to reduce phlegm and moisturize intestines.
  • Rich in dietary fiber, which increase satiety, thus reducing calorie & fat intake
  • Promotes gastrointestinal motility and defecation.


Mushrooms grow in damp places and are generally ‘cool’ in property, this is true for fresh mushrooms. Therefore, adding some ginger or ‘warm’ spices into mushroom dishes could neutralize its ‘coolness’.

  1. The combination of mushroom and meat make dishes more flavourful, healthier and less greasy.
  2. Dried shiitake mushrooms are rich in guanylic acid. When paired with glutamic acid-rich kombu in stock preparation, the stock would have umami flavour- the fifth taste. Therefore, this combination is often used for making vegan-friendly Japanese Dashi stock.


Quick Recipe: Japanese Vegan Dashi stock


Shiitake mushrooms 4-5 pcs

Kombu 15cm

Water 1L


Soak kombu and shiitake mushrooms in water for 20-30 minutes, and boil on low heat. Strain the stock. The stock can then be kept in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Folk Remedy – Shiitake Antipyretic Tea


1-2 shiitake mushrooms

1 cup of water

A pinch of salt


Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for 15 minutes. Then boil the water together with the shiitake mushrooms and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Another article:

How to Prepare Dried Mushrooms

All about Mushrooms


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