Pleurotus Ostreatus Mushroom

Pleurotus Ostreatus Mushroom
Monograph: Pleurotus Mushroom

Botanical Scientific Names: Pleurotus Ostreatus, Pleurotus Florida

Common Names: Oyster Mushroom, Grey Oyster Mushroom, California Fungi, Tree Oyster, Oyster Shelf, Straw Mushroom, Pearl Oyster

Chinese Name: Ping Gū

Japanese Names: Hiratake, Houbitake, Tamogitake

After the Agaricus mushroom, the Pleurotus mushroom is the second most common strain found in the world. In the way they are cultivated and how they exist in nature, they are prevalent almost everywhere except for Antarctica, with varying sub species growing in different areas on the planet.  Together they represent 30% of the total cultivated crop of mushrooms in the world.  The mushroom grows on the earth and decaying trees and feeds off small worms called nematodes. Genetic testing has revealed that the strains Pleurotus Ostreatus and Pleurotus Florida are actually the same strain.

The mushroom Pleurotus Ostreatus was originally studied in the year 1775 by a Dutch researcher named Freiherr Von Jacquin.  In the year 1871, a German researcher by the name of Paul Kummer determined that Pleurotus mushrooms are an independent group of mushrooms which contain many strains.  The interest in Pleurotus came about due to its rich nutritional value, which made it a good substitute for high quality animal protein.

The Pleurotus mushrooms was first cultivated in Germany during World War I where it was used as an emergency food source.  The first written study of the health benefits of the mushrooms were documented by the researcher Frank H. Kaufert from the University of Minnesota in the year 1936.

Today, thanks to the swiftness of its cultivation and its easy growth, it is common to find Pleurotus in the dietary regimen of Europeans and North Americans.

Both its scientific name and its nickname refers to the shape of the fruiting body. The meaning of Pleurotus is ”sides”, which is referring to the stem’s growth to the side in relation to the cap.  The Latin name Ostreatus and the nickname Oyster refers to the shape of the cap of the mushroom, which resembles a watery shellfish with this name (with a compressed body surrounded by a hinge cortex), such as clams or mussels.  The upper section of the fruit has the shape of an oyster with a diameter of 5-25cm, which gave it its nickname “Oyster Mushroom”.  Its Chinese name is “The Serenity Mushroom”, and according to traditional Chinese medicine the Pleurotus mushroom is thought to have a calming effect on the nervous system and can help in cases of anxiety and restlessness. The meaning of its Japanese name Hiratake is “flat mushroom”.

In the last three decades the medical usefulness of the Pleurotus mushroom has been studied for treating a wide variety of ailments such as hypercholesterolemia, type II diabetes and many types of cancer.

Parts of the mushroom for use:

All parts of the mushroom:

Fruiting Body

Route of Administration:


TCM Characteristics:

Temperature: warm

Moisture: neutral

Taste: spicy, sweet, sour, nutty

Meridians: liver, kidneys

Bioactive Ingredients:






Nonlectin glycoprotein (PCP 3-A)





Beta carotene

Phenolic compounds:

Gallic acid
Chlorogenic acid
Benzoic acid
Trans-cinnamic acid
Hydroxyphenyl propionic acid


Lovastatin (monacolin-K)




Vitamins from the B-complex family, especially B1, B2, B3, folic acid
Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol)
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)



Fatty Acids:

Oleic acid
Linoleic acid
Linolenic acid
Arachidic acid
Palmitic acid
Lignoceric acid
Stearic acid
Myristic acid
Nervonic acid
Pentadecanoic acid
Cis-10-Hepadecanoic acid
Cis-11-Eicosenoic acid
Cis-11,14,17-Eicosatrienoic acid
Cis-13,16-Dicosadienoic acid

Amino Acids:

Cysteic acid
Aspartic acid
Glutamic acid

Unique proteins:


Studied Activities:

Immunomodulatory (balances the immune system), anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, hypocholesterolemic, anti-atherosclerotic, hypoglycemic, neuroprotective (protects the nervous system), protection of eye health, antinociceptive, anti-arthritic, gastroprotective, and prebiotic.

Uses supported by clinical research:

Weakened immune system, cancer, AIDS, viral, bacterial and fungal infections, allergy, hypercholesterolemia, type II diabetes, insulin resistance, gout, Hepatitis C virus, Alzheimer’s disease and cataracts.

Traditional uses that have yet to be supported by clinical evidence:

Irritability, restlessness, and arthritis.

Effects according to Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Nourishes the liver’s blood and the Yin, dampens and makes the tendons and ligaments flexible, spreads cool spirit and strengthens the Yang, stimulates the blood and drains excess moisture.

Nourishes and boosts the liver’s blood.

Drains moisture from the blood circulatory system and acts as a diuretic.

Strengthens the Yang.

Spreads the external, and therefore, assists in the treatment and prevention of the flu by penetration of cold spirit.

Manners of use and recommended dosage according to the literature:

Liquid extract (tincture): at a concentration of 1:3, 30% alcohol, 7-15 ml per day.

Dry extract: standardized extract at a concentration of 40% polysaccharides, 2-6 grams per day.

Decoction: 3-10 grams per day.

As part of a formula: 30-40%

Safety, Toxicity, Interactions, and Side Effects:

The Pleurotus mushroom is safe to use.

Due to its immunostimulant activity, transplant patients should not use the mushroom.

People allergic to mushrooms should avoid eating the mushroom or consuming the mushroom as a food supplement.

There is lack of data to support the safety of use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Stop using if hypersensitivity/allergy occurs.


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