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Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus)

Family: Pleurotaceae


Common names

Oyster mushroom



Widely distributed throughout North America on both hardwoods and softwoods.



A gilled mushroom with an oyster-shaped cap. The flush presents in clusters on dead logs and living trees. 


Part used

Mushroom/sporophore/basidiocarp, mycelium, primordia



Slightly warm and sweet

oyster mushroom pleurotus ostreatus



Ergosterol, (1-3, 1-6)-ß-D-glucans, polysaccharides, chrysin, ergothioneine, lovastatin, GABA



Oyster mushroom contains the most ergothioneine of any known mushroom, and so the antioxidant and neuroprotective actions of ergothioneine are a major component of the benefits of this mushroom. Other unique compounds found in oyster mushroom include chrysin, lovastatin, and GABA. 


Respiratory support. Pleuran, a ß-glucan isolated from oyster mushroom, may support a healthy respiratory system through a reduction of peripheral blood eosinophils and stabilized levels of total IgE in serum (1).


Antiatherogenic. There are many factors that aggregate and result in hardening of the arteries, and oyster mushroom research has demonstrated protection against many of these factors. In an animal study, rats were administered chrysin-rich Pleurotus extract. After administration there was a significant decrease in mean blood serum levels of glucose, lipid profile parameters, and liver enzymes, and a simultaneous increase in enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidant parameters (2).


P. ostreatus is the richest known source of ergothioneine, containing 118.91mg/kg. Ergothioneine protects against DNA damage and lipid oxidation. Oyster mushroom water extract supports a healthy cardiovascular system through inhibition of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) (3).


Oyster mushroom also contains lovastatin, a naturally occurring compound that reduces LDL cholesterol through inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase (4).



Current and traditional medicinal use

History and folk use.


Oyster mushrooms have no boundaries – they grow everywhere, on most anything, and are used as food throughout the world. According to some resources, they were first cultivated in Germany during World War I as an important food source. Oyster mushrooms are an especially fascinating mushroom because they are considered carnivorous - they are one of the few mushrooms known to consume critters, specifically nematodes, as a nitrogen source.


Current research


Integumentary. In a split-body study of 80 patients, topical P. ostreatus-based β-glucan cream application resulted in improvement of both subjective and objective symptoms of skin inflammation. The patients applied the cream on one segment of the body with skin inflammation and no treatment on another inflammatory segment. On the application site there was a significant decrease in the number of days and severity of skin inflammation (5).

Respiratory. Pleuran extract from oyster mushrooms has clinical evidence for support of a healthy respiratory system (6).


In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized multicentric study, 175 children were treated with either pleuran or placebo over a 12-month period. Children treated with pleuran experienced a healthier respiratory system (1,7).  These findings agreed with a Spanish study investigating 166 children aged one to ten years old who were also treated with pleuran (8).


Advantageous respiratory effects of pleuran were also observed in adult athletes. A study included 50 athletes treated with pleuran over a three month period of time and found a significant improvement in respiratory health as compared to athletes treated with placebo. Blood samples of the athletes showed significantly higher levels of circulating NK cells in the pleuran group as compared to the placebo group (9).


Cholesterol. 20 subjects were randomized to take either one portion of soup containing 30g dried oyster mushrooms or a tomato soup (placebo) on a daily basis for 21 days. Standardized blood concentrations of lipid parameters and oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) were measured at baseline and after 21 days. Treatment with oyster mushroom soup decreased both triacylglycerol and oxidized LDL levels significantly, and showed a significant tendency towards lowering total cholesterol values (10).



Double extraction. 1:1 - 1:5 liquid extract. The mushroom has been extracted with both water and alcohol.

Hot aqueous extract. Mushroom has been boiled for multiple hours either as a tea or used as a broth.


Powdered extract. 1:1 - 10:1. May be extracted only with water or with both water and alcohol. The extract is then dehydrated into a powdered extract. 10:1 implies that every 1g of extract is equivalent to 10g of dried mushroom.


Myceliated grain. Mycelium is grown on grain substrate and when the mycelium seems to have digested the majority of the grain, the entire block is extracted.

Shop Formulas
Find Oyster mushroom in our BRAIN & NERVES and LUNGS formulas


A three-mushroom blend that supports a healthy memory, optimal nerve and brain function, and a healthy stress response.



A three-mushroom blend that supports respiration, immunity, inflammation, and a healthy allergic response.


Want to learn more? Visit our research collection on PubMed


1. Jesenak M, Hrubisko M, Majtan J, Rennerova Z, Banovcin P. Anti-allergic Effect of Pleuran ( b -glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus ) in Children with Recurrent Respiratory Tract Infections. 2014;474(March 2013):471-474.


2. Anandhi R, Annadurai T, Anitha TS, Muralidharan AR, Najmunnisha K, Nachiappan V, Thomas PA, Geraldine P. Antihypercholesterolemic and antioxidative effects of an extract of the oyster mushroom, Pleurotus ostreatus, and its major constituent, chrysin, in Triton WR-1339-induced hypercholesterolemic rats. J Physiol Biochem. 2013 Jun;69(2):313-23. doi: 10.1007/s13105-012-0215-6. Epub 2012 Oct 27. PubMed PMID: 23104078.

3. Piskov S, Timchenko L, Grimm W-D, Rzhepakovsky I, Avanesyan S, Sizonenko M, Kurchenko V. Effects of Various Drying Methods on Some Physico-Chemical Properties and the Antioxidant Profile and ACE Inhibition Activity of Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus Ostreatus). Foods. 2020; 9(2):160.


4. Hamdi M, Abidin Z, Abdullah N, et al. Therapeutic properties of Pleurotus species ( oyster mushrooms ) for atherosclerosis : A review. Int J Food Prop. 2017;20(6):1251-1261. doi:10.1080/10942912.2016.1210162.


5. Jesenak M, Urbancek S, Majtan J, Banovcin P, Hercogova J. b -Glucan-based cream ( containing pleuran isolated from pleurotus ostreatus ) in supportive treatment of mild-to-moderate atopic dermatitis. 2016;6634(4):351-354. doi:10.3109/09546634.2015.1117565.


6. Minov J, Bislimovska-karadzhinska J, Petrova T, Vasilevska K, Stoleski S. Effects of Pleuran ( Β – Glucan from Pleurotus Ostreatus ) Supplementation on Incidence and Duration of COPD Exacerbations. 2017;5(7):893-898.


7. Jesenak M, Urbanclkova I, Banovcin P. Respiratory Tract Infections and the Role of Biologically Active Polysaccharides in Their. Nutrients. 2017:1-12. doi:10.3390/nu9070779.


8. Pico Sirvent L, Sapena Grau J, Morera Ingles M, Rivero Urgell M. Effect of supplementation with β–glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus in children with recurrent respiratory infections. Ann Nurr Metab. 2013; 63 (1): 1378.


9. Bergendiova K, Tibenska E. Pleuran ( b -glucan from Pleurotus ostreatus ) supplementation , cellular immune response and respiratory tract infections in athletes. 2011:2033-2040. doi:10.1007/s00421-011-1837-z.


10. Schneider, I.; Kressel, G.; Meyer, A.; Krings, U.; Berger, R.G.; Hahn, A. Lipid Lowering Effects of Oyster Mushroom (Pleurotus Ostreatus) in Humans. Journal of Functional Foods 2011, 3(1), 17–24. DOI:http://Dx. Doi.Org/10.1016/J.Jff.2010.11.004

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