The Pleurotus ostreatus
The pearl oyster mushroom – Pleurotus relaxes the muscles, tendons and joints. It is an important vitamin B supplier and reduces homocysteine in the blood.
Pleurotus, no doubt better known as the pearl oyster mushroom, is not only used as a medicinal mushroom but is now also one of the most popular edible mushrooms in the world. The mushroom growing like clusters in colonies is found in open nature mainly on branches and trunks of deciduous trees. Its caps are whitish blue or slate grey, at an advanced age often brownish. They measure up to 15 centimetres. The lamellae and the stalks display a white colour.
Main areas of use in mycotherapy:
Pleurotus is rich in B complex vitamins. These include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B5 (niacin), B6 and B7 (biotin) and B12. In addition, it contains folic acid and the vitamins C and D (calciferol). A quarter of the dry substance consists of proteins and contains all essential amino acids. B vitamins serve the body to extract energy from fat, carbohydrate and protein and are responsible for the function of the nerve cells and muscles. Vitamin D (calciferol) supports bone formation and contributes to the prevention of osteoporosis. An adequate supply of B vitamins is enabled by eating fish, meat and offal. However, vegetarians and people with an elevated uric acid level and gout cannot consume these foods that contain purine. Here the Pleurotus mushroom can take on an important role as a vitamin B supplier.
The folic acid contained in Pleurotus is important for haematopoiesis and supports the growth of young cells also in the bone marrow. Folic acid also reduces the homocysteine level in the blood. This is of great importance, because a high level of folic acid and vitamins of the B group in combination with a low homocysteine level can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. An elevated homocysteine level is a great risk factor for the development of vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Pleurotus contains the beta-glucan (polysaccharide) pleuran. This substance acts as an antioxidant and can reduce the spread of metastases. A protein has also been identified that has antiviral properties. Animal testing has shown that Pleurotus exerts a protective effect on the organism if it is overloaded with chemical substances. It achieves this by activating the antioxidative enzymes of the body (superoxide dismutase, catalase and the glutathione system).
Pleurotus also helps to reduce the lipoprotein level in the blood. This can also reduce the cholesterol and triglyceride value in the blood and in the liver. HDL, on the other hand, is increased.
Studies at the Food Research Institute in Prague showed that the Pleurotus ostreatus supports the growth of probiotic bacteria. The production of lactobacilli, enterococci and bifidobacterial is increased. This in turn has a positive effect on the intestinal flora and the immune system in the intestines. This is very useful for example after antibiotic treatment.
Effects proven by studies:
- Lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and enterococci are supported in their growth
- Triglyceride and cholesterol reduction
Areas of use in Traditional Chinese Medicine:
- relaxes muscles, tendons and joints, strengthens veins
- disperses wind and cold
- for lumbago
- Prof. Dr. med. Ivo Bianchi: “Moderne Mykotherapie”; Hinckel Druck, 2008
- Stamets, P.: “MycoMedicinals: An Informational Treatise on Mushrooms”, Myco Media, 2002
- Hobbs, C.: “Medicinal Mushrooms”, Botanica Press, 1995
- Lelley, Prof. Dr. J.: “Die Heilkraft der Pilze”, GAMU, Krefeld, 2003
- Komarkova E. et al.: “Prebiotics from Pleurotus ostreatus and P. eryngii”, Int. Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Vol. 9, 2007
Note: the described effects are based on taking medicinal mushroom powder made from the whole mushroom. Please consult your therapist before use.