The Medicinal Properties of Oyster Mushrooms

Pleurotus ostreatus

Oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) is an unsung medicinal mushroom. You may know this mushroom as a culinary heavy weight, but few recognise their punch as a medicinal mushroom.

Pleurotus ostreatus tends to be the species most studied within this genus. However, as scientific interest and research continues to expand, we are finding common health enhancing traits across the entire oyster mushroom family.

For example, as with P. ostreatus, the mighty King oyster mushroom (P. eryngii) and stunning Yellow oyster mushroom (P. citronopeleatus) are also known to help modulate your immune system and lower cholesterol.

Anthony (Owner of Cotswold Mushrooms Ltd) growing King Oysters

Immune support

Much like other medicinal mushroom polysaccharides, those found in oyster mushrooms stimulate an immune response without adding toxicity or physiological strain to your body. Read more: How Do Medicinal Mushrooms Work?


One of the reasons why your skin and body shows signs of ageing as you get older is due to free-radicals.

Free radicals are in fact part of your immune response. White blood cells and their allies release free radicals to kill off bacteria and any foreign threat within your body.

However, as you get older, this protective system begins to take its toll across your entire body and, over time, your cells get damaged and you begin to age.

To help prevent too much damage happening too quickly your body has a counter measure in the form of enzymes such as catalase, superoxide and glutathione peroxidase which breakdown and clear free radicals.

Interestingly, research shows that medicinal mushroom polysaccharides found within P. ostreatus increases the activity of these anti-ageing enzymes.

Cholesterol lowering

The cholesterol lowering quality of oyster mushrooms is due to a compound called Lovastatin which is found within the fruiting body.

Cholesterol is a type of fat which falls under the category of Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) and, although cholesterol is produced by your body and required for certain bodily functions, elevated levels is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

When it comes to prevention of cardiovascular diseases nothing can beat regular exercise and a healthy balanced diet and you should of course ALWAYS consult with your doctor if you have any concerns.

However, it’s amazing that, for some reason, this particular medicinal mushroom contains a compound proven to lower cholesterol and other LDL’s.

Read more research on this medicinal mushroom: Click here