Blue oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), like king oyster mushroom, is a sub-specie of the oyster mushroom family. They have large blue cap that turns to gray when fully mature. Usually, the mushrooms grow on the trunk of dead and decaying plants as primary decomposers, and they are found in tropic and sub-tropic regions.
As an edible mushroom, blue oyster mushroom can be substituted for meat, fish or sea foods. It can be added as a compliment to both fishes and meats, due to its meat-like texture and great taste.
Where can you find blue oyster mushroom?
Blue oyster mushrooms usually grow in woody forests, on dead and decaying trunk of trees. Most times, it prefers humid environment with adequate rainfall. But if you would want to buy the mushroom, you can source it from foods and grocery markets and stores.
Nutritional benefits of blue oyster Mushroom
Blue oyster mushroom is richly packed with several vitamins and minerals of great benefits, especially the B group of vitamins. It also contains proteins and carbohydrates and a little quantity of fats.
Vitamins content of blue oyster mushroom
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Pentoteic acid
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Nicotinic acid
Amino acids present in blue oyster mushroom
- Aspartic acid
- Glutamic acid
Health benefits of blue oyster mushroom
Although mushrooms, like vegetables have been considered as functional food, which may possess nutritional benefits, only a few people who consume mushrooms do so because their ability to protect them from certain disease conditions. A good number of people consume oyster mushrooms only as a delicacy. Their consumption in many developed countries has also been marginal and therefore didn’t, initially, interest researchers, until recently.
May protect against cancers
Blue oyster mushroom has been used as alternative medicine in the treatment of several cancers, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer. Several studies have also supported the use of blue oyster mushroom as a cancer treatment and preventive agent. In one of such studies, pleurotus ostreatus showed strong activities against human breast and colon cancers. It strongly inhibited the proliferation of breast cancer cells without affecting the proliferation of epithelia mammary and normal colon cells. Furthermore, studies showed that the inhibition of cell proliferation by oyster mushrooms is associated with cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase in MCF-7 and HT-29 cells.
They also induce the expression of the tumor suppressor p53 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21. These studies proved that blue oyster mushroom could be a great supplement or home remedy for the treatment of cancers. You may prepare a soup with it and consume while taking chemotherapy.
Blue oyster mushroom may treat viral infections
Viral infections are the toughest and most deadly of all microbial infections. When they get into your body, they would hijack every cellular process for their reverse transcription and rapid replication. Most viral infections are difficult to cure with the available medications. This has led to the search for reliable source of therapeutic agents that would be effective in the treatment of viral infection.
Luckily, blue oyster mushroom is a good remedy for treating viral infections. It has strong activity against HIV and herpes viruses. It possesses ubiquitin-like protein which inhibit HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Also, blue oyster mushroom can inhibit the viral entry of hepatitis C into the peripheral blood cells.
Blue oyster mushroom suppresses hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure, sometimes called arterial hypertension, is a chronic medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. This forces the heart to work harder in order to circulate blood through the blood vessels.
Hypertension is a major risk factor for stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attacks), heart failure, aneurysms of the arteries (e.g. aortic aneurysm), and peripheral arterial disease and is a cause of chronic kidney diseases.
Blue oyster mushrooms possess compounds that inhibit the activity of the angiotensin-1 converting enzyme (ACE), which lowers the blood pleasure, exhibiting anti-hypertension.
Blue oyster mushroom reduces cholesterol level
Just like king oyster mushrooms, blue oyster mushrooms possess hypocholesterolemic properties. They can reduce your blood total cholesterol and triglycerides, significantly. This is due to the presence of an active compound, Lovastatin.
Lovastatin, like pravastatin, is a known active compound found in many nutraceuticals because of its strong hypolipidemic activity. Hyperlipidemia has been associated with increasing rate of atherosclerosis. This makes blue oyster mushroom a good home remedy for lowering high cholesterol levels.
Benefits of blue oyster mushroom for diabetes
Hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia are important features of diabetes mellitus. In most diabetes patients, lipid peroxidation may lead to DNA damage, sperm abnormalities and impaired kidney functions. But blue oyster mushroom has proved to be a promising nutraceutical for treating diabetes.
According different studies on streptozotocin induced diabetes and alloxan induced diabetes, blue oyster mushroom showed strong hypoglycemic activities in both, making it a good candidate for treating both type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Aside it hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic activities, the mushroom treatment were more effective for decreasing the genetic alterations and sperm abnormalities in diabetic conditions than in Amaryl treatment. It is also capable of improving impaired kidney functions.
The good news is that you can make blue oyster mushroom into a powder and add to your tea or custard foods. You can even add it in your fruit juices or cook food with it.
Read also (Reishi Mushroom Tea: 6 Amazing Health Benefits)
Benefits of blue oyster mushroom for immune system
Blue oyster mushrooms possess strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that boost your immune system. They also possess immunomodulatory activities. According to a study, blue oyster mushroom water extract has a role in increasing the production of reactive oxygen species from neutrophil, and has immunomodulatory properties involving all immunocompetent cells.
Blue oyster mushroom may slow aging
Aging is associated with cellular and DNA damage and apoptosis due to the attack of free radicals. When your body is under intensive oxidative stress, it releases excess free radicals, more than the glutathione in your body can handle. This free radicals, having overpowered your body’s natural antioxidants, now begins to attack your DNA and cellular components. This in turn leads to massive cell deaths and aging of your skin.
But a regular consumption of blue oyster mushroom or other mushrooms can help scavenge free radicals in your body and give you a youthful glowing body.
Blue oyster mushroom may improve your fertility
Being enriched in zinc, selenium and folic acid, blue oyster mushroom may help improve your fertility levels by improving your sperm quality and functions. It is also good for a pregnant mother, due to its folate content. Folate is required for early development of the fetus and follicular tubules.
Who should not eat blue oyster mushrooms?
Prostate cancer patients
Like every other mushrooms, blue oyster mushroom possess high potassium and folate content. These are not good for prostate cancer patients. According to some studies, men with high potassium levels are more likely to have cancer than men with normal potassium levels.
Aside potassium, studies also found that folic acid supplementation is associated with increased risk of prostate cancer. These make oyster mushroom a no food supplements for prostate cancer patients. However, you may consult your doctor on this.
If you are treating any kidney related diseases, try as much as possible to avoid potassium rich foods, like mushroom and tomatoes. This is because your kidneys lack the capacity to process excess potassium levels in your blood. This leads to another disease called hyperkalemia.
How to use blue oyster mushroom
There are several ways to eat blue oyster mushroom. You can make soup with it and eat as meat supplement or substitute, you can make a tea with it or add the powder in your foods or drinks. Whichever way you prefer, you would still enjoy the rich nutritional and medicinal values of blue oyster mushrooms.
Blue oyster mushroom tea recipe
To make blue oyster mushroom tea, dry a good quantity of the mushroom and grind into powder. Then follow the instructions below.
Two spoons of blue oyster mushroom powder
A spoon of Ginger powder
Half a spoon of Garlic powder (optional)
One and half a cup of water
Bring your water to boiling point
Add 2 spoons of mushroom powder
Allow to boil for another 2 mins.
Add ginger and garlic powder
Reduce the heat and allow to steam for 3 mins.
Strain your tea and add honey to taste
Enjoy your tea hot or warm
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