Medicinal mushroom fibre and digestive health

Pleurotus ostreatus (or Oyster mushroom) is a medicinal mushroom of scientific interest for its polysaccharide composition, but also for its significant  content of other bioactive substances such as dietary fibre, enzymes, phenolic compounds and more. This species is one of the most marketed and consumed in cooking along with Shiitake. It is also known as ‘Oyster mushroom’, ‘Orellana’, ‘Belarri landu’ or ‘Píng Gū’.

Essential notes on Pleurotus ostreatus

Oyster mushroom, like other medicinal mushrooms, is an excellent source of dietary fibre. Studies have explored its effects on the immune system and as a prebiotic. It also contains high quality proteins, minerals and vitamins (especially B group), amino acids, fatty acids, and more. Many of these fungi-derived substances have been studied for their effects on metabolism, especially in areas such as:

The pink oyster mushroom and other mushrooms of the genus Pleurotus have been prized for centuries for their nutritional value and delicious taste. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), oyster mushrooms are prescribed for “relaxation of muscles, joints and tendons, to strengthen circulation and to increase kidney function”.

PLEUROTUS: Properties, USES AND applications

Mushrooms are considered a food of high nutritional value, but it is their high concentration of other bioactive compounds with potent effects, that are studied for their results on various aspects of health. The most concentrated format in which to consume  these substances is an extract, which is most effective as a standardised product, generally found in powder form (often marketed in capsules) or in liquid form.

Dr. Immune Five is a liquid paediatric formula that contains Pleurotus extract, as well as other medicinal mushrooms. Unconcentrated mushroom powder – more concentrated than a culinary source but at a lower concentration than an extract, has high bioavailability and prebiotic content and is therefore recommended for multiple functional purposes. Oyster mushroom powder can be found in products such as Bio-Intestin and Bio-Defense.

Products containing Oyster mushroom


Bio Defense



Bio Intestin

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Like Pleurotus eryngii (King oyster mushroom), the oyster mushroom contains protein, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients, and is low in fat, making it a high-quality food. Its micronutrients include:


Ostreolysin, laccase, lectin and other peptides and fatty acids


D and B group



Habitat and Distribution

Oyster mushroom is widespread throughout the world, and can grow in very different environments ranging from cold boreal areas to tropical climates, giving rise to several varieties of this fungus.

Mycological notes

Pleurotus is one of the most cultivated species. It belongs to the order Polyporales, family Polyporaceae and genus Pleurotus, where there are eight species that are difficult to differentiate between,  as well as having subspecies, varieties and strains of lignicolous environments (growing on wood) that live as saprophytes or parasites on deciduous trees and other plants.

The carpophore of P. ostreatus has a thick, firm flesh, whitish in colour, with a pleasant smell and taste. It is almost white in colour with a very pleasant smell and taste. Irrespective of the cultivation method chosen, the oyster mushroom grows in the form of a pine cone, i.e. several branches grow from a very short stem, which eventually form separate caps with a characteristic shell shape. The size is variable, ranging from 4 cm to 25 cm.


P. Ostreatus is the most widely used species of mushrooms due to its ease of cultivation. It has different varieties that differ both in morphology and flavour. It is one of the easiest species to cultivate, which is why it is produced in large quantities all over Europe. It can be produced using poplar wood or using container bags with pelleted straw substrate.

Cultivation in bioreactors

Highest quality, purity and performance in our production systems

One of the most powerful lines of research at Hifas da Terra focuses on the continuous improvement of the cultivation of different species in bioreactors (Reishi, Lion's Mane, Shiitake and Maitake) using certified organic substrates, as well as the standardisation of the quality of  source ingredients to guarantee excellence in the final product  with each medicinal mushroom.

Hifas Quality System (HQS)

Through our own quality standards, we identify biomolecules and active ingredients with therapeutic actions, selecting the fungal strains that contain the optimum amounts, and use our own specific analytical systems to apply analysis protocols at different stages of productionThanks to this rigorous system, we offer natural products, supplements and nutraceuticals with the Hifas Quality System guarantee, setting us apart from other products in terms of quality, safety and efficacy.  

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R&D and studies with Oyster

  • Hifas da Terra has its own strains isolated from the Iberian Peninsula in its extensive mycological library (Mycological Bank Hifas).
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  • Pleurotus originates from the Greek pleuro, which describes lateral position and describes the arrangement of the cap in relation to the stem. Likewise, ostreatus is a Latin word meaning “oyster-like” describing the shape of the mushroom cap, which is similar to an oyster shell. Therefore, the name Pleurotus ostreatus indicates a mushroom whose cap is shaped like an oyster shell and is laterally attached to the stem.
  • The books Comer para vencer el cáncer (Dr Paula Jiménez Fonseca, medical oncologist and Belén Álvarez Álvarez, nutrition chemist) and Mi Alimentación Anticáncer (Dr. Odile Fernández) each devote a whole chapter to medicinal mushrooms, which includes oyster mushrooms in their recommendations for preventative healthcare.
  • Krüzselyi, D., Kovács, D., Vetter, J. (2016). Chemical analysis of oyster mushroom (Pleurotus eryngii) fruiting bodies. Acta Alimentaria, 45(1), 20-27. doi:10.1556/066.2016.45.1.3. 
  • Stajic, M., Vukojevi, J., Duletic-Lauševic S. (2009). Biology of <i>Pleurotus eryngii</i> and role in biotechnological processes: a review. , 29(1), 55-66. doi:10.1080/07388550802688821. 
  • Sun, Y., Hu, X., & Li, W. (2017). Antioxidant, antitumor and immunostimulatory activities of polypeptide from Pleurotus eryngii mycelium. International journal of biological macromolecules, 97, 323-330.
  • Wong, Jack Ho., et al (2020). Fungal extracts and compounds with suppressive action on breast cancer: evidence from studies with cultured cancer cells, tumour-bearing animals and clinical trials. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, (), -. doi:10.1007/s00253-020-10476-4. 
  •  Xue, Zhaohui; Li, Jiaomei; Cheng, Aiqing; Yu, Wancong; Zhang, Zhijun; Kou, Xiaohong; Zhou, Fengjuan (2015). Identification of triterpene structure of Pleurotus eryngii mushroom with inhibitory effects against breast cancer. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition, 70(3), 291-296. doi:10.1007/s11130-015-0492-7 
  • Yang, RL, Li, Q. and Hu, QP. Physicochemical properties, microstructures, nutritional components and free amino acids of Pleurotus eryngii as affected by different drying methods. Sci Rep 10, 121 (2020).
  • Zhang, Bingru; Li, Yanying; Zhang, Fuming; Linhardt, Robert J.; Zeng, Guoyang; Zhang, Anqiang (2019). Extraction, structure and bioactivities of Pleurotus eryngii polysaccharides: a review. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, (), S0141813019338218-. doi:10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2019.10.144.

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