Pleurotus ostreatus var. columbinus. Few mushrooms are more satisfying to watch grow as the Blue Oyster Mushroom. It is very forgiving and easy to grow making it the ideal choice for a beginner. The fruits grow rapidly, sometimes doubling in size everyday. The mushroom starts out strikingly blue and turns grey as it matures. These mushrooms are ideal candidates for outdoor growing as their fresh air requirements are the highest of any of the mushrooms we have grown.
This can be grown on supplemented hardwood like one of our easy to inoculate grow kits.
Below is some of the science showing the health benefits gained from these mushrooms.
This mushroom is not only delicious it is also a valuable source of non-starchy carbohydrates, packs plenty of protein and is low in fat. It has been shown to boost immune function and lower cholesterol.
The Oyster Mushroom also has some bacteria fighting substances. In 1950, pleuromutilin, an antibiotic developed from the mushroom, was found to kill various bacteria including the bacterium salmonella. Pseudomonas is another bacterium that pleuromutilin was able to wipe out. A more recent research, (Stamets, 2005) found that Pleurotus ostreatus, which are extracts from the Oyster Mushroom, are able to weaken the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. From a concentration of 100 000 000 per millilitre, the bacterial concentration dropped to a mere 1 000 per millilitre within a span of 24-72 hours.
The Oyster Mushroom has the scent of anise because it has benzaldehyde. Benzaldehyde is an organic compound which is widely sought for industrial use. Martres, a Frenchman and pharmacist, was the first to extract this compound from a natural plant. He did that in 1803. Thereafter, in 1832, two German chemists, Friedrich Wohler and Justus von Liebig, synthesised it. Because of its nice scent, pharmaceuticals use it a lot.
The uses of the Oyster Mushroom are evidently varied, ranging from the kitchen and the farm, to pharmacies and industries where its potential is yet to be exploited.