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The Golden Oyster (Pleurotus citrinopileatus), also called lime oyster, is a species of mushroom from the family of Oyster relatives. The fruiting bodies have white stems and yellow caps and grow in clusters. The species is a popular edible mushroom, especially in Asia. Lemon yellow seitling is a wood decomposer that cometabolically breaks down lignin, causing white rot. The German names were introduced by growers only in recent times.

The groove-stalked seitling can change its way of life from parasitic to saprobiontic and is therefore easy to cultivate. This yellow variety, which actually only grows wild in the Far East and Africa, can be hybridized (colloquially: crossed) with European lines and has therefore lost its status as an independent species.

Grown in tropical areas as a substitute for oyster mushrooms because it tolerates heat well. Grows on a wide range of substrates.

Pleurotus citrinopileatus cannot quite match oyster mushrooms in taste and texture, but the speed, high yield, and bright yellow color make this fact fade into the background.

The mushroom is traditionally grown in East Asia and more recently in Taiwan, the USA and Europe. Besides its value as an edible mushroom, which is reflected in numerous dishes, Pleurotus citrinopileatus is also important as a supplier of medicinal substances, which is used in the treatment of emphysema. Suitable substrates are copper beech, ash, alder, poplar, willow and maple.

Pleurotus citrinopileatus is intended to be used to treat pulmonary emphysema. According to Ying (1987) in Icons of Medicinal Mushrooms, P. citrinopileatus can cure pulmonary emphysema. This mushroom is likely similar to P. ostreatus in its cholesterol-lowering properties.

Oyster Mushrooms naturally synthesize a chemical called lovastatin. Lovastatin is part of the statin family of drugs, meaning that it inhibits the production of cholesterol in the body and can potentially lower LDL cholesterol. Lovastatin can also be found naturally in Red Yeast Rice and is manufactured commercially from Aspergillus terreus.

Lovastatin works by inhibiting the activity of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which acts as the rate limiting step to the synthesis of cholesterol in the body. This serves to help prevent hypercholesterolemia, or high cholesterol, which is a major risk factor in cardiovascular disease. Studies in rats support the cholesterol lowering effects of ingesting Pleurotus ostreatus, which naturally contains about 2.8% Lovastatin by weight.

HMG-CoA reductase serves as the rate limiting enzyme for cholesterol production

The conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate by HMG-CoA reductase is blocked by Lovastatin.

Yellow Oyster mushrooms are an excellent source of nutrients, and are a low calorie, low cholesterol, and low fat source of protein, dietary fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, zinc, manganese, niacin, copper, potassium, and antioxidants. Check out these impressive nutrition facts.

1. Growing

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Growing Procedure

Pleurotus citrinopileatus thrives well at moderate room temperatures and really “shoots” at higher values. Also copes well on over-scalded straw pellets and other simple substrates. Best quality is achieved with sterile substrate on hardwood base and grain, highest yields are achieved on bean straw. Stem crops on hardwoods are also possible. Although obviously heat-loving, stem crops survive even freezing winter periods.

Like all swarm fruiting members of the Pleurotus family, the lime oyster benefits from a few lateral fruiting openings in the substrate container.

From these few spots, cauliflower-like precursors form first, still covered by a delicate skin. Often, remnants of this gossamer coating, which does not otherwise occur in other species of seitlings, are mistaken for mold. In the second picture, magnification reveals what is meant.

Avoid opening the Pleurotus citrinopileatus culture too extensively. The fungus tolerates periods of heat well if it is well ventilated and humidified.

They go about this by excreting digestive enzymes through the tips of root-like extensions called hyphae. The enzymes break down their food leaving a space filled with nutrients that the hyphae can continue growing into, absorbing, and digesting again as it feeds. The hyphae branch and grow into a thicker mass called a mycelium, which maximizes the surface area through which feeding can take place.


Agar Culture Media: MEA, MYPA, MYA, PDYA
Containers for fruiting: Columns, bags, trays and perforated plastic bottles
Biological efficience: After the second flush, relatively few mushrooms form. Biological Efficiency: 25-75% indoors with wheat straw. Yield efficiencies are higher on cotton seed modified substrates.
Substrates: Rye, wheat, sorghum, milo or millet. Every part of the coffee plant can be recycled by growing oyster mushrooms. Cottonseed hulls, chopped corn cobs, and hardwood sawdust. Alternative substrates that are being commercially developed are sugarcane bagasse, paper by-products, banana leaves, and peanut shells.




Temp °C
24-29 21-27(32) 21-29
Relative Humidity %
90-100 95-100 90-95
Duration d
10-14 3-5 3-5
CO2 ppm
>5000 <1000 <1000
FAE per h
1-2 4-8 4-8
Light lux
500-1000 500-1000

Growing Characteristics

Pleurotus citrinopileatus usually grow in large clusters arising from a single attached base. Bunches are often made up of fifty to a hundred or more mushrooms. As strains of this species age, the yellow cap color loses and turns beige, and fewer fungi are produced in each primordial group.

Natural Habitat

As a saprobiont, the Golden Oyster Mushroom attacks dead or injured wood of deciduous trees, where it breaks down the lignin component, causing white rot. Natural substrates are the wood of elms and beeches. It is found in riparian forests and along riverbanks and requires comparatively high temperatures (21-29 °C) to grow, so it does not form fruiting bodies below 16-18 °C, but is very tolerant in the upper temperature range. When fruiting, the relative humidity of the air should be above 80% for the Lemon Toadstool.

Pleurotus citrinopileatus is found in Russia, Africa, as well as in Asia.

A saprophyte of Asian hardwoods, especially oak, elm, beech, and poplar

2. Identification


-golden to light yellow
-2-5 cm
-convex to flat when ripe
-often dented in the middle
-with deciduous gills emerging through partially translucent cap flesh




-white stems
-attached centrally to the caps



-whitish-yellowish mycelium
-often with densely growing clusters
-primordia initially yellow
-this fungus first forms a layer of very fine mycelium, other then Pleurotus ostreatus


-spores pale pink, buff
-7.5–9.0 × 3.0–3.5 µ
-clamp connections available
-Dimitic hyphal system.

Danger of confusion

Pleurotus cornucopiae, Pleurotus pulmonarius, Pleurocybella porrigens, Pleurotus ostreatus

© Norton (Norty Edwards)

3. Consuming


Pleurotus citrinopileatus remind a little of cashew nuts in taste. They are good to be fried very hot in a pan or wok, you’d better not boil the mushroom. Unfortunately, the color is lost during preparation. With fully ripe specimens they better cut away the stalk, unless they like a little “bite”.


white, thin, fibrous, fleshy


mild, cashew


grain spawn smells astringent, pungent, nutty or fishy

Nutritional content per 100g

Water 89.2g
Energy (Atwater General Factors) 41kcal
Energy (Atwater Specific Factors) 33kcal
Nitrogen 0.46g
Protein 2.9g
Total lipid (fat) 0.19g
Ash 0.73g
Carbohydrate, by difference 6.94g
Calcium, Ca <2.5mg
Iron, Fe 0.7mg
Magnesium, Mg 13.9mg
Phosphorus, P 86mg
Potassium, K 282mg
Sodium, Na 1mg
Zinc, Zn 0.68mg
Copper, Cu 106mg
Manganese, Mn 86mg
Selenium, Se 1.4µg
Vitamins and Other Components:
Thiamin 0.07mg
Riboflavin 244mg
Niacin 5.75mg
Vitamin B-6 99mg
Biotin 7µg
Folate, total 63µg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units 1.6IU
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) 0.04µg
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) 0.04µg
Vitamin D4 0µg
Stigmasterol <0.2mg
Campesterol <0.2mg
Beta-sitosterol <0.2mg
Ergosta-7-enol 1.31mg
Ergosta-7,22-dienol 0.88mg
Ergosta-5,7-dienol 8.43mg
Ergosterol 58mg
Beta-sitostanol <0.2mg
Delta-5-avenasterol <0.2mg
Delta-7-Stigmastenol <0.2mg
Amino acids:
Ergothioneine 14mg

© U.S. Department Of Agriculture

4. Data med, edible

other names

Chinesisch (vereinfacht) 榆黄蘑
Chinesisch (vereinfacht) 金顶侧耳
Englisch Golden Oyster Mushroom
Estnisch kuldservik
Japanisch タモギタケ
Russisch Вёшенка лимонная
Schwedisch citronmussling
Tschechisch hlíva žlutá
Türkisch sitrino kayın mantarı
Wissenschaftl. Name Pleurotus citrinopileatus
Wissenschaftl. Name Pleurotus cornucopiae citrinopileatus

other names

The Golden Oyster Mushroom, Tamogitake (Japanese), Il’Mak (Russian Term For “Elm Mushroom”), Zitronenseitling, Zitronengelber Seitling, Limonen-Seitling, Yellow Oyster Mushroom, Golden Oyster Mushroom, Zitronen-Seitling, Limonen-Seitling, Lemonoyster, Elm Mushroom

Kingdom Fungi

Division Basidiomycota
Class Agaricomycetes
Order Agaricales
Family Pleurotaceae
Genus Pleurotaceae
Species P. citrinopileatus
Ecology Saprotrophic

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