Decades of medical research studies are confirming the tremendous health-boosting potential of certain mushrooms. These “functional mushrooms,” as they are known, have been used by traditional medicine practitioners since at least 3,000 BCE to address a variety of health concerns. Turkey tail mushroom benefits for health are well documented in the historical and modern scientific literature. This article will explore why the turkey tail mushroom seems to be in a league of its own among other functional mushrooms such as reishi, lion’s mane, and cordyceps.
In this guide, we’ll take a deep dive into turkey tail mushroom’s various health benefits and how it supports the immune system in particular.
In This Article:
- What are Functional Mushrooms?
- What are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
- The Science of Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits: Two Key Compounds
- Turkey Tail Mushroom Health Benefits
- Why & How to Take Turkey Tail Mushroom (the Right Way!)
- How to Take Turkey Tail Mushroom
- Turkey Tail Mushroom Safety and Side Effects
- Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits: The Takeaway
What are Functional Mushrooms?
“Functional mushrooms” as they are known in the wellness community, are edible mushrooms that contain a wide variety of bioactive compounds. Each type of functional mushroom has its own unique bioactive profile and capacity for supporting particular bodily systems. In the case of turkey tail mushrooms, it has a unique ability to strengthen the actions of the immune system, among other benefits.
If you’ve ever heard of functional mushrooms, you’ve also likely come across the term beta-glucans or beta-D-glucans. These polysaccharides are responsible for the immune-modulating effects of mushrooms. They have been shown to activate immune cells like monocytes, natural killer (NK) cells, neutrophils, macrophages, and dendritic cells in test tube studies (6).
Turkey Tail mushrooms have beta-D-glucans in abundance. They also contain additional bio-compounds that are responsible for some of their other unique health-supporting properties, as we will in this article.
What are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
Turkey tail, also known by its scientific names Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor, or Polyporus versicolor, gets its name from its appearance: flat, fan-shaped, multicolored rings of the mushroom that look much like — you guessed it — a turkey’s tail. Similarly, you may hear the mushroom referred to by its Chinese name, yún zhī (云芝) which translate to “cloud fungus”, or its Japanese name, kawaratake (“mushroom by the riverbank”).
T. versicolor is a common fungal species of the basidiomycetes class, found growing on logs, stumps, or dead trunks of deciduous trees (e.g., oak or birch) and some conifers (e.g., fir and pine trees) in North America, Asia, and Europe. Like many others in its class, turkey tail is a white-rot fungus. These fungi play an important role in breaking down lignin in rotting wood, leaving behind whitish, soft, spongy cellulose. This action helps return nutrients to the soil, where other plants may access them for their own growth.
The Science of Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits: Two Key Compounds
Turkey tail possesses an impressive range of primary and secondary compounds. The secondary compounds are lesser known medicinal components such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and terpenoids. In fact, researchers identified 38 different phenolic compounds, including quercetin and baicalein. Quercitin and baicalein are two phenolic compounds found in other natural plants and herbs with an incredible amount of research and value behind them.
Turkey tail is well known for its protein-bound polysaccharides, also known as polysaccharopeptides (PSPs). There are naturally occurring protein-bound polysaccharides in turkey tail mushrooms and there are two commercial isolated protein-bound polysaccharides available called PSP and PSK.
There are two commercial products of PSP available called PSP and PSK. PSK is also known as polysaccharide-K, polysaccharide-Kureha, or krestin. Both PSP and PSK have a molar mass of approximately 100 kDa and have been shown to stimulate the immune system in both preclinical and clinical studies (7).
A popular anecdote suggests that PSK was first discovered by a chemical engineer working for Kureha Chemical Industry Co. The engineer observed a neighbor turn his health around by drinking tea made from turkey tail mushrooms. Intrigued, he convinced his employer to investigate the healing powers of the mushroom.
The rest is history. PSK was isolated from the CM-101 strain of the turkey tail mushroom in 1971 and was commercialized by Kureha Chemicals. In 1977, the Japanese Ministry of Health approved PSK for clinical use. It has since been extensively studied for its role in supporting immune system health in a variety of situations, but primarily in oncology (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).
In the 1980s, Chinese scientists started testing many strains of T. versicolor and eventually selected the COV-1 strain as their base. PSP was extracted from this strain by Professor Qing-yao Yang, and the Chinese government approved it for use in clinical settings in 1987.
So far, over 45 independent PSP-related preclinical and clinical studies have been conducted. Furthermore, the China State Food and Drug Administration has also approved 13 types of products based on the turkey tail mushroom (7).
Both PSK and PSP belong to a group of substances called biological response modifiers (BRMs). As non-specific immunosupportive agents, they work to restore balance to the immune system without a specific target (15).
Given that over 120 strains of turkey tail mushrooms are known to exist, not all PSPs are the same, as it is just a general term for protein-bound polysaccharides (1). The molecular weight and structure of PSPs can differ depending on the strain, growing conditions, and extraction technique (1).
Turkey Tail Mushroom Health Benefits
Traditional medicine practitioners, particularly those in Asia, have used turkey tail for millennia. According to the entry for yún zhī in the Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica) by Li ShiZhen, the fungus provided health and long life benefits if consumed regularly.
A few of the traditional uses for turkey tail include: removing toxins, increasing energy, removing excessive fluid, strengthening the organs responsible for the immune system, and supporting liver, lung and spleen function (1). Some conditions that benefit from turkey tail use include coughs, breathing difficulties, hemorrhoids and joint pain.
In conventional medicine, turkey tail has been used to support the immune systems of people with weakened immunity (2). Research conducted in vitro suggests turkey tail has strong antioxidant properties and may protect DNA from free radical damage (1).
Continue reading for an overview of the most common modern applications for this healthy mushroom.
Overview of Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits:
- Adaptogenic properties
- Supports the Immune System
- Supports a Healthy Inflammation Response
- Protects DNA from Damage
- Supports Gut Health
- Supports Liver Health
- Improves Athletic Performance
- May Support Blood Sugar Balance
- Benefits for Pets
Turkey Tail are Adaptogenic Mushrooms
It’s no surprise that stress levels are higher than ever. The New York Times reported in 2019 that 55% of American adults experience occasional stress.
The real kicker? Bouts of stress can negatively affect many of our body’s systems negatively.
This means that there is no better time for a functional mushroom renaissance.
Like other functional mushrooms, turkey tail mushrooms are adaptogens. As their name suggests, adaptogens help the body adapt to the various types of stressors we may come across. This includes physical, biological, or chemical stressors. Adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to help stabilize your cortisol levels under stress and assist the body in reaching balance again.
Turkey Tail Supports the Immune System
Bioactive compounds in functional mushrooms can have potent immunostimulatory effects. Turkey tail enhances both the innate and adaptive immune responses, the body’s first and second lines of defense, respectively.
We are all born with the innate response, also called a non-specific immune response. This type consists of chemical, physical, and cellular defenses.
Adaptive immunity is acquired and specific. This type of defense allows for the expansion of certain types of white blood cells, the T and B lymphocytes.
Preclinical studies show that polysaccharides from turkey tail can induce proliferation of both T and B cells (18,19,20).
These findings suggest that turkey tail supplementation is a safe way to heighten the immune response in people with weakened immunity (29).
Functional mushrooms may also enhance a third immune system known as trained innate immunity, an emerging concept in immunology (56).
Turkey tail combined with Reishi, another functional mushroom, shows even greater possibilities for helping the immune system (57).
Turkey Tail Supports a Healthy Inflammation Response
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) include free radicals and other by-products of cellular metabolisms, such as superoxide anion (O2•-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hydroxyl radical (•OH). They are also produced in the cellular response to exposure to foreign substances, like ozone, cigarette smoking, air pollutants, and industrial chemicals.
Reactive oxygen species are critical cell signaling mediators of normal biological processes. There is a delicate balance between ROS and antioxidants that protect cells. A disturbance to this balance can lead to excessive amounts of ROS. This phenomenon is called oxidative stress.
Research shows that avoiding oxidative stress and supporting a healthy inflammation response are two of the most important things you can do to maintain a healthy body, especially as you age.
Some scientists think turkey tail’s effect on inflammatory responses can even help protect the brain as it ages. When used in conjunction with a Ginkgo biloba extract, mice with mild memory problems associated with aging had elevated levels of antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) in their brains. Their brain tissue also had lower expression levels of certain inflammatory markers (17).
Turkey Tail Protects DNA from Damage
Free radicals can also be harmful to your DNA, which is more sensitive to their damaging effects than other macromolecules are. Results of one study suggest that extracts from T. versicolor may have activities that can protect DNA, possibly due to the high levels of phenolic compounds in the mushroom. The underlying mechanisms of these effects are not yet clear (1).
Turkey Tail Supports Gut Health
It is increasingly being understood that our overall health is highly dependent on our gut health. The composition of the gut microbiota affects everything from digestion to cognitive function.
Beta-glucans contain bonds that cannot be broken down by human digestive enzymes. Large indigestible glycans also cannot cross the lining of the gut, so they must remain there until they are either used or excreted (33).
This means that beta-glucans may be a potential source of prebiotics, which may contribute to changes in the health and composition of the gut microbiome (33,34).
Polysaccharides in turkey tail may also alter fecal microbiota composition in a positive way. Researchers saw that polysaccharide peptide (PSP) elevated the beneficial Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species while reducing potentially harmful ones. PSP also lowered the pH of the fecal microbiota, a finding that suggests a mechanism by which PSP could protect against unwanted invaders (33).
In a randomized, open-label clinical trial, subjects in the PSP group had clear and consistent changes in their intestinal microbiome composition. These findings again demonstrate the prebiotic potential of PSP (35).
Additionally, the immunomodulating properties and prebiotic activity of PSPs may also have a weight management effect, though human studies have not been done to test that theory (36,37).
Turkey Tail Supports Liver Health
The antioxidant activities of turkey tail may also help support liver health. Some chemicals and their toxic metabolites may be harmful to the liver.
Animal studies investigating liver impact commonly use the hepatotoxin carbon tetrachloride (CCl4). This toxin produces ROS and a free radical called trichloromethyl (CCl3-), which are both bad news for the liver (38). Results from animal studies suggest that PSP could help protect the liver against CCl3- by regulating the immune response to the free radical, such as increasing levels of the protective antioxidants SOD, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and glutathione (GSH) (39).
Researchers identified one polysaccharide peptide (PSP) in turkey tail, called PSP-1b1, that had hepatoprotective effects in mice (40). Results from another study showed that mice that consumed PSP had lower levels of liver enzymes, indicating enhanced liver health (41).
However, more data will be needed to conclude if PSP could have similar effects in humans.
Turkey Tail Improves Athletic Performance
Many researchers are turning to natural health products to find potential ways to help decrease sports fatigue and improve athletic ability.
Improvements in sports fatigue might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about functional mushrooms. However, animal studies have found that turkey tail polysaccharide peptide (PSP) may enhance pain thresholds and have anti-fatigue activity (2,43).
In one study, mice fed turkey tail extracts had greater forelimb grip strength and higher exercise tolerance than those that were not (43).
Blood lactate supplies most of the energy for short, high-intensity exercise. It is measured with ammonia to help interpret an athlete’s resistance to fatigue. Turkey tail extracts may help lower blood lactate and ammonia levels after exercise, as suggested by the above study’s findings. This effect demonstrates that turkey tail extracts could help delay the onset of fatigue (43).
Read our article about how other functional mushrooms can enhance athletic performance.
Turkey Tail May Support Blood Sugar Balance
Healthy blood sugar regulation is key to achieving optimal health. All cells run on glucose (or blood sugar). When there is insufficient sugar in the blood, cells don’t get the energy they need. When there is excess sugar in the blood, blood vessels are negatively affected.
Two hormones help ensure blood sugar levels stay within a narrow range: Insulin, which lowers blood sugar by escorting it out of the blood and to the cells, and glucagon, which raises blood sugar by prompting the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose. In order to achieve glucose homeostasis, it is important to maintain the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Animal studies show that PSPs may do just that. They have been shown to support normal insulin sensitivity, which helps maintain blood glucose levels already within a healthy range (44,45,46). These results need to be replicated in clinical trials; however, these initial results in animals are very promising!
Turkey Tail Benefits for Pets
Humans aren’t the only ones who can benefit from turkey tail. This mushroom is one of the most popular immune boosters for the furry members of your family as well.
Read our article on medicinal mushrooms for pets to find out how your pet may benefit from turkey tail.
Drawing Conclusions About Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits: A Caveat
While the insights obtained from the animal studies quoted in the sections above may be promising, results from animal and laboratory studies don’t always translate well to humans. Also, not all strains of T. versicolor are the same. More studies will need to be conducted to confirm the potential benefits of turkey tail for a variety of health concerns.
Why & How to Take Turkey Tail Mushroom (the Right Way!)
In traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, turkey tail was prepared as a tea. That option is still available for those who can find and identify wild turkey tail. For the rest of us, we can look for turkey tail extracts in powder or capsule form.
HOWEVER, not all mushroom extracts and supplements are made the same. To reap the turkey tail mushroom benefits for your health, you must select a quality supplement. There are 3 important supplement buying guidelines to consider.
Most importantly, look for a product whose label indicates that only the turkey tail mushroom is used and NOT mycelium. Mycelium is essentially the root structure of the fungi. Not only does it contain fewer of the desirable bio-compounds, but it is grown on grain. That grain is intertwined with the mycelium and ends up in the supplement. The grain the mycelium grows on dilutes the potency of the end product and loads it with unnecessary starch and filler.
Read our guide to buying the best turkey tail supplement to help you select a product that will deliver the concentrated bio-compounds responsible for the health benefits you seek.
How to Take Turkey Tail Mushroom
Real Mushrooms cares deeply about sourcing the highest quality mushrooms. Our Turkey Tail Extracts only contain the mushrooms. Accredited 3rd party laboratories test all our products for active compounds, including beta-D-glucans.
Our turkey tail extracts contain over 30% beta-D-glucans! There is no mycelium, added starch, or grain of any kind. The recommended dosage for adults is ½ teaspoons per day as a dietary supplement.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to reap turkey tail mushroom benefits, there is no better way than our Extract capsules. A maintenance dose is just two turkey tail capsules a day.
As always, please consult your healthcare provider to make sure turkey tail is the right supplement for you.
It’s easy to add turkey tail to your daily routine. This mushroom has a very mild earthy flavor, which makes it a great immune-boosting addition to your morning coffee.
Here are some fun recipes you can try that include turkey tail powder:
- Paleo Butternut Squash Soup With Medicinal Mushroom Extract
- Acai Bowl Recipe With Immune-Boosting Mushrooms
- Anti-Inflammatory Mushroom Elixir
- Turkey Tail Immune Boosting Smoothie Bowl
Turkey Tail Mushroom Safety and Side Effects
Turkey tail is generally well tolerated. Some people have reported experiencing mild symptoms such as:
- Gastrointestinal upset (e.g., gas, bloating)
- Heart palpitation
- Chest pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dark-colored stools
- Cold- or flu-like symptoms
Another reported side effect is the darkening of fingernails (54). Many of these toxicities were reported when turkey tail was used with other standard therapies for abnormal cellular growths (55).
Clinical studies so far do not support a specific dosage. Participants of a pilot clinical trial reported no serious adverse events while taking up to 9 grams of turkey tail per day. Mild adverse events included heartburn, heart palpitation, constipation, chest pain, fever, radiation dermatitis, and cold- or flu-like symptoms (29).
A meta-analysis done using turkey tail and another functional mushroom while undergoing conventional cancer treatment only mentioned 1 study out of 23 had a serious adverse event. In fact, 7 of the 23 research studies found a decrease in adverse events when using these functional mushrooms alongside conventional therapies, such as chemotherapy, surgery or radiation (60).
Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as individuals with underlying health conditions including mushroom allergy, should consult a healthcare practitioner before consuming turkey tail.
Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits: The Takeaways
As you can see, turkey tail is one powerhouse of a mushroom. From our discussion above, it’s clear why turkey tail has been a respected and valuable remedy for thousands of years. Researchers will only continue to discover how turkey tail can support the immune system.
In our modern lifestyles, we have more stressors than ever before. But adding a turkey tail supplement to your daily routine doesn’t have to be one of them. When choosing a turkey tail product, be sure it adheres to the recommendations we discussed above to help ensure you get the turkey tail mushroom benefits you are looking for.
For a great, quick overview of the benefits of turkey tail mushrooms, watch the video below:
Other Articles About Turkey Tail Mushrooms
- Turkey Tail Mushroom Identification: A 4-Point Checklist
- Finding the best Turkey Tail Supplement: A Buying Guide
- Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Dogs: A Versatile Fungi for Pet Health
- Turkey Tail vs False Turkey Tail Mushroom: 11 Questions Answered
56. van Steenwijk, H. P., Bast, A., & de Boer, A. (2021). Immunomodulating Effects of Fungal Beta-Glucans: From Traditional Use to Medicine. Nutrients, 13(4), 1333. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041333
57. Donatini B. (2014). Control of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) by medicinal mushrooms, Trametes versicolor and Ganoderma lucidum: a preliminary clinical trial. International journal of medicinal mushrooms, 16(5), 497–498. https://doi.org/10.1615/intjmedmushrooms.v16.i5.80
60. Zhong, L., Yan, P., Lam, W. C., Yao, L., & Bian, Z. (2019). Coriolus Versicolor and Ganoderma Lucidum Related Natural Products as an Adjunct Therapy for Cancers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Frontiers in pharmacology, 10, 703. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2019.00703
Disclaimer: The information or products mentioned in this article are provided as information resources only, and are not to be used or relied on to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information does not create any patient-doctor relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. The information is intended for health care professionals only. The statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information in this article is intended for educational purposes. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by licensed medical physicians. Please consult your doctor or health practitioner for any medical advice.
— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article 6 Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms & Possible Side Effects from the website www.stylecraze.com for the keyword benefits of turkey tail mushrooms.
What Is A Turkey Tail Mushroom?
Turkey tail is a medicinal mushroom that is otherwise known as Tramates versicolor or Coriolus versicolor or Polyporous versicolor. It is generally found growing on tree trunks. It has a disk-like appearance and a color similar to that of a turkey’s tail.
Turkey tail mushrooms are widely used in traditional medicine to treat several diseases and infections. It is only recently that researchers have started investigating some of its more potent health benefits (1).
Find out more about the health benefits of turkey tail mushrooms in the upcoming section.
Potential Health Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
1. Are Rich In Antioxidants
Turkey tail mushrooms are rich in antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and improve your immune system (2). They also contain quercetin, an antioxidant known to improve mental health, reduce the risk of infections, and improve physical performance (3). Studies suggest that consuming antioxidant-rich foods may help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (4).
2. Help Boost Immunity
Krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptides (PSP) are the immunity boosters found in these mushrooms. PSPs help activate immunity-boosting cells and PSK is known to possess immunomodulatory properties (5).
Studies suggest that PSPs might promote the growth of monocytes (a type of white blood cells). Monocytes help fight harmful infections and improve immunity (6).
Turkey tail mushrooms may also help improve immune function in people with specific cancers and tumors. A study revealed that the PSK in turkey tail mushrooms may inhibit and suppress the growth of colon cancer cells (7). However, further research is required to prove its effectiveness in this regard.
In another mice study, regular treatment with turkey tail extracts was found to inhibit tumor growth and improve the chances of survival (8). Further studies are needed to test the mushroom’s effectiveness on humans.
3. May Improve The Efficacy Of Certain Cancer Treatments
The PSK and PSP in turkey tail mushrooms, when supplemented with traditional cancer treatments, may help improve their efficacy (9), (10), (11).
In a study, patients with breast, colorectal, or gastric cancers experienced a 9% reduction in 5-year mortality when treated with turkey tail mushroom extracts combined with traditional treatment. Mortality reduction was higher in those also treated with turkey tail mushroom extracts than those treated with stand-alone chemotherapy (9).
In another study on gastric cancer patients, those treated with chemotherapy along with PSKs lived longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone (12).
Orally administered turkey tail mushroom extracts might help improve immune response among women with breast cancer. In a study, women who were given 6 to 9 grams of turkey tail extracts along with radiation therapy showed an increase in lymphocyte production (11).
4. May Improve Gut Health
Eating dried or fermented turkey tail mushrooms might improve your digestive health and promote the growth of good bacteria (1). Studies suggest that regularly consuming PSP extracts from turkey tail mushrooms may help modulate the composition of the human intestinal microbiome (13).
Turkey tail mushroom extracts might also modify your gut’s microbiome to promote prebiotics. This, in turn, may help reduce the risk of staph infection and gastroenteritis. It might also help decrease your gut pH levels and increase the concentration of organic acids that improve gut health (14).
5. May Help Combat Human Papillomavirus
Turkey mushroom extracts may help combat STDs like HPV. In a study, applying a gel containing turkey mushroom extracts was found to heal vaginal lesions caused by HPV (15).
Another study suggests that combining turkey mushroom extracts with extracts of reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) might be effective in treating HPV (16). However, more research is warranted in this regard.
6. May Improve Athletic Performance
Mice fed with turkey tail mushroom extracts exhibited better physical performance in comparison to mice not fed with the extract. In addition, mice fed with the extract had lower blood sugar levels post-exercise (17). However, further research is required to determine these effects in humans.
It is only recently that the health benefits of turkey tail mushrooms are being studied. With time, further medical and health benefits of these mushrooms will be discovered. Let us now understand how you can add these mushrooms to your diet.
How To Add Turkey Tail Mushrooms To Your Diet
Turkey tail mushrooms can be added to your diet in various ways. One popular way of consuming it is by making tea. You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon of dehydrated turkey mushroom
- 5 cups of water
- Sugar or honey for flavoring
- Boil 5 cups of water along with the dehydrated mushrooms. Continue boiling until it is reduced to half.
- Pour this liquid into a cup using a strainer.
- Add sugar or honey and enjoy your tea.
If dehydrated mushrooms are not available, you can use turkey tail mushroom powder instead. You can procure it from an online retailer or specialized organic stores.
You can also add this powder to your smoothies and milkshakes.
Turkey tail mushrooms are mostly medicinal and very little is known about their culinary use. But do they also pose any side effects? Let us understand more in the next section.
Possible Side Effects Of Eating Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms are generally considered safe to consume. However, avoid them if you are generally allergic to mushrooms. Some of the other side effects include nausea, heartburn, and diarrhea. Some people may also notice pigmentation of their fingernails (18). If you have any pre-existing medical condition, it is advisable to consult your doctor before adding turkey tail mushrooms to your diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Turkey tail mushroom help with weight loss?
It may help. Turkey tail mushrooms contain probiotics that may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. It helps treat the leaky gut syndrome, which may also be helpful with weight loss. However, research is limited in this regard.
How long do the Turkey tail mushrooms take to work?
It may take six to eight hours to experience their effects and benefits.
Do Turkey tail mushrooms give you energy?
Yes. Turkey tail mushrooms can help improve energy levels by reprogramming energy metabolism (19).
Can you take Lion’s mane and Turkey tail mushrooms together?
Yes. Lion’s mane and Turkey tail mushrooms can be taken together.
— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits, Usage, and Side Effects from the website www.gaiaherbs.com for the keyword benefits of turkey tail mushrooms.
Mushrooms are small but mighty. They can support the body in an astounding manner, and the Turkey Tail mushroom is no different.* In this article, we’ll go over a few of the ways in which the Turkey Tail mushroom benefits your health and well-being.*
First, we’ll look at the big picture—what these mushrooms look like, where they grow, and how they’ve been used in the past. Then, we’ll cover a few of the ways this mushroom supports your body and how to experience Turkey Tail mushroom benefits for yourself.*
What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
The Turkey Tail mushroom’s scientific name is Trametes versicolor, but it has also been known by the name Coriolus versicolor and, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yun Zhi.
This mushroom’s interesting name offers us a clue about its appearance. With a little imagination, it does indeed look a bit like the colorful fan of a turkey’s tail feathers.
Growing up to four inches wide, these mushrooms can be found on dead logs and stumps as well as live trees, mostly showing up in mixed hardwood deciduous forests. And they’re not limited to one part of the world.
They “grow in wet, shady areas in temperate forests in Asia, North America, and Europe and are quite common across all three continents.”1 They are thin and hard, and their texture can be described as tough and leathery.2
Since Turkey Tail mushrooms are easy to find, you may stumble upon them while strolling in the woods. Something important to note is that there are other species that look quite similar to this mushroom. So, use caution if you’re trying to forage your own Turkey Tail mushrooms.
If you’re wondering if Turkey Tail mushrooms are good for eating, the truth is that they are chewy and tough, meaning they’re not the most delicious or palatable mushroom out there.
Even so, there are plenty of ways to consume this mushroom and reap the benefits. We’ll cover that at the end of this article.
Another thing that makes the Turkey Tail mushroom unique is that it has pores instead of gills. It belongs to the Polyporaceae family, which all share this characteristic. Found on the underside of the mushroom top, these pores contain the spores that allow the mushrooms to reproduce.1
The Turkey Tail mushroom is famous for its role in supporting immune health and has been used for many years in Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as Native American herbalism.*
However, it offers more than just immune support if current research has something to say about how the Turkey Tail mushroom benefits your body.* Let’s take a look.
Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits
All kinds of mushrooms—such as Reishi, Cordyceps, and Shiitake, just to name a few—provide astounding health benefits.* But each one has its own specialty when it comes to supporting your body.
The Turkey Tail mushroom is widely researched, and this antioxidant-rich mushroom is known for supporting immune health, gut health, and liver health.* Here are the details.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Are Rich in Antioxidants*
There’s a lot of talk about antioxidants, but it’s not always clear exactly what they do.
Antioxidants minimize cell damage from free radicals, thus also minimizing oxidative stress. This makes antioxidants important for overall health. And one thing that we love about Turkey Tail mushrooms is that they are rich in antioxidants.
One study notes that their “findings have demonstrated the considerable potential of T. versicolor water extract as a natural source of antioxidants.”*3
Another study attempted to assess the DNA protective activity of Turkey Tail (among two other species). While further research is needed to understand exactly how DNA is protected from oxidative damage, the preliminary results suggest that Turkey Tail extracts may be an agent that helps support genetic material.*4
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Provide Immune Support*
In general, mushrooms are known for a carbohydrate called polysaccharides, specifically a type called beta glucans. Beta glucans are shown to support immune health and overall wellness, as well as normal, healthy cell growth and turnover.*
With Turkey Tail mushrooms, this goes a step further. They are famous for containing two polysaccharides in particular. One is called PSP, which stands for polysaccharide peptide or polysaccharopeptide. The other is PSK, which stands for polysaccharide K, Polysaccharide Kurcha, or Krestin.5,6 Both of these polysaccharides provide immune support.*
In the “Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides,” the author notes that both PSP and PSK “have been discovered with very strong immunological values and are commercially available as biologic response modifiers.”*7
When we said that this mushroom can support your well-being, we meant it!*
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Support Digestion and Gut Health*
The Turkey Tail mushroom helps support digestion and gut health, too.* How does this fungus support your digestive tract? Turkey Tail mushrooms contain something called prebiotics.3
One study says that PSP, which we mentioned in the last point, “acts as a prebiotic to modulate human intestinal microbiome composition.”8
Prebiotics are, essentially, “food” for your gut microbiome. They provide the nourishment that probiotics (the good bacteria in your gut) need to flourish and grow.
It’s also worth mentioning that your immune system is directly impacted by your gut. So, in supporting your gut health, Turkey Tail mushrooms also support your immune health.*
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Support Liver Health*
Turkey Tail has been used in China for centuries as a traditional agent to help treat a variety of health concerns and to provide support for a healthy liver.*
Because Turkey Tail mushrooms help protect the liver, many herbalists believe that taking a supplement containing Turkey Tail can be more effective for liver support than any pre-packaged cleanse or detox kit on the market.*
How to Experience Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits
With the Turkey Tail mushroom benefits we mentioned above, we really just scratched the surface of what this fungus can do for your health and well-being.* But the real question is how to experience these benefits for yourself.
We mentioned earlier that Turkey Tail mushrooms are a bit chewy and tough and not the best for consumption on their own or cooking in recipes. That’s why this mushroom is typically made into a tea or consumed via a supplement, such as a capsule.
If you get your hands on fresh Turkey Tail mushrooms, you can make your own tea by simply boiling the mushrooms and then straining them out. You can find recipes for homemade Turkey Tail tea that includes other healthy ingredients, such as Turmeric.
While drinking tea is relaxing and beneficial, your best option for getting a potent and effective dose of Turkey Tail mushrooms is by taking a capsule supplement.
Source and Quality
Gaia Herbs sources the mushrooms used in our products from North American Medicinal Mushroom Extract (Nammex). Nammex operates 100% Certified Organic growing and manufacturing operations in Qingyuan County China.
This is a remote, mountainous region far from highly populated cities and industrial manufacturing areas, and it is often referred to as the best ecological environment in all of China.
People sometimes question the quality of mushrooms grown in China, but we can assure you that Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the oldest sources for the use of mushrooms for health purposes.
Gaia Herbs chose Nammex as our mushroom provider because their growing conditions are similar to the mushrooms’ natural habitats.
All of our mushrooms are harvested from their growing substrate, never incorporating any of the growing medium into the final product. This results in a 100% organic supplement that, in the case of our new line of mushroom capsules, is 100% mushrooms and nothing else—no fillers, starch, or grains with guaranteed levels of beneficial beta glucans.* Our mushroom powders and herb and mushroom blend formulas are also free of fillers, starch, and grains.
There is no mycelium in our mushroom products either, as we use only mushroom fruiting bodies (the above ground part of the mushroom). Why? Fruiting bodies have been used for thousands of years in traditional herbal medicine. The concentration of powerful biochemical compounds such as beta glucans is highest in the fruiting body versus the mycelium.
If you’re interested in learning more, take a look at our Meet Your Herbs® program. Because we value transparency, we created meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform.
In this program, you can enter the ID number located on the back of any Gaia Herbs product and instantly learn when your product was manufactured and about each herb in your product—where it came from; how it was grown, harvested, and extracted; and see validation of your product’s level of purity and potency.
You can be assured that our products are safely produced without the use of pesticides and other toxins that can damage our bodies and the earth.
Turkey Tail Mushroom Capsules
All sorts of mushrooms are made into capsules that are easy and convenient to take on a regular basis. When shopping for Turkey Tail mushrooms in a capsule, check for pure, potent ingredients.
Here at Gaia Herbs, our products are gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free—with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives, and no added sugars.
Every supplement is made without animal ingredients and delivered to you in an easily digestible plant-derived vegan capsule, which allows you to experience the fullest possible expression of each herb or mushroom.
Turkey Tail Mushroom
Gaia Herbs Turkey Tail Mushroom is designed to support healthy liver function with a concentrated dose of 100% organically grown Turkey Tail mushrooms.*
Each capsule contains 2,500 mg of dried Turkey Tail mushrooms—using only 100% organic mushrooms and nothing else—no fillers, starch, grains, or mycelium. This formula aids your body’s natural cleansing process and provides natural antioxidant support.*
The mushrooms used in this formula are hot water and dual extracted for optimal bioavailability, absorption, and digestibility.* And best of all, at 6x strength, you get the support you need with just one vegan capsule per day.*
Immune Mushroom Blend
Gaia Herbs Immune Mushroom Blend contains a blend of five potent immune-supporting mushrooms: Reishi, Cordyceps, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, and Chaga. This formula can support your body’s immune defenses so you can stay healthy and thriving all year long.*
Turkey Tail Mushroom Side Effects and Precautions
Remember that before you start using any herbal supplement, you should consult your doctor, especially if you are already taking medications or have a medical condition. The same rule applies to Turkey Tail mushroom capsules.
Turkey Tail mushrooms are edible and generally safe to eat or take in supplement form, and there are few side effects.
Begin by taking small doses of this mushroom to make sure you do not have any adverse reactions.2 And be advised that Turkey Tail mushrooms are not recommended for use during pregnancy or lactation.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Your Well-Being*
The ways in which the Turkey Tail mushroom may benefit your health are noteworthy.* This mushroom is full of antioxidants, provides immune support, liver support, and helps maintain gut health.*
Although the Turkey Tail mushroom is not the most delicious culinary mushroom, high-quality supplements such as Turkey Tail Mushroom and Immune Mushroom Blend allow you to take advantage of all the benefits this mushroom provides, in a palatable way.
Invest in your well-being by adding a Turkey Tail mushroom supplement to your daily wellness regime.*
1. “Turkey Tail Fungus,” Macalester, accessed on March 2, 2020, https://www.macalester.edu/ordway/biodiversity/inventory/turkeytailfungus.
2. Josh Beaty, “The Complete Guide to the Coriolus Mushroom (Turkey Tail),” NuLiv Science, May 14, 2020, https://nulivscience.com/blog/complete-guide-coriolus-mushroom-turkey-tail.
3. Ljiljana Janjušević et al., “The Lignicolous Fungus Trametes Versicolor (L.) Lloyd (1920): A Promising Natural Source of Antiradical and AChE Inhibitory Agents,” Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry 32, no. 1 (2017): 355–362, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6010034.
4. Aleksandar Knežević et al., “Antigenotoxic Effect of Trametes spp. Extracts against DNA Damage on Human Peripheral White Blood Cells,” The Scientific World Journal (2015): 146378, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517545.
5. Lauren Crigler, “You’ll Gobble Up These Facts about Turkey Tail Benefits*,” Mushroom Revival, August 13, 2020, https://www.mushroomrevival.com/blogs/blog/turkey-tail-benefits.
6. Artem Blagodatski et al., “Medicinal mushrooms as an Attractive New Source of Natural Compounds,” Oncotarget 9, no. 49 (2018): 29259–29274, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6044372.
7. JenniferMan-Fan Wan, Handbook of Biologically Active Peptides, 2nd ed. (Academic Press, 2013), 180-184, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123850959000270.
8. Kumar Pallav et al., “Effects of Polysaccharopeptide From Trametes Versicolor and Amoxicillin on the Gut Microbiome of Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” Gut Microbes 5, no. 4 (2014): 458-67, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25006989.
— Update: 25-12-2022 — We found an additional article Turkey Tail Mushroom: The Disease-Fighting, Immune-Boosting Fungus from the website draxe.com for the keyword benefits of turkey tail mushrooms.
When it comes to functional foods, the turkey tail mushroom, often called turkey tail fungus, may top the list. Named for the colorful fall-like palette of stripes it adorns that favor the plume of feathers on turkeys, turkey tail mushrooms have been brewed for thousands of years by the Chinese as medicinal teas, so it’s no secret to them just how amazing this beautiful mushroom is.
It’s been used as early as the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty in China. The Japanese, who reference it as kawaritake or “cloud mushrooms” due to an image of swirling clouds, have been well aware of the benefits of this super, power-filled mushroom, with researchers noting its health benefits, particularly in boosting the immune system. In fact, the cloud-like image symbolizes “longevity and health, spiritual attunement and infinity” to these Asian cultures. (1)
So what is this amazing fungus? If you’ve taken a hike in the woods, you’ve probably seen plenty of turkey tail mushrooms because they grow abundantly on dead and fallen trees, branches and stumps. Given the description of bracket fungi, they form a wavy, thin, leather-like structure with concentric circles.
Unlike shiitake mushrooms that have gills underneath the top, they contain tiny pores that release spores, making them a part of the polypore family. These mushrooms easily grow almost anywhere in the world as long as there are trees, making them one of the most common mushrooms found today.
What Is Turkey Tail Mushroom?
The turkey tail mushroom comes from the Trametes versicolor family, formerly Coriolus versicolor (or “cloud mushroom”). It’s one of the 100 species of mushrooms that have been researched for their medicinal properties.
Turkey tail mushroom grows on dead logs in woodland environments worldwide and gets its name from the brown and tan rings that look like the tail feathers of a turkey. It’s a type of bracket fungi, which means that it forms thin, circular structures that appear leaf-like.
To find one, you probably just need to look around the ground when in a wooded area. While they have an array of fall colors like a span of turkey feathers, one of the most vivid colors is typically bright green and is actually algae. (2)
Turkey tail benefits include stimulating immune function and reducing inflammation. It has a long history of use in Asia among practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, who used formulations of turkey tail to promote general health, strength and longevity. (3)
1. Prevents and Treats the Common Cold and Flu
The turkey tail mushroom has long been known to stave off any infection, including those associated with the common cold or flu. It helps your immune system become more resilient against ill-causing germs. When flu season approaches, you may want to include turkey tail as a supplement in your dietary routine. (4)
The turkey tail mushroom has been shown to modulate the immune system, helping fight infections, illness and diseases. (5)
2. Can Offer Support to Chemo Patients
Benefits of turkey tail mushrooms may include helping cancer patients who are going through chemotherapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted clinical trials for a turkey tail extract to be consumed by patients who have advanced prostate cancer and are enduring conventional chemotherapy as well as testing how well it helps women with breast cancer in combination with a vaccine treatment in hopes of a new and better form of cancer therapy.
Ultimately, since chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, the hope is that turkey tail mushroom builds the immune system up to better handle the weakness that chemo often causes. A stronger immune system can help combat deadly cancer cells, making the turkey tail mushroom a potentially potent cancer-fighting food. (6)
3. May Help Combat Cancer
For more than 30 years, medicinal mushrooms have been used as adjuncts to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China. They are used for various types of cancer, including lung cancer, breast cancer, gastric cancer and colorectal cancer. More research is needed to understand the true benefits of turkey tail mushroom for cancer, but there is evidence that it may help significantly improve survival, according to a review done by the National Cancer Institute. (7)
PSK, the best known active compound found in turkey tail mushroom, has been studied in patients with several types of cancer, and it has been safely used for cancer in Japan with few reported side effects. Studies show that PSK helps repair immune cell damage that’s caused by chemotherapy and strengthen the immune system.
When six randomized clinical trials in patients with lung cancer were conducted, researchers found that patients receiving PSK improved in one or more ways, including body weight, well-being, immune function, tumor-related symptoms and longer survival.
A study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine revealed that an 83-year-old woman who was diagnosed with advanced, metastatic inflammatory breast cancer led a disease-free life after using turkey tail mushroom. Though she continued chemotherapy use, she consumed capsules of turkey tail mushroom at the same time.
Scientists believe that the immune response of the turkey tail mushrooms boosted the woman’s immune system by recognizing the tumor, which increased the effectiveness of the chemotherapy. This is consistent with research that claims medicinal disease-fighting mushrooms like turkey tail, as well as maitake, reishi and can be natural immune-enhancing and anticancer treatments. (8)
4. Helps Treat Human Papilloma Virus
Mushrooms, in particular the turkey tail mushroom, may help heal infections, such as an oral strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). According to a study of 61 patients with gum disease testing positive for oral HPV, 88 percent of the 41 patients who received both turkey tail and reishi mushrooms showed positive results after only two months of treatment. (9) HPV in the mouth can sometimes lead to oropharyngeal cancer of the mouth.
5. Aids in Digestion
The mycelium in the mushroom is what may help you have a smoother digestion process when supplementing with turkey tail mushroom. The mushroom contains perfect prebiotics that assist the microbiome. This means that it can help the growth of the good bacteria in the body, including acidophilus and bifidobacterium, which is even more beneficial for anyone suffering from leaky gut syndrome. This better digestion could even help you lose weight. (10)
6. May Help Patients with HIV/AIDS
Studies reveal that the use of turkey tail mushroom, in conjunction with other wild medicinal East African mushrooms, may be useful in treating patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma, a skin cancer often affecting those with HIV/AIDS. The same product has also benefited patients with HIV/AIDS even without the sarcoma.
Turkey tail has antibacterial and antioxidant properties; therefore, an extract of the turkey tail mushroom may be helpful. This extract, called PSP, has been studied in vitro, noting it as an antiviral agent that may prevent the replication of the HIV virus. (11)
Due to its ability to help cancer patients, turkey tail is considered one of the best researched mushrooms and sits right on top with other medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, cordyceps, oyster and maitake. Many edible mushrooms contain selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B3, which is part of what makes them strong immune boosters, in addition to the nutrient-rich soil and decaying matter where they live. These mushrooms feed on this decaying matter and other living things, such as rotting logs, making them saprotrophs.
Turkey tail benefits start with working as an immune system booster. They contain B-glucans, a type of polysaccharides, within the fungal cell walls. When eaten, these B-glucans provide receptors in the small intestine area that get the immune-boosting power in full force. This power puts the turkey tail mushroom in the adaptogen category. Adaptogen herbs work to resist numerous stress factors that we face daily, providing support to the immune system and stimulating energy levels. Usually, adaptogens are herbal compounds found in things like mushrooms, roots, berries, barks and leaves.
Furthermore, mushrooms are composed of compacted mycelium, the vegetative part of fungus that’s jam-packed with nutrition, such as polysaccharides, proteins, minerals, and vitamins B and D. They’re also low-fat. The mycelium structure is loaded with helpful enzymes, antimicrobial agents and antiviral compounds. In fact, this mycelium is more important than you may think by helping provide nutrient-dense soil, something our land is often lacking, which can help neutralize the toxins in our immune systems.
Uses in Traditional Medicine
Eastern cultures have revered the powerful health benefits of mushrooms for thousands of years. In the classic herbal text the “Shen Nong Ben Cao,” written in 200 A.D., medicinal mushrooms are discussed for their healing potential.
In traditional Chinese medicine, turkey tail mushroom is known as Tun Zhi. It’s been used by practitioners of TCM as an immunomodulator that boosts immune function and fights infections. This ability to support the health of both an underactive and overactive immune system is unique and valued among physicians of traditional medicine.
Turkey tail mushroom is also revered for its potential antitumor mechanisms and its ability to treat pulmonary disease. In Japan, a purified hot water extract was traditionally made from cultivated fungal mycelium and used as an adjuvant treatment for cancer. (12)
Vs. Reishi and Chaga
With so much interest in medicinal mushrooms, you may be wondering which one has the most health benefits. The truth is that, from what the research indicates, there are over 100 species of mushrooms that have therapeutic and healing properties. Three of the most popular mushrooms on the market are turkey tail, reishi and chaga. Here’s a quick rundown on how they compare:
- Turkey tail mushroom: Turkey tail mushroom is consumed or taken as a supplement to stave off infection, offer support to patients undergoing chemotherapy and feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Reishi mushroom: Reishi mushroom plays a role in balancing hormones, stabilizing blood sugar levels, fighting allergies and asthma, and promoting heart and liver health.
- Chaga mushroom: Chaga mushroom is used to reduce inflammation, enhance endurance, boost immune function and fight viral infections.
All of these mushrooms are available in capsule, tablet and tincture forms, and they are often used together in mushroom tea and mushroom coffee.
How to Use
The turkey tail mushroom is edible but is rather chewy, which is why it’s most commonly served as a tea or powder in capsule form. It’s often found combined with other mushrooms as a supplement, which you can find online or in your local vitamin store.
It’s best to buy organic to avoid toxins that may be found in the soil, especially since one of the biggest benefits comes from the dirt the mushroom is grown in, providing nourishment due to its natural environment.
Other things to consider when making a purchase is whether the product has been validated by scientific studies. You want to make sure you get the real thing that has been properly sourced. Find out where the mushrooms were grown and if they’ve been handled by experts.
Supplements and Dosage
Turkey tail mushroom supplements are available in capsule form and usually taken to support a healthy immune system. In case your furry friends need some immune support, you can find turkey tail mushroom supplements for dogs, too.
Clinical evidence doesn’t support one specific dosage for turkey tail. Product labels usually suggest taking one to three capsules daily with meals and a glass of water. Turkey tail is also available in extract and powder forms, which can be added to water, juice or a smoothie.
Polysaccharide-K (known as PSK) is a protein-bound polysaccharide that’s isolated from turkey tail mushroom and used as a dietary supplement. It’s extremely popular in Japan for its anticancer properties and is taken orally to improve the response to chemotherapy for people with various types of cancer. For several decades, PSK has been used in Japan for breast, lung, gastric, esophageal, colorectal, hepatic and nasopharyngeal cancers. In Japan, PSK is meant to help patients undergoing chemotherapy restore their immune status. (13)
PSK cannot be legally sold in the United States; however, the pure version of turkey tail that was used in a breast cancer study can be found at Fungi Perfecti under the label “Host Defense.” Because this turkey tail mycelium is in its pure form, it’s considered an FDA-approved nutraceutical, allowing it to be marketed as a supplement.
Vs. False Turkey Tail Mushroom
There’s actually a type of mushroom that’s referred to as “false turkey tail mushroom” or golden curtain crust because they are turkey tail mushroom lookalikes. The scientific name for false turkey mushroom is Stereum ostrea, and it’s a basidiomycete fungus. Like turkey tail mushroom, false turkey tail has concentric circles of many colors, but they are described as being more red than turkey tail. The name ostrea actually means “oyster” to describe the mushroom’s shape.
Turkey tail mushroom and Stereum ostrea both contain compounds that inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungi. False turkey tail mushroom has been used for folk remedies because of its therapeutic compounds, including sesquiterpenes and other antimicrobial compounds. (14)
Turkey tail mushrooms are an edible type of fungi, and they can be utilized in a number of recipes. For instance, you can make your very own turkey tail mushroom tea — just make sure to get turkey tail from an organic source. It’s recommended that you consume one to two eight-ounce glasses per day to receive the immune-boosting power it has the ability to provide. To get a mild flavor, the best ratio is one part mushrooms to five parts of water. For example, for this recipe, I recommend one cup of mushroom to five cups of purified water:
Turkey Tail and Turmeric Tea
- 1 cup chopped turkey tail mushroom
- 5 cups purified water
- 2.5 teaspoons ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon local honey
- 1 drop lemon essential oil
- Chop the turkey tail mushroom into small pieces and add to a large pot of water on the stove.
- Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
- Strain the mixture through a colander. Add a ½ teaspoon of fresh ground turmeric and the honey and stir.
- Add the lemon essential oil and stir again.
- That’s it — time to drink!
If you’d like to add additional flavor, almond milk, one drop of cinnamon, ginger or lemon essential oil, or stevia are good options.
Feel free to add the rest of your turmeric to your leftovers while it’s still warm since it’s easier to blend, and keep any leftovers in the refrigerator. You can then reheat or serve chilled or on ice.
You can also try this Turkey Tail Tincture recipe.
Mushrooms have been around medicinally as far back as Neolithic times. In fact, according to Spirit of Change Magazine, “The oldest human mummy, dating back 4,000 years ago, was found with in his medicine kit, a mushroom used for its antibiotic properties and as a natural parasite killer, still in use today.” (15)
Archaeologists have found evidence of mushrooms on Egyptian hieroglyphics, noting the mushrooms as “the plant of immortality, called the ‘sons of the gods’ sent to Earth on lightning bolts and eaten only by nobles and pharaohs.” The Aztecs event kept mushrooms as sacred, consuming them in holy rituals. And as noted above, Asian cultures have been keen to the turkey tail mushroom since the 15th century.
Risks and Side Effects
It’s always best to check with your doctor prior to using any new food for medicinal purposes, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or have any disease-related condition.
What are the side effects of turkey tail mushroom? Some patients have reported problems with bowels, such as diarrhea and darkened stools, as well as darkened nail pigmentation. If you notice any negative effects or discomfort while consuming turkey tail mushroom, discontinue use immediately and check with your doctor. (16)
- Research seems very strong in the area of the turkey tail mushroom and its ability to be a great cancer-fighting natural remedy and immune booster.
- These medicinal mushrooms have also been shown to prevent and treat the common cold and flu, offer support to chemotherapy patients, treat HPV and other infections, aid digestion, and even offer help to HIV/AIDS patients, in addition to potentially combatting cancer.
- While more research needs to be conducted, choosing turkey tail mushrooms may be helpful and worth considering. If you choose to use the product, make sure that you adhere to the recommendations above regarding how to use it and buy it.