Mushrooms are beautiful wild-growing fungi in all sizes, shapes, and colors. They can grow anywhere from damp to dry areas. Moreover, some mushrooms are eatable, some are poisonous, and some have medicinal properties. Turkey tail mushrooms are one of the popular mushrooms among researchers as it offers many health benefits
What is Turkey Tail Mushroom?
Turkey Tail Mushroom is a type of mushroom used for centuries as traditional medicine in parts of Asia. Trametes Versicolor, Cloud Mushroom, Yun Zhi, Coriolus Versicolor, and Kawaritake are the alternative names used for this mushroom in different markets worldwide.
It contains two components, polysaccharide peptide (PSP) and polysaccharide krestin (PSK), used to make medicines.
Trametes Versicolor has many health benefits like also boosting your immune system, strengthening muscles, improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and helping with fatigue and UTIs. It is also full of antioxidants and contains B-glucans, which allow the immune system to work in full force.
Turkey tail mushroom encourages overall well-being, strength, and longevity .
These mushrooms also grow on live trees or dead woods in the forests and are 4 inches wide. Consuming these mushrooms in their original form is difficult due to their taste. Furthermore, you can consume tail mushrooms mixed with juices and smoothies in powder or liquid form. You should take only 1-2gm daily.
Where Do Turkey Tail Mushrooms Grow?
Turkey tail mushrooms grow in shady, wet areas in moderate forests. They are also hard, thin circular leaves and can be easily confused with other species of trees. Their structure is rubbery, tough, and colorful like a turkey feather .
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Benefits
Turkey tail mushrooms also offer many health benefits.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidant compounds also help in reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress also results from an imbalance between unstable free radicals and antioxidants, which results in chronic inflammation and cellular damage .
Turkey tail mushrooms are also packed with antioxidants like phenol and flavonoid, which boosts your immune system by reducing inflammation and releasing protective compounds  .
Improves Immune Health
Tail mushrooms are also rich in protein and beta-glucans. Moreover, these beta-glucan compounds help promote the immune system and improve the ability of natural kills cells that protect the body from several bacteria and viruses. It also keeps the immune system strong and robust to fight against illness and infections.
Supports with Digestion
The Mycelium compound present in tail mushrooms helps with smooth digestion. It contains prebiotics to assist the microbiome in helping to grow good bacteria in the body. Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium prebiotics can help you if you have leaky gut syndrome.
May Help HIV/AIDS Patients
Tail mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and antiviral and antibacterial properties. According to research studies, the extract from PSP has some antiviral agents that can help with HIV .
Helps with Cancer Patients
Radiations and chemotherapy weaken the immune system of the body. Consuming turkey tail helps in promoting a robust immune system that can help to fight against cancer cells.
Prevents Common Cold and Flu
Turkey tail is known for boosting our immune system, and its antioxidant properties help keep infection away. Including tail mushrooms in your daily diet can help fight illnesses like the common cold, flu, and other diseases.
May Improve Gut Health
Turkey tail contains prebiotics that helps to improve your overall gut health. Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium help in generating good bacteria in the system. These microbes help better absorption of nutrients, increase energy levels, eliminate unwanted toxins, and help maintain a healthy weight.
Support Liver Health
Tail Mushrooms are high in antioxidant levels. Research shows that these antioxidants in turkey tail help to improve liver health.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Side Effects
Turkey tail mushrooms are safe to consume. Some people may have minor side effects like bloating, gas, dark stools, etc.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should avoid it as no research supports whether it is safe to consume.
Consult your gynecologist before including these mushrooms in your diet.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms Supplement
Trametes Versicolor supplements are available in capsule and powder form. The powder can be sprinkled on salads as dressings or used in smoothies or juices.
You should follow the dosage level as prescribed.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Cancer
Turkey tail mushroom has been used in Japan and China to treat cancer for decades. These medicinal mushrooms are used for various cancer types, including lung, breast, gastric, and colorectal cancer.
According to research, PSP and PSK components boost the immune system and slow cancer cell growth. These components may help respond to chemotherapy radiation and cancer medicine.
Turkey Tail Mushroom Cancer Dosage
Turkey tail dosage recommendation for cancer patients :
Patients taking chemotherapy – PSK 3 gm per day to be taken orally for up to 7 years.
Conventionally treated patients (stage III to IV) – PSP 3.06 gm per day for 1 month
Can You Eat Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
Turkey tail mushrooms are hard and chewy, and it doesn’t have the most delicious item you would like to eat. However, there are several other ways to consume it to reap the benefits.
The most common practice of consuming mushrooms is tea. And you can also make this tea at home by adding mushrooms to boiling water.
Other ways of taking turkey tail mushrooms are through supplements and capsules or as a powder added in smoothies or juices. It is readily available online and in local stores.
Turkey tail mushrooms is a medicinal mushroom that offers several health benefits. It contains antioxidants and other compounds that help to strengthen your immune system, improve your gut health, treat digestive problems, fight infections like cold and flu, etc. Studies show that it has properties that help with cancerous cells.
Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.
Editorial References And Fact-Checking
- Saleh, M. H., Rashedi, I., & Keating, A. (2017). Immunomodulatory Properties of Coriolus versicolor: The Role of Polysaccharopeptide. Frontiers in immunology, 8, 1087. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01087
- Romeiras, M. M., Vieira, A., Silva, D. N., Moura, M., Santos-Guerra, A., Batista, D., Duarte, M. C., & Paulo, O. S. (2016). Evolutionary and Biogeographic Insights on the Macaronesian Beta-Patellifolia Species (Amaranthaceae) from a Time-Scaled Molecular Phylogeny. PloS one, 11(3), e0152456. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0152456
- Benson, K. F., Stamets, P., Davis, R., Nally, R., Taylor, A., Slater, S., & Jensen, G. S. (2019). The mycelium of the Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail) mushroom and its fermented substrate each show potent and complementary immune activating properties in vitro. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 19(1), 342. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-019-2681-7
- Stamets P. (2012). Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushrooms) and the Treatment of Breast Cancer. Global advances in health and medicine, 1(5), 20. https://doi.org/10.7453/gahmj.2012.1.5.007
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- Medicinal Mushrooms (PDQ®)–Health Professional Version. (2022, June 7). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved September 16, 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/mushrooms-pdq