Turkey tail mushroom is a common mushroom abundant in North America, but it also exists in other parts of the world. Its cap colors vary from gray, brown, cream, green, and reddish brown, resembling actual turkey tail colors. Being a polypore mushroom, it grows on the surface of trunks and stumps, attaching themselves like roofed brackets with their pore bearing organs or the tubes on their underside. The cap surface has a predominantly velvety texture, but some have alternating smooth and velvety textures. It has a lifespan of 1 year.
Scientific Name: Trametes Versicolor
Who would benefit from it?
Turkey tail mushroom is beneficial for people with compromised immune systems. It is widely used for cancer patients to prevent rebound after their radiotherapy. In Japan, the extracted protein-bound polysaccharides are marketed as a cancer drug. It is also effective against E.coli, herpes, and HIV.
- It effectively strengthens the immune system.
- It prevents colds and influenza.
- It kills hepatitis and cancer viruses like human papillomavirus (cervical cancer) and Hep-C (hepatits C).
- People with stage I-III cancers are able to tolerate turkey tail mushroom extracts well.
- Detailed Information on Its Benefits
Turkey tail mushroom increases the activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells and various T-cells (predominantly CD+8 T-cell) in order for the body to fight tumor cells and viruses effectively. Ever since the Ming Dynasty, this mushroom has been brewed and drank as a tea to ensure overall health. Boiling kills the contaminants on the mushroom and releases the active enzymes. With modern extraction methods, compounds that are more beneficial are extracted from turkey tail mushrooms. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, turkey tail mushroom cannot be patented, so big pharmaceutical companies stay away from doing expensive research and tests on it.
Today, it is not recommended to consume wild turkey tail mushrooms because they have the tendency to accumulate heavy metals, mostly cadmium. Fungi survive radioactivity and some, like turkey tail mushroom, absorb toxic chemicals.
Organic turkey tail mushrooms are better for consumption and medication because companies that sell mushroom supplements don’t disclose their source. Some people pair turkey tails with shitake mushrooms because the selenium content of shitake mushrooms binds to mercury, creating a non-toxic by-product.
Should You Consider Taking It?
Turkey tail mushroom, if sourced from a skilled grower, has the potential to bolster anyone’s immune system. With the increasingly toxic environment where cancer seems to be a norm, it is crucial to complement your diet with potent immune boosting foods, not just multivitamins.