6 Benefits of Turkey Tail Fungus, Nutrition, History, Prevention and More.


When it comes to functional foods, the Turkey tail fungus, often called turkey tail mushroom, can top the list. Named for the colorful autumn striped palette that adorns the feather feathers in turkeys, turkey tail mushrooms have been made for thousands of years by the Chinese as medicinal tea, so it is no secret for them what Amazing what this beautiful mushroom is. It has been used since the fifteenth century during the Ming dynasty in China. The Japanese, who call it kawaritake or “cloud mushrooms” due to an image of swirling clouds, have been very aware of the benefits of this super fungus full of energy, and researchers point out its health benefits, especially to  reinforce the immune system  In fact, the cloud-shaped image symbolizes “longevity and health, spiritual harmony and infinity” in these Asian cultures.

So what is this amazing mushroom? If you have taken a walk in the forest, you have probably seen many turkey tail mushrooms because they grow abundantly on dead and fallen trees, branches and stumps. Given the description of turkey tail fungi, they form a wavy, thin structure, similar to leather, with concentric circles. Unlike shiitake mushrooms that have gills under the top, they contain tiny pores that release spores, which make them part of the polypora family. These fungi grow easily in almost any part of the world while there are trees, which makes them one of the most common fungi found today.

What is Turkey Tail Mushroom?

The turkey tail fungus comes from the Trametes versicolor family, formerly Coriolus versicolor (or “cloud mushroom”). It is one of the 100 species of fungi that have been investigated for their medicinal properties. The turkey tail fungus grows on dead trunks in forested environments around the world and is named after the brown and tan rings that resemble the feathers of a turkey’s tail. It is a type of support fungus, which means that it forms thin circular structures that look like leaves. To find one, you probably only have to look around the ground when you are in a wooded area. While they have a wide variety of autumnal colors, such as a span of turkey feathers, one of the most vivid colors is typically bright green and is actually algae.

“The turkey tail fungus is best known for stimulating immune function and reducing inflammation”.

It has a long history of use in Asia among practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, who used turkey tail formulations to promote general health, strength and longevity.

Benefits of Turkey Tail Fungus:

The benefits of turkey tail fungus are so well known for their ability to achieve the following:

1. Prevents and Treats the Common Cold and the Flu:

It has long been known that the turkey tail fungus prevents any infection, including those associated with the common cold or the flu. It helps your immune system become more resistant against germs that cause disease. When the flu season approaches, you may want to include turkey tail as a supplement in your dietary routine. It has been shown that turkey tail fungus modulates the immune system, helping to fight infections, diseases and diseases.

2. Can Offer Support to Chemotherapy Patients:

Turkey tail fungi can help cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has conducted clinical trials so that patients who have advanced prostate cancer and who are receiving conventional chemotherapy undergo a turkey tail extract, in addition to assessing how it helps women with cancer breast in combination with a vaccine Treatment with the hope of a new and better form of cancer therapy. Ultimately, since chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, the hope is that the turkey tail fungus develops the immune system to better manage the weakness that chemotherapy often causes. A stronger immune system can help fight deadly cancer cells, making turkey tail fungus a potentially potent food to fight cancer.

3. It can Help Fight Cancer:

For more than 30 years, medicinal mushrooms have been used as supplements to standard treatments for cancer in Japan and China. They are used for several 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 fungus for cancer, but there is evidence that it can help significantly improve survival, according to a review by the National Cancer Institute. PSK, the best known active compound found in turkey tail fungus, has been studied in patients with various types of cancer and has been used safely for cancer in Japan with few reported side effects. Studies show that PSK helps repair immune cell damage caused by chemotherapy and strengthens the immune system. When six randomized clinical trials were conducted in patients with lung cancer, the researchers found that patients who received PSK improved in one or more ways, including body weight, well-being, immune function, tumor-related symptoms and a increased survival. A study revealed that an 83-year-old woman who was diagnosed with metastatic and advanced inflammatory breast cancer led a disease-free life after using the turkey tail fungus. Although he continued using chemotherapy, he consumed turkey tail mushroom capsules at the same time.

Scientists believe that the immune response of turkey tail fungi boosted a woman’s immune system by recognizing the tumor, which increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This is consistent with research that states that fungi that fight diseases such as turkey tail, as well as  maitake, reishi and Agaricus blazei,  can be natural treatments to improve the immune system and against cancer.

4. Help Treat Human Papillomavirus:

Fungi, particularly turkey tail fungus, can help cure infections, such as an oral strain of human papillomavirus (HPV). According to a study of 61 patients with   gum disease who tested positive for oral HPV, 88 percent of the 41 patients who received turkey tail and reishi mushrooms showed positive results after only two months of treatment. HPV in the mouth can sometimes cause oropharyngeal cancer of the mouth.

5. Aids in Digestion:

The mycelium in the fungus is what can help you have a milder digestion process when complemented with turkey tail fungus. The fungus contains   perfect prebiotics that help the microbiome. This means that it can help the growth of 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.

6. Can Help Patients with HIV / AIDS:

Studies reveal that the use of turkey tail fungi, along with other fungi from eastern medicinal Africa, may be useful in treating patients with Kaposi’s sarcoma, a skin cancer that often affects people with HIV / AIDS. . The same product has also benefited patients with HIV / AIDS even without sarcoma. Turkey tail has antibacterial and antioxidant properties; therefore, an extract of the turkey tail mushroom can be useful. This extract, called PSP, has been studied in vitro, and has identified it as an antiviral agent that can prevent HIV virus replication.

Nutrition Facts of Turkey Tail Fungus:

Due to its ability to help cancer patients, turkey tail is considered one of the best researched mushrooms and is located just above other medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, cordyceps 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 fungi feed on this decaying matter and other living things, such as decomposing logs, making them saprotrophs. Turkey tail mushrooms work by providing a great boost to our immune system. They contain B-glucans, a type of polysaccharides, inside the cell walls of fungi. When eaten, these B-glucans provide receptors in the area of ​​the small intestine that gain the power of immune reinforcement in full force. This can place the turkey tail fungus in the adaptogen category. Adaptogenic herbs work to resist numerous stressors that we face on a daily basis, providing support to the immune system and stimulating energy levels. Typically, adaptogens are compounds of herbs found in things like fungi, roots, berries, barks and leaves.

Furthermore, fungi are composed of compacted mycelium, the vegetative part of the fungus which is packed with nutrients, such as polysaccharides, proteins, minerals and vitamins B and D . They are also low in fat. The structure of the mycelium is loaded with useful enzymes, antimicrobial agents and antiviral compounds. In fact, this mycelium is more important than you may think by helping to provide nutrient dense soil, something our land often lacks, which can help neutralize toxins in our immune systems.

Uses of the Turkey Tail Fungus in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional Medicine:

Oriental cultures have revered the powerful health benefits of fungi for thousands of years. In the classic herbal text, the “Shen Nong Ben Cao”, written in 200 AD, medicinal mushrooms are discussed for their healing potential. In traditional Chinese medicine, the turkey tail mushroom is known as Tun Zhi. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have used it as an immunomodulator that stimulates immune function and fights infections. This ability to support the health of an underactive and hyperactive immune system is unique and valuable among doctors of traditional medicine. Turkey’s tail fungus is also revered for its potential antitumor mechanism and its ability to treat lung disease. In Japan, a purified hot water extract was traditionally made from cultured fungal mycelium and used as an adjuvant treatment for cancer.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms Against Fungi Reishi and Chaga:

With so much interest in medicinal mushrooms, you may wonder which one has more health benefits. The truth is that, according to the research, there are more than 100 species of fungi that have therapeutic and healing properties. Three of the most popular mushrooms in the market are turkey tail, reishi and chaga. Here is a quick summary of how they compare:

  • Turkey tail mushrooms: Turkey tail mushrooms are consumed or taken as a supplement to prevent infections, offer support to patients receiving chemotherapy and feed the beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
  • Reishi mushroom: Reishi mushroom plays a role in the balance of hormones, the stabilization of blood sugar levels, the fight against allergies and asthma, and the promotion of heart and liver health.
  • Chaga mushroom: Chaga mushroom is used to reduce inflammation, improve resistance, increase immune function and fight viral infections.

All these mushrooms are available in capsules, tablets and tincture, and are often used together in mushroom tea and mushroom coffee.

Where to Find and How to Use Turkey Tail Mushroom

The turkey tail mushroom is edible, but it is a bit chewy, so it is usually served as a tea or capsule powder. It is often found in combination with other mushrooms as a supplement, which you can find online or at your local vitamin store. It is better to buy organic products to avoid the toxins found in the soil, especially because one of the greatest benefits comes from the dirt in which the fungus is grown, which provides nutrition due to its natural environment. Other things to consider when making a purchase is if the product has been validated by scientific studies. You want to make sure you get the real thing that was obtained correctly. Find out where mushrooms were grown and if they have been handled by experts.

Supplements and Doses of Turkey Tail Mushrooms:

Turkey tail mushroom supplements are available in capsule form and are usually taken to support a healthy immune system. In case your furry friends need some kind of immune support, you can also find turkey tail mushroom supplements for dogs. Clinical evidence does not support a specific dose for turkey tail. Product labels generally suggest taking one to three capsules a day with meals and a glass of water. Turkey tail is also available in extract and powder form, which can be added to water, juice or a milkshake. The polysaccharide K (known as PSK) is a protein bound polysaccharide which is isolated from the fungus turkey tail and is used as a dietary supplement. It is extremely popular in Japan for its anti-cancer 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, liver and nasopharyngeal cancers.  In Japan, PSK is intended to help patients undergoing chemotherapy restore their immune status. 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 in Fungi Perfecti under the label “Host Defense.” Because this turkey tail mycelium is in its pure form, it is considered an FDA approved nutraceutical, which allows it to be marketed as a supplement.

History and Facts:

Mushrooms have existed from the medical point of view since Neolithic times. In fact, according to the Spirit of Change magazine, “The oldest human mummy, dating back 4,000 years ago, was found with Piptoporus betulinus  in its medicine cabinet , a fungus used for its antibiotic properties and as a natural killer of parasites, still In use.” Archaeologists have found evidence of fungi in Egyptian hieroglyphs, pointing to mushrooms as “the plant of immortality, called ‘sons of the gods’ sent to Earth in lightning and eaten only by nobles and pharaohs.” The Aztec event kept the mushrooms so sacred, consuming them in sacred rituals. And as mentioned earlier, Asian cultures have been interested in turkey tail fungus since the 15th century.


It is always better to consult with your doctor before using any new food for medicinal purposes, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have any condition related to the disease. What are the side effects of turkey tail fungus? Some patients have reported problems with the intestines, such as diarrhea and   dark stools , as well as dark nail pigmentation. If you notice any negative effects or discomfort when consuming turkey tail mushrooms, stop using them immediately and consult your doctor.

Final Thoughts:

  • Research seems very strong in the area of ​​turkey tail fungus and its ability to be a great natural remedy that fights cancer and boosts the immune system.
  • It has also been shown that these medicinal mushrooms prevent and treat the common cold and the flu, offer support to chemotherapy patients, treat HPV and other infections, help digestion and even offer help to patients with HIV / AIDS, in addition of fighting cancer.
  • While more research is necessary, the choice of turkey tail mushrooms can be useful and worth considering. If you choose to use the product, be sure to comply with the recommendations above on how to use and buy it.



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