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What are the Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom?
- Rich in antioxidants
- May boost the immunity of cancer patients
- Could improve cancer treatment effectiveness
- Supports gut health
- Can prevent and cure flu and common colds
Turkey tail mushroom has been used for centuries all over the world to cure different conditions. Among these, perhaps the biggest health benefit of this mushroom is its ability to support the immune system.
Here are some of the immune-boosting capacities of this mushroom.
Turkey tail mushroom is known to be packed with antioxidants. This means that taking it as a supplement could help reduce the damages caused by oxidative stress, including health conditions like heart disease and cancer.
The mushroom has a variant of antioxidants, like flavonoids and phenols. One study discovered 35 kinds of phenolic compounds in one sample of the turkey tail extract. It also contains flavonoid antioxidants, such as baicalein and quercetin. These flavonoids and phenols support the immune system by stimulating the production of protective compounds and reducing inflammation. (1, 2, 3)
Moreover, the immune-boosting power of turkey tail may contribute to its anti-tumour properties.
A test-tube study discovered that the polysaccharopeptide PSK in this mushroom could inhibit the spread and growth of human colon cancer cells. Also, a polysaccharide it contains, known as Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG), may kill specific tumours. One study conducted in mice with tumours showed that treatment containing CVG from turkey tail was able to decrease tumour size. (1, 2)
With its numerous beneficial compounds, turkey tail is used with conventional cancer treatments as a way of fighting some cancers.
One review of 13 studies discovered that cancer patients who received 1 to 3.6 grams of the mushroom daily along with traditional treatment had a better survival advantage. Based on the study, patients with colorectal, gastric, or breast cancer who were treated with chemotherapy and turkey tail experienced a decrease in five-year mortality up to 9% compared to those who had chemo alone. (1)
Turkey tail may be good for your gut health too. The mushroom has prebiotics, which is helpful in nourishing the good bacteria.
One study, which ran for eight weeks and involved 24 respondents, found that the daily consumption of 3,600 mg of extracted PSP from the mushroom resulted in positive changes in gut bacteria. It also inhibited the growth of Shigella and E. coli bacteria. (1)
One test-tube study discovered that the extract of this mushroom could modify the composition of bacteria. It reduces harmful bacteria, like Staphylococcus and Clostridium, while increasing the beneficial bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. (1)
Lastly, turkey tail is known to prevent and treat infections, including flu or common colds. It boosts up the immune system to be resilient against germs that cause illnesses. Also, it is known to regulate the immune system, helping it fight against diseases, illnesses, and infections. (1, 2)
With all these health benefits, turkey tail mushroom is truly a promising supplement. However, it cannot be used to be a medication for any condition without your doctor’s advice. More studies need to confirm how safe and effective this fungus is for human supplementation.
What is Turkey Tail Mushroom?
Turkey tail mushroom has a scientific name of Trametes versicolor and is formerly known as cloud mushroom (Coriolus versicolor). Turkey tail is one of the mushroom species that are studied for their medicinal qualities.
This fungus can be found on dead logs in the woods or forests in different parts of the world. It is a kind of bracket fungi, which have thin, circular forms that look like leaves. It actually got its name from its tan and brown rings that seem like turkey tail feathers.
If you want to find one, you just have to search around in a wooded place. Turkey tail mushrooms usually come in a range of autumn colours, but sometimes they can have a bright green hue, which is actually algae.
How Does Turkey Tail Work?
Turkey tail mushroom works by boosting the immune system. Its fungal cell walls have B-glucans, which is a kind of polysaccharide. B-glucans are responsible for the receptors in the small intestine, which provide increased immunity in full force.
This makes turkey tail an adaptogen. An adaptogen is a herbal compound that can be found in leaves, barks, berries, roots, and mushrooms. An adaptogen herb functions by resisting the stress factors that could reduce immunity. It also stimulates the energy levels and supports the immune system.
How Do I Take Turkey Tail Mushroom?
The turkey tail is edible, and it has a chewy texture. It is usually served as a powder in capsule or as a tea. This fungus is commonly combined with other mushrooms as ingredients for health products.
Turkey tail mushroom products can be bought online or in the local health shop. It would be better to buy organic mushroom products. This way, you can get natural nourishment that comes from the soil where these mushrooms grow on.
There is no clinical evidence that supports a specific dosing for turkey tail supplementation. Usually, product labels suggest for user to take one to three capsules per day, along with full meals.
Most turkey tail supplements in stores are in the capsule form, but you can also purchase turkey tail extract. Both the capsule and the extract forms can be added to juice, smoothie, or even just water.
Can I Take Turkey Tail with Vitamins or Medicines?
As of now, no data about turkey tail mushroom interaction with other medications have been reported. However, this does not mean that anyone can just freely take it as a supplement to help resolve a health concern. If you are taking other vitamins or any medicines, please ask your doctor first if it is safe to take turkey tail supplementation along with them.
Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Safe?
Supplementing on turkey tail most likely safe when taken orally in an appropriate manner. Generally, it does not have any side effects. However, there were people who took PSK or chemotherapy who experienced some side effects, including vomiting, liver problems, nausea, and low counts for white blood cells.
Turkey tail may also be safe when applied to the vagina for twelve days.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women are advised to avoid usage of turkey tail since there is no information about how safe it is for them.