Turkey Tail Mushrooms (and Why To Attempt Them)

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No, we’re not speaking in regards to the form of turkey served up at Thanksgiving dinner! These medicinal mushrooms earned their identify as a result of they appear like a fanned-out turkey’s tail. Individuals have used medicinal mushrooms for hundreds of years to help the immune system and promote well-being. Plus they style scrumptious in a morning cup of mushroom espresso.

What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Turkey tail mushrooms (aka Trametes versicolor) are a polypore fungus. (That simply means many pores). They’re referred to as Coriolus versicolor in some older literature. Not like shiitake and different mushrooms with gills, turkey tails have tiny pores beneath. These pores launch spores, serving to them propagate.

These placing mushrooms develop in forests throughout the earth – from the USA to Japan. Their English identify comes from their likeness to fanned-out tail feathers on a turkey. Conventional Chinese language Drugs (TCM) college students will know them as Yun Zhi. 

These mushrooms are well-known for his or her vibrant and numerous coloration patterns. Their higher floor typically options rings of varied shades. You’ll see brown, tan, white, and blue, every contributing to their distinctive look. Turkey tail mushrooms normally develop in overlapping layers on useless or decaying wooden.

Advantages of Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Apart from their lovely look, turkey tail mushrooms are widespread for his or her well being advantages. Researchers imagine a lot of their compounds have immune-supporting and antioxidant properties. 

Because of this, they’ve been part of the standard medication of varied cultures for hundreds of years. The advantages of turkey tail mushrooms primarily stem from their immune-supporting properties:

How Turkey Tail Mushrooms Assist The Immune System

Turkey tail is assumed to help immune responses by means of two kinds of bioactive compounds. One is polysaccharopeptides (PSP), and the opposite is polysaccharides. Listed here are a number of the immune advantages related to turkey tail mushrooms:

1. Modulating The Immune Response 

Carbohydrates referred to as polysaccharides in turkey tail are involved in immunomodulation. These compounds can work together with immune cell receptors, regulating and enhancing immune operate. 

This implies they’ll enhance underactive immune exercise or scale back overactive immune exercise. It’s all about bringing it again into stability. When the immune system is overactive, it will probably result in autoimmune situations.

2. Stimulating The Immune System

Sure compounds in turkey tail could stimulate immune cell exercise. You might keep in mind studying about these cells in highschool biology class.  Macrophages and pure killer (NK) cells, two kinds of white blood cells, play a key function within the immune response. 

Macrophages are answerable for consuming and destroying overseas substances. Pure killer (NK) cells assist acknowledge and get rid of contaminated or irregular cells. (Assume cancer cells). Research present they turn into extra lively within the presence of turkey tail.

Some research recommend turkey tail can even enhance cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) exercise. These cells additionally play an important function in eliminating contaminated or irregular cells like most cancers cells.

The U.S. Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted turkey tail in scientific trials for most cancers. Males with prostate most cancers and ladies with breast most cancers bought it alongside standard most cancers remedies for immune help.

Japan and China use turkey tail as a complementary remedy to conventional most cancers remedies. It’s proven advantages for a number of kinds of most cancers, together with:

  • Lung most cancers
  • Breast most cancers
  • Gastric most cancers
  • Colorectal most cancers

Most cancers sufferers usually obtain different remedies apart from turkey tail. However turkey tail can assist improve most cancers remedy. A scientific evaluate confirmed polysaccharide krestin (PSK) in turkey tail has anti-tumor exercise. Whereas researchers aren’t certain the way it works, it appears useful as an adjuvant to most cancers remedy.

Even the Nationwide Most cancers Institute agrees that turkey tail mushrooms have anticancer results. They discovered including turkey tail to different remedies might considerably enhance survival charges.

Six randomized scientific trials discovered that lung most cancers sufferers receiving PSK improved in some ways. That they had fewer signs, improved well-being, higher immune responses, or longer survival charges. In the event you’re trying into utilizing turkey tail and different medicinal herbs for most cancers care, remember to run them by your healthcare supplier first. 

3. Stimulating Cytokine Manufacturing

Cytokines are signaling molecules that play an important function in communication between immune cells. Turkey tail mushrooms could stimulate the manufacturing of sure cytokines. The end result could also be a extra coordinated protection in opposition to pathogens.

A scientific evaluate discovered most medicinal mushroom dietary supplements improved cytokine response.

4. Elevated Manufacturing of Immunoglobulins:

Some research recommend turkey tail mushrooms improve immunoglobulin manufacturing, like immunoglobulin A (IgA). IgA performs a key function within the mucosal immune protection (aka it improves the intestine lining).

A wholesome intestinal lining protects in opposition to infections within the lungs and digestive tract. It additionally prevents meals molecules from coming into the bloodstream earlier than being totally digested. A “leaky intestine” units us up for allergy symptoms, autoimmune illnesses illness, and different well being situations.

5. Intestine Well being

Analysis suggests the intestine microbiome performs a major function in immune system operate. In some research, turkey tail mushrooms improved intestine well being by serving as prebiotics. These fibers feed helpful intestine micro organism, which might affect immune responses.

6. Antioxidants 

Phenolic compounds in turkey tail mushrooms, like flavonoids, have antioxidant properties. These Aantioxidants assist neutralize dangerous free radicals that may harm cells and tissues. By Rreducing oxidative stress and DNA harm we are able to help immune well being.

7. Decreasing Irritation

Power irritation can weaken the immune system over time, however there are methods to assist. Some compounds in turkey tail mushrooms could have anti-inflammatory results. Decreasing irritation helps to control the immune response.

Dangers & Precautions of Turkey Tail

When foraging for these mushrooms, bear in mind they do have lookalikes. False turkey tail mushroom (stereum ostrea) seems to be much like turkey tail. It has a number of the similar advantages, together with antimicrobial compounds, and isn’t harmful. However, it additionally isn’t as potent as the true deal. 

As with all pure treatments, be cautious when contemplating turkey tail mushrooms. If taking medications, verify with a well being skilled earlier than including them.

Some folks could have antagonistic reactions to turkey tail mushrooms. One potential aspect impact is darkened fingernails. If taking them causes negative effects, cease and seek the advice of a healthcare practitioner for recommendation.

Methods to Use Turkey Tail

You should use turkey tail mushrooms in lots of varieties to get their well being advantages. Listed here are some frequent methods to make use of turkey tail mushrooms:

  • Tea and Decoctions: One widespread methodology of utilizing turkey tail mushrooms is to make a tea or decoction. Simply simmer dried turkey tail mushrooms in water to extract helpful compounds. You’ll be able to benefit from the ensuing liquid as a heat beverage.
  • Culinary Use: Some cultures use turkey tail mushrooms in cooking, however they’re typically robust and never palatable. Cooks will use them to flavor broths, soups, or stews. Take them out earlier than consuming (like bay leaves) resulting from their robust texture.
  • Tinctures: Tinctures are liquid extracts made by steeping the mushrooms in alcohol or one other solvent. You’ll be able to take them straight or add them to drinks. Medicinal mushrooms extract somewhat otherwise than different vegetation, so most herbalists use a dual extraction method.  
  • Powdered Dietary supplements: Turkey tail mushrooms can be found in powdered kind as dietary dietary supplements. You’ll be able to combine the powdered extract into smoothies, juices, or different liquids. You can even sprinkle it onto yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Capsules and Tablets: Turkey tail mushroom drugs are handy for individuals who desire a pre-measured dose. Observe the really helpful dosage directions supplied on the product label.

When utilizing turkey tail, keep in mind the preparation and dosage can fluctuate. For instance, methanol extracts have the very best quantity of antioxidants. Water extracts have the very best variety of polyphenols and flavonoids.

Some turkey tail dietary supplements have each the fruiting physique and the mycelium (root). Others simply have one or the opposite.

At all times observe the dosage tips on the packaging or from a healthcare skilled.

What I Do and Different Mushrooms to Attempt

I like together with turkey tail extract as part of my morning cup of mushroom coffee. It’s nice to begin the day with a wholesome immune response. I’ll additionally embrace it in different natural teas and drinks all through the day. Whereas I don’t do the identical precise factor each day, turkey tail could be a welcome boost to a well being routine.  It could actually assist hold your immune response sturdy and promote digestive stability. 

Listed here are another medicinal mushrooms to attempt (perhaps in your espresso!):

  • Lion’s Mane – This funny-looking mushroom is superb for the mind.
  • Reishi – Reishi mushroom helps immunity and sleep and will even assist you reside longer!
  • Cordyceps – This caterpillar fungus helps power, metabolism, and bodily endurance.
  • Maitake – This “hen of the woods” helps the cardiovascular and immune programs and promotes fertility.

Have you ever ever tried turkey tail mushrooms? What kind did you have got it in? Did you discover any advantages? Share under!

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