Do you want to live long and prosper? Turkey Tail Mushroom is next-level good for you.
Just think about it, how long has fungus been around? ... FOREVER! If you had been around that long, you'd probably have a pretty good idea on how to be healthy too.
Not only will we cover why turkey tail mushroom is so good for you, but we also talk about identifying it and how to use it. We back up our facts with science, we aren't scientists but we are grade A researchers!
So, let's get to it! (If you already have an idea of what Turkey Tail is and want to skip to the juicy bits you can use this menu below)
- What is Turkey Tail aka "Trametes versicolor"
- Health Benefits of Turkey Tail
- Is Turkey Tail edible? (and Recipes)
- Best Places To Buy Turkey Tail
What is Turkey Tail Mushroom aka "Trametes versicolor"
Turkey Tail Mushroom known as "Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor" in the science world, is a fungus that grows on dead logs worldwide and gifts us its immune boosting properties. Its potency is to the point that there have been several promising studies done into Turkey Tail aiding with cancer treatment. The name comes from the brown, tan and white rings that strike through the fungus, leaving it to resemble a turkeys tail. While the term 'versicolor' simply means 'of many colours'.
First of all, let's start with a little background information on medicinal mushrooms themselves...
Seeing as all life itself was formed from fungus, it's not a far fetch to presume we've been eating them from the first days of man either. Though I would have hated to be the guinea pig for new mushrooms identification!
There has even been evidence found that a neanderthal diet was partly made up of mushrooms, whether purely as a food source or medicinal purposes or even perhaps both, we aren't sure. These days, we are lucky to have advances in our science to look closely at the DNA of our fungus and determine what will be good for us and why.
Medicinal mushrooms more specifically have been widely used for thousands of years but we now can back up our conclusions with science making their superpowers hold a lot more authority. While there are loads of different benefits associated with taking it daily, Turkey Tail Mushroom is most famous for its ability to assist in cancer treatment.
Turkey Tail isn't one of those alternative therapies that you can only get from your backyard hippy dealer who has questionable personal hygiene either. It is available from most reputable health stores and herbal practitioners.
Our personal recommendations are the Host Defense Turkey Tail (US-based) Superfeast Turkey Tail Powder (Australian based - read our review here) & Life Cykel's Turkey Tail Liquid Extract (Also Australian based). These are three of our favourite and most trusted suppliers.
But what exactly is it?
For the mushrooms nerds out there, Turkey Tail is a polypore fungi, also sometimes known as 'bracket fungi'. It means that it forms fruiting bodies from pores on the underside and most often found on dead or decaying logs. Also easily found worldwide, which may have something to do with its global popularity.
It's filled to the frills with protein-bound polysaccharides PSK and PSP. For those who understand the chemistry, you need no further explanation. For those, who are like 'pretty polar popsicles' whaaaat? Then you can either click through to Wiki and give yourself a science lesson, or take a moment to read on into the health benefits where I explain what the pretty polar popsicles do for your body. (At least what the tests show!)
Health Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
- Immune booster X 1,000,000,000
- Liver function
- Respiratory health
- Anti-tumor activity
- Digestive health
- Stress management
And these are just the overall general benefits. To completely understand you need to dig deeper.
In this research article "Distribution of Medicinally Important Mushrooms of Mountainous/Northern Areas of Pakistan" they write...
"It also improved the chemotherapy rate when it is used in combination with other medicines (42 to 72%)"
Does Turkey Tail cure cancer?
This is a dangerous question and even more dangerous statement to be making. What the studies I have linked to above all show is that there is a significant difference in recovery rate for patients who have cancer who are also using turkey tail with chemotherapy. When a patient receives a chemo treatment, all cells are wiped, the good and the bad which leaves a patient with next to no immune system. Turkey tail being such an amazing immune booster is helping patients recover quicker and in turn have stronger immune systems to fight the cancer cells.
Happy body, happy mind...
All in all, anything that is a potent immune booster will have a positive ripple affect into all areas of your life. A happy body is a happy mind. If your vital organs are working well you will have more energy, feel more positive and motivated and just generally more content. Your outward appearance will also benefit with a healthy immune system, expect to see things like a healthy skin complexion, clear eyes, healthy hair and nails etc.
Is Turkey Tail edible? (with Recipes!)
Powdered Turkey Tail Mushroom Recipe
If you are buying the powdered form, you can throw it in almost anything. While I detect just the smallest twang of difference in my coffee, it's hardly something to note. You can put in your smoothie, on your breakfast or just some hot water and make a tea!
One of my favourites to get a major health kick is Tumeric Turkey Tail Latte...
- 1/2 tsp tumeric latte powder
- Grated or finely chopped raw ginger ( I use a cm cube, but up to you how much zing you like!)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp Superfeast Turkey Tail
- Pinch of pepper
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Honey or something like it to sweeten
1. Grate or finely chop your ginger (powdered ginger is also okay, use 1/4 tsp if that's what you have)
2. Combine all ingredients except honey into a small saucepan (with a lip for pouring if possible!) and put on a medium heat
3. Watch for simmering, you want the brew to simmer not boil it. Continuously stir the mix as it comes to simmer, once it is simmering, turn the heat down a little and leave it to brew. 10 mins will bring a full flavour, otherwise, 5 mins is fine.
4. Serve up and add honey to taste!
Can you eat raw Turkey Tail Mushroom?
It's not very popular to eat raw as its quite chewy and tough and can be a bit harsh on the stomach. What is more popular is drying the mushrooms out and turning them into a powder.
Here's a video courtesy of Vermont Homesteading on how to dry your mushrooms!
If you have Turkey Tail mushrooms firstly, if you've foraged it, PLEASE make sure you have the ID right. There is another mushroom called the "false turkey tail" or rather Stereum ostrea. While it's not poisonous it's a good example on how similar fungus is, so don't just be comparing your mushies to a google image, do the research properly.
And on that note...
How To Identify Turkey Tail
While we've given you a description and pretty pictures to look at here, you should still be consulting the experts first. The mushroom experts give a good 6 step run down but also you should get yourself a wild mushroom book! NEVER eat a mushroom you have found until you are 100% certain it won't turn you into a toad or worse. Take a few foraging classes, talk to some experts, join a group!
Best Places To Buy Turkey Tail
Turkey tail has grown in popularity quite a lot so it's highly accessible these days.
There are now loads of retailers, all of differing price and quality standards so it's important you aren't buying an extract that is not only impotent and not effective, but also contaminated and potentially harmful!
As mentioned earlier, we have our three top suggestions for high-quality Turkey Tail, and we will take you through why this is below:
Why Host Defense?
Founded by the renowned and award-winning mycologist Paul Stamets, Host Defense is one of the most reputable and experienced medicinal mushroom producers in the world. Host Defense Turkey Tail capsules are 100% certified organic and grown in the USA, harvested and freeze-dried at peak potency and free from any contaminants.
We have been working with SuperFeast for many years now and love everything from their strict sourcing and processing standards right through to their packaging and exceptional customer service. Their Turkey Tail powder is sourced sustainably & 'Di Tao', dual-extracted and tested for maximum potency and free from any and all contaminants.
Life Cykel is another Australian producer that operates to the highest quality standards. Their products are becoming very well-reviewed and sought after worldwide. Their Turkey Tail is organic and Australian grown, offered as a dual liquid extract and thoroughly tested for potency, availability and any contaminants.
One Last Alternative:
If you're still interested in checking out one more great Turkey Tail extract, the only other place we buy any medicinal mushrooms and herbs from is Teelixir. This is another fantastic Australian company that produces organic extracts that are all tested for maximum potency as well as for any contaminants. Click here to check them out.
That's A Wrap!
We hope you got some great info and recommendations from this article - Turkey Tail is a fantastic natural supplement and we hope you get years of good health and vitality from using it.
If you have any questions, comments or feedback at all, we'd love to hear from you - please shoot us through an email and get in touch!