Turkey Tail Mushroom

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The turkey tail mushroom has been used since the 15th century during the Ming dynasty in China. The Japanese were aware of the benefits of this energetic mushroom, with researchers noting its health benefits, particularly in boosting the immune system. In fact, the cloud-like image symbolises 'longevity and health, spiritual accord and infinity' to these Asian cultures.


What is turkey tail mushroom?

The turkey tail mushroom (or "cloud mushroom") is from the Trametes versicolor family. It is one of over 100 species of mushrooms that have been researched for their medicinal properties. 

The turkey tail mushroom grows on dead logs in woodland environments around the world and gets its name from the brown and tan rings that look like the tail feathers of a turkey.
The turkey tail mushroom is best known for boosting immune function and reducing inflammation. It has a long history of use in Asia among practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, who used it to promote overall health, strength and longevity.


Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits

  • 1. Prevents and treats the common cold and flu
Turkey tail mushroom has long been known to ward off any infection, including those associated with the common cold or flu. It helps your immune system become more resistant against germs that cause problems. When flu season approaches, you may want to include turkey tail as a supplement in your dietary routine.
Turkey tail mushroom has been shown to modulate the immune system, helping to fight infection and illness.
  • 2. May provide assistance to chemotherapy patients
Turkey tail mushrooms can help cancer patients going through chemotherapy. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been conducting clinical trials for turkey tail extract to be consumed by patients with advanced prostate cancer enduring conventional chemotherapy, as well as testing how well it helps women with breast cancer in combination with a vaccine treatment in hopes of a new and better form of cancer therapy.

Finally, because chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, the hope is that these mushrooms support the immune system to better address the weakness that treatment often causes. A stronger immune system can help fight deadly cancer cells, making turkey tail mushrooms a potentially powerful cancer-fighting food.
  • 3. Can help fight cancer
For more than 30 years, medicinal mushrooms have been used as an adjunct to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China. They are used for various 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 mushrooms for cancer, but there is evidence they may help significantly improve survival, according to a review by the National Cancer Institute.

PSK, the best-known active compound found in turkey tail mushrooms, has been studied in patients with several types of cancer and has been used safely for cancer in Japan, with few side effects reported. Studies show that PSK helps repair damage to immune cells caused by chemotherapy and strengthen the immune system.

When six randomised clinical trials were conducted in lung cancer patients, researchers found that patients given PSK improved in one or more ways, including body weight, well-being, immune function, tumour-related symptoms and longer survival.

A study published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine revealed that an 83-year-old woman who was diagnosed with advanced metastatic inflammatory breast cancer led a disease-free life after using turkey tail mushrooms. Although she continued using chemotherapy, she consumed turkey tail mushroom capsules at the same time.

Scientists believe that the immune response of these mushrooms boosted the woman's immune system, which increased the effectiveness of chemotherapy. This is consistent with research that claims that disease-fighting medicinal mushrooms such as turkey tail, as well as maitake , reishi and Agaricus blazei, can be natural immune-boosting and anti-cancer treatments.
  • 4. Helps treat human papillomavirus
Mushrooms, especially turkey tail mushrooms, 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% of the 41 patients who received both turkey tail and reishi mushrooms showed positive results after just two months of treatment. HPV in the mouth can sometimes lead to oropharyngeal cancer of the mouth.
  • 5. Aids digestion
The mycelium in the mushroom is what can help you have a smoother digestion process when consuming turkey tail mushrooms. The mushroom contains perfect prebiotics that help the microbiome. This means it can help grow good bacteria in the body, including acidophilus and bifidobacterium, which is beneficial for anyone suffering from leaky gut syndrome. This better digestion can even help you lose weight.
  • 6. May help HIV/AIDS patients
Studies show that using turkey tail mushrooms, in combination with other wild medicinal mushrooms from East Africa, may be helpful in treating patients with Kaposi's sarcoma , a skin cancer that often affects those with HIV/AIDS.
Turkey tail has antibacterial and antioxidant properties; therefore, an extract of turkey tail mushroom may be helpful. This extract, called PSP, has been studied in vitro, observing it as an antiviral agent that can prevent HIV replication.



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