Turkey tail mushroom is a common mushroom found throughout the world. Additionally, turkey tail mushrooms are similar to wild turkey and are one of the main reasons turkey tail is referenced to as Trametes Versicolor. Versicolor means several colors and relates to the fungus on the mushroom.
How do Chinese Use It?
The mushroom is known as Yun Zhi [雲芝] in China, and they extract the protein (Polysacdcharide) out of it to aid in medical healing. Interestingly, it has been brewed for thousands of years. However, it is still in use in the making of Chinese tea.
Does the FDA Approve Turkey Tail?
The trial focuses on patients with prostate cancer to consume in combination with standard chemotherapy. A second study focuses on women with breast cancer using turkey tail extract along with a standard vaccine.
The lead investigator behind the trials, Leanna J. Standish, Ph.D., ND, LAc, FABNO, wants to bring ancient Chinese practice to modern-day Amerian patients. Results from the trials are going to take traditional wisdom and mix it with modern science in the hopes of improving the current medical world.
How to Identify Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms can be found out in the woods on dead logs or decaying wood. Most people buy it in capsule or powder form.
What is the Recommended Turkey Tail Dosage?
Depending on the reason for taking a turkey tail supplement, the dosage varies. The most common doses are for those fighting or recovering from cancer.
University of Minnesota and Bastyr University (Kenmore, Washington) recently finished a study with findings of 9 g a day is safe and tolerable by the majority of women fighting breast cancer. They also found that women undergoing recovery benefited from 6 g to faster immune recovery after radiotherapy.
Consult with your medical professional and read manufacturer’s labels carefully. Moreover, as with any supplement, never take over the dosage recommendations unless your doctor directs you to do so.
Caution for Pregnant or Lactating Women
At this time, the recommendations are that pregnant or lactating women not take it. More studies and research are in progress at this time to gather more information about the risks vs. benefits.
How to Take Turkey Tail Mushrooms
The turkey tail is taken with or without food at any time of day. Additionally, in drop form, it is added to any liquid or food base and mixes well with anything. It doesn’t have much of a taste, which makes it ideal for any palate.
How to Take Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Health Benefits
Turkey tail mushrooms are best taken in capsule form since eating the actual mushroom itself is hard for the body to digest.
With the new market, the increase in beverage demand leads to new consumption methods. Therefore, fermented options are available and are under the legal definition of “nonalcoholic” for US and European markets. This means that all ages can use and drink it. Overall, the drinks are similar to kombucha and are fresh, sweet, floral, and fruity in nature.
Additionally, many people enjoy making turkey tail mushroom tea or stock, and the flavor is said to be flavorful.
Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Safe?
Overall, turkey tail mushroom is safe, with a few reported side effects. With turkey tail primarily affecting the gut, some users may experience gas, bloating, discomfort, and even dark stool. A few have shown diarrhea and also darkened fingernails.
When taken with chemotherapy, patients report symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. There is no clear way of knowing if these side effects were from the turkey tail, or the chemo treatment itself.
If side effects occur, as always, it is best to consult with your doctor to see if you need to change the dosage or stop using it completely. It is suggested you additionally consult with them before you use it to make sure it won’t interact with any current supplements or medication you may already be taking.
Is Turkey Tail Good as an Antioxidant?
The answer is yes! That’s because turkey tail contains a grand array of antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants help reduce oxidants that are related to poor health conditions, including certain cancers and heart disease.
In one study, a total of 38 compounds were found with considerable potential. These findings show the turkey tail as a natural source of antioxidant to use as drug-like compounds or food supplements. The study showed these antioxidants could be beneficial in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Because turkey tail has traces of phenol and flavonoid antioxidants, it helps reduce inflammation. It additionally helps stimulate the release of protective compounds.
Turkey Tail May Enhance Gut Health
The turkey tail supplement contains prebiotics that is linked to nourishing helpful bacteria within the gut. This healthy bacteria helps with the gut’s immune cells that impact immune health.
The prebiotics found within turkey tail mushroom is a bit different than the probiotics most consumers use. Prebiotics come from carbs or fiber that humans can’t digest. But, it is eaten by the probiotics, which are live bacteria. Moreover, eating both together ensures the proper balance.
In one study, 24 healthy volunteers were randomized to receive PSP, amoxicillin, or no treatment. The study analyzed each participant’s stool on seven occasions over eight weeks. 22 out of the 24 completed the protocol and found that consuming 3,600 mg of PSP extracted from turkey tail mushrooms per day led to beneficial changes in gut bacteria. It also suppressed the growth of the possibly problematic E. coli and Shigella bacteria.
Another study analyzed test tube results regarding the survival of cancer patients from 13 clinical trials. The study found the survival rate showed a significant survival advantage when compared with standard conventional anti-cancer treatment due to turkey tail extract. The turkey tail extract shows an improvement to the gut and increases beneficial bacteria (Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus). At the same time, it reduces harmful bacteria (Clostridium and Staphylococcus).
Turkey tail mushroom may positively influence gut bacterial balance by enhancing the growth of beneficial bacteria. At the same time, it suppresses harmful species.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Cancer
One of the most popular uses for turkey tail is its use for cancer. In fact, it is often used alongside conventual cancer treatments.
Thirteen clinical trials were examined and found that patients within the test who were given 1–3.6 grams of turkey tail mushroom per day, along with conventional treatment, had a notable survival advantage. Those with breast cancer, gastric cancer, or colorectal cancer who were treated with turkey tail and chemotherapy experienced a 9% reduction in 5-year mortality vs. those who received chemotherapy alone.
Another compilation of eight studies with 8,009 people who had stomach cancer lived longer after surgical procedures, PSK, and chemotherapy over those who solely used chemotherapy.
Eleven women with breast cancer were studied in another test. They were given 6–9 grams of turkey tail powder per day following radiation therapy. They experienced an increase in cancer-fighting cells in the immune system, such as natural killer cells and lymphocyte. This same study showed it was safe to give women 3,6, and 9 gram doses orally with no side effects. However, after radiation they did not proceed to test how they would tolerate at a 12-gram dose.
Turkey Tail Mushroom To Combat HPV
A study surrounding the use of turkey tail and HPV shows remarkable results. The study took 472 patients with an oral swab test. Sixty-one patients were positive for HPV16 or HPV1 with gingivitis.
Twenty patients included in group 1 (LS) and forty-one patients included in group 2 (TV+GL) for a total time of two months.
Group 1 had a 5% clearance in two months, and group 2 had a clearance rate of 88%. They test proved there may be a costless and harmless treatment for those who are diagnosed with HPV.
Turkey Tail for Improved Athletic Performance
In one study, male mice were divided into 4 groups and received turkey tail extract orally for four weeks. They were given doses of 0, 615, 1230 or 3075 mg/kg/day.
The mice were examined daily for forelimb grip strength, endurance swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-associated parameters, serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine kinase.
Results with forelimb grip strength showed a significant increase. Swiming results showed after 15-minute intervals, serum lactate, and levels of ammonia were both lowered. These results indicated that turkey tail extract helped with performance improvement and anti-fatigue activity.
Mice showed lower blood sugar levels at rest and additionally at post-exercise.
The overall study showed promise to those who use the extract over a 28-day consecutive period.
Turkey Tail May Improve Insulin Resistance
A study was conducted with patients who have type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Type 2 patients typically have a better chance of suffering from cancer and microbial infections.
Turkey tail extract is an anti-diabetic medicinal mushroom, and the study was intended to study its anti-diabetic and anti-insulin-resistance effects.
T2DM rats were given turkey tail extract, and the treatment reduced blood glucose levels. Additionally, treatments resulted in remarkable anti-insulin-resistance effects, which reduces insulin resistance.
Turkey Tail May Improve Cognitive Function
Studies have been conducted in reference to brain function, with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s. One study took mice and focused on the prevention and treatment of a mouse with Alzheimer’s.
The central focus was on the main active ingredient of the medicinal fungus Coriolus Versicolor or CVP. Mice conducted the Morris water maze test, the Y maze, and step through a test. The analysis showed that the combinational use of CVP and GF synergistically improved memory in a mouse model.
GFAP further demonstrated that inflammation reduced in the brain of mice following treatment. The expression levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were elevated in the minds of treated mice, which indicates that oxidation levels were reduced upon the combination treatment. Results contribute new insights into the dynamic utilization of traditional medicine for preventing dementia.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Dogs
The turkey tail mushroom is a supplement not only used by humans but is also beneficial to dogs. These mushrooms are used for dogs to help boost their immunity. It additionally benefits dogs who are going through cancer. The benefits for dogs are as follows:
Veterinarians pair Coriolus Versicolor with their dog’s chemo treatments before, during, and after. The extract penetrates into the dog’s body, helping it fight cancer directly by locating and decreasing the tumors.
A bit of this mushroom helps a dog deal with stress because it is considered an adaptogen herb. That, in turn, helps deal with the body’s natural ability to deal with stress.
Same as in humans, this mushroom helps dogs immunity and is a boost in assisting dogs in fighting disease by aiding in leukocytes and t cells.
Dog digestion benefits from this by the absorption of the dog food so that the animal gains proper nutrients.
Turkey tail mushroom or Coriolus Versicolor is a powerful medicinal mushroom that dates back centuries ago but is becoming increasingly popular today.
With its powerful antioxidants, numerous studies suggest how beneficial it is. With a wide range of ways to consume it, more and more studies are currently taking place.
Studies already prove it helps boost the immune system, provide relief for those with diabetes, and help people with many different types of cancers. It has paved the way for those who deal with gut health issues and has provided much-needed bacteria balance.
Humans can give their dogs turkey tail mushrooms with no fear, and it is a therapeutic supplement that has brought about new answers for pet health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products discussed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.