Turkey Tail Mushrooms

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Also called “Trametes Versicolor” (which means ‘of several colors,’) named Turkey Tail because of its multiple colors. It’s considered to be the most common medicinal mushroom with various health benefits and can be conveniently found all over the world (Europe, Asia, and North American). 

The Mushroom

The general names of mushrooms are commonly known to be a description of the mushroom itself, and turkey tail is no exception. With red/brown tones and in a similar shape to a turkey tail, the name is derived from the physical appearance of the mushroom itself. They’re extremely common to find and everywhere on dead wood and stumps. An alternative to health benefits, Trametes Versicolor is sometimes used by artists for jewelry and even dye for assorted fabrics and clothing. It’s not particularly tasty but is known to be edible. 

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

History 

You can trace back the use of Yun Zhi (Turkey Tail in Chinese) from the early 15th century when it was brewed as medicinal tea during the Ming Dynasty in China and was also used as traditional medicine. Native Americans were also known to use it as herbalism medicine. The popularity of the exploitation of this resource was very early compared to other mushrooms. Towards the end of the ’60s, the Japanese focus on Turkey Tail benefits and extracted its use to benefit the immune system, even during this time, effectively already deriving its use. 

Benefits and Wellness 

Turkey Tail is especially beneficial for holistic healing (consider the whole person – body, mind, spirit, and emotions.) They have complex forms of beta-glucans that help to potential our immune defenses and are proven to be a very effective form of prevention. They help support a healthy inflammatory response and normal cell growth and turnover. 

Oxidative stress is what happens when there’s an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules which can result in cellular damage and chronic inflammation; consequently, risking the development of health conditions such as cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants that Turkey Tail contains an abundance of help inhibit or reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress. It reduces the inflammation and the stimulation of release. 

Anticancer agents are known as PSK (Krestin) and PSP (Polysaccharide Peptide) – which are found in Turkey Tail, have the natural ability to strengthen people’s immune systems. These power properties work by suppressing inflammation and activating and inhibiting specific types of immune cells. Because of how common this mushroom is and how strong their benefits are, it’s already used with surgery and chemotherapy in countries like Japan and China. 

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Turkey Tail also has research supporting their ability to keep a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in people’s guts, important for a strong immune system. It’s the prebiotics (a friendly dietary fiber for your gut) in Turkey Tails that nourish these beneficial bacteria. There was a study that demonstrated that consuming extracts from Turkey Tail every day for 8-weeks made healthy changes to the gut bacteria and suppressed the growth of disruptive bacteria such as E Coli and Shigella. Overall, the mushroom is linked to the general improvement in diarrhea, reduced cholesterol levels, and improved digestion 

There’s increasing research and studies on these really attainable mushrooms, with positive potential uses in combating HPV, reducing inflammation, reducing bacteria that cause illness and infection, and improving athletic performance

Because of its already early-on discovery, there are already a significant amount of herbs and supplements that use Turkey Tail extracts and even wellness centers that focus on this superfood. They’re sold in various forms, from capsules, tea, and powder to consumers with your dish or beverage of your choice. There’s already an existing market for these beneficial supplements and it doesn’t look like it’s dying anything time soon, with its abundance and extreme benefits.

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