11 Sep Turkey Tail Mushroom
Turkey Tail Mushroom or Trametes versicolor is a common polypore mushroom that is characterized by its shape and multiple colors that are reminiscent of a wild turkey. This mushroom is found in North America on deciduous tree logs and stumps and grows in rows or tiled layers.
The Turkey Tail is well known for its impressive immune-boosting properties. This mushroom has a tremendous amount of antioxidants, which are compounds that inhibit or reduce damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules called free radicals— this imbalance can result in chronic inflammation and cellular damage. In one study, Turkey Tail was found to have over 35 different phenolic compounds as well as flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and baicalein. These specific antioxidants bolster the immune system by reducing inflammation and promoting the release of protective compounds.
In addition to being rich in antioxidants, this polypore contains polysaccharopeptides, which are protein-bound polysaccharides (carbohydrates). Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) are two types of polysaccharopeptides found in Turkey Tail Mushroom. These compounds are able to both active and inhibit specific types of immune cells, enhancing immune response and easing inflammation. PSP and PSK are able to strengthen the immune system with such effectiveness that they are commonly used as anticancer agents in conjunction with other treatments in countries including Japan and China.
Furthermore, the incredible immune-boosting benefits of Turkey Tail has shown that it may also have antitumor properties related to PSK, which in one study, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells. In addition to PSK, Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) is a special type of polysaccharide found in this mushroom that may help to suppress tumor growth.
In addition to its immune-strengthening and antitumor properties, Turkey Tail Mushroom is full of prebiotics which help to nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut, which is a key component to a fortified immune system. This mushroom contains beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus which help to reduce harmful bacteria, reduce gastrointestinal symptoms and improve digestion. As an adaptogen, Turkey Tail interacts with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to help stabilize cortisol levels and assist with balancing the body.
It’s no secret we’re fans of this beautiful, functional, and healing mushroom. It’s varied health benefits are essential ingredients in two of our favorite plant and mushroom powder blends; Immune and Digest. In both blends, Turkey Tail Mushroom elevates and enhances the health benefits of the other herbs and mushrooms creating functional blends which are both versatile and effective. This polypore is key to a healthy gut microbiome, immune system, and a balanced mood. 🦃🍄