What is Turkey Tail and how does it work?

What is Turkey Tail and how does it work?

Turkey Tail, or Trametes versicolor, is a type of mushroom known for its multicolored, circular growth that resembles the tail of a turkey. This mushroom has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and has recently become popular in the Western world because of its purported health benefits.

An interesting fact about Turkey Tail that is not widely known concerns its potential in supporting the immune system. Turkey Tail contains polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharopeptide (PSP), two compounds thought to stimulate the immune system. In some countries, including Japan, PSK is even used as an officially approved drug in cancer treatment, supplementing traditional cancer therapies. [1]

Turkey Tail mushrooms are a rich source of antioxidants

These antioxidants[2] are essential compounds that can help reduce or prevent the damage caused by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between antioxidants and unstable molecules, also known as free radicals. This imbalance can lead to cell damage and chronic inflammation. In addition, it is thought that this imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals may contribute to the development of certain health problems.

Turkey Tail contains antioxidants such as flavonoids and phenols, which can really make a difference to your immune system. [3] They help protect your cells from free radical damage and can reduce inflammation. If you eat Turkey Tail regularly or take it as a supplement, you can benefit from the potential health benefits these powerful antioxidants provide.

The History of Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail is scientifically known as Trametes versicolor and has a rich history in traditional medicine, especially in Asia. For centuries, this mushroom has been used in countries such as China and Japan for its purported medicinal properties. In traditional Chinese medicine, Turkey Tail is known as ‘Yun Zhi’ and is used to strengthen the immune system and promote overall health. In Japan, where it is called “Kawaratake,” meaning “mushroom on a riverbed,” it is also valued for its healing properties.

More research on Turkey Tail in the 20th and 21st centuries

With the emergence of modern scientific research in the 20th and 21st centuries, the Western world began to recognize the potential health benefits of Turkey Tail. This led to extensive studies on the effects of the mushroom, particularly in the area of immune support. Turkey Tail powder and capsules remain a fascinating topic within both traditional and modern medicine.

How do you use Turkey Tail?

There are several ways to consume Turkey Tail and benefit from its health benefits. One popular option is to take Turkey Tail supplements, which are available in the form of capsules or powders. These supplements can be easily incorporated into your daily routine.

Another option is to use Turkey Tail to make tea. By steeping dried Turkey Tail mushrooms in hot water, you can make a flavorful and healthy tea. Do you find the taste a bit too bitter? Then add some honey for extra sweetness. This way, the tea becomes even more delicious!

In addition, it is also possible to purchase fresh Turkey Tail medicinal mushrooms from our Shroom Shop or harvest them yourself if you are familiar with identifying edible mushrooms. These can be used in a variety of dishes such as soups, stews or stir-fries.


[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22204346/

[2] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/turkey-tail-mushroom#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

[3] https://pharmeasy.in/blog/benefits-of-turkey-tail-mushroom-a-research-supported-health-exploration/

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