Anticancer Foods: Turkey Tail Mushrooms Uses & Benefits

Trametes versicolor is a polypore mushroom, commonly known as turkey's tail. Isolated on white background.

Are you searching for a medicinal mushroom loaded with tons of health benefits? Turkey tail mushrooms have been gaining popularity in recent years due to their many potential health benefits. This mushroom has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but it is only recently that scientists have started to uncover its possible therapeutic effects. Here, we’ll explore the potential uses, health benefits, and anti-cancer properties of turkey tail mushrooms.

What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Turkey Tail Mushrooms, also known as Coriolus versicolor or Trametes versicolor, are most recognizable by their fan-shaped caps and multicolored stripes ranging from brown to white, which give them their namesake. It is a type of medicinal mushroom native to Asia and North America. These mushrooms contain a variety of compounds that may be beneficial for human health. These compounds include polysaccharides (PSP and PSK), which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

How Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms Used?

Turkey tail mushrooms have a very subtle flavor with a slightly woody texture. As such, they’re often used as a flavoring or garnish in dishes. They can be cooked whole or chopped up and used as an ingredient.

The most popular way to use turkey tail mushrooms is to make tea. Simply place a handful of the mushrooms in a pot of boiling water and let them steep for 10 minutes. Once cooled, strain the tea and drink it hot or cold. It’s said to have an earthy flavor and can help to promote overall health and well-being.

Turkey tail mushrooms are also great for soups, stews, and stir-fries. They add a meaty texture and rich flavor to any dish. If you’re looking for a healthy snack, try drying the mushrooms and adding them to the trail mix. Or, you can grind them up into a powder and sprinkle them on top of salads and other dishes for an extra nutritional boost.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Turkey tail mushrooms have been studied for their potential to reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and other fatigue-related conditions. A study on mice showed that supplementing with turkey tail mushrooms reduced symptoms of fatigue and improved overall physical performance.

They are rich in polysaccharide-K (PSK), polysaccharopeptide (PSP), flavonoids, and phenols, which are molecules that can boost immunity and act as antioxidants in the body. Turkey tail mushrooms also contain beta-glucans, another type of antioxidant compound. Beta-glucans are known to help reduce inflammation and boost the body’s immune system, making them especially beneficial to those with weakened immune systems.

What makes Turkey Tail Mushrooms an anticancer food?

Turkey Tail mushrooms have been studied for their potential cancer treatment and prevention role. PSK is a type of polysaccharide found in Turkey Tail mushrooms that acts as an immunomodulator, meaning it can help modulate the body’s immune response and reduce inflammation.

Studies have found that it may help to reduce tumor growth, reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, and potentially improve survival rates for certain types of cancer.

Other bioactive compounds that may be beneficial in treating and preventing cancer include beta-glucans, terpenoids, flavonoids, ergosterol, and phenolic compounds. Beta-glucans, specifically, are thought to have potential anticancer properties, as they have been shown to activate macrophages, which are immune cells that help to fight off foreign invaders like viruses, bacteria, and even damaged cells that have the potential to become cancerous.


Health Benefits



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Chef Shedric

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