6 Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms & Possible Side Effects
Incorporate this mushroom variety into your diet to boost your immunity and well-being.
Turkey tail mushrooms are known for their mild earthy taste. The benefits of turkey tail mushrooms are many. These, like most other mushrooms, are edible fungi that humans have been eating for centuries. Other varieties such as shitake, button, cremini, and oyster are also widely used in culinary preparations worldwide. Not only do turkey tail mushrooms taste great, but they also add a nice texture and mouthfeel to your food. More importantly, they also offer critical health benefits.
Here, we discuss the turkey tail mushroom, its various advantages, ways of including it in your diet, and its potential side effects. Keep reading.
In This Article
What Is A Turkey Tail Mushroom?
Turkey tail is a medicinal mushroom that is otherwise known as Tramates versicolor or Coriolus versicolor or Polyporous versicolor. It is generally found growing on tree trunks. It has a disk-like appearance and a color similar to that of a turkey’s tail.
Turkey tail mushrooms are widely used in traditional medicine to treat several diseases and infections. It is only recently that researchers have started investigating some of its more potent health benefits (1).
Find out more about the health benefits of turkey tail mushrooms in the upcoming section.
Potential Health Benefits Of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
1. Are Rich In Antioxidants
Turkey tail mushrooms are rich in antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids that help reduce inflammation and improve your immune system (2). They also contain quercetin, an antioxidant known to improve mental health, reduce the risk of infections, and improve physical performance (3). Studies suggest that consuming antioxidant-rich foods may help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease (4).
2. Help Boost Immunity
Krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptides (PSP) are the immunity boosters found in these mushrooms. PSPs help activate immunity-boosting cells and PSK is known to possess immunomodulatoryi XA group of drugs that can modulate the immune system's response by increasing or decreasing the production of antibodies. properties (5).
Studies suggest that PSPs might promote the growth of monocytes (a type of white blood cells). Monocytes help fight harmful infections and improve immunity (6).
Turkey tail mushrooms may also help improve immune function in people with specific cancers and tumors. A study revealed that the PSK in turkey tail mushrooms may inhibit and suppress the growth of colon cancer cells (7). However, further research is required to prove its effectiveness in this regard.
In another mice study, regular treatment with turkey tail extracts was found to inhibit tumor growth and improve the chances of survival (8). Further studies are needed to test the mushroom’s effectiveness on humans.
3. May Improve The Efficacy Of Certain Cancer Treatments
The PSK and PSP in turkey tail mushrooms, when supplemented with traditional cancer treatments, may help improve their efficacy (9), (10), (11).
In a study, patients with breast, colorectal, or gastric cancers experienced a 9% reduction in 5-year mortality when treated with turkey tail mushroom extracts combined with traditional treatment. Mortality reduction was higher in those also treated with turkey tail mushroom extracts than those treated with stand-alone chemotherapy (9).
In another study on gastric cancer patients, those treated with chemotherapy along with PSKs lived longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone (12).
Orally administered turkey tail mushroom extracts might help improve immune response among women with breast cancer. In a study, women who were given 6 to 9 grams of turkey tail extracts along with radiation therapy showed an increase in lymphocytei XA type of white blood cell which helps the body’s immune system fight against foreign viruses, bacteria, and even cancer cells. production (11).
4. May Improve Gut Health
Eating dried or fermented turkey tail mushrooms might improve your digestive health and promote the growth of good bacteria (1). Studies suggest that regularly consuming PSP extracts from turkey tail mushrooms may help modulate the composition of the human intestinal microbiome (13).
Turkey tail mushroom extracts might also modify your gut’s microbiome to promote prebiotics. This, in turn, may help reduce the risk of staph infection and gastroenteritisi XA condition in which there is inflammation in the lining of the stomach and intestine which causes diarrhea and vomiting. . It might also help decrease your gut pH levels and increase the concentration of organic acids that improve gut health (14).
5. May Help Combat Human Papillomavirus
Turkey mushroom extracts may help combat STDs like HPV. In a study, applying a gel containing turkey mushroom extracts was found to heal vaginal lesionsi XAn abnormal skin change on tissues inside or outside the body, which may or may not be cancerous. caused by HPV (15).
Another study suggests that combining turkey mushroom extracts with extracts of reishi mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) might be effective in treating HPV (16). However, more research is warranted in this regard.
6. May Improve Athletic Performance
Mice fed with turkey tail mushroom extracts exhibited better physical performance in comparison to mice not fed with the extract. In addition, mice fed with the extract had lower blood sugar levels post-exercise (17). However, further research is required to determine these effects in humans.
It is only recently that the health benefits of turkey tail mushrooms are being studied. With time, further medical and health benefits of these mushrooms will be discovered. Let us now understand how you can add these mushrooms to your diet.
How To Add Turkey Tail Mushrooms To Your Diet
Turkey tail mushrooms can be added to your diet in various ways. One popular way of consuming it is by making tea. You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 teaspoon of dehydrated turkey mushroom
- 5 cups of water
- Sugar or honey for flavoring
- Boil 5 cups of water along with the dehydrated mushrooms. Continue boiling until it is reduced to half.
- Pour this liquid into a cup using a strainer.
- Add sugar or honey and enjoy your tea.
If dehydrated mushrooms are not available, you can use turkey tail mushroom powder instead. You can procure it from an online retailer or specialized organic stores.
You can also add this powder to your smoothies and milkshakes.
Turkey tail mushrooms are mostly medicinal and very little is known about their culinary use. But do they also pose any side effects? Let us understand more in the next section.
Possible Side Effects Of Eating Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Turkey tail mushrooms are generally considered safe to consume. However, avoid them if you are generally allergic to mushrooms. Some of the other side effects include nauseai XAn uncomfortable feeling in the stomach which causes an urge to vomit but does not lead to vomiting. , heartburn, and diarrhea. Some people may also notice pigmentation of their fingernails (18). If you have any pre-existing medical condition, it is advisable to consult your doctor before adding turkey tail mushrooms to your diet.
Turkey tail mushrooms are edible fungi with several medicinal properties. The presence of rich antioxidant compounds in Turkey tail mushrooms benefits your health in a number of ways. The intake of these mushrooms may boost immune health, improve the efficacy of cancer treatments, enhance gut health, treat HPV, and increase your athletic performance. There are many ways to include them in your diet. However, avoid eating them if you are allergic to mushrooms. They may also cause nauseai XAn uncomfortable feeling in the stomach which causes an urge to vomit but does not lead to vomiting. , diarrhea, and heartburn. Add them to your diet to reap their benefits but consult a doctor beforehand in case you have any pre-existing health conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Turkey tail mushroom help with weight loss?
It may help. Turkey tail mushrooms contain probiotics that may promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. It helps treat the leaky gut syndrome, which may also be helpful with weight loss. However, research is limited in this regard.
How long do the Turkey tail mushrooms take to work?
It may take six to eight hours to experience their effects and benefits.
Do Turkey tail mushrooms give you energy?
Yes. Turkey tail mushrooms can help improve energy levels by reprogramming energy metabolism (19).
Can you take Lion’s mane and Turkey tail mushrooms together?
Yes. Lion’s mane and Turkey tail mushrooms can be taken together.
- Turkey tail mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and help reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
- Consuming them has several benefits like boosting immunity, improving your gut health, and athletic performance.
- You may experience nauseai XAn uncomfortable feeling in the stomach which causes an urge to vomit but does not lead to vomiting. , heartburn, and diarrhea if you are allergic to mushrooms.
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- The Mycelium Of The Trametes Versicolor (Turkey Tail) Mushroom And Its Fermented Substrate Each Show Potent And Complementary Immune Activating Properties In Vitro
- Flavonoids Inflammation and Immune System
- Quercetin Inflammation and Immunity
- Natural Antioxidants And Its Benefits
- Medicinal Mushrooms As An Attractive New Source Of Natural Compounds For Future Cancer Therapy
- Psp Activates Monocytes In Resting Human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells: Immunomodulatory Implications For Cancer Treatment
- Polysaccharide K Suppresses Angiogenesis In Colon Cancer Cells
- Single Agent Polysaccharopeptide Delays Metastases and Improves Survival in Naturally Occurring Hemangiosarcoma
- Efficacy of Yun Zhi (Coriolus versicolor) on survival in cancer patients: systematic review and meta-analysis
- Efficacy of adjuvant immunochemotherapy with polysaccharide K for patients with curative resections of gastric cancer
- Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Trametes versicolor in Women with Breast Cancer
- Efficacy Of Adjuvant Immunochemotherapy With Polysaccharide K For Patients With Curative Resections Of Gastric Cancer
- Effects Of Polysaccharopeptide From Trametes Versicolor And Amoxicillin On The Gut Microbiome Of Healthy Volunteers: A Randomized Clinical Trial
- Trametes Versicolor Extract Modifies Human Fecal Microbiota Composition In Vitro
- Efficacy of a Coriolus versicolor-Based Vaginal Gel in Women With Human Papillomavirus-Dependent Cervical Lesions: The PALOMA Study
- Control Of Oral Human Papillomavirus (HPV) By Medicinal Mushrooms Trametes Versicolor And Ganoderma Lucidum: A Preliminary Clinical Trial
- Effect of Coriolus versicolor Mycelia Extract on Exercise Performance and Physical Fatigue in Mice
- A Turkey Tails Polysaccharide as an Immunochemotherapy Agent in Cancer
- Extract from the Coriolus versicolor Fungus as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent with Cytotoxic Properties against Endothelial Cells and Breast Cancer Cells