Turkey Tail- The Longevity Mushroom

Turkey Tail- The Longevity Mushroom

Don't you love the fun names of these mushrooms? It's resemblance to the tail of a turkey give's this mushrooms its name with its colorful waves and lines and its round shape, but it IS a mushroom and it IS vegan!

The Turkey tail mushroom has been a staple in Chinese medicine since approximately 200 BC. Because of its toughness, it has been brewed as a tea for centuries as it is difficult to eat. In various Asian cultures, Turkey Tail is a symbol for health, longevity, spiritual attunement and infinity. It has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for centuries to help fight infection and support the immune system, lungs, stomach, spleen and liver. 

Over the last 60 years new discoveries have been made about this ancient mushroom including the immune response activated by compounds in turkey tail which lead to the isolation of a protein-bound polysaccharide, PSK. Today, PSK is one of the best known examples of a fungal polysaccharide-protein complex commercially used for immunomodulation. In Japan, PSK is an approved mushroom product used to treat cancer along with standard treatment.

There are many studies that have been done or are being done around PSK and utilizing medicinal mushrooms as immune support during cancer treatment. Here is one example, follow the link for many more.

"A review that combined results from 3 studies in 1,094 patients with colorectal cancer found that patients who received PSK were less likely to have recurrent cancer and lived longer than those who did not."

Some of the other intriguing findings are around immune effects caused by the stimulation of innate immune cells; mostly monocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells. It is hypothesized that the high beta-glucans content in the mushrooms are the main contributors. 

Turkey Tail mushrooms are also high in antioxidants which help reduce oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the body. 

Cancer.gov article

more studies 

Healthline Article





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