Suggested Use: Take 1/2 tsp 1-2x daily for best results.
Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)
Found in woodlands throughout the world, Turkey Tail is one of the most common medicinal mushrooms. It has a long history of traditional use. With a wide spectrum of beneficial properties, Turkey Tail shows much promise in supporting the immune system with its protein-bound and unique polysaccharides. To quote Stamets, “Studies in the past 20 years have unveiled that the enzymes secreted by it’s mycelium are some of the most powerful toxin-destroying agents yet identified from a natural source. This species offers unique tools for healing both people and the planet from the ravages of pollution. Interestingly turkey tail has been studied for mycoremediation, in cleaning water leaching from heavy metal contaminated soil. (specifically mercury) (1) Turkey Tail mushrooms also contain an array of antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids. Phenol and flavonoid antioxidants promote immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds.
Polysaccharopeptides are protein-bound polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that are found in the turkey tail mushroom. Two types of polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tails are polysaccharide-K (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP). Both PSK and PSP possess powerful immune-boosting properties. They promote immune response by both activating and inhibiting specific types of immune cells and by suppressing inflammation. A 2015 study suggests turkey tail can be protective against DNA damage. (3) Studies done by Stamets also showed activity against cancer, without harming healthy cells.
A polysaccharopeptide from turkey tail was identified over 20 years ago that inhibits HIV type 1 infection (2)
Turkey Tail has a long history in Japan as a folk remedy for cancer. Turkey Tail has the distinction of being the mushroom from which one of the world’s leading anticancer drugs, Krestin, (4) is derived. Although Krestin has not been approved for use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it was the best-selling anticancer drug in Japan for much of the 1980s.
(1) Arica et al (2003) from pg. 101 of Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets
(2) Collins and Ng (1997) from pg.43 of Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets
(3) Aleksandar Knežević et al., “Antigenotoxic Effect of Trametes spp. Extracts against DNA Damage on Human Peripheral White Blood Cells,” The Scientific World Journal (2015): 146378, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517545.