Turkey Tail Mushroom
- Hi, and welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. I'm Sage, and today, we're gonna be talking about a mushroom that has some incredible powers.
This is turkey tail mushroom. It goes by several other names, but before we get into those and everything that this mushroom does, if you have been enjoying the kind of videos we put out, if you're excited about mushrooms and adaptogens, do me a favor, follow us and give us a like down below. It really does help for more people to find the kind of information are putting out there, and also to support our little family business, so I'd really appreciate it.
Now, turkey tail mushroom is known by several other names as well. Trametes versicolor, Coriolus versicolor, Polyporus versicolor, but it's all the same mushroom. And now it got this name, turkey tail, because of the shape and the color, which are somewhat similar to that of the tail of a wild turkey.
Now this mushroom can grow almost anywhere in the world where you have dead trees laying on the ground. And it's been used traditionally in Asia, and other regions as well for thousands of years, most commonly brewed into a tea. In Japan, it's known as, now look, my Japanese pronunciation is non-existent, but let me give it a shot, カワラタケ. And this translates, well two ways to translate it, it can either be cloud mushroom, which I think is a really beautiful name, and roof tile fungus, which is not quite so romantic, but we'll go with it.
Now, traditionally in China, it's been used to treat pulmonary diseases, and also for it's immunomodulatory effects. And in Japan, you see it used in modern days as an adjuvant treatment for cancer. And in fact, not just in Japan, but also in the West, it is the most commonly prescribed natural therapy by doctors to patients who have breast cancer.
Now in turkey tail, you have quite a few different compounds going on, but the most famous constituent is known as PSK, and this is a glycoprotein mixture comprised of a variety of different beta-glucans. 1-4 beta-glucans, 1-3 beta-glucans. and 1-6 beta-glucans with linked side chains. You don't even know what any of that means, that's just for the advanced students in the audience. But what you do wanna know is that these are compounds that essentially act as an operating system upgrade for the immune system. They are coming in and teaching the immune system how to do its job better, and more intelligently, and more effectively.
And we talk about the immune system, but there's another aspect of the immune system which is gut health, right? The health of a gut has a huge impact on the health of our immune system, and turkey tail contains prebiotics, which are gonna help nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut. In fact, there is an eight week study, now it was a small study, there was only 24 healthy people in it, but it's a good first look at the powers of this mushroom. And they found that if they took 3.6 grams a day, which is a moderate dose of PSP, which is a different polysaccharide mixture extracted from turkey tail, that this led to beneficial changes in gut bacteria. And it was actually able to suppress the growth of certain bad bacteria, like E. coli and Shigella bacteria. So it's great as a gut health supporter as well. And gut health is one of those things where when you get things right in your gut, it has domino effects in a positive way on so many areas of your health.
Now it's not just good for immunity and gut health, but also it could be good, if what we see in animal studies plays out in human studies, it could also end up being really good for athletic performance. So there was a mouse study that showed that the mice with turkey tail had improved exercise performance and reduced fatigue, and they also experienced lower blood sugar levels at rest and post exercise. So in the modern world, we don't exercise enough, so if we are gonna exercise, wanna the most of it for sure. And well, we don't exercise enough, big generalization, but you know what I mean? And then blood sugar, blood sugar balance is a huge problem for so many people these days. Now exercise is good for healthy blood sugar balance, but why not magnify that a little bit more with the help of something like turkey tail mushroom. And there was a separate study in rats with type two diabetes, and they showed that turkey tail extract was able to significantly reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance. So again, you're seeing really positive effects. So it'd be great to see these played out in human studies, of course, but to me, with something as benign as turkey tail mushroom, I'm ready to take action in my personal life, simply based on this kind of animal studies combined with traditional use. And there's of course some human studies done on it, but like let's say I wanted to really improve blood sugar balance, turkey tail would be a really important thing to think about.
Now you hear a lot about turkey tail mushroom for cancer applications, especially with breast cancers, where it's become so famous for. Now, I have to be really careful here, because we do obviously sell a turkey tail mushroom extract product, and I don't want to come off as that I'm making any huge claims saying that our product will do anything for cancer, we can't say anything like that. This is just a mushroom. You take it 'cause it's delicious. You take it maybe 'cause you wanna go out and have a great time exercising. You take it 'cause you wanna feel good. I am not saying that anything that we sell is gonna have any effect on any disease or health condition, especially cancer, I am just talking about the research that's out there and mushrooms that tastes great. And I'm not saying that there's any connection between the two, and our products are not guaranteed to do anything or promise to do anything for any kind of health condition. Now, back to the research, completely separate from anything related to our products. Researchers at the University of Minnesota and at Bastyr University did a study in women with breast cancer. It ranged from stage one to stage three breast cancer, and they were women who had completed radiation and chemotherapy.
And the results showed that the immune function was enhanced in women who were taking daily doses of turkey tail mushroom in a capsule form. Of course, capsule form, but it doesn't matter what form you take it in, it's just how it was done in the study. But whether you're doing a powder or a capsule, maybe you could do a tincture, but I would suggest either powder or capsule because you can get more in more easily without dealing with the alcohol. And so they found that the immune response, in terms of the improved immune response, was dose dependent. So the more turkey tail mushroom that was taken, the better the results. And nobody in the study was suffering any kind of adverse effects or any kind of side effects.
And so this was back in November, 2010, it was very well published, presented at conferences and it's just really brought turkey tail to the forefront of the world. And there have been follow up studies. There was another study that looked at, you know, what supplements doctors are most commonly recommending to people to use in conjunction with chemotherapy, guess which one is the most commonly recommended? Turkey tail mushroom. So this is some very powerful stuff here.
So in their report, the researchers said that the results of the turkey tail supplementation were dose dependent, meaning those who took higher doses of turkey tail were experiencing more benefits, which is great to see. And nobody had any adverse side effects, which is even better. And so these were reported in 2010, and this really brought turkey tail to the forefront of global awareness in the natural health, and even in the more mainstream medical world. And there was another study that looked at, you know, it wasn't a study on people necessarily, but it was an observational thing, where they were looking at which supplements are most commonly being recommended by doctors for people to take in conjunction with chemotherapy. Guess what topped the list? Turkey tail mushroom, no surprise, right? And so this is the most common prescribed in conjunction with chemotherapy, especially when it comes to breast cancer, and is described by the researchers as being very chemotherapy compatible. So, this is an incredible mushroom that everyone should know about. It's a powerful tool for everybody, no matter which stage of health you're in.
Now, I see everybody, I always have to put the caveats in there, right? Like if you have a mushroom allergy, for example, or if you have maybe a very specific kind of autoimmune condition that would make this not such a good move, okay, before doing anything new, always consult with a medical practitioner. I'm just here to share information with you because I know you guys get just as excited about these cool gifts of nature as I do. So if you tried turkey tail, let me know in the comments below what your experience has been. I'm curious to hear, have you ever found turkey tail in the wild? Have you seen it growing in your area? Let me know, I wanna hear about it. So ,thanks guys again for joining me today, I hope you all have a beautiful day, and look forward to seeing you again soon.