Benefits of Turkey Tail

There are many fantastic functional mushrooms offering a myriad of potential wellness benefits. One popular fungus revered for its medicinal properties is turkey tail. Also referred to by its scientific names Trametes Versicolor and Coriolus Versicolor, turkey tail mushrooms have brilliant streaks of brown and red hues resembling — you guessed it, the tail of a wild turkey.

Used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years, turkey tail is treasured for its wide range of health benefits. These mushrooms, most often found growing on dead hardwood trees, are rich in immune system-improving compounds. People also love turkey tail for its reputation as a longevity booster and its effectiveness in aiding gut health.

Want to learn more about how turkey tail can enhance your overall health? Read on for our complete breakdown!

 

Turkey Tail — Chock Full of Antioxidants

Trametes Versicolor is packed with several different antioxidants including flavonoids and phenols. In fact, one 2017 analysis found turkey tail mushrooms contain over three dozen phenolic compounds. These molecules are capable of everything from eliminating free radicals (useful in anti-aging efforts) to reducing inflammation. They also release immunoprotective proteins, which can help ensure your body is able to fight off illness when you start to feel under the weather.

Turkey tail also contains compounds called polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK). These powerful constituents are immune-system enhancers, working to increase the type of white blood cells that battle infections while simultaneously activating cells to protect against harmful bacteria. PSK and PSP have shown an ability to limit the growth of cancer cells, and PSK is even approved in Japan as an adjunct anticancer treatment.

 

Turkey Tail and Gut Health

In addition to its impressive ability to boost immune function, turkey tail is also lauded for its positive impacts on gut health. Turkey tail contains prebiotics, which helps sustain healthy gut bacteria and keep your digestive system functioning optimally. One 2014 study found that the PSP extracted from turkey tail mushrooms reduced the development of potentially dangerous E. coli bacteria while at the same time boosting the microbiome within the gut, an important factor in overall digestive performance.

Turkey tail mushrooms may also help fight obesity. In 2019, Chinese researchers discovered that beta-glucans found in the mushroom helped reduce obesity in animals by strengthening gut bacteria responsible for metabolic performance. For those struggling with diabetes, a 2020 study revealed the mushroom appeared to reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance in laboratory mice, a promising result that could impact the ways in which doctors treat diabetes in the future. 

 

Turkey Tail: Pretty AND Potent

Turkey tail isn’t just adored around the world for its visually stunning appearance — it’s also revered for its health potential. Long consumed as a staple in Eastern medicine, this mushroom is starting to gain popularity in the West thanks to its multitude of benefits. Whether you’re looking to increase immune function or improve digestive health, turkey tail can seemingly do it all.

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Benefits of Reishi

Functional mushrooms have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years but have experienced a rise in popularity in the West over the last several years. One fungus garnering a lot of attention is reishi. Also known by its scientific name Ganoderma lucidum, reishi earned the nickname “the mushroom of immortality” thanks to its bevy of health benefits. Typically found on the base of deciduous trees, these mushrooms have a distinctive woodsy color and a glossy exterior.

From boosting immune system function to fighting depression, this adaptogen is a superfood in every sense of the word thanks to its rich mix of antioxidants. Read on to discover more about the multitude of benefits reishi has to offer.

 

Reishi and Immunity

One of the reishi mushroom’s most compelling attributes is its ability to improve immune system performance. One 2010 study found that reishi may have a positive effect on the way white blood cells perform in the body, enhancing their capacity to fight infections. Another study found that Ganoderma lucidum improved lymphocyte (another type of white blood cell) function in athletes exposed to stress. The mushroom is widely used in Asian cultures as an adjunct treatment for people battling cancer thanks to its immune-boosting capabilities as well as its potential as an anti-tumor tool.

 

Reishi and the Brain

Ganoderma lucidum is often touted for its positive effects for those suffering from fatigue and/or depression. In one trial involving 48 breast cancer survivors, the mushroom was found to be effective at reducing fatigue and anxiety while also improving volunteers’ overall quality of life. Another study focused on patients with neurasthenia, a nervous system condition, found that reishi helped ease anxiety and increased participants' sense of wellbeing.

Reishi has also been shown to act as a neuroprotectant; helping to keep the mind functioning at peak performance. The compounds found in this fungus may protect against Alzheimer’s disease by reducing the risk of oxidative stress in the brain. 

Scientists have also found that reishi reduced seizure activity in mice, a promising result that may impact future treatment.

 

Reishi and the Heart

In addition to their immune and mood-boosting powers, reishi mushrooms have demonstrated potential in keeping your heart healthy. For example, one study suggested the fungus may increase the amount of “good” cholesterol in the body while simultaneously reducing “bad” triglycerides. Researchers in Japan also concluded that reishi could help keep high blood pressure in check.

 

The Mushroom of Immortality — A Gift From Mother Earth

Reishi is quickly becoming one of the most popular functional mushrooms on the market — and for good reason. Between its abilities as an immune system booster, a mood enhancer, and its positive impacts on the heart and brain, it’s no wonder the “mushroom of immortality” is in high demand. As more research is conducted on this functional mushroom, it is all but certain that even more benefits will soon be unearthed.

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Benefits of Cordyceps

Cordyceps have been used for their medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Evidence of this use can be found in ancient eastern writings and longstanding holistic health practices. Traditional healers describe cordyceps as a tonic for all illnesses. Modernized cultivation techniques coupled with high consumer demand for cordyceps have made this functional mushroom a premium dietary supplement all around the world. It remains popular because of its wide array of health benefits that have been further legitimized by modern scientific research. 

Cordyceps are a type of parasitic fungi that grow on the larvae of insects and attack the host so that the fungi may flourish. The aspects of the mushroom that allow it to grow on its hosts have been harnessed by humans for the treatment of numerous ailments and health deficiencies. 

 

What Are the Benefits of Cordyceps?

The potential and proven health benefits of cordyceps are vast and impressive. Throughout history, cordyceps has been used to treat cancer, decrease fatigue, and support optimal sexual and athletic performance. 

When a person consumes cordyceps, the fungi deliver energy to muscles to increase physical endurance and strength. Studies have shown that consuming the fungi allows athletes to more efficiently metabolize food into energy.  Not only does it aid the metabolic process, but cordyceps studies have also shown to produce improvements in oxygen intake and to decrease the build-up of lactic acid during physical activity. The components of cordyceps that improve endurance are also thought to improve libido, which is a traditional medical use for fungi.

Building upon ancient practices, modern research have confirmed that antioxidants in cordyceps have the power to produce anti-aging effects in the elderly. A 2011 study using cordyceps in mice found that the fungi reversed age-related changes in the way our DNA is converted into functional products, such as protein. The study found that the mice given cordyceps lived significantly longer than the mice to whom the fungi were not administered. Cordyceps further helps fight cell damage by neutralizing free radicals that contribute to disease and aging. 

Exciting contemporary research on cordyceps has also revealed its potential to treat lung, colon, skin, and liver cancers. Not only was the fungi found to help eliminate tumors, but it also reduced common complications with some cancer treatments. 

For people with diabetes and heart health concerns, cordyceps can also be beneficial. Cordyceps has been shown to control blood sugar levels and protect against kidney disease, a common complication experienced by people with diabetes. And in eastern countries, cordyceps is already approved as a treatment for arrhythmia, a condition causing the heart to beat irregularly. Elements of the fungi demonstrate beneficial effects on cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and other heart-protecting functions. These aspects of cordyceps may also have the potential to help with weight loss. 

 

Cordyceps - A Unique Fungi For Your Health

There are a plethora of reasons to consider including cordyceps supplements into one’s health care routine. Whether a person is looking to alleviate symptoms of chronic health conditions, protect themselves against the effects of aging, increase stamina, improve vitality, or improve mental wellbeing, cordyceps has the potential to help. 

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