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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