12 Surprising Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms by Vanya Sharma last updated - March 05, 2019
Among 720 species of mushrooms, Turkey tail mushrooms are known for their therapeutic purposes. Mushrooms are a favorite among many people for their taste. But it is often unknown to common people that mushrooms have great medicinal values as well. In fact, there are many kinds of mushrooms which have been used in Asia for a very long time for medicinal purposes. Mushrooms are usually harvested in areas of their natural growth. However, throughout the years it has been possible for mankind to cultivate them and use them for their own purposes for quite a number of years now.
Several kinds of research and experiments have been going on for a number of years now around the globe regarding the benefits and uses of turkey tail mushrooms. It has been an active ingredient of Chinese medicinal tea.
Turkey tail mushrooms are known for their numerous health benefits. These mushrooms are commonly found in the woodlands of Europe and China. They are usually found to grow in large colonies. Turkey tail mushrooms are generally multi-colored and have concentric bands of contrasting shades. They appear in shades of black, brown, gray, red, white or blue. The body is thin and velvety with a fruiting nature. Because of their capability to form wavy rosettes, they have the name of Turkey Tails.
Turkey tail mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals and thus improve the health and add greatly to the nutritional content of the diet. They are great sources of potassium as well as riboflavin. The content of niacin in this type of mushroom is also very high. Turkey tail mushrooms also contain pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and even copper.
The turkey tail mushrooms are devoid of fat and caffeine. The content of sodium in this mushroom is also reasonably low. This kind of mushroom is also free from cholesterol and gluten and are low in calories. Turkey tail mushrooms contain 18 types of amino acids, ergosterol and Beta Glucans of 1/3 and 1/6. Ergosterol gets converted to vitamin D on exposure to the sun.
There are many health benefits of turkey tail mushrooms. These include the prevention of cold, providing support during chemotherapy, managing diabetes, reducing inflammation, lowering cholesterol, and more. Let us discuss them in detail below.
Because of the strong anti-viral and anti-microbial properties of Turkey tail mushrooms, they can fight away various infections caused by these microbes, including common cold and flu. They greatly improve the immunity of the system and thus make them stronger to fight against disease-causing germs. It is a good idea to include a turkey tail in the diet when the season of flu draws nearer. The turkey tail mushroom modulates the immune system to act in a stronger way of fighting infections and germs.
Turkey tail mushrooms, also known as yunzhi in Chinese have been used as a magic drug for the treatment of cancer since ages. However, the evidence is now coming to light as researchers are taking an active interest in the cancer-preventive properties of this mushroom.
A collaborative research conducted by Chinese, Italian and North African universities suggests that Turkey tail mushrooms are able to promote antitumor activity on cancer cells.
It comes as a surprise to find that these fungi also help in saving dogs from hemangiosarcoma, which is a highly invasive variety of cancer occurring mostly in dogs but also found in horse and cats sometimes. Although human studies are yet to be done, doctors see the potential of these mushrooms in improving the mortality of cancer patients.
The role of turkey tail mushroom in providing support to cancer patients has been under research for a long time now by the most renowned universities in the world. Several patients who are now undertaking chemotherapy have been adding turkey tail mushroom to their diet. It is known that the immune system of the body gets suppressed under chemotherapy. Turkey tail mushrooms build up the immune system and thus help in making up for the weakness caused by chemotherapy. The stronger immune system also helps in fighting strongly against the deadly cancer cells, thereby turkey tail mushroom is a potent cancer-fighting food.
A 2012 study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong revealed that Turkey tail mushrooms are also linked to having a survival benefit on patients with breast, gastric and colorectal cancer.
Turkey tail mushroom helps in reducing diabetes by lowering the level of glucose in the body.
Turkey tail mushrooms are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The inclusion of turkey tail mushrooms in the diet help in reduction of inflammations both internal and external.
Being rich in antioxidants, it helps in the protection of the body from the harmful UV radiations of the sun. They also block the free radicals that result in aging. Thus, it slows down the process of aging. Being rich in Vitamin E, it also acts towards making the skin better and cleansing it naturally.
High cholesterol leads to various kind of heart diseases. Turkey tail mushrooms help in reducing the levels of cholesterol by adding it in the daily diet.
The mycelium is that part of the mushroom which enables a person to have a smooth process of digestion. The microbiome gets assisted by the prebiotic content of the turkey tail mushrooms. This implies that the growth of the good and beneficial bacteria in the body is enhanced which includes acidophilus as well as Bifidobacterium. It also helps in the treatment of the leaky gut syndrome. The process might also help in losing weight.
Hypertension or increase in blood pressure occurs due to the rise in pressure in the arteries carrying blood. Turkey tail mushrooms help in reducing the pressure, and thus hypertension.
Another health benefit of turkey tail mushrooms is that they are good for bone health. Not just this, but studies have shown that they can also help in regenerating bone marrow.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an infection which is known to be treated by turkey tail mushrooms within a reasonably short time of consumption, approximately two months.
Turkey tail mushrooms are well known for their medicinal purposes because of which they are a sought-after product among the leading pharmaceutical companies. Researches are going on throughout the world to dig out more treasures this mushroom has to offer.
I collect these Turkey Tail mushrooms from all over my property in North Carolina and dehydrate them in my dehydrator. Then once they are dried, I use one or two mushrooms for one cup of hot tea. These don’t even require a tea bag. I simply drop the mushroom in the boiling water. The tea taste delightful; with a crisp flavor. I initially expected an earthy flavor but was pleasantly surprised with the fresh crisp flavor. No need to season with sweetener. The tea is absolutely delicious on its own.