Everything You Need to Know About the Turkey Tail Mushroom

Everything You Need to Know About the Turkey Tail Mushroom

The turkey tail mushroom, with a shape and color pattern that resembles the tail of a wild turkey, is a symbol of longevity, health, infinity, and spiritual attainment in many Asian cultures.

For centuries it has been used in Chinese medicine as an immuno-modulator that aids the immune system in warding off infection.

With its ability to aid in supporting immune function and gut health, this very unique and intriguing mushroom, when incorporated into your regular routine, may just exhibit life-changing benefits for you and your family. 

A little bit about the turkey tail mushroom

In the wild, the Trametes Versicolor/Coriolus Versicolor, more simply known as the turkey tail mushroom – a small and tough fungus – grows on dead hardwood trees, like beech or oak (often on their rotting stumps and branches) all throughout the world.

Despite its interesting moniker, the turkey tail is 100% vegan and does not contain any animal parts at all.

Its unique layers of stripes, tinted brown, tan, gray, and white, creates the appearance much alike a turkey tail, hence the name. Because of its distinct, natural beauty that is reminscent of a cloud swirling in the sky, the Japanese have taken to calling it “cloud mushroom”.

The turkey tail is very common and widespread throughout Britain and Ireland, as well as across Europe, North America, and Asia. It usually grows all year round, but it is at its best in the autumn. 

Health benefits of turkey tail mushroom

For centuries Asian cultures have used the turkey tail mushroom for various medicinal reasons. Some of the potential health benefits that may be experienced by adding turkey tail mushroom to your diet include:

Improved Gut Health

The polysaccharopeptide in turkey tail mushrooms is believed to contribute to improved gut health. These compounds have been shown to increase the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, leading to a decrease in other problematic bacteria such as e. coli.

With two types of polysaccharopeptide: krestin and polysaccharide peptide, both contribute to an improved immune system function by activating immune cells and suppressing inflammation.

This mushroom also features a wide array of naturally occurring compounds that help improve stamina and gut health. It’s abundant in prebiotics, which are extremely helpful in the production of beneficial bacteria in the gut, as well as in helping the restoration of good flora balance in the gastrointestinal tract. 

Immune-Boosting Compounds

Packed with antioxidants, powerful flavonoids, and over 35 phenols, the turkey tail mushroom could help to promote stronger immune system health by helping prevent oxidative stress and cell damage in the body.

Turkey tail is quite revered for its potent natural polysaccharides (powerful immune-boosting properties) that help support a healthy and robust immune response; it also aids in managing the inflammatory response at the cellular level. Beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber, is also an active compound in this superfood, one that may lower the risk for heart disease by preventing cholesterol absorption.

Furthermore, the antioxidants in turkey tail mushrooms have certain anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce chronic inflammation and aid in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Studies suggest that they may also be useful in HPV treatments.  

Ways to Incorporate Turkey Tail Mushrooms into Your Routine

The turkey tail mushroom will truly shine in benefits when taken on a regular basis (preferably daily), whether in food, as a tea, or in supplements. Because of its unique taste – a mild, earthy, somewhat sweet flavor – and its slightly leathery texture, this is one mushroom that’s usually consumed in powdered form, despite being a totally edible mushroom.

In several cultures, it makes quite a few appearances in soups or teas meant for supporting and regulating the immune system, as well as improving one overall well-being.

Fortunately, it is a very easy ingredient to mix into a main dish, snack, or beverage of your choice. In the winter, you can stir it into broth, soup, or hot tea, whereas in summer, you can always blend it in with a smoothie or even whisk it into a salad dressing. Most turkey tail extracts can be found available as a single-species supplement or in multi-mushroom blends.

Besides the conventional methods, there are tons of other ways that you can go about integrating turkey tail mushroom in your diet.  You can consume it in the form of tinctures and capsules as part of your daily supplement routine.

One of our favourite ways to consume turkey tail mushroom is as a tea. It’s super easy to add ½ teaspoon to your favourite tea variety, or enjoy it in the tradition Chinese way, by mixing ½ teaspoon with a cup of hot water. The flavour is reminiscent of an earthy coffee flavour.

If you happen to have a turkey tail mushroom on hand, you can make into a tea, the turkey tail mushroom must be chopped into smaller pieces, then placed into a large pot containing seven cups of purified water. Simmer at low heat for about an hour, then pour the mixture into a strainer. For a burst of flavour, add some turmeric, honey, mix, and then put in a few drop of lemon essential oil. Mix again and enjoy!

As the flavour is quite gentle and smooth, you can add it to almost anything, whether it’s into a hot casserole or a delicious cake, you don’t have to stress too much about how you can get your fix of turkey tail mushroom.

Buy your turkey tail mushroom extract at Superfoods Australia

If you are thinking about giving turkey tail mushroom a go, you are in the right place. We offer turkey tail mushroom extract, along with various other super mushroom extracts, elixirs and many other superfoods varieties.

We go to great efforts to ethically and sustainably source our collection of superfoods, and we’re always on the lookout for new superfoods to try. So, if you’re looking for a fix of a superfood, stop by Superfoods Australia!