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Trametes versicolor, commonly known as "Turkey Tail", are found growing on dead logs all over the world, making them one of the most common mushrooms found today and the most widely researched of all the medicinal mushrooms. It's named Turkey Tail because its shape and rings of various colors look like the tail feathers of a turkey. Like other medicinal mushrooms, Turkey Tail is a very powerful means of influencing many functions in the body, and of suppressing the growth of cancerous cells and infectious pathogens.
There have been over 400 published studies focusing on modern clinical use and research of Turkey Tail mushrooms. It is the source of the major pharmaceutical drugs PSK (Krestin) and PSP, licensed in China and Japan for its immuno-modulating and anti-cancer properties. Sales for these unique all-natural compounds of Turkey Tail have reached several hundred million dollars a year in Japan and China, making them one of the most widely used mushroom products in both countries by people facing serious immune challenges.
In most cases, Turkey Tail is consumed in extract form or tea. It is not recommended people eat Turkey Tail mushrooms since the body cannot digest the tough, chitinous tissue of the woody mushroom. Either way, unless you break down this chitinous tissue found in all mushrooms with either a hot-water and/or alcohol extraction process, you will not be benefiting from its medicinal properties.
|Polysaccharide-K (PSK or Krestin): best known active component in Turkey Tail mushroom, commonly used as an anticancer agent in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in China.|
|Protein-bound polysaccharides (PSP): potent immunomodulator that stimulates pro-inflammatory cytokines, natural killer cell activity, T-cell proliferation, and activation of the complement system.|
|β-D Glucans: the active constituent responsible for the immune boosting properties of medicinal mushrooms.|
|Monosaccharides: arabinoxylane, fucose, glucose, xylose, rhamnose, glucuronic acid, fructose, galactose and mannose. Tertiary immunomodulators|
|Phenols (containing over 35 different phenolic compounds) and Flavonoids (quercetin and baicalein): compounds showing potent antioxidant activity.|
|Glycoproteins and Proteoglycans: signaling molecules for hydrogen bonding and other electrostatic interactions, improving joint function and pain reduction.|
|Ergosterols: shown to be effective against tumor cells and malignant fungal growth.|
|Main Mineral Elements: potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and copper|
|Vitamins: D, B3|
|> 18 amino acids (Arginine being the highest amino acid detected)|
|Other myco-nutrients: Triterpenes|
Turkey Tail mushrooms have been found to alleviate symptoms in many diseases. Click a condition below to explore research studies with significant results on Turkey Tail mushrooms:
At the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in the University of Texas, a detailed scientific review of Turkey Tail was written to summarize the effects of 163 different studies identified in the literature for PSK and PSP; 40 of them being human trials. Only one of the 40 human trials used polysaccharide P (PSP); the rest used polysaccharide K. All trials of PSK have been in combination or supplemental to chemotherapy and/or radiation.
The review concludes: