What are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
Turkey Tail Mushrooms (Trametes versicolor)
Turkey Tails mushrooms, or Trametes Versicolor is one of my favorite medicinal mushrooms to forage for in beautiful British Columbia.
Trametes versicolor is a common fungus found world wide. Known as Turkey Tail Mushrooms for the colourful stripes on their caps. They are the most common mushrooms in North American woods. Turkey Tails can be found sprouting in dense, overlapping clusters or rosettes from dead hardwood logs, stumps, and fallen branches on the forest floor during warm wet seasons of Spring and Fall.
History of Turkey Tail Mushrooms:
The use of Trametes versicolor has been dated back to the 15th century during the Ming Dynasty in China as an immune booster for health and longevity. In Japan it is known as kawaritake or “cloud mushrooms” due to an image of swirling clouds on the mushroom caps. The cloud-like image symbolizes “longevity and health, spiritual attunement and infinity”.
Uses of Turkey Tail Mushrooms:
The health benefits of Trametes versicolor are one of the best researched medicinal mushrooms today. Controlled clinical
trials demonstrate increased long-term survivability in patients with gastrointestinal cancers, particularly colorectal and stomach cancer, but also breast and lung cancers. Commercially produced extracts are often prescribed along with chemotherapy for treating cancer in Japan and are paid for by national health care. Current clinical use of Turkey Tail Extracts in North America, Europe, and Asia are being done on treatment for their immuno restorative effects in patients with chronic conditions such as various cancers and viral syndromes such as hepatitis C.
Trametes versicolor extracts have demonstrated a wide variety of immunological benefits to white blood cell production and can inhibit carcinogenesis and tumor cell growth by activating cancer cell apoptosis.
Hobbs C. Medicinal Value of Turkey Tail Fungus Trametes versicolor. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, Vol. 7 (2005) pg.346-347.
How to Use:
1. Chop the turkey tail mushroom into small pieces and add to a large pot of water on the stove.
2. Bring the water to a boil, then simmer for an hour.
3. Strain the mixture through a colander.