Turkey tail mushrooms are admired for their beautiful and unique colors, but did you know that these fungi may significantly benefit your health?
While many mushrooms have therapeutic properties, turkey tail mushrooms are some of the most valuable functional mushrooms. This is because of their ability to balance our bodies and support our overall health.
Let’s go over what these mushrooms are and the seven potential benefits of turkey tail mushrooms.
What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
Turkey tail mushrooms, also known as Trametes versicolor, are a type of fungi that grow all over the world on dead or dying hardwood trees. Their bright colors and intricate patterns make them sought out by those who love nature and spending time outdoors.
These mushrooms are packed with compounds like phenols and flavonoids that provide unique health benefits in a small and convenient package.
Since around 3,000 BCE, functional mushrooms have been revered by health practitioners worldwide and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine and other folk medicines.
Now, let’s look at the potential benefits of turkey tail mushrooms.
Potential Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms
With so many beneficial compounds, turkey tail mushrooms offer a variety of potential benefits that can support our overall health.
1. Reduced Oxidative Damage
When our bodies experience oxidative stress, it means that there is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. This imbalance can cause severe cell damage and a host of health problems.
In a 2017 study, turkey tail mushrooms were found to have over thirty phenolic compounds, many of which are known for reducing inflammation and other harmful effects of oxidative stress.
When our bodies lack the antioxidants they need, we are more susceptible to diseases like diabetes, dementia, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Turkey tail mushrooms can help us by providing the antioxidants our bodies need to stay healthy and balanced.
2. Improved Digestion
Turkey tail mushrooms can also help improve our digestion. In one study, participants who took a turkey tail extract for eight weeks had an uptick in helpful gut bacteria and a decrease in harmful gut bacteria.
Good gut bacteria are essential for keeping our digestion working properly and absorbing the nutrients we need from our food. Harmful gut bacteria, on the other hand, can lead to digestive problems like constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
The prebiotics found in these functional mushrooms also help feed the good bacteria in our gut, keeping our digestive system working correctly.
3. Enhanced Athletic Performance
After we exercise, our bodies need time to recover and repair the muscles we’ve just worked. Fatigue and soreness are common side effects of exercise, but turkey tail mushrooms can help.
In a 2017 study, mice were given turkey tail extract after a physical challenge. The mice given the extract had less fatigue and better performance than the mice who were not given the extract. The mice were also found to have lower levels of blood sugar.
With fatigue being a common barrier to working out, functional mushrooms like turkey tail can help us push through and reach our fitness goals. Moreover, as a natural therapeutic, it can gently provide these potential benefits to our bodies.
While more research on the effects of turkey tail mushrooms on human athletes is needed, this study provides promising evidence that these mushrooms can help improve our athletic performance.
4. Antibacterial Properties
Bacteria are all around us, but most are harmless. However, some harmful bacteria can make us sick.
Turkey tail mushrooms contain bioactive compounds that have been shown to have antibacterial properties. In fact, practitioners have used functional mushrooms for thousands of years to help fight infections.
In one test-tube study, bacteria growth from Staphylococcus aureus and salmonella was impeded when exposed to extracts from these mushrooms.
Although the full effects of turkey tail mushrooms on bacteria are still unknown, the current evidence suggests that these mushrooms can help fight harmful bacteria and can help keep us healthy.
5. Reduced Inflammation
Although inflammation is a necessary response that helps our bodies heal, chronic inflammation can lead to multiple health problems. These include heart disease, arthritis, and autoimmune diseases.
Turkey tail mushrooms contain phenols and flavonoids, which are known for their anti-inflammatory effects.
Typically, inflammation is treated with medications that can have a variety of side effects. However, natural remedies like functional mushrooms provide a more gentle and effective way to reduce inflammation. Plus, with such a broad range of potential benefits, they offer a great addition to any health and wellness routine.
6. Assistance During Cancer Treatment
Functional mushrooms may help improve quality of life and treatment efficacy when used with traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy.
Turkey tail mushrooms, in particular, are being studied for their role in cancer treatment. These mushrooms contain certain properties that have been found to increase the amount of cancer-fighting cells in the body.
In fact, one study even found that cancer patients experienced an almost 10% reduction in their mortality rate compared to those who did not receive treatment with functional mushrooms.
While more research on how humans benefit from turkey tail mushrooms is needed, the current evidence suggests that turkey tail mushrooms can be a helpful addition to cancer treatment.
7. Stress-relieving Properties
As an adaptogen, turkey tail mushrooms may help the body adapt to stress. This means they can help regulate cortisol levels and reduce the adverse effects of stress on the body.
When we experience prolonged periods of chronic stress, it can lead to a variety of health problems. These include anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even heart disease. It can also reduce the functioning of our immune system and make us more susceptible to infections.
Adaptogenic mushrooms like turkey tail can help us manage stress and stabilize certain bodily processes. This, in turn, can help us protect our overall health and well-being.
Taking Turkey Tail Mushrooms
If you’re interested in trying turkey tail mushrooms, consider adding them to your diet in a convenient form, like capsules or tinctures. Ingestion methods like these allow you to get a concentrated dose of the active compounds.
When first adding functional mushrooms to your diet, start with a lower dose and increase the dosage gradually as needed. This will help you acclimate to the new addition and reduce the risk of any side effects.
It may take weeks or months for the full effects of turkey tail mushrooms to occur. So be patient and steady with your dosage for the best results.
Turkey tail mushrooms are a type of functional mushroom with a host of potential health benefits. These mushrooms are potent and rich in antioxidants and have potential anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting, and stress-relieving properties.
In addition, turkey tail mushrooms are also being studied for their role in cancer treatment. While more research on functional mushrooms is needed, the current evidence suggests that turkey tail mushrooms may be a helpful addition to traditional cancer treatments.
If you’re interested in trying turkey tail mushrooms, consider adding them to your diet in a convenient form, like capsules or tinctures. At Wellbeing Farms, we offer a variety of functional mushroom supplements to meet your needs. Shop our selection of functional mushroom products today and see the difference medicinal mushrooms can make in your life!