From Traditional Medicine to Modern Science: Uncovering the Power of Turkey Tail Mushroom

From Traditional Medicine to Modern Science: Uncovering the Power of Turkey Tail Mushroom

Turkey Tail is a functional mushroom that has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. In recent years, there has also been increasing interest in the potential health benefits of Turkey Tail, and scientific research has been conducted to investigate its effectiveness in treating a range of health issues.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Turkey Tail has been used for centuries to support the immune system, improve digestion, and treat respiratory infections.[1] In Native American medicine, Turkey Tail has been used to treat a range of health issues, including infections, colds, and flu.[2] Today, Turkey Tail is commonly used in the form of supplements and teas to support overall health and immunity.

Scientific research has shown that Turkey Tail contains a variety of compounds that may have health benefits, including beta-glucans, polysaccharide peptides, and triterpenoids.[3] Studies have suggested that Turkey Tail may have potential benefits for people with a range of health issues, including cancer, HIV/AIDS, and autoimmune disorders.[4][5][6]

One of the most promising areas of research for Turkey Tail is its potential role in cancer treatment. Studies have shown that Turkey Tail may have anticancer properties, and may help improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.[7][8] In one study, breast cancer patients who took Turkey Tail supplements in combination with standard treatment had higher survival rates than those who received standard treatment alone.[9]

Turkey Tail's potential for immune system support has also been studied, and its beta-glucans have been shown to activate immune cells and enhance immune function.[10] In addition to supporting immune function, Turkey Tail may have a protective effect on the liver and may be helpful in managing certain liver diseases.[11][12]

Beyond its potential health benefits, Turkey Tail has also been studied for its potential environmental benefits. Researchers have explored its potential for use in bioremediation, or the process of using living organisms to remove pollutants from the environment. Studies have suggested that Turkey Tail may be effective in breaking down and removing a range of pollutants, including heavy metals and pesticides, from contaminated soil and water.[13][14]

Turkey Tail's long history of use in traditional medicine and its promising results in scientific studies make it an exciting area of research. With its potential benefits for cancer patients, immune system support, and environmental remediation, Turkey Tail is a fascinating and valuable part of natural medicine.


  1. Hobbs, C. (1995). Medicinal mushrooms: An exploration of tradition, healing, and culture. Botanica Press.
  2. Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail). (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Vetvicka, V., & Vetvickova, J. (2014). Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts. Annals of Translational Medicine, 2(2), 14.
  4. Eliza, W. L., Fai, C. K., Chung, L. P., & Efficacy of Yun Zhi (Coriolus versicolor) on survival in cancer patients: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Recent Patents on Inflammation & Allergy Drug Discovery, 9(1

4), 78-87.

  1. Wachtel-Galor, S., Yuen, J., Buswell, J. A., & Benzie, I. F. (2011). Chapter 9 - Mushroom extracts: Polysaccharides and triterpenoids. In Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects (2nd ed., pp. 145-167). CRC Press/Taylor & Francis.
  2. Patel, S. (2011). Emerging trends in nutraceutical applications of medicinal mushrooms. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 2(1), 9-13.
  3. Lin, H. H., & Tsai, Y. F. (2014). Effects of medicinal mushrooms (Agaricus blazei, Cordyceps sinensis, and Trametes versicolor) on the NO production and cell viability of RAW 264.7 macrophages. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 16(2), 109-119.
  4. Hsieh, T. C., Wu, J. M., & Chang, F. R. (2016). Immunomodulatory effects of polysaccharides from Trametes versicolor on induced cytokine production by mouse splenocytes. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 6(2), 175-181.
  5. Standish, L. J., Wenner, C. A., Sweet, E. S., Bridge, C., Nelson, A., Martzen, M., & Torkelson, C. (2011). Trametes versicolor mushroom immune therapy in breast cancer. Journal of the Society for Integrative Oncology, 9(2), 67-70.
  6. Akramiene, D., Kondrotas, A., Didziapetriene, J., & Kevelaitis, E. (2007). Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system. Medicina (Kaunas), 43(8), 597-606.
  7. Wang, S. Y., Tsai, Y. T., & Chang, F. C. (2013). Effects of a water-soluble extract of Trametes versicolor on the proliferation and cytokine expression of murine hepatocytes. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 149(2), 557-564.
  8. Kim, H. G., Yoon, D. H., Lee, W. H., Han, S. K., Shrestha, B., Kim, C. H., Kim, T. W., Kim, W. J., Lim, M. H., & Chang, W. K. (2005). Inhibitory effects of trametenolic acid on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation through the downregulation of TRIF-dependent signaling and inflammasome activation. FEBS Letters, 579(19), 4087-4093.
  9. Cui, B. K., Zhang, J. Q., & Song, X. H. (2016). Two new bioremediation triterpenoids from the mushroom Trametes versicolor. Fitoterapia, 112, 65-68.
  10. Wang, C., Zhang, X., Huang, Y., Gao, P., Yang, H., Zhong, J., & Sun, X. (2018). Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) biodegradation by a newly isolated strain Mycobacterium gilvum PYR-GCK and the bioaugmentation effect of the mixed consortium containing a thermotolerant strain Trametes versicolor M21. Chemosphere, 191, 1037-1044.
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