The Immune Boosting Health Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom
* This post is sponsored by Flora Health. None of the information presented is intended to cure, treat or prevent any disease. For more information, please visit florahealth.com.
For centuries, the healing “power” of mushrooms has been used medicinally around the world. Over the past few decades, scientific research has proven that certain mushrooms are a potency of potent compounds that have the ability to help support and regulate the immune system. This means that mushrooms can not only help us defend ourselves against colds and flu, but they are also making waves in other areas of treatment and research. And one of the most well-studied beneficial mushrooms that is shown to be a potent immune booster is the turkey tail fungus. (Trametes versicolor and Coriolus versicolor).
What is turkey tail mushroom?
A tough and woody mushroom, you won’t find a turkey tail next to culinary shiitakes and portobello mushrooms at the grocery store. But if you ever wander through wooded areas, you may have come across it without knowing it on your travels. Super common fungus in North America and forests around the world, you can find turkey tail growing mainly on the bark of dead trees, logs, and fallen branches.
All you need is just a glance at a turkey tail mushroom and you will understand that its name is perfect. Considered a “support-type” mushroom, the turkey tail grows in layers of fan-shaped clusters with bands of color that look exactly like the tail of a wild turkey. As common as turkey tail fungus may be, it is as good for our health and immunity as it is beautiful.
What Are the Health Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom?
Known as Yun Zhi in Chinese medicine and Kawaratake in Japan, turkey tail mushrooms have a variety of important health benefits. But their best known and most studied health benefit is how they can boost immune function.
Like other medicinal mushrooms, the potent health benefits of turkey tail mushrooms lie in something called beta-glucans. An indigestible fiber made up of chains of complex carbohydrates called polysaccharides, beta-glucans are what give structure to the cell wall of the fungus. A variety of Beta-glucans can be found in nature. But it is the very special structure of the those found in turkey tail (called PSK and PSP), which have been shown in studies to help regulate our immune system by increasing or decreasing the action of certain immune cells, promote immunity against toxins and germs as well as suppress inflammation. (1), (2), (3)
Studies have shown that beta glucans not only help support immunity and boost immune cells, but they can also act as antioxidants, support healthy cholesterol, and balance blood sugar. (4) They are so effective in fact that specialized turkey tail extracts are currently used as a complementary therapy in China and Japan. Numerous studies since the 1970s also suggest that turkey tail mushrooms may have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. (5)
Turkey tail fungus can help with colds and flu
In addition to supporting the immune system, turkey tail has long been considered to have antiviral and antimicrobial properties and may be beneficial to take at the first sign of a cold or flu, fever, or when traveling.  In combination with other healthy choices, turkey tail mushroom can be a powerful and supportive tool in boosting your immune defense when you’re feeling under the weather.
Turkey tail fungus may be antiviral
A research study found that 88% of people with oral HPV given a turkey tail had full clearance after two months of treatment. Only 5% of the control group had the same result (7)
Turkey tail mushroom is rich in antioxidants
The rich source of turkey tail antioxidants like phenols and flavonoids can help reduce free radical damage which can cause cell damage and inflammation in the body. Antioxidants can also help improve immune function. ( 8, 9 )
Turkey Tail Mushroom May Support Healthy Digestion
A rich source of prebiotics, turkey tail has been shown in studies to be beneficial for a healthy gut. (ten) A One study found that consuming 3600 mg of beta-glucans extracted from turkey tail mushrooms per day for 8 weeks resulted in beneficial changes in gut bacteria and inhibited the growth of bad bacteria like E. coli and Shigella bacteria (11). Another study found that turkey tail extracts increased populations of beneficial bacteria while reducing potentially harmful bacteria (12).
What to look for in a turkey tail mushroom supplement
IIf you want to add a turkey tail to your routine, you’ll find that it comes in a variety of additional forms as tinctures, capsules, or even teas. But be aware that not all turkey tail mushroom supplements may give you the benefits you are paying for.
In one high quality turkey tail supplement, you want to see on the label that it is derived from what is called the “fruiting body” of the fungus. The fruiting body, or the top part of the fungus that produces spores (also the part we like to eat from edible mushrooms), is where most of the beneficial compounds are contained. Other products on the market commonly use what is called the mycelium, or the root system of the fungus in their formulas. Mycelium-based formulas don’t contain as many of the same beneficial immune-boosting beta-glucans as those found in the top of the mushroom.
In fact, most of the polysaccharides in these formulas actually come from the grain-based medium on which the mycelium is grown. A Consumer Labs study found after analyzing a variety of Reishi mushroom mycelium products that the so-called beneficial polysaccharides in these formulas were actually alpha-glucans instead of the desired beta-glucans. And even these turned out to come directly from the growth medium of the brown rice the mushrooms were grown on.
Immune • Essence ™ from Flora Health combines the power of turkey tail mushrooms with 9 other powerful herbs
It was this lack of good turkey tail mushroom products on the market that led Flora Health to release its new immune essence. Immune Essence uniquely combines the fruiting body of the turkey tail fungus, with the same 8 healthy certified organic herbs found in their famous detoxifying formula Flor • Essence®.
In addition to the turkey tail mushroom, Immune Essence includes powerful superfoods like turmeric and burdock.
Turmeric – Considered one of the most potent superfoods in the world, this anti-inflammatory functional food popular in Ayurvedic medicine has been extensively studied in over 12,500 peer-reviewed articles. Its long list of benefits includes an ability to fight inflammation and pain, prevent indigestion, and support liver health.
Burdock root – A rich source of prebiotics, with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, burdock root is considered a handyman when it comes to herbal medicine. Studies have proven to be a blood purifier, burdock root can also promote healthy digestion and gut health while helping the liver, kidneys, and lymphatic health to remove waste and toxins from the body. (14, ,15)
Other herbs in this formula include rhubarb root, sheep sorrel, slippery elm bark, watercress, blessed thistle, red clover, and kelp. Full of nourishing vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants, these herbs work together to:
- Cleanses and detoxifies at the cellular level.
- Purify the blood.
- Reduces excess fluids and toxins.
- Normalize digestion
- Increase energy
- Strengthens the immune system
- Protect the body from free radical damage with antioxidants
If you are looking to get the immune benefits of turkey tail mushroom, Immune Essence from Flora Health is a unique formula that can provide you with a variety of health benefits.
How Much Turkey Tail Mushrooms Are in Immune Essence
Each daily dose of Immune Essence Tonic will provide you with approximately 3.5 grams (3500 mg) of whole fruiting turkey tail fungus. Each suggested dose of Immune Essence is 3 tablespoons, taken three times a day.
How to take Immune-Essence
To get the most out of Immune-Essence, it is best to sip 3 tablespoons of Immune-Essence diluted with hot water, approximately 30 minutes before eating. For best results, be sure to stick with Immune-Essence for several weeks as a restorative tonic for your digestive system, immune system, and elimination organs.
As with any supplement, see your doctor and start slowly.
For an immune boosting recipe, try this Immune-Essence Turkey Tail Ginger Tonic Tea!
Along with other powerful healthy immune boosters like ginger and Manuka honey, try Immune Essence in this relaxing and rejuvenating tea recipe. It is perfect when you are feeling under the weather or want a lift.
Turkey Tail Immune-Essence Ginger Tonic
- 1 ginger tea bag or teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
- 3 soup spoons Immune essence of flora
- 2 soup spoons fresh lemon juice
- 8 oz Hot water
- 2 coffee spoons Darling preferably Flora Manuka honey
Add a ginger tea bag or fresh ginger to a mug.
Top with 8 oz of hot water and steep for 3-4 minutes.
Add the immune essence, lemon juice and honey.
Stir it and enjoy your nourishing tea that supports the immune system!
Visit florahealth.com to buy Immune Essence or to learn more about the benefits of turkey tail mushroom.
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