#MedicinalMushroomoftheMonth- #TurkeyTail

A better way to beat [breast] cancer's butt

Mushrooms are one of the oldest organisms on the planet. They are also very versatile: not just physically but therapeutically as well. Fungi are indicated for a range of ailments (like depression), and there’s next to nothing that they can’t cure.

According to Ayurvedic classification, mushrooms are considered half-plant/ half-animal. There are two main types of edible mushrooms: psychedelic and medicinal.

The first ‘shroom in our series is Polyporus versicolor. Known for its multiple colors, turkey tail (TT) is in a family of mushrooms that have pores on the underside of the cap. This type of fungi regulates the immune system, particularly in those with breast cancer risk (family history etcetera). The way it does this is by binding to certain structures in the complement receptor (CR) 3 system. The system and its structures are on certain immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells and lymphocytes. 1 

Turkey tail has little to no side effects. Although it is chemotherapeutic, TT isn’t immunosuppressive. The general consensus is that medicinal mushrooms like TT help the individual's immune system better locate the tumor in order for chemotherapy to get the job done. 2

  1. Stamets, P. Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail Mushrooms) and the Treatment of Breast Cancer. Glob Adv Health Med. 2012;1(5):18.

  2. Hobbs C. Medicinal value of turkey tail fungus trametes versicolor (L. :fr.) pilat(Aphyllophoromycetideae) . A literature review. Int J Med Mushr. 2004;6(3):195-218.


Fun fact: In Japan, there is a federally-approved version of turkey tail called polysaccharide Krestin (PSK). The dose is generally 3 grams/day by mouth, in conjunction with other chemotherapy regimens. It demonstrates “cholesterol-regulating effects” as well!

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