Medicinal Mushroom Series: Turkey Tail (Coriolus versicolor)
On to mushroom number 10 on my list of medicinal fungi! Here we have the Turkey Tail mushroom or Coriolus versicolor. As you can see from the picture above, the Turkey Tail mushroom was given it's common name based on appearance. This mushroom can easily be mistaken in the woods for a wandering turkey due to the unique pattern of colours it displays. Just google a picture of a wild turkey and you will surely see the resemblance.
The Turkey Tail mushroom is one of the most common mushrooms in the world. It has the ability to grow almost anywhere there are trees, particularly fallen or dead ones. It is an edible mushroom, but is more commonly used to make tea rather than as a complimentary dish. In terms of this mushrooms ability to help in the health department, it has a strong focus on the immune system, so let's dive right in, here are the top 3 benefits of the Turkey Tail mushroom!
1) Increases Natural Killer Cells
Supplementation of Turkey Tail mushroom has the ability to increase the amount of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the body. These NK cells are assigned with the task of taking out anything they recognize as a problem, paying special attention to tumours and virally infected cells.
2) Increases T and B Cells
Immune system super powers times 2! Turkey Tail can also increase the amount of T and B cells circulating in the body. T cells play a role in destroying cancerous cells but also help to activate the immune system by signalling to the body that it needs to be activated in the first place. B cells help create antibodies, your bodies primary defence against repeat attacks and the reason we develop an every strengthening immune system!
3) Immune Boost in Chronic Fatigue
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a poorly understood condition that affects an ever growing amount of individuals. Aside from feeling constantly tired as the name suggest, those who suffer from CFS find themselves getting sick more often than most. Studies have found that supplementation with Turkey Tail mushroom in this population has been shown to increase immune activation and help fight off illness and infection more efficiently!
Dr. Rob Raponi ND, CISSN, B.Kine(Hons) www.msknaturopathic.com
Podcast: Well Talks