Turkey Tail Mushrooms: Boosting Immunity and Exploring Cancer Treatment Benefits

In our Indian state “Uttarakhand”, a small and beautiful village in the heart of India, there are numerous medicinal mushrooms that can be used as adjuvant therapies to combat cancer-related health issues. Through our exploration of the fungi kingdom, we have identified over a hundred medicinal mushrooms including trametes versicolor (turkey tail mushroom), ganoderma lucidum (reishi), cordyceps, tramella, chaga, morels, enoki, grifola frondosa, lion’s mane as well as various lichens such as yellow and orange moss and stone flowers. Trametes versicolor commonly known as turkey tail mushroom is widely used as a traditional medicine and adjuvant therapy in our Traditional Ancient System of Bharatiya Medicine by our tribal community of India residing in the abode of the almighty Himalayas. Turkey tail mushrooms have vibrant colorful stripes often in shades of grey or brown. They are covered in small, velvety hairs that provide a tactile sensation similar to velvet. Unfortunately, the natural production of these fungi is experiencing a drastic decline due to rising heat waves, unpredictable weather patterns and increasing global warming. This decline threatens the micro-climate conditions that support the growth of mycelium and endangers biodiversity ecosystems.

If you have ever camped or spent time in the forest, you have likely come across turkey tail mushrooms. They are also known by other names such as Polypores versicolor, Kawaratake in Japan and Yun Zhi in China. Medicinal mushrooms have been used for thousands of years by our ancestors and are still employed in certain parts of the world. In Japan, the use of substances such as PSP and PSK found in turkey tail mushrooms for cancer treatment is strictly regulated by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. They are used as adjuvant therapy during and after chemotherapy sessions. Trametes versicolor and its extracts have also been studied for their potential immune-modulating and anti-tumor effects in the treatment of various types of cancer including stomach, colorectal and lung cancer.

Similarly, in South Korea, the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) regulates the use of substances found in turkey tail mushrooms as adjuvant therapy. Trametes versicolor and its extracts such as PSK (polysaccharide-K), are administered to patients undergoing chemotherapy and as a post-treatment measure to reduce the chances of cancer recurrence by eliminating any remaining cancer cells. Turkey tail mushroom (Trametes versicolor) and its extracts including polysaccharide-K (PSK) are commonly used as adjuvant therapies for various types of cancer. These substances have been extensively studied for their potential immune-modulating and anti-tumor effects and are frequently employed as adjuvant therapies. The use of these substances as cancer treatments is regulated by the respective national regulatory agencies such as the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, the Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA), and the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA).

Turkey tail mushrooms contain polysaccharides that have gained recognition for their potential health benefits in cancer treatment. These polysaccharides are used as adjuvant therapies for cancer in Japan. Korea and China. They are administered during chemotherapy sessions to promote faster healing and cell regeneration, potentially reducing the negative impact of chemotherapy on healthy cells. PSK, available in capsule and tincture forms, has been used as secondary adjuvant therapy in thousands of cancer patients since the mid-1970s, showing higher survival rates. It is a widely used medicinal mushroom extract in Japan, Korea and China and with documented anti-tumor activity against various cancers such as colorectal, gastric, breast, liver, pancreatic and lung cancer. While turkey tail mushroom polysaccharides show promise, they should be used as complementary therapies alongside standard cancer treatments and consulting healthcare professionals is essential.

Despite its efficacy, the mechanisms of action of PSK as an immune modulator and biological response modifier have not been fully elucidated. Therefore, further research and understanding of this fungi’s complete potential as an additive in modern cancer therapy are required. In recent years, medicinal mushrooms have emerged not only as a source of drugs but also as adjuvants to conventional chemotherapy or radiation therapy either to enhance their effectiveness or reduce their side effects. The medicinal value of turkey tail mushrooms is deeply rooted in our traditional ancient medicine system which dates back at least 2500 years in our culture and heritage and includes general health-promoting effects such as longevity and endurance. In India preparations like dried powdered tea made from this fungus are used in traditional medicine practices for centuries by our tribal community. In the mighty Himalayas, our tribal community incorporates this medicinal fungi into their lifestyle patterns for overall well-being.
We Preserve. Protect. Regrow. Aware

From: Elinor Family.

2 replies on “Turkey Tail Mushrooms: Boosting Immunity and Exploring Cancer Treatment Benefits”

    • We are glad to hear that our points resonated with you! Mushrooms are a great source of nutrition and can be a tasty addition to many dishes. From savory soups and stews to flavorful stir-fries and salads, the possibilities are endless. We hope you find some recipes that you enjoy and that make your gut and overall health feel great.

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