Thursday, October 14, 2010

Turkey Tail

Trametes versicolor cropped

Image via Wikipedia

Howdee all

Hope you all are having a wonderful fall season.

       Jeff and I are in Connecticut now, parked in my parents driveway.

We plan on being here until the beginning of November,then will head south to warmer weather.

On our quest to stay healthy we do a daily walk at Bluff Point on the coast in Groton. A four mile loop…the first part thru woodlands.

Bluff point_002Bluff point_001

I am always on the lookout for mushrooms…and found this beautiful specimen.Bluff point_011  Turkey Tail mushroom or Trametes versicolor

“Turkey tails are possibly the most common mushroom you will find. They are saprobic growing everywhere on dead or rotting stumps and branches. As "versicolor" may suggest, they are very variable in color. Their uses are mainly medicinal and decorative. They can have great beauty. They dry easily to become leathery tough. I have seen them used by artists in various assemblages and even as jewelry. They also can be used to make blue and green dyes for wool and other fabrics.

There has been quite a bit of research done on these for their medicinal value as adjunct cancer treatment including colorectal cancer and leukemia. A protein-bound polysaccharide called PSK (Krestin) has been developed in Japan for cancer therapy.”


Bluff point_009

I found a few informative videos online.

 “The turkey tail has bioremediation potential, according to mycologist Paul Stamets. T. versicolor biodegrades a variety of pollutants. It is eaten by the caterpillars of the fungus moth Nemaxera betulinella.”

from   Bluff point_006

"In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Turkey Tail is used to clear dampness,
reduce phlegm, heal pulmonary disorders, strengthen the physique,
increase energy and benefit people with chronic diseases (Yang &
Yong, 1989, Ying et al., 1987). Chinese medical doctors consider it a
useful treatment for infection and/or inflammation of the upper
respiratory, urinary and digestive tracts. Turkey Tail is also regarded
as curative to liver ailments (including hepatitis B and chronic active
hepatitis) and is used to treat general weakness of the immune system
(Ying et al., 1987)

Krestin (PSK), a proprietary anticancer drug approved in
Japan, is extracted from the Turkey Tail mushroom and accounted for
25.2% of the total Japanese national expenditure for anticancer agents.
Nakazato et al. (1994), reported that 262 gastric cancer patients
treated with PSK as an adjunct to chemotherapy showed a decrease in
cancer reoccurrence and a significant increase in disease-free survival
rate. Kobayashi et al. (1995) reported that the protein-bound
polysaccharide PSK reduced cancer metastasis. Sakagami et al. (1993)
reported that PSK stimluted interleukin-1 and interferon production in
human cells. Other researchers have reported that PSK appears to be a
scavenger of free-radical oxidizing compounds. Unlike many conventional
anticancer drugs, PSK produces few, if any, side effects and shows no
immunosuppressive activity." from

Video on the Medicinal Properies


“Healing Properties
Its main effects are to strengthen the immune system, particularly by enhancing the workings of one of the most critical cells, known as T helper cells. T helper cells tell all the other cells in the immune system what to do and to what degree, and when to stop.
In cancer, the runaway cells often secrete compounds known as cytokines that give false signals to immune cells to stop working. This further enhances the ability of the cancer to survive. An unfortunate side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy is that they further damage the immune system, in part by inadvertently killing T helper cell” read more
here …from Discovery Health


So..I am thinking of collecting some to make a tea.

I will dry it and powder it…and use it to build up my immune system during this flu and cold season.

Bluff point_005

“Preparation and Dosage
The usual dose is 2 to 3 grams of dried, powdered turkey tail mushrooms three times per day, either mixed into food or put into capsules. Specialized extracts known as PSK or PSP (which focus on single polysaccharides in the mushroom, to the exclusion of all other potentially beneficial compounds) were the actual form of this mushroom studied and are given in the same amounts as powdered turkey tail.
However, these extracts are quite a bit more expensive than the whole powdered herb. Crude turkey tail mushroom has been used successfully in traditional medicine for thousands of years, so it is unlikely these special extracts must be used for it to be effective.
Turkey tail mushroom generally stays potent for many years, regardless of its form. The constituents don't break down easily. Keeping it away from heat and light will help extend its useful shelf life.” From Discovery Health

Disclaimer..I do not recommend using or eating any wild mushrooms unless it has been identified by a professional.


  1. That Turkey Tail is a beautiful fungi. I'm sure I've seen it on decomposing trees in the Northwest. Never thought about eating it because of the leathery texture. But have gathered it as a dried decoration. I'll be interested to hear more.

    Where south this year?

  2. very nice and informative post dawn. that mushroom is really neat looking.

  3. Interesting post, Dawn. A word of caution: anything that builds up the immune system may actually aggravate the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection. According to recent reports it's an exaggerated response of the immune system that causes the excessive production of mucus in nose and bronchial tubes as well as other symptoms not the virus itself.

  4. I enjoyed reading your post. It does look like a turkey tail.

  5. Great post, Dawn! I have seen the turkey tail on many of my walks. It is a cool looking fungus.

  6. Very informative! I thought this was going to be a post about a turky's tail.Goes to show you how little I know . Welcome back to CT-the nutmeg state-whoopee! If you gwet a chance see if you can ID the mushroom in my prior post.The folks at birdforum couldn't do it but they're mostly from britain

  7. Looks like you found some wonderful Turkey Tail. The layered colors are fascinating and I never tire of looking at it.

  8. Gaelyn
    Howdee..we are headed to Florida..dont want to get to far from the east coast..going to zip back up to New England in the spring before heading to Alaska next summer.

    Thanks everyone..I am glad you enjoyed the turkey tail mushroom photos.

    have a great Autumn!

  9. Very very cool.. they actually look so much like a turkey tail... quite funny... very informative post that i found quite interesting...


ok what do you really think?????