Our Turkey Tail Mushrooms are cultivated on hardwoods logs in our remote woodland, Coed Talylan, on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons, Wales. Once harvested they are dried in sterile conditions and frozen in order to remove any potential contamination. You will find that many other sources of medicinal mushrooms sold online are imported from China. Unfortunately, there is no way of guaranteeing the quality of these imports. Although we are not as yet registered as Organic we can assure you that the whole process of cultivation uses only organic inputs and the mushroom fruit bodies are grown in a pristine native broadleaf woodland.
We also guarantee that this product is less than 3 months old from time of harvest (we sell out fast!).
What are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
Turkey tail mushrooms have been used to treat various maladies for hundreds of years in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous peoples in North America. Records of turkey tail brewed as medicinal tea date from the early 15th century, during the Ming Dynasty in China. Our ancestors certainly encountered them and most likely explored their uses long before written history. Since the late 1960s, researchers in Japan have focused on how turkey tail benefits human health and how extracts of turkey tail can boost the immune system.
They are commonly called “turkey tail” because their various colours: brown, orange, maroon, blue and green, reminiscent of the plume of feathers in turkeys. In China, their common name is yun zhi. In Japan, this mushroom is known as kawaritake or “cloud mushrooms,” invoking an image of swirling clouds overhead. In many Asian cultures, turkey tails’ incurving cloud forms symbolize longevity and health, spiritual attunement and infinity.
What are the medicinal properties and how is it used?
Traditionally, the dried mushrooms are boiled and simmered in water to make a soothing tea. Boiling serves several purposes: killing contaminants, softening the flesh, and extracting the rich soluble polysaccharides. .
The natural killer cells promoted by ingesting turkey tails also target virally-infected cells. Moreover, turkey tail mycelium excretes strong antiviral compounds, specifically active against Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, and hepatitis C virus (HEP-C), which causes liver cancer. Viruses that induce cancer are called “oncoviruses.” The virus-to-cancer connection is where medicinal mushrooms offer unique opportunities for medical research. The current understanding amongst many researchers is that turkey tails and other medicinal mushrooms lessen the odds of getting cancer by reducing causal co-factors such as oncoviruses.
Turkey tail is renowned in Asia as a source for cancer therapy. The Japanese company Kureha first screened many polypore mushrooms and found that turkey tails produced a profound immune response, a discovery confirmed by many other subsequent studies. The Kureha researchers received a patent for extracting both the mycelium and mushrooms in 1976 and derivative U.S. patents through 1981 (long since expired). The extraction method led to marketing “PSK” (polysaccharide Krestin®) and later “PSP,” both protein-bound polysaccharides. PSK became recognized as a cancer drug in Japan and approved under somewhat controversial conditions. Before approving a foreign-made drug, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has many requirements. One is that the Active Principal Ingredient (API) needs to be disclosed. Therein lies the problem. PSK is an assortment of sugars and attached proteins but has no unique molecule responsible for its impact on the immune system. Without that API, verification from batch-to-batch is not possible. Thus, it is classified as an undefined drug.
The usual dose is 2 to 3 grams of dried turkey tail mushrooms three times per day. Simply make a decoction by simmering the dosage in a litre of water for 45mins to 1 hour, the longer the decoction can steep the better, up to 24hrs. Two decoctions can be made from the same dosage.
Keep in a cool, dry place in an air tight container.