Some of the healthiest agents come from mushrooms. Biologically known as ‘Trametes Versicolor’, turkey tail has a long history of being used therapeutically. Indigenous to Asia and Europe, extracts of turkey tail are used globally.
Turkey tail as the name suggests grow into brown, blue, green, orange and maroon colors. Thus, this mushroom is named after the colorful feathers of turkey. Most commonly they are found on the woods. They can be easily identified by the concentric circles in a leaf-like structure. Turkey tail also known as cloud mushroom or Coriolis is a potent cancer fighter. The cloud-like appearance symbolizes longevity and health and spiritual infinity.
American cancer Society has reported critical evidence that proves cancer fighting properties of turkey tail molecules. It is considered that, turkey tail aids in fighting breast cancer when used along with regular chemotherapy. A NIH study has reported improved immune function when used regularly on daily basis. As a result of which turkey tail works effectively on advanced breast cancer (stage I-III). Also, turkey tail polysaccharides show promising effect against cancers of lung, esophagus, nasopharynx, colon, rectum etc.
Two remarkable polysaccharides- Kreskin and PSP have driven the attention of medical fraternity. The mushroom is still studied extensively with the intention to discover other components that are directly linked to anticancer property. Another polysaccharide, PSK (polysaccharide K)has shown anticancer activity in preliminary invitro and invivo studies in animals. PSK acts by reducing development of cancer cells induced by mutagens, radiation and spontaneous cancer cells. As a result, PSK has been used as adjuvant along with prescription to treat lung, breast, colorectal, gastric and esophageal cancers.
Turkey tail has been included in a neutraceutical blend along with lentinan and fungal extracts that inhibits cancer cell proliferation.
Mostly, compliance to chemotherapy fails due to immune functions. Turkey tail works by acting against cancer cells and also by protecting the immune system.
The immune protective function of turkey tail is used in prophylactic use to evade infections such as pneumonia, hepatitis, stomach infections of E.coli, streptococcal and herpes infections. Turkey tail also harbors strong antiviral compounds. The link between virus and cancer gives a new target to treat cancers caused by oncovirus.
M.D Anderson, a clinical research center has reported multiple malignant processes that can be prevented by turkey tail. Furthermore, the side effects are very limited and daily oral doses are safe over an extended period of time. However, the mechanism of anti-disease activities is not yet approved.
With the clinical evidence supporting turkey tail’s anti cancer property, USFDA has approved clinical trial of turkey tail in cancer patients. Though not as an anticancer medicine, USFDA has approved use of turkey tail in food as it does not have any toxic effects or long term adversities. Including this time tested bio-source not only satiates hunger but regular dietary inclusion shall help in preventing deadly diseases over the period of time.