Plenty of you asked for it, and we're stoked to deliver! Introducing to the Flow State family: Turkey Tail mushroom extract capsules!
Turkey Tail (Tramates versicolor) has been on a few of your minds after watching the Fantastic Fungi documentary (highly recommend), or after watching the Paul Stamets TED Talk where he discusses his mother's breast cancer, and the incredible results of a full remission using Turkey Tail (link here).
A brief run down:
Tramates versicolor received its name due to the multi-coloured (hence-versicolor) concentric circles on this fruited body.
Turkey tail is most likely the easiest mushroom to forage in nature, as it can be found almost anywhere! Despite its prolific presence in most forests, it is not edible in its raw/natural form! It must undergo an extraction process to be ingested and absorbed.
It is said the ancient Taoists were astonished by the abundance of turkey tail on pine trees, which was notoriously anti-fungal. They concluded that a mushroom of such tenacity must contain incredible medicinal properties, and hence it was explored as a medicinal fungus.
Getting into the nitty-gritty:
Like other functional mushrooms, turkey tail mushrooms are adaptogens. As their name suggests, adaptogens help the body adapt to the various types of stressors we may come across. This includes physical, biological, or chemical stressors. Adaptogens interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to help stabilize your cortisol levels under stress and assist the body in reaching balance again.
There is good reason why this mushroom has been popping up everywhere. According to the entry for yún zhī in the Bencao Gangmu (Compendium of Materia Medica) by Li ShiZhen, the fungus provided 'health and long life benefits if consumed regularly'. A few of the noted benefits include removing toxins, increasing energy, strengthening the immune system, and supporting liver and spleen function (1).
In conventional medicine, turkey tail has been used to support the immune systems of people with weakened immunity (2). Research conducted in vitro suggests turkey tail has strong antioxidant properties and may protect DNA from free radical damage (2).
Preclinical studies show that polysaccharides from turkey tail can induce proliferation of both T and B cells, bolstering both our innate and adaptive immune responses (3,4,5).
Turkey tail is full of polysaccharides and triterpenes (forms of long chain carbohydrates with several functions for human cells). What makes turkey tail unique is two unique beta glucan polysaccharides- polysaccharide krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptide (PSP). So far, over 45 independent PSP-related preclinical and clinical studies have been conducted. Furthermore, the China State Food and Drug Administration has also approved 13 types of products based on the turkey tail mushroom (6).
PSK is known for its anti-cancer properties, and both PSK and PSP have the ability to regenerate white blood cells and stimulate the creation of immune T-cells and killer cells- enabling the immune system to step into ultimate badassery and ward off and destroy foreign pathogens.
In 1977, the Japanese Ministry of Health approved PSK for clinical use. It has since been extensively studied for its role in supporting immune system health in a variety of situations (7,8,9). Today, it is the best-selling anti-cancer drug on the market in Japan.
Turkey tail is also an excellent source of antioxidants (contain 35 different phenolic compounds).
Still with us? Stoked!
We're thrilled to bring this product to you all. Keen to give it a whirl? Grab a four month supply for $90, or dip your toes in with one bottle for $49 - click on our shop page / tab above!
Thank you for reading, and we hope you share the same enthusiasm we have with this amazing mushroom.
Thanks for reading, wishing you good health, always.
1) Knežević, A., Živković, L., Stajić, M., Vukojević, J., Milovanović, I. & Spremo-Potparević, B. 2015, “Antigenotoxic Effect of Trametes spp. Extracts against DNA Damage on Human Peripheral White Blood Cells,” The Scientific World Journal, <https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2015/146378/>.
2) Cui, J. & Chisti, Y. 2003, “Polysaccharopeptides of Coriolus versicolor: physiological activity, uses, and production,” Biotechnology Advances, vol. 21, no. 2, pp. 109–122,
3) Ho, C.Y., Lau, C.B.S., Kim, C.F., Leung, K.N., Fung, K.P., Tse, T.F., Chan, H.H.L. & Chow, M.S.S. 2004, “Differential effect of Coriolus versicolor (Yunzhi) extract on cytokine production by murine lymphocytes in vitro,” International Immunopharmacology, vol. 4, no. 12, pp. 1549–1557, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1567576904002474>
4) Ng, T.B. 1998, “A review of research on the protein-bound polysaccharide (polysaccharopeptide, PSP) from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor (basidiomycetes: Polyporaceae),” General Pharmacology: The Vascular System, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 1–4, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306362397000761>
5) Yang, S., Zhuang, T., Si, Y., Qi, K. & Zhao, J. 2015, “Coriolus versicolor mushroom polysaccharides exert immunoregulatory effects on mouse B cells via membrane Ig and TLR-4 to activate the MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways,” Molecular Immunology, vol. 64, no. 1, pp. 144–151, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0161589014003150?via%3Dihub#bib0095>
6) Dou, H., Chang, Y. & Zhang, L. 2019, “Chapter Fifteen – Coriolus versicolor polysaccharopeptide as an immunotherapeutic in China,” L. Zhang (ed.),ScienceDirect, Academic Press, <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877117319300353?via%3Dihub#bb0050>
7) Ohno, R., Yamada, K., Masaoka, T., Ohshima, T., Amaki, I., Hirota, Y., Horikoshi, N., Horiuchi, A., Imai, K. & Kimura, I. 1984, “A randomized trial of chemoimmunotherapy of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia in adults using a protein-bound polysaccharide preparation,” Cancer immunology, immunotherapy: CII, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 149–154, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6391658/>
8) Harada, M., Matsunaga, K., Oguchi, Y., Iijima, H., Ito, O., Tamada, K., Kimura, G. & Nomoto, K. 1995, “The involvement of transforming growth factor beta in the impaired antitumor T-cell response at the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT),” Cancer Research, vol. 55, no. 24, pp. 6146–6151, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8521406/>
9) Harada, M., Matsunaga, K., Oguchi, Y., Iijima, H., Tamada, K., Abe, K., Takenoyama, M., Ito, O., Kimura, G. & Nomoto, K. 1997, “Oral administration of PSK can improve the impaired anti-tumor CD4+ T-cell response in gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) of specific-pathogen-free mice,” International Journal of Cancer, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 362–372, <https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9033641/>