by Anna Sienicka – HomepathicCare.ca
I really love hikes, knowing at some point during the hike, I will find Tramates Versicolor. This mushroom is also known as Turkey Tail Mushroom because its coloring resembles the plumage of a wild turkey tail, and “Butterfly fungus” because of the way its tones and hue resemble a butterfly’s wings.
These are the most common mushroom in forests of the U.S.A. and Canada, and make the perfect trail mix as you hike! I love that feeling, knowing my body and health are enhanced as I walk and chew. As if beautifying our forests wasn’t enough, the Tramates Versicolor are one of the most immune enhancing mushrooms in the world. It is also one of the best-documented mushrooms in medical research.
This mushroom likes to grow on the dead hardwood, rarely on conifers. Because of its woody texture it is very chewy and chewable. It’s especially delicious as a tea, added to soups and sauces and of course, can be made into a Mother Tincture.
It is best to harvest it far away from any city or polluted area. Let’s not forget that mushrooms are like sponges, they absorb toxins from its closest environment. Also, even though this is the most common and abundant mushroom, remember to harvest it in a sustainable way, only collecting 1/3 of a fruiting mushroom.
The Turkey Tail season is pretty much all year round. I started seeing them when snow started to melt and I could still find them in the late months of November.
Turkey Tail as a Medicine
Research shows that Turkey Tail has many active and medicinal constituents, including B-glucans, PSK, PSP and Ergosterol.
Beta glucan is a scientifically proven biological defense modifier (BDM) that nutritionally potentiates and modulates the immune response.
PSK (Polysaccharide-K) helps restore and enhance cellular immune function in patients with depressed immunity commonly found when undergoing treatment for cancer.
PSP (PolySaccharidePeptides) provides nutrition at the cellular level, which enhances the function of the immune system, triggering the body’s natural powers to regenerate and heal.
Ergosterol (provitamin D2) is a good source of vitamin D which in itself is an Immune System builder.
The effectiveness of Turkey Tail in helping restore the immunity allows applications to vary from bacterial and viral infection to inhabiting cancer. It is mostly used in conditions that have left the immune system deeply compensated, i.e. HIV, AIDS, after chemotherapy, after long term stress, after exams and after traumatic events.
Since most diseases stem from depressed immunity, Tramates Versicolor has been found very effective in treating: Diabetes, Overgrowth of Candida, Liver dysfunction, Hepatitis (chronic, acute, A, B and hepatitis C), Hypertension, Coronary heart disease, Myocardial infarction, Tinnitus, Chronic fatigue, Migraine, Skin diseases including warts.
This fungus is also effective for all kinds of inflammations and infections besides anticancer effect. The clinical study confirmed that Tramates Versicolor could improve cell resistance by means of increasing leucocyte, lymphocyte, monocyte, macrophage, marrow cells, NK cells. Tramates Versicolor has the effect to destroy bacteria and fungi for viruses such as El Brucella bacteria, Staphylococcus, Strep, Candida mycoderma, Klebsiella, Listeriosis and Toxoplasma. Another point to emphasize is its effectiveness to viruses: Aids virus, Hepatitis virus and Cytomegalovirus.
Beside enhancing the immune system, Japan Health Association formally approved in 1977 that PSK was the first kind of cancer medication extracted from fungi, for Tramates Versicolor could inhabit cancer growth and tumor for the treatment of lung cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, bladder cancer, oesophagus cancer, leucocythemia, lymphoma, encephaloma, leukemia and tumor metastasis for a long time.
In all studies, two kinds of polysaccharides relating to protein were separated from this fungus: PSP and PSK, proved that they could enhance immune system and inhabit tumor.
It is one of those living miracles to have this amazing mushroom grow in abundance in our forests. Let’s be honest most of us live in cities filled with pollution, chemicals in the air, glues, varnishes, paint, detergents, fabric softeners, colour dies, and getting stressed out about work, finance, relationship, the fact is, we can all use some of Nature’s immune enhancers like the Tramates Versicolor.