One of the major ingredients in the Immune Chai is a delightfully colorful mushroom wild-crafted this past summer from the Wisconsin woods known as “Turkey Tail.” It is affectionately named that based on its uncanny resemblance to a turkey tail, with blue, orange, and white mycelium plumes.
Many people may have heard of the amazing health benefits of Reishi mushroom, another main ingredient in our chai mix, but the powers of Turkey Tail are now getting the attention of many research studies in the Western scientific medicine system. Long esteemed in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its ability to strengthen the body’s immunity to illness and disease, it comes as no surprise that this amazing little mushroom packs such a punch.
Turkey Tail mushroom helps the workings of one of the most critical cells on the body, 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. These cells are limited in function when a person had cancer, thus resulting in a suppressed immune system and a perfect environment for the cancer to thrive. Turkey Tail, however, is starting to be used in cancer treatment in order to support T cells in the body.
Along with the other immune supporting herbs in the Immune Chai tea, it’s the perfect recipe for keeping you strong through these last cold weeks of the season.
MATERIA MEDICA: TURKEY TAIL MUSHROOMS
Latin name: Trametes versicolor
Parts Used: mushroom caps
Energetics: sweet, slightly moist, cool
Actions: immuno-modulator, anti-cancer, hepatic, hepato-protective, anti-oxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory, nephroprotective, hypoglycemic
Preparation: these lovely mushrooms need to be decocted, which is a strong tea that has been simmered on the stove for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
- Immune enhancing
- Cell strength
Cautions: Turkey Tail is generally considered safe, but avoid using it during pregnancy.
- Fisher, M. Y. (May 2002). “Anticancer effects and mechanisms of polysaccharide-K (PSK): implications of cancer immunotherapy”. Anticancer research 22 (3): 1737–1754.
- Turkey Tail from Renee Davis: http://reneeadavis.com/2013/11/01/materia-medica-turkey-tail-mushrooms-the-antifragility-of-immunity/
- Turkey Tail from Arbor Vitae School of Herbal Medicine: https://arborvitaeny.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Trametes-turkey-tail-Mandelbaum.pdf
- Medicinal Mushrooms from Christopher Hobbs: https://www.christopherhobbs.com/library/featured-articles/mushroom-articles/