Turkey Tail Mushroom Guide: Health Benefits and Ways to Use This Superfood
September 16, 2021

Turkey Tail Mushroom Guide: Health Benefits and Ways to Use This Superfood

immune support, powders, turkey tail

Functional mushrooms have been used in traditional Eastern medicine and other ancient healing modalities for thousands of years. Many herbal formulas incorporate  functional mushrooms for their unique immune-supporting, antioxidant, and healthy-aging properties. The turkey tail mushroom, whose shape and swirling variegated colors resemble the tail of a wild turkey, has recently garnered a lot of public attention due to studies that demonstrate its ability to support immune function and gut health.  

Read on to learn more about the history and benefits of the turkey tail mushroom, as well as easy ways to incorporate it into your wellness and vitality routine. 

The History of the Turkey Tail Mushroom 

In the wild, turkey tail, also scientifically known as Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor, grows on dead hardwood trees throughout the world. Don’t be fooled by the name, however, because turkey tail is 100-percent vegan and doesn’t contain any animal parts. Its distinctive layered stripes of brown, tan, gray, and white can be stunning. Inspired by its natural beauty, the Japanese call it “kawaritake,” or “cloud mushroom,” due to its resemblance to swirling clouds. 

In many Asian cultures, Turkey Tail symbolizes longevity and health, spiritual attunement, and infinity. Known in Chinese culture as Yun Zhi, it has been used for centuries by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as an immunomodulator that supports immune function and helps fight infections. Many have brewed Turkey Tail into a soothing tea to clear dampness, increase energy, and strengthen the lungs, stomach, and spleen. This functional mushroom’s ability to support the health of both an underactive and overactive immune system is unique and long valued among physicians of traditional medicine.  

Understanding the Health and Wellness Benefits of Turkey Tail 

One of the most researched of all functional mushrooms, Turkey Tail is in a class of its own. It is known for its potent natural polysaccharides, including polysaccharide Krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptide (PSP). These compounds that are known as biological response modifiers were originally isolated from Turkey Tail mycelium that was grown in liquid fermentation tanks. PSK’s main polysaccharide chain consists of beta glucan with side chains where the protein is attached.  PSP contains glutamic acid and aspartic acid in its polypeptide component whereas its polysaccharide component is made up of monosaccharides with alpha-1,4 and beta-1,3 glucosidic linkages. These protein-bound polysaccharides help to support a healthy and robust immune response and have been the subject of numerous clinical trials.  

Turkey Tail also features a broad array of naturally occurring compounds that help to improve stamina and support gut health, which, in turn, correlates with a healthy immune system. It is packed with antioxidants, including powerful flavonoids and more than 35 phenols. They promote immune system health by binding to cell surface receptor sites on many types of cells that comprise our immune system.  This binding triggers what is called a “host-mediated immune response” that results in a cascade of cytokine-mediated immune cell communications and a potentiation of immune function,. It’s also replete in prebiotics, which help to nourish a good balance of the beneficial probiotics microorganisms in the gut that will in turn suppor improved digestion and healthy immune response. ‡ 

A Guide to the Health and Wellness Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms 

Bioactive Component 


Health and Wellness Benefit 

Polysaccharides, especially PSP, PSK 

Immune support 

Prebiotic fiber promotes a healthy gut microbiome, supporting the immunological barrier that helps the immune system to protect against disease.‡ 

Phenols and flavonoids 

Antioxidant and anti-aging 

Antioxidants combat oxidative stress that can damage tissues, causing chronic illness and premature aging.‡ 

Protein-bound Beta-glucans 

May reduce obesity 

Beta-glucans from turkey tail supported a gut microbiome that reduced obesity in animal research.‡ 

Ways to Incorporate Turkey Tail Mushrooms into Your Routine 

Turkey tail, like all functional mushrooms, truly shines when you take it daily (whether in food, as a tea, or in supplements). Though it has a mild, earthy flavor and is considered an edible mushroom, due to its slightly leathery texture, turkey tail is typically consumed in powdered form. In many cultures, the turkey tail mushroom appears in soups or teas that are consumed to support and regulate the immune system and improve overall health and wellness. 

With a mild taste that some describe as slightly sweet, turkey tail powder is an easy ingredient to mix into a main dish, snack, dessert, or beverage of your choice. In the winter, stir it into bone broth, soup, oatmeal or hot tea; in the summer, feel free to blend it with a smoothie or even whisk it into a salad dressing. It is available as a single-species supplement or in multi-mushroom blends. 

Single species 







2g (1t.) per day 

Turkey Tail Mushroom Powder  

Versatile powder supports the immune system and gut health‡ 



3 caps per day 

Turkey Tail Mushroom Capsules 

Convenient capsules support the immune system and gut health‡ 



2.5g blend per powder stick 

Immune+ Mushroom Drink Mix (Blend of four mushroom species plus vitamin C and probiotic strains) 

Superberry-flavored, single serving, powder stick packets mix with water to create a cold beverage that provides a broad-spectrum immune system and probiotic support for gut health‡ 

It’s important to mention that not all superfood mushrooms are created equal. Om Mushroom offers a number of Turkey Tail supplements, including organic whole food mushroom powders, convenient capsule form, and superfood mushroom blends you can to add to water. Each product contains the full spectrum of nutrients and bioactive substances from Turkey Tail mushroom mycelial biomass and primordia (baby fruiting bodies) to support the immune system and an active lifestyle. If you’re ready to make the leap to proactive health and vitality, Om Mushroom Superfood is a great place to access the benefits of these functional mushrooms. 


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