Trametes Versicolor - USA Grown
The Latin name is Trametes versicolor, which means thin (trametes) and many colored (versicolor). In Chinese medicine it is referred to as yun zhi, and the Japanese name is kawaratake. The turkey tail is a polypore mushroom, meaning they release spores through many small holes underneath their caps. Many medicinal mushrooms are polypores.
Like so many polypores, these mushrooms are also bracket fungi. They produce fruiting bodies that are shaped like shelves or brackets. These brackets are grouped closely together either horizontally or one on top of another. They are saprotrophs, which means they feed on decaying matter of other living things. This is why you always find them on decomposing logs, hardwood or at the base of trees.
Coriolus versicolor has been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Known as Yun zhi in China and Kawaratake in Japan this mushroom was referenced in the Chinese Compendium of Materia Medica as far back as the 15th century. The Ming dynasty edition of the Materia Medica states that " The black and green Yun zhi are beneficial to one's spirit and vital energy, and strengthen one's tendon and bone. If Yun zhi is taken for a long time, it will make one vigorous and live long." (11)
Turkey tail is a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world and also a well-known traditional medicinal mushroom growing on tree trunks (1). It belongs to the Basidiomycetes class of fungi3. It contains polysaccharopeptide (PSP), proteins, amino acids, and other various bioactive substances (1).
PSK and PSP are powerful polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tail mushrooms that may strengthen the health of your immune system. Polysaccharopeptides are protein-bound polysaccharides (carbohydrates) that are found in turkey tail mushroom extract.
Krestin (PSK) and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP) are two types of polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tails (5). Both PSK and PSP possess powerful immune-boosting properties. They promote immune response by both activating and inhibiting specific types of immune cells and by suppressing inflammation.For instance, test-tube studies have demonstrated that PSP increases monocytes, which are types of white blood cells that fight infection and boost immunity (6).
PSK stimulates dendritic cells that promote immunity to toxins and regulate the immune response. In addition, PSK activates specialized white blood cells called macrophages, which protect your body against harmful substances like certain bacteria (7).
Research has demonstrated that turkey tail mushrooms may have antitumor properties, thought to be related to its immune-boosting effects. One test-tube study found that PSK, the polysaccharopeptide found in turkey tail mushrooms, inhibited the growth and spread of human colon cancer cells (8).
Turkey tail contains an impressive array of antioxidants, including phenols and flavonoids.One study detected over 35 different phenolic compounds in a sample of turkey tail mushroom extract, along with the flavonoid antioxidants quercetin and baicalein (4).
Phenol and flavonoid antioxidants promote immune system health by reducing inflammation and stimulating the release of protective compounds (5).
For example, quercetin has been shown to promote the release of immunoprotective proteins like interferon-y, while inhibiting the release of the pro-inflammatory enzymes cyclooxygenase (COX) and lipoxygenase (LOX) (6).
What’s more, a certain type of polysaccharide found in turkey tail mushrooms called Coriolus versicolor glucan (CVG) may suppress certain tumors. A study in tumor-bearing mice found that treatment with 45.5 and 90.9 mg per pound (100 and 200 mg per kg) of body weight of CVG extracted from turkey tail mushrooms daily significantly reduced tumor size (9). Researchers attributed this development to enhanced immune response (9).
“Turkey tail mushrooms are rich in vitamins and minerals and thus improve the health and add greatly to the nutritional content of the diet. They are great sources of potassium as well as riboflavin. The content of niacin in this type of mushroom is also very high. Turkey tail mushrooms also contain pantothenic acid, phosphorus, and even copper. The turkey tail mushrooms are devoid of fat and caffeine. The content of sodium in this mushroom is also reasonably low. This kind of mushroom is also free from cholesterol and gluten and are low in calories. Turkey tail mushrooms contain 18 types of amino acids, ergosterol, and Beta-Glucans of 1/3 and 1/6. Ergosterol gets converted to vitamin D on exposure to the sun (10).”
“Coriolus versicolor PSK. In 1970s, Japanese scientists were the first who did research on Coriolus Versicolor employing modern technology, and successfully extracted a polysaccharide (PSK) from the CM-101 strain. PSK is patented and proven that it can effectively enhance immunity of the human body. PSK exhibits a marked antineoplastic effect against both syngeneic and allogeneic tumors of experimental animals when administered intraperitoneally or orally. There is strong evidence that in a tumor model with tumor-specific transplantation antigen (TSTA), that PSK’s antitumor effect is through T-cell mediated immunity.
Coriolus versicolor PSP. Coriolus versicolor PSP was invented by a Shanghai Normal University expert team led by Professor Q.Y. Yang in 1982, and the corresponding patent was granted to Shanghai Normal University in 1989. The product was approved by China’s Ministry of Health and later the State Food and Drugs Administration Bureau of China. PSP stands for Polysaccharide Peptide, a protein-bound polysaccharide extracted from deep-layer-cultivated mycelia of the COV-1 strain of Coriolus versicolor, commonly known as Yun Zhi (or Yunzhi) in China. PSP is an anticarcinogen and immunological regulator identified. It is composed of five monosaccharides: galactose, glucose, mannose, arabinose and xylose. The amino acids most frequently found are aspartic and glutamic. Molecular weight about 1×105 Dalton” (14).