TURKEY TAIL (Coriolus versicolor)
Dehydrated, finely ground Turkey Tail mycelium cultured on organic whole oats
A fan-shaped bracket fungs with wavy margins often forming overlapping layers of fruitbodies.. The fruitbodies are multicolored with zonate regions of grays & browns, reds, blues, greens and white. True to their name, they actually resemble turkey tails. The underside of the caps covered with whitish pores. Widely distributed throughout the world, this mushroom has been used for medicinal purposes by Asians for thousands of years. The fruitbodies are tough and woody and are extracted by boiling in water for use in teas or in soups. Active ingredients are found in both the fruitbodies and mycelia of this species. Dried fruitbody and mycelial powders are slightly bitter in taste.
Known Active Constituents:
Medicinal Properties and Modes of Actions:
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Turkey Tail is used to clear dampness, reduce phlegm, heal pulmonary disorders, strengthen the physique, increase energy and benefit people with chronic diseases (Yang & Yong, 1989, Ying et al., 1987). Chinese medical doctors consider it a useful treatment for infection and/or inflammation of the upper respiratory, urinary and digestive tracts. Turkey Tail is also regarded as curative to liver ailments (including hepatitis B and chronic active hepatitis) and is used to treat general weakness of the immune system (Ying et al., 1987)
Krestin (PSK), a proprietary anticancer drug approved in Japan, is extracted from the Turkey Tail mushroom and accounted for 25.2% of the total Japanese national expenditure for anticancer agents. Nakazato et al. (1994), reported that 262 gastric cancer patients treated with PSK as an adjunct to chemotherapy showed a decrease in cancer reoccurrence and a significant increase in disease-free survival rate. Kobayashi et al. (1995) reported that the protein-bound polysaccharide PSK reduced cancer metastasis. Sakagami et al. (1993) reported that PSK stimluted interleukin-1 and interferon production in human cells. Other researchers have reported that PSK appears to be a scavenger of free-radical oxidizing compounds. Unlike many conventional anticancer drugs, PSK produces few, if any, side effects and shows no immunosuppressive activity.
PSP, a water soluble, low-cytotoxic polysaccharidepeptide appears to induce cytokine production and T-cell proliferation. Collins and Ng (1997) based on an in vitro study proposed the use of PSP as an antiviral agent for the inhibition of HIV replication. In a controlled clinical trial of 485 cancer patients (211 control patients) with cancers of the esophagus, stomach and spleen; treatment with PSP in combination with radio- and chemo-therapies was investigated. In the PSP group, the side effects from the conventional therapies (pain, poor apetite, fatigue, weakness, dryness of throat and mouth) was significantly lessened and body weight, T-cell ratios, NK cell activity and IL-2 levels were significantly increased. PSP also raised the one year survival rate of esophageal cancer patients by 11% and significantly increased remission rates when compared with conventional chemotherapy treatments.
The medicinally active components of Turkey Tail are considered to be biological response modifiers which induce immune responses including the increased production of gamma interferon, interleukin-2 and T-cells. Reported adverse reactions to Turkey Tail are rare.
Collins, R.A., and T.B. Ng. 1997. "Polysaccharides from Coriolus versicolor has potential for use against human immunodeficiency virus type I infection". Life Sciences. 60(25):383-387. View Article
Nakazato, H., A Koike, S. Saji, N. Ogawa & J. Sakamoto, 1994. "Efficacy of immunotherapy as adjuvant treatment after curataive resection of gastric cancer". The Lancet May7,343: 1122-1126.
Ng, T.B. 1998. "A Review of Research on the Protein-Bound Polysaccharide (Polysaccharopeptide, PSP) for the Mushroom Coriolus versicolor (Basidiomycetes: Polyporaceae)". Gen. Pharmac. 30(1): 1-4.
Tsang, K. et al., 2003. "Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide perp
Tochikura et al. 1987. "A biological response modifier, PSK, inhibits immunodeficiency virus in-vitro". Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 148: 726-733.
Tsang, K. 20003. "Coriolus versicolor polysaccharide peptide slows progression of advanced non-small cell lung cancer". Respir Med. 97:618-624.
Torisu, M., Y. Ishimitsu, T. Fujimora, K. Katano, H. Yamamoto, Y. Kimua, M. Takesue, M. Kondo, & K. Nomoto, 1990. "Significant prolongation of disease-free period gained by oral polysaccharide K (PSK) administration after curative surgical operation of colorectal cancer" Cancer Immunology Immunotherapy 31:261-268.
Tsukagoshi, S., Y. Hashimoto, G. Fujii, H. Kobayashi, K. Nomoto, & K. Orita, 1984. "Krestin (PSK)." Cancer Treatment Review 11:131-155. View Article
Yang, Q.Y., et al., 1993. "A new biological response modifier - PSP". From Mushroom Biology and Mushroom Products S. Chang et al. (eds.) Hong Kong. The Chinese University Press, 247-259.
Yang, Q.Y. & S. C. Jong, 1989. "Medicinal Mushrooms in China". Mushroom Science XII (Part 1) 631-643. Proceedings of the Twelve International Congress on the Science and Cultivation of Edible Fungi. From K. Grabbe & O. Hilber (eds.). Braunschweig, Germany.
Ying, J. et al., 1987. Icons of Medicinal Fungi from China. Translated by C. Yuehan. Beijing: Science Press.
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