Named for the colorful, fall-colored plumage of the wild turkey, Turkey Tail is a mushroom long used for its medicinal properties. For centuries, Asian cultures have used it both as food and a treatment to address a variety of health issues. Traditional Chinese medicine has used turkey tail (“yunzhi”) to treat lung diseases, and Japanese medicine has used turkey tail (“kawaritake”) to boost the immune system when given alongside standard cancer treatments. Turkey tail is one of the most researched medicinal mushrooms due to its ability to boost immune function and combat diseases. But does turkey tail mushroom have antiviral properties? Learn more about this attractive, healthy-boosting, surprisingly common fungus, and how it could potentially help you.
Yes, turkey tail mushroom does have antiviral properties. Research has shown that turkey tail provided positive results for 90% of study participants in the treatment and clearance of HPV, compared to just 5% of the control group showing positive results.
While more research is needed on other specific viruses, there are other studies showing the promise of functional mushrooms that have the same bioactive compounds as turkey tail mushroom (beta-glucans and polysaccharides). You can view the studies here:
More on Turkey Tail
The scientific name of this mushroom is Trametes versicolor, previously known as Coriolus versicolor (which is Latin for cloud mushroom). Turkey Tail is a polypore mushroom, meaning that it releases its spores through a number of tiny holes under the cap. Turkey tails grow naturally on logs, branches, and stumps of dead trees around the world. Unlike the Reishi mushrooms, which are mostly found in certain areas in Southeast Asia, Turkey Tail mushrooms are far more widely distributed, growing almost everywhere that has forests. If you have ever been hiking in the woods, it is likely that you have been surrounded by turkey tail mushrooms without knowing.
Below is a video talking about the antiviral properties of turkey tail mushroom: