Turkey Tail: The Mushroom Immunity King
Turkey Tail, Trametes versicolor, is an incredibly popular medicinal mushroom used to increase immunity and for the treatment of cancer and tumors. In some countries, like Japan, you will find Turkey Tail used in mainstream hospitals for humans. In the US, mushrooms are often discussed as a complementary therapy. Due to the amount of positive research Turkey Tail and other mushrooms have, they are often recommended especially by Veterinarians (sometimes this may be your only treatment in the case of a dog). When herbs and mushrooms are complementary, and to a greater degree when the main therapy, you should use other medicinal herbs and mushrooms that work well with Turkey Tail.
You may be using a Turkey Tail supplement in some form or another for yourself or your dog for preventative reasons or because you may be using it for some type of cancer support. China and Japan both use Turkey Tail in the treatment of cancer in humans; mainly Lung, Breast, and Liver cancers. These countries are able to supply us with quality studies about herbs and mushrooms in cancer that give us a good idea on what works!
So let’s talk about Turkey Tail and some pairings to maximize your regimen
As the latin name implies, Trametes coloris versiolor, Turkey Tail mushroom is a multicolored medicinal mushroom that grows all over the world. If you want to use Turkey Tail for yourself or your dog you should source it from an Organic source that is grown in a controlled condition for optimum strength. Turkey tail prefers aged and decaying wood.
Perfect Pairings for Turkey Tail:
- Reishi / Ling Zhi / Ganoderma
- Tian Kui Zi / Heavenly Mallow Root
- Astragalus / Huang Qi
- Chaga Mushroom
- Cordyceps / Dong Chong Xia Cao
What should you use with Turkey Tail to make it more effective?
Medicinal Mushroom, like herbs, have synergistic properties when mixed and used with other similar mushrooms or herbs. Basically, this means that when used in conjunction with other herbs or mushrooms that have similar actions they will increase that action more than the sum of their parts. Turkey Tail is no exception and there are many herbs you can use with Turkey Tail to help in the boosting of immunity or for the fighting off of cancer.
“There are many herbs you can use with Turkey Tail to help in the boosting of immunity or for cancer”.
Reishi Mushroom (Ling Zhi / Ganoderma) The Predecessor of Turkey Tail
It wasn’t that long ago that if someone wanted to know the most popular mushroom for treatment cancer, they would have landed upon Reishi. Known as Ling Zhi in China, Reishi has been used for tumor treatments for thousands of years. Far before the MRI and understanding of internal cancers, Reishi was used for cancers and tumors that were visible or palpable. Reishi mushroom lost some spotlight since Turkey Tail came out with its latest research in popular medical journals. The National Center for Biotechnology Information lists Reishi and Turkey Tail together on their PDQ for cancer patient information page: NCBI Cancer Patient Page. Reishi is sited in medical journals for its effects on treating all types of tumors, what its been used for in Chinese Medicine for millennia! Again, source high quality Organic Reishi for all uses you are using Turkey Tail for. They can be combined together and you can use the same amount of Reishi as you are Turkey Tail.
Tian Kui Zi is Called Heavenly Mallow Root, but it is Very Under-Rated
If you were to find a chart in a Chinese Herb Materia Medica of which herbs treat what types of cancer, then you would see Tian Kui Zi in more sections than any other Chinese Herb. Tian Kui Zi is known as Heavenly Mallow Root, and is known for its anti-tumor, anti mass, and anti-abscess properties. This herb is used for all kinds of “antitoxin” needs and is exemplery in Wu Wei Xiao Du Yin (Five Ingredient Decoction to Eliminate Toxins). Tian Kui Zi is great for immunity and is also used to fight any type of inflammatory causing disease! Use the powder or extract of this in about 3-10 grams, or find formulas with Tian Kui Zi supplement in it by doing a quick google search!
Add Energy to Your Immunity Boost with Astragalus (Huang Qi)
Astragalus is a very popular herb which is known as Huang Qi in Chinese Medicine. Astragalus is one of the best herbs to show the effects of synergy, because it has so many uses.
Astragalus has many great properties:
- Increases Energy
- Improves Digestion and Assimilation
- Increases Immunity
- Improves Circulation
- Reduces Pain and Swelling
- Helpful for Diabetes
Because Astragalus has so many functions, some of them even very different from each other, one could wonder how you get the best desired effect. When you pair Astragalus with other herbs that share properties, you find that the matching properties powerfully increase in potency – Synergy. This herb is guaranteed to help you with anything you are using Turkey Tail for. Astragalus is the king of only 3 herbs of the oldest known formula used specifically for immunity building, known as Yu Ping Feng San in Teachings of Zhu Dan-Xi in the year 1481. The modern form of this formula from Tianjin University of Chinese Medicine adds Reishi and Cordyceps, both of these herbs are on the list to combine with Turkey Tail and both of them are medicinal mushrooms. Astragalus can be used in high doses, so an extract is preferred. A 10:1 Organic Astragalus Extract would work great as you would only need to use 5-10g of that per day.
Conclusion: There are many herbs worth using along side Turkey Tail and all of them are important enough to have their own paper written on them. I have included a handful of herbs and suggestions to help you get started. Once you understand the synergy of herbalism you will find that combinations of herbs are more powerful than single herbs.
The Science of Synergy
In a scientific study on herbs and their synergistic effects the paper found that while testing synergy is not easy there are many studies and tests showing that the proper combination of herbs results in more effective treatments. By using other worthy herbs and medicinal mushrooms you can increase the effects you are achieving from your turkey tail.
Additionally there are products that use Turkey Tail and combine them with other mushrooms and herbs into effective Turkey Tail supplements. Doggie Herbs Immunity Blend uses Turkey Tail with other Organic herbs and medicinal mushrooms. You don’t need to buy multiple products to have an effective combination.