3 Reasons To Use Turkey Tail Mushrooms For Cancer

How can a type of fungus that grows abundantly on dead logs and trees be medicinal for health? The Chinese have understood the value of mushrooms for centuries. These shriveled, spongy-looking things are loaded with hundreds of therapeutic constituents that reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and combat pathogenic organisms. Here are 3 reasons to use turkey tail mushrooms for cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Turkey Tail mushrooms, species Coriolus versicolor, is one of the many mushrooms that have been studied for their therapeutic properties. Versicolor means multi-colored, and it’s this characteristic that make turkey tail mushrooms easy to identify, coupled with the fact that they look like, you guessed it, turkey tails.

These peculiar looking fungi are bursting with nutrition, antioxidants, and cancer-fighting compounds. They most definitely deserve the renown distinction of being one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Cancer

1. Inhibits Of The Aromatase Enzyme

Why is the aromatase enzyme significant when it comes to cancer? Because of it’s role in the conversion of androgens to estrogen. Estrogen dominance, another term for too much estrogen, is a known risk factor for cancer due to the effect estrogen has on cell proliferation and tumor growth.

Estrogen is a powerful female hormone that controls growth and development. It can also promote cell-mutation and division, along with the rate at which cells mutate. Mutations within DNA alter how cells function, which can cause them to become malignant. It’s no coincidence that female-related cancers are on the rise, especially among young women, with the plethora of xenoestrogens that are pervasive in the environment.

Xenoestrogens mimic the effects of estrogen in the body by attaching to the same hormone receptors that endogenous estrogens attach to. This can stimulate tumor growth, throw the endocrine system out of whack, and is an underlying factor in obesity, itself a risk factor for cancer.

[Read More: 7 Symptoms and Signs of Estrogen Dominance]

Parabens, phthalates, the hormones in meat and dairy, soy, oral contraceptives, and pesticides are just a sampling of the xenoestrogens we have to contend with on a daily basis. Add to this list, the never-ending stress that is part of life, and you’ve got the perfect breeding ground for estrogen dominance and other hormonal imbalances.
Too much estrogen can cause hypothyroidism, leaky gut and nutritional deficiencies, and reduce liver function, which is crucial for eliminating excess estrogen before it can be recirculated. Compounds in turkey tail mushrooms, such as polysaccharides and antioxidants, inhibit the aromatase enzyme, preventing estrogen levels from becoming too high, thereby reducing cancer risk.

2. Modulates The Immune System

Turkey tail mushrooms modulate immune function by stimulating the production of immune cells, including cytotoxic T-cells and natural killer cells, the latter corresponding to reductions in tumor formation and growth. Natural killer cells have the critical job of detecting, targeting, and attacking cancer cells.

An increase in their activity is no small matter since the immune system is the body’s primary defense against cancer, with the optimal functioning of immune molecules fundamental to the eradication of malignant cells. When the immune system is functioning as it should, processes that contribute to cancer should be derailed before cancer can take hold.

It has long been purported that viruses and bacteria play a key role in the development of cancer. Turkey tail mushrooms have strong antiviral properties that are able to eradicate tumor viruses, such as the HPV virus, which is associated with cervical cancer, hepatitis C and liver cancer, H. pylori and gastric cancer, the herpes virus and Kaposi sarcoma, and Epstein-Barr and oncogenic JC virus implicated in cancers of the GI tract.

Mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses that are rich in beta-glucans, naturally occurring, biologically active polysaccharides that improve immune function by both binding and activating macrophages, innate immune cells, to enhance an anti-tumor response. Medicinal agents in mushrooms regenerate tissue growth, produce enzymes, and accelerate healing. They also decompose pathogenic organisms, prevent damage to DNA, block cell replication, and detoxify tissues and cells, all functions that halt the development of cancer in the first place.

[Read More: The Best Medicinal Mushrooms For Cancer]

compassionate cancer coaching

3. Prevents Angiogenesis and Reduces Inflammation

Mushrooms are potent anti-inflammatories. They lower inflammation by inhibiting the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, proteins that initiate and upregulate the inflammatory cycle. Inflammation is an underlying cause of all chronic conditions. Keeping levels of inflammation in check reduces cancer risk.

Turkey tail has an exceptional antioxidant profile, raising levels of two of the body’s most important enzymes, glutathione and superoxide dismutase (SOD). Antioxidants clean up the damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress, a type of stress that damages cells and leads to chronic inflammation, both key factors in cancer development.

As referred to above, turkey tail contains copious amounts of health-promoting polysaccharides, called beta-glucans, which correlate with reductions in tumor growth and metastasis. Angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, is one mechanism in which cancer spreads and tumors grow because additional blood vessels supply a steady influx of oxygen and nutrients, enabling cancer to thrive.  Beta-glucans are thought to inhibit the spread of cancer and prevent tumor growth by halting new blood vessel growth, making them anti-angiogenic, anti-tumor, and anti-metastatic.

In 1980, PSK, also known as Polysaccharide K and marketed as Krestin, was approved in Japan for treating numerous cancers. It’s known as Yun Zhi in traditional Chinese Medicine, and has been used as a holistic remedy for thousands of years. Cancer patients in Japan have access to both PSK and Polysaccharide Peptide (PSP), another powerful compound, which are used in conjunction with conventional treatments, such as surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Sadly, in the United States, PSK is still regarded as a nutritional supplement that is strictly used alternatively to treat cancer.

Buy Turkey Tail capsules here

Mushrooms are also fantastic for pets

Turkey Tail Mushroom powder

Key Points

Mushrooms are generally thought of as culinary delights rather than powerful non-toxic agents for cancer, although they are used worldwide for their outstanding nutritional profile, their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, and to strengthen the body’s defenses.

Medicinal mushrooms are used in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation to build and support immune function. If you or someone you love has cancer, please learn more about these amazing superfoods that can be used as an adjunct therapy in your cancer-fighting arsenal.

Did you know that mushrooms can be used medicinally? Please share your thoughts in the comments below:)




(1) Cancer Biology Graduate Program: How Mutations In Cell DNA Can Lead To Cancer

(2) Nahis: Estrogen Dominance and Hypothyroidism: Is It Hypothyroidism or Hormone Imbalance?

(3) Women in Balance Institute: Medicinal Mushrooms and Breast Cancer: What is the latest research?

(4) PubMed: Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system

(5) The Truth About Cancer: 5 Medicinal Mushrooms That Fight Cancer

(6) The Truth About Cancer: PSK: Popular Japanese Cancer treatment STILL Not Approved in the U.S.

(7) PubMed: The Role of Viral and Bacterial Pathogens in Gastrointestinal Cancer

(8) healthline: 5 Immune-Boosting Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushroom

(9) NCBI: Tumour Angiogenesis and Angiogenic Inhibitors: A Review

(10) NCBI: Targeting Macrophages in Cancer: From Bench to Bedside


Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice.


18 thoughts on “3 Reasons To Use Turkey Tail Mushrooms For Cancer”

  1. I must say that cancer has become something of a great issue and is becoming more rampant by the day. And as we all know, there is no cure as of yet to prevent or contain the disease. The turkey tail mushroom appears to be a formidable adversary to cancer. Thanks for the great post! 

    • It seems that everyone is affected by cancer in one way or another. Unfortunately, there is no cure as of yet. At least we do have some powerful weapons at our disposal to shore up our immune systems. Thanks for your comment:)

  2. Thanks a lot for such an amazing review about 3 Vitally Important Reasons To Use Turkey Tail Mushrooms For Cancer and the explanations that were given. I have heard many times about Turkey Tail Mushrooms and their benefits against cancer, so I decided to search the internet. I have read many articles about it, but this is the best article I have read.

    Thanks again for this post. If you don’t mind, I will share this article on my social media account. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much. Mushrooms are very popular for their disease-fighting properties. Sadly, many people aren’t aware of how medicinal they are. I appreciate you sharing my article on social media. This is pertinent information people should be informed of. 

  3. Great informative article on this wonderful mushroom!  It is amazing to think that the Chinese have had an understanding of the healing properties of mushrooms for centuries.  Your information and references gives credence to the claim.  

    I am particularly struck by reason 2.  The benefits on the immune system, specifically the eradication of tumor causing viruses.  

    Has there been any major scientific or medical studies pertaining to this topic?

    • Thank you Jim. The Chinese have known about the healing properties of mushrooms for centuries. Apparently, we’re behind the times in this regard. Isn’t that interesting about mushrooms being able to eradicate viruses? I know that turkey tail is among the most studied of the mushrooms, and I have included a reference in my post that talks about tumor viruses:)

  4. I was looking for a great place to find information about the proper use of mushrooms.  Not so much for cancer but for the benefits they have for health.  I never knew that there were so many different kinds of mushrooms in the world and that they had such amazing benefits for a person.

    You have put together a great review of the turkey tail mushroom and I thank you for that.  I do have a question about them and that would be, do they have any crazy side effects like some mushrooms do?  Can you find them around the world or only in China?  I wasn’t sure if you had said that but again great info.  

    I look forward to coming back and seeing the answers to my questions.  I wish you all the best.

    P.S.  I don’t know if it is on my side but your photos did not load on your site.  Just thought since I am commenting I would let you know.

    • Hi Douglas,

      It’s quite amazing how many varieties of mushrooms there are, with each having its unique nutritional profile and physiological benefits. I’m sure each has the potential for side effects, although it’s typically dose-related. Turkey tail mushrooms grow abundantly in all parts of the world. They can be found on logs and dead trees. 

      When you say weird side effects, are you referring to the hallucinogen, psilocybin, that is in magic mushrooms? You won’t get that effect with turkey tail. Thanks for alerting me to the fact that my photos aren’t loading. I will check it out ASAP. Thanks for reading and commenting:)

  5. There are so many types of mushrooms around, and I don’t know many of them. I have not heard of the turkey tail mushroom before, although I have seen them a lot, without knowing what they were called ;-) I had no idea about the nutritional properties of the turkey tail mushroom, it is indeed a little powerhouse, like you say. 

    If they are also anti-inflammatory, could I use them for an inflammation of the knee capsule? Would that help for that too? (I’m having this issue at the moment …) How would I ingest them? Cooked or raw? I guess that when they’re raw they have more benefits than if they were cooked, right?

    • Hi Christine,

      Yes, there are many varieties of mushrooms worldwide. Turkey tail is actually one that has been studied the most. Mushrooms are packed with nutrition, polysaccharides, and antioxidants to defend us against disease. I would most definitely used them for your inflamed knee as they’ll reduce inflammation anywhere on the body. You’ll want to take them in capsule or extract form for the highest potency. I included links to high-quality products in my post. Thanks so much for reading! 

  6. Science has not gained all the knowledge about how good mushrooms can be for human health. Thanks for sharing this knowledge about alternative options on how to deal (or even prevent cancer). Angiogenesis prevention on its own is already a really good reason to consume this type of mushroom.

    Forget about all the diseases in the world (ignorance is what’s really killing us). Let’s look forward to spreading the word in order to get healthier on a daily basis. Tech advancements go in the wrong direction (most of the investigation in the entire world last year was related to bust implants or erectile dysfunction, rather than curing cancer or diabetes).

    • I agree with you Juan about angiogenesis prevention being extremely significant all on its own. I also agree with your comment about ignorance killing us. Great comment. Thanks for taking the time to share:)

  7. From a really young age, I started to see the the importance of mushrooms. My mum would use them to make very tasty soups. However, I was oblivious of the fact that they were highly nutritious and beneficial to our health, not to mention their cancer-fighting properties. This is indeed, eye-opening. Thank you for sharing!

    • Mushrooms are nutritional powerhouses, a secret your mother must have known. Mother’s are usually ahead of the curve in many respects. Mushrooms are one of our best defenses agains chronic disease. I appreciate you reading my article:)

  8. I enjoyed reading your post and I have learned something new today as I have never heard of Turkey tail mushrooms. So they both prevent and heal cancer?

    You have mentioned that Turkey tail mushrooms contains antioxidants, from your knowledge do you think  they are good for skin? Can you please also advise, do Turkey tail mushrooms come only in a capsule form?

    • Thank you. Mushrooms can prevent cancer by strengthening the immune system, reducing inflammation, and preventing estrogen dominance. They’re also used alternatively as a cancer therapy to fortify the body. 

      Yes, antioxidants are great for the skin. It’s why vitamin C is used extensively in beauty-care and anti-aging products. You can buy turkey tail mushrooms, not only in capsule form, but in extracts and as a tea. It’s also great for pets. Thanks for leaving a comment:)

  9. Thank you for the astonishing article on the importance of using Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Cancer.

    Three siblings of mine died of cancer, so my experience with this topic is first hand. A family with a cancer patient is a devastated family; the psychological tole in carries on all the members is immense.

    The feeling of helplessness adds insult to injury on all levels, BUT mother nature is generous, and while we do not treat her well, she still provides us the weapons needed for us to fight diseases such as cancer.

    The capabilities of Turkey Tail Mushrooms are just amazing, and I will start taking the supplement you recommended to reap the rewards and for precaution!



    • Hi Jordan,

      Oh my goodness, I am so terribly sorry that you have lost three siblings to cancer. That is just tragic. Yes, cancer most definitely affects the entire family. I can only imagine your feelings of helplessness and despair. We are blessed to have mother nature’s bounty at our disposal, with turkey tail mushrooms being part of that bounty, and an effective weapon against disease. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post:)


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