Does Research Back Claims about Turkey Tail Benefits?

There is a lot of great research on turkey tail mushrooms that we have been following but we also recently came across this great review paper that nicely summarizes some of the benefits of turkey tail that are backed by research. This review – A comprehensive review on the health benefits, phytochemicals, and enzymatic constituents for potential therapeutic and industrial applications of Turkey tail mushrooms – helped to summarize just how promising turkey tail mushroom is for treating many illnesses. Here is a really brief review of what the paper showed us: 

Or, if you prefer, we made a nice review of the benefits of turkey tail here: 

Summary of Turkey Tail Research 

Regulation of the immune system 

Turkey tail mushrooms can improve immune responses and even have antitumor activity against cancers like breast, lung, gastric, and colorectal cancer. Key compounds that were tested like polysaccharide krestin (PSK) and polysaccharide peptides (PSP) promote immune response by activating specific immune cells and reducing inflammation.

Antimicrobial Properties

Like a few other functional mushrooms, turkey tail exhibits antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activities. They have shown to be effective against bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli, and even help fight viruses like HIV and HPV and show potential in helping th vody to defend against influenza and herpes.

Cancer Fighting Properties

Used as supplemental treatment alongside modern cancer treatment, the PSK and other components in turkey tail mushrooms can inhibit cancer cell growth and even help chemotherapy be more effective overall. They show promise in treating colorectal, gastric, and pancreatic cancers by boosting the immune system.


Turkey tail mushrooms, like rosehips, are rich in polyphenolic compounds. These compounds reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. They improve immune function and are even being looked into for their potential in skincare products to mitigate oxidative damage.

Hepatoprotective Effects

PSK found in turkey tail exhibits protective effects against liver damage and cancer. Studies suggest that turkey tail extracts enhance antioxidant enzyme levels and support liver detoxification processes.

Cardiovascular Activities

Turkey tail is good for your heart too! These mushrooms have various cardiovascular benefits, including antiplatelet, analgesic, and antipyretic properties.

End Note 

Turkey tail mushrooms have been used as traditional medicine for a long time and research is finally catching up! By reviewing all the research done so far on this mushroom we can see that it is an incredible mushroom with many benefits for general health as well as for preventing and combating serious diseases such as cancer. 

If you want to read more about turkey tail check out this ultimate guide to turkey tail. Or if you’d like a few other functional mushrooms to add to your diet try watching this video for ideas. 

Written by Kirstynn Joseph

Kirstynn graduated with a Bachelors in Ecology from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada in 2018. She was born in Yukon Territory, and is currently living in Ecuador, where she is working on various projects and exploring as much as she can before she figures out the next big adventure. She is passionate about the outdoors, about nature and conservation, and of course, science! She loves writing, art and photography and strives to share the wonders of our big mysterious world with as many people as she can.

You can follow Kirstynn Joseph