What is it that Shakespeare said? “What’s in a name? That which we call a mushroom by any other name could be so powerfully packed with incredible medicinal properties.” No? Well, that’s what he would have said had he known about the powerful healing properties of turkey tail mushrooms.

What are turkey tail mushrooms?

Turkey tail mushrooms, or Coriolus Versicolor, are colorful mushrooms that resemble their namesake, turkey tails, and grow on the side of dead trees and leaves in the forest. You’ve probably seen these fungal friends while hiking, never giving a second glance to the ancient secret weapon to treating the common cold, losing weight, and fighting cancer.

The Chinese have used these mushrooms in the form of medicinal tea for centuries in order to boost the immune system, but turkey tail mushrooms are just now becoming popular in the United States.

What are the benefits?

Turkey tail mushrooms offer a host of benefits, but their main power is in the way they supercharge the immune system. Use these mushrooms when your sick coworker stands a little too close or when flu season comes around to boost your immune system.

If you are trying to lose weight, turkey tail mushrooms help aid digestion by increasing the number of good bacteria found in your body. Efficient digestion will not only make you feel better, but it will also help you with your bikini bod.

The FDA recently approved clinical testing for patients with advanced prostate cancer to use turkey tail mushrooms in conjunction with their chemotherapy. Given their immune boosting qualities, turkey tail mushrooms are the perfect complement to immune-suppressing chemo drugs. In addition to offering relief from chemotherapy side effects, they may also help patients in their fight against cancer.

Where can you get them?

Turkey tail mushroom supplements are available in capsule, powder and liquid form and can be found at most health food locations, including Chamberlins and Whole Foods. They are also available online. Because some wild mushrooms are harmful to health, do not go turkey tail hunting on your own.

These amazing mushrooms are a natural alternative to traditional medicine, but it’s important to discuss all new supplements with your doctor before use.