What are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?
There are flat and strange-looking yet beneficial mushrooms growing in abundance all over the world. These essentially plain mushrooms are called turkey tails.
Although these mushrooms may appear quite ordinary, they have caught the attention of nutritionists and scientists across the globe due to the potential to save lives as well as the anti-cancer properties. The Chinese have relied on these mushrooms for the medicinal properties for thousands of years.
Unfortunately, these mushrooms are still fairly unfamiliar in the Western world. The belief is this will be changing soon since turkey tails have recently received approval from the FDA as supplements due to trials involving people with cancer.
Scientists have learned turkey tails are a powerful weapon for immune therapy and may be beneficial for patients with breast cancer. Medical mushrooms might provide cancer patients of every type with better and longer lives.
What many people are unaware of is that medical mushrooms for dogs and cats offer numerous benefits. These mushrooms are used as an immunity booster to help a pet's body recognize and directly fight cancer tumors.
A study was conducted for turkey tails by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The participants were dog breeds suffering from an aggressive form of cancer. Due to the aggressiveness of this specific cancer, the average lifespan of the dog is just 86 days.
The researchers were shocked by the study results. When receiving only turkey tail mushrooms as treatment, some of the animals lived for more than a year as opposed to 86 days.
Another study was conducted by two pet groomers. The mushrooms were tested on the tumors of the groomer's pets. One dog had a tumor already confirmed as cancer, the other tumor had not yet been tested. Both animals showed tumor shrinkage and improved health.
The tumor for the undiagnosed dog completely disappeared. The veterinarian was unable to determine if the tumor was malignant or benign because no trace remained. Turkey tails are not simply another fad. Also referred to as the Trametes Versicolor and Coriolus Versicolor, turkey tails belong to the Polyporaceae family classified within the Fungi Kingdom. This type of cloud mushroom commonly grows on dead wood throughout the world.
One of the reasons this mushroom is different from others is it thrives when the temperature is moderate or warm and can even survive during the winter months. One of the most common areas this mushroom is found is in the North American woods.
Turkey tails also grow on conifer wood, stumps, and dead hardwood logs. Certain types of mushrooms including the shiitake have gills enabling the spreading of spores. Since turkey tails belong to the polypore family, they release spores through tiny pores.
The name of the mushroom is due to the colorful stripes similar to the plume feathers of a turkey. There is Chinese medical documentation going back to the Ming Dynasty of the 15th century. In Japan, this mushroom is called a cloud mushroom or kawaritake.
Turkey tails are becoming very well known for possessing immune-boosting properties. The image of the cloud mushroom has become a symbol of both health and longevity. The mushroom has a unique overlapping formation also partially responsible for its name.
The cap of the mushroom contains ring formations in a wide variety of colors. The most common colors are red, white, brown, orange, and yellow. Some turkey tails also have blue and grey. There is no stem, so the growth occurs in overlapping waves and brackets on the surface. The fans are tough, thin, and flat with visible pores. The texture of the mushroom is generally smooth and velvety.
Medical mushrooms for cats and dogs provide numerous health benefits because they contain beta-glucans also referred to as polysaccharopeptides or polysaccharides. This is a type of sugar occurring naturally and linked in the cell walls of animals and plants through glycosidic bonds. This provides pets with a fairly wide range of health benefits.
Scientists conducting research in cancer centers have discovered the PSP or polysaccharopeptides found in turkey tail mushrooms provide a better quality of life for pets suffering from cancer.
The properties of the mushroom prolong the life of these pets and offer a supportive supplement for animals undergoing chemotherapy as well as a natural remedy. Supplements containing turkey tails can help stop tumors from growing in a cat or dog.
Oncology studies have shown this mushroom improves the immune system's ability to attack and kill cancer cells naturally. This is important because radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and cancer often harm the immune system.
Patients suffering from breast cancer were given supplements containing turkey tails. The result showed a boost to the immune system. The School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania conducted another study involving dogs suffering from Hemangiosarcoma.
This is a type of cancer affecting the walls of the blood cells. In most instances, the spleen or heart of the dog is affected. These medical mushrooms for dogs increased the survival time of the participating animals.
In the past, the average survival time for the dog was approximately three months. Although chemotherapy has been used to fight this type of cancer, there was no significant change in the life expectancy of the dog and the quality of life was poor. The pets receiving this supplement lived for over a year.
A cancer study was conducted to determine if turkey tails affected chronic inflammation. Inflammation allows the tumors to grow while enabling the progression of cancer. This is due to the engagement between the microenvironment of the tumor and the cell's bioactive molecules.
The study showed medical mushrooms for cats and dogs help slow down the growth of the cancer cells. In some cases, these mushrooms can kill cancer cells. The mushrooms also decreased inflammation in the digestive, urinary, and respiratory tracts.
Urinary and Digestive Health
Turkey tails have the ability to regulate immune cells responsible for inflammation. Not only are turkey tails good for the digestive health of a dog or cats, but it is a healthy prebiotic.
Prebiotics are important for beneficial bacteria growth in the digestive tract. These bacterias are an important part of the immune system, produce essential fatty acids and vitamins and decrease digestive inflammation. These mushrooms might also provide protection for the liver.
Medical mushrooms for cats or a dog are high in antioxidants. One study showed medical mushrooms have 38 phenolic compounds such as terpenoids and flavonoids.
Both humans and animals suffering from an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants in the body experience an improvement in immune function and overall wellness when adding supplements containing turkey tails to their diets.
The rich antioxidants are responsible for the overall health boost. The risk of a dog or cat suffering from chronic illnesses including heart disease and cancer decreases with the use of these mushrooms.
These mushrooms help remove excess yeast with beneficial colonies of bacteria. This improves the response of the immune system in fighting yeast. Turkey tails are also anti-fungal. This means these supplements are excellent for a yeast fighting regimen.
Strengthening the Immune System
When an immune system is healthy, it has the ability to protect the body from viruses, parasites, and bacteria, control inflammation and fight free radicals. The beta-glucans in medical mushrooms are capable of doing all of this.
This means any common pet affliction has a decreased chance of attacking the body. When the immune system receives optimal support, the function improves. This alone is a good reason to give pets turkey tails.
Enhancing Gut Health
Pets can suffer from numerous issues due to poor digestive health. The most common ailments for pets with poor gut health and diets include:
Irritable bowel syndrome
Fluctuating body weight
Urinary tract infections
Turkey tails are also rich in prebiotics while producing essential vitamins and fatty acids to support inflammatory response and the immune system.
These mushrooms provide pets with phytochemicals to enhance health. This includes catechin, protocatechuic acid, and gallic acid. All of these are important antioxidant phenolic compounds.
Turkey tails are considered safe with very few possible side effects. Side effects in studies have been fairly rare. If your pet is pregnant, lactating or breeding, safety has not yet been established and these mushrooms should be avoided whenever possible. The potential side effects include:
Whenever you give your pet something new, allergies are always possible. The most common allergy symptoms to look for include vomiting, diarrhea or both. If your pet's stomach is sensitive, you may see symptoms due to their digestive tract.
Low Blood Pressure:
Although uncommon, low blood pressure is possible. If your pet is taking blood thinners or hypertensive drugs, you should not give them turkey tails.
Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is possible if your pet is taking medication for low blood sugar. If you decide to proceed, your pet's blood glucose levels need to be monitored. The side effects of low blood sugar include anxiety, confusion, weakness, and heart palpitations.
If you have any concerns, talk to your vet before giving anything new to your pet. Since you know your pet, you should be able to spot any side effects. If you begin a new treatment at the same time and there are side effects, stop using the mushrooms to see if the side effects disappear. If they do not, they are caused by the treatment and not the mushrooms.
Turkey Tails and Cannabis or A CBD Dominate Product
To enhance the effects of these mushrooms and lessen the discomfort of your pet, you can use them in conjunction with cannabis or a CBD dominate (hemp) product. Both cannabis and CBD are popular holistic remedies for the support and health of your pet.
If your pet is suffering from cancer, the combination of turkey tails and CBD may provide relief from discomfort, especially if your pet is undergoing chemotherapy. More and more research is becoming available as to how either cannabis or a hemp product provides health benefits to your pet.
Purchasing Turkey Tails and CBD
Just like with any supplement, quality is important. Unfortunately, not all turkey tails and CBD products are equal. Make certain you can clearly see the product ingredients on the label. The dosage is dependent on the health requirements and weight of your pet. Make certain you follow the manufacturer's directions to avoid an overdose since this can result in toxicity or bowel irritation.
The health benefits have been confirmed by the scientific community including improving immune strength by activating your pet's white blood cells, balancing the immune response through the regulation of immune cell compounds, and protecting your pet by increasing innate immune cells. If you are concerned about the ingredients in any product, your best option is to research the manufacturer.
Ongoing research is still in progress to show the value of turkey tails. Numerous papers are currently being prepared for publication in immunological journals. There is a wide variety of supplements containing turkey tails and CBD available for your pets. If one supplement is much cheaper than the rest, there is a reason. Do not risk sacrificing quality to save a few dollars.
Turkey tails are colorful fungi offering your pet a variety of health benefits. This amazing mushroom supports immune function, provides beneficial gut bacteria and enriching antioxidants, offers relief from oxidating stress, and is one of the wonders of nature.
If you are interested in a natural way to improve the health of your pet, this is an excellent option. Supplements are available for purchase here.