Rarity breeds value, though not always. The unusual skill demands more attention; the atypical product commands more worth; the inimitable personality is not forgotten.
And then there’s turkey tail.
This fungus (which, believe it or not, resembles a turkey’s tail in appearance) is quite ubiquitous and pervasive throughout North America. No seasoned mushroom hunter — at least here in Pennsylvania — would label this mushroom’s status as “rare” or “uncommonly found.” One quick jaunt through any wooded setting could quite possibly yield several turkey tail sightings.
Ubiquity, however, does not discredit this mushroom’s worth.
Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is a premiere medicinal mushroom. Used traditionally for centuries in Asian cultures, this species is currently one of the most well-researched fungi in the areas of cancer, immune system recovery, and human health. Numerous medicinal compounds have been isolated from turkey tail, and several clinical trials have been performed on human participants.
Did I already mention how accessible this mushroom is?
If you are interested in learning more about the turkey tail mushroom, I encourage you to watch this video I recently filmed. In it, I discuss how to properly identify this species, as well as how to discern between it and two of its look-alikes — the false turkey tail (Stereum ostrea) and the violet toothed polypore (Trichaptum biforme). Medicinal benefits are also discussed, including a few recent studies whose results could impress even the most hardened skeptic.
Check out the video to learn more!