The Turkey Tail (Trametes Versicolor) mushroom are a polypore mushroom that come in a range of colors. They have visible pores on their underside, unlike some crust mushrooms that look similar but lack this feature.
Turkey Tail is one of the most commonly used medicinal mushrooms. In Japan, a compound of Turkey Tail, Polysaccharide K (PSK) has been approved for contemporary cancer treatments. Turkey Tail has been referenced in the Traditional Chinese Medicine Materia Medica since the early 15th century. It is used to clear damp condition, strengthen the stomach, spleen, and lungs. It can help increase energy, hence its application for convalescence in long-term diseases. Turkey tail characteristically embodies this strength through it's stubborn resilience. It is found growing even on anti-fungal Pine trees!
For everyday use, a strong tea or infusion can be made of the mushroom. It is especially beneficial for treating immune suppression and sluggishness.
It's always optimal to use fresh plant matter when making medicine. If you have fresh turkey tail, wash the mushrooms and boil in water for about an hour. You can let simmer until it becomes a dark liquid. Some make tinctures out of the mushroom, but doing this requires a double extraction process as the beta-glucans, proteoglycans, and other immune-supporting polysaccharides require a water extraction.
The most simplified way to enjoy its benefits in a pinch is to simply chew on the fresh mushroom itself! Turkey Tail is one of the most medicinally researched mushrooms. I encourage you to read up on it and discover other ways folks integrate this fungi into their health routines
DISCLAIMER: This website is not intended as a substitute for conventional medicine, nor is it a mushroom identification guide. Please continue to consult your doctor if you have a serious medical condition. It is also important to speak to your doctor about possible drug interactions or contraindications before consuming a new plant or fungi in medicinal form. This website is intended to inspire curiosity in nature and to foster a connection with the natural world. However, this is not an identification guide, and I cannot take responsibility for any harm that may come to you from foraging and consuming wild funghi. If foraging, make sure you are able to identify the correct species with 100% certainty before consuming, and that you are familiar with poisonous look-alikes.