The Complete Guide to the Coriolus Mushroom (Turkey Tail)

Josh Beaty

The Complete Guide to the Coriolus Mushroom (Turkey Tail)

May 14, 2020

Mushrooms are complicated organisms. They could be eatable, poisonous, or medicinally beneficial. And while modern science has long assumed that mushrooms came into existence a few thousand or hundred thousand years ago, some recent samples have been dated back to nearly one billion years ago.

As such, there's quite a lot that we still don't understand about the grandiose and varied mushroom kingdom. It's estimated that humans have only identified about 10% of mushroom species.

As fungal research continues, physicians and pharmacists around the world eagerly explore the beneficial medicinal qualities of mushrooms. Some even help to improve immunity, reduce stress levels, and even aid digestion.

One of the more surprisingly helpful fungi is the Coriolus mushroom, also known as 'Turkey Tail'. If you've never heard of this mushroom, don't worry. Though this fungus is very much among us, it's known by many names, which could make identification a little confusing.

Keep reading to discover why this particular mushroom is getting a lot of attention.

What Is the Coriolus Mushroom?

Any home cook or professional chef can tell you—Mushrooms come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some mushrooms grow in damp areas with the traditional stalk-and-cap style of fungus. Others only grow in dry areas and look more like rings of tree bark than squishy mushrooms.

The Coriolus mushroom resembles the latter. It is a crusty, thin, and hard type of fungus that can be found growing on the sides of hardwood trees. One of its many nicknames is Turkey Tail, thanks to its unique coloring and growing pattern. 

The next time you happen to take a walk through a well-wooded forest or park, keep an eye out for these mushrooms. They're incredibly common, which is excellent news for the medical community. While homeopathic practitioners and natural healers have been using Coriolus Versicolor fungus to treat disease for centuries, modern medicine is just now catching on.

These tree-friendly fungi might help fight the growth of tumors, as well as stimulate the immune system. Studies are ongoing, and only time will tell just how potent this ancient organism really is. 

Benefits of Consuming Coriolus Mushrooms

Though there are many potential benefits of taking Coriolus mushrooms, there is not enough current scientific or medical data to firmly support many of the claims put forth by consumers.

And though there are centuries, if not millennia, of anecdotal evidence to support the health benefits of consuming different types of mushrooms, including Turkey Tail, it's important to remember that the research is still ongoing in regards to most of these claims.

That being said, some of Coriolus's most significant potential effects include:

  • Immune Support
  • Improved Chemotherapy Response
  • Improved Digestive Functioning

A healthy immune system and a healthy gut are intrinsically linked, so taking care of both of them with a single product is efficient and budget-friendly. And physicians in Asia have been using Coriolus Versicolor fungus to help treat bowel discomfort for many years, though Western studies and tests are still ongoing.

Taking a Closer Look 

When bacteria or viruses enter the body, white blood cells seek and destroy that invading material. Our bodies have two primary immunities. The type that we're born with is called innate immunity. But children are susceptible to dangerous infections and illnesses because they have yet to develop the second type of immunity, adaptive.

Adaptive immunity is what allows B cells, a specific type of white blood cell, to produce antibodies. Coriolus Versicolor mushrooms encourage the body to produce more of these highly specialized cells in a process called B-cell activation. These powerful cells help our bodies avoid overwhelming systemic infections.

Turkey Tail Mushroom Side Effects

There are not many side effects associated with Coriolus mushroom consumption. Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or who are breastfeeding should consult with their doctor before taking any type of mushroom-based supplement.

Still, it is unlikely that consumers will experience any negative consequences when consuming Turkey Tail mushrooms. One of the greatest dangers here are allergies, so users should begin supplementation by consuming only small amounts. Still, final dosages are bound to vary from person to person.

Common Turkey Tail Mushroom Dosages

The right dosage for any individual depends on their current health status and needs, as well as the type of supplement taken. For example, a direct powder or whole cooked mushroom will have a different dosage than an extract supplement. 

Deciding which dosage is right for you may require a little professional advice. Don't be afraid to reach out to your health care provider or physician with questions before adding any new supplements to your diet. Of course, you could always contact a Coriolus supplier for answers to specific questions pertaining to the product.

Intake Methods

Like most modern medicinal products, Coriolus mushrooms can be consumed or applied in a variety of ways. Most of which involve some form of ingesting the mushroom, either via capsule or cooked whole mushrooms. Ingestion allows users to experience effects and benefits within six to eight hours.

The exact time it will take your body to digest the mushrooms depends on your biology. Some people have highly active metabolisms and will digest foods rapidly, while others have sluggish metabolisms that will take a long time to break things down.

Some may prefer to order raw Coriolus and boil it to make a tea. This method is perfectly safe and suitable, as long as the mushrooms are fresh or properly dried. It's also important to buy mushrooms from a reputable supplier.

There are also a plethora of functional-mushroom-based supplements on the market as the popularity of these mushrooms rises. If you are a brand looking to formulate a new supplement with these mushrooms, make sure you do your research and choose a reputable supplier with high-quality extracts. 

Other Types of Medicinal Mushrooms

Turkey Tail mushrooms aren't the only mushrooms with positive health benefits. There are tons of other fungi that are just as powerful. Since science and medicine are just beginning to explore the potential of fungal-based treatments, it's likely that this list will only grow with time.

Still, here are some of the most common and potent medicinal mushrooms, in addition to Coriolus versicolor.

Reishi

Individuals struggling with anxiety, weight, or immunodeficiency disorders could benefit from snacking on a few of these mushrooms. Reishi mushrooms have been found to help lower stress levels and even aid with weight loss. And because those who enjoy these fungi feel so calm, they're more likely to focus clearly and sleep restfully.

Chaga

Though the caps of these mushrooms look like slightly-burned pancakes when dried, they turn into a cocoa-like powder when crushed. Unfortunately, this powder doesn't taste very chocolatey. Still, the health benefits of this particular strain make it more than worth the bitterness.

Chaga power or caps can help improve skin condition and quality, preventing and repairing damaged or wrinkled areas. Chaga mushrooms are also beloved for their regenerative and immune-boosting properties.

Cordyceps

While this type of mushroom became notorious as the 'zombie' fungus in specific insects, it has some notable benefits for humans. Eastern cultures have long prized Cordyceps mushrooms for their energy and focus-boosting benefits. 

Each insect infected by Cordyceps essentially gave its life to help create a perfect, immune-boosting, energy-supporting, anti-inflammatory mushroom. If you can get past the way they look and how they're harvested, you're bound to enjoy this fungus.

Lion’s Mane

Lion's Mane fungus looks very similar to cauliflower and has a particularly mild, earthy taste. Some have noted that it kind of looks like a brain, which is funny when you consider that Lion's Mane is often celebrated as a brain-boosting supplement.

This mushroom helps to promote nerve growth factor (NGF) and myelin, helping to protect the brain from damage. Regular ingestion of this fungus could help prevent early stages of memory-loss diseases and conditions. 

Lion's Mane may also help regulate moods. So, you can feel smarter, calmer, and more capable!

Maitake

Maitake mushrooms are a fantastic combination of flavor and healthfulness. They're incredibly tasty, but they're also amazingly good for you. In addition to boosting immunity, this fungus can also reduce inflammation in diabetic and pre-diabetic consumers.

Coriolus Versicolor Mushrooms Could Be Right for You

Though studies are still ongoing, there is a significant amount of evidence to support Turkey Tail's beneficial qualities. And, there's also little evidence of harmful side effects from consuming Coriolus mushrooms. Consequently, there's very little reason not to try a Coriolus capsule, supplement, or dietary product.

For more information on mushroom-based supplements and extracts, be sure to check out our helpful guide today!