Turkey Tail Mushroom
Turkey Tail is one of the first mushrooms I learned about. It began with trying to naturally remedy my seasonal allergies. A friend suggested making tea out of this mushroom that could be found on most any hike I'd take. While it has some look-a-likes, it's easy to identify, rather common, and quite beautiful with it's various colors. Turkey tail quickly became my go-to medicine.
One of the most studied mushrooms for its medicinal properties, turkey tail has been gaining lots of attention in recent years. Studies have shown it has compounds (polysaccharide-K and polysaccharide-P) that can immensely support the immune system. Japanese studies have used these compounds to support the immune system while a patient is receiving chemotherapy. Here's an article by famed mycologist, Paul Stamets, highlighting the science and many benefits of ingesting turkey tail.
Turkey tail grows on most hardwood species. It'll even grow on ash and conifers where we can't grow shiitake and most oyster mushrooms. A while it's found commonly just about everywhere, we've decided we want a more reliable source of this medicine. We've begun producing spawn and inoculating logs we won't use for shiitake and oyster mushroom production.