The turkey mushroom (Trametes versicolor) is not edible, at least not by humans, but it is certainly pretty. It sort of reminds you of a turkey proudly displaying his feathers, hence the name. While it may not be edible, some herbalists prescribe this very hard and leathery mushroom as an “anti-cancer” treatment. The American Cancer Society says there’s no evidence to support that claim, but they do acknowledge that the turkey mushroom contains PSK (polysaccharide-K), which they do acknowledge has anti-cancer properties.
|The turkey mushroom (Trametes versicolor).|
A simple Google search will show you the many studies out there on PSK and how it can reduce some cancers and the chance of recurrence. You’ll also find that the turkey mushroom is rich in beta-glucans, which are known for their ability to enhance and activate the immune system. They also help the body to maintain an ideal cholesterol level. You may have heard of the famous beta-glucans in oats, the “heart friendly” cereal.
I see them everywhere when I walk through the woods. I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that everything we need--everything!--is out there in nature somewhere, waiting for us to notice it. I am also convinced that we are led to the things we need if we walk with an open mind and are willing to learn. So, like the Reishi mushrooms I took last July and tinctured, I will also take some of these turkey mushrooms and tincture them as well. I’d be a fool to turn away a gift.
[This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as culinary advice. If you are not intimately familiar with mushrooms, err on the side of caution and do not collect or eat them. This article is also not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any ailment. If you need medical advice, seek a physician.]