• Turkey Tail

    Coriolus versicolor

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    Turkey Tail has a long history of use in both Native American and Oriental medicine. The observed healing properties prompted Chinese and Japanese scientists to begin clinical research on the use of Turkey Tail in clinical practice. It was identified that compounds found in a particular strain of Turkey Tail, named COV-1 are the most beneficial as they have specific compounds. This gave birth to two potent extracts named polysaccharopeptide Krestin (PSK), the Japanese version, and polysaccharopeptide PSP, the Chinese version. Both are extracted from Coriolus mycelia and are used in conventional healthcare in China and Japan as adjuvant cancer therapy

    The polysaccharopeptides found in Turkey Tail have a broad range of physiological activity including immune system enhancement, antitumor and anticancer effects, antimicrobial effects, and various other effects contributing to increased quality of life.


    Alternative names:

    In Chinese Yun Zhi (cloud mushroom), in Japanese Kawaratake (roof tile mushroom),



    Around 1965 Coriolus versicolor was “discovered” by modern science. A popular (but unverifiable) story circulating on the internet goes as follows: a chemical engineer working for the Japanese Kureha Chemical Industry Company Ltd., observed his neighbor attempting to cure himself of gastric cancer after having been rejected for treatment by the hospitals. The man turned towards a traditional medicine, Saru-no-koshikake, which is a tea made from the Coriolus versicolor. He used this for several months and, amazingly enough, he managed to cure himself. The engineer was intrigued and convinced his employer to investigate the mushroom in depth.

    The rest is history. Kureha Labs managed to isolate active compounds from the mycelium and identified the most potent mycelia strain (CM-101). The mycelia contained a very specific type of protein-linked polysaccharide (beta-glucan), which seemed to be responsible for its therapeutic effects. Such a compound is called proteo-glycan or glyco-protein.

    Key Actions:

    • Antiaging/geroprotective
    • Anti-cancer & adjuvant therapy
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Antioxidant
    • Anti-viral (HPV)
    • Hepatoprotective
    • Immunomodulatory
    • Lipid-modulatory
    • Neuroprotective

    Key Indications:

    • Cancer adjuvant therapy
    • Chronic bronchitis
    • Dysbiosis
    • Hepatitis
    • Hyperlipidaemia
    • Immune support
    • Meniere’s disease
    • Neuroinflammatory condition
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    Key active compounds:


    Polysaccharides - unique peptidopolysaccharides (peptide covalently linked to Beta-glucans main chain), are dominant in the fruit body and mycelium.

    The following fractions from liquid cultivated mycelia strains are approved for use in China and Japan as adjuvant cancer therapy:

    • Polysaccharide peptide (PSP) strain CM101
    • Polysaccharide Kerstin (PSK) strain COV-1

    Fruiting body contains high amounts of mixed-linkage Beta glucans


    Terpenes - Betulin & betulinic acid

    Sterols - ergosterol, ergosterol peroxide and other derivatives

    Lipids - Trilinolein, cerebrosides

    Phenolic compounds - Baicalein, baicalin, quercetin, catechin

    Other compounds - proteins, amino acids, purpurins

  • PSP & PSK


    PSK (PolySaccharide-Kureha) was discovered and isolated for the first time in 1969. The isolation protocol was patented and after several years of research and clinical trials the product was ratified as an official medicine under the brand name Krestin in 1977 by the Japanese Ministry of Health. Five years later the Chinese professor Qing-yao Yang managed to isolate an even more potent variation from a different strain of mycelia: PSP.


    PSP (polysaccharopeptide) was ratified as an official medicine by the Chinese Government in 1992/93.

    PSP and PSK have each been extracted from specific strains of the Coriolus mycelia (Cov-1® and CM-101, respectively), and each needs a specific extraction protocol to get the results (as described in the patents)

  • Turkey Tail grows naturally around the world, in many types of forests, although it is primarily found throughout mixed hardwood deciduous forests. The cap is characterised by defined bands of different colours ranging from cream, grey, yellow, orange, and brown. The cap’s surface is finely fuzzy or velvety. Many clearly resemble a turkey’s tail. The inner flesh is white and rubbery. They have no gills, they have pores.


    Turkey tail is technically edible, however the texture can be described as tough and leathery. For this reason, Turkey Tail is usually dried, ground into a powder, and consumed as tea.




    Turkey Tail was mentioned in the first written text on medicinal herbs from the Han Dynasty, Shennong Ben Cao Jing (Classic of the Materia Medica), around 200 BC. There are also records of Turkey Tail from the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century Compendium of Materia Medica (Ben Cao Gang Mu) by Li ShiZhen. In this text, it is said that the “The black and green Yun Zhi (Turkey Tail) are beneficial to one’s spirit and vital energy and strengthen one’s tendon and bone. If Yun Zhi is taken for a long time, it will make one vigorous and live long”.


  • Research articles