Turkey Tail - Trametes versicolor
Wildly common and prolific this medicinally potent mushroom can be found on dead hardwood logs in almost anywhere in the world. They are one of the most common mushrooms on the planet. I found these beauties on a fallen maple log in a local forested park. Called a bracket fungi this mushroom features a leathery or paper like texture growing in layers as you see in the photo above. It also features tiny pores underneath the multi colored top resembling a 'turkey tail', the under side is also a creamy white color making it look very different then a traditionally 'gilled' mushroom.
The Turkey tail is a powerful immune booster; strong enough to help cancer patients rebound after radiation therapy. It has been tested for several years for cancer therapies here is a link to one study: that focuses on breast cancer patients. In Asia it is renouned as a Cancer Therapy but here in the Western world where funding for various treatments is funded by Pharmaceutical Companies research is limited as it is so widely available and would not be able to be patented.
This mushroom is also a strong anti viral, known to be helpful fighting HPV and Liver Ailments such as Hepatitis C. Turkey Tail is full of selenium which not only nourishes our body but also helps it to eliminate mercury. It is a strong antioxidant , antiinflammatory, and pain reliever. It also helps to build energy and helps to combat respiratory ailments and reduces phlem.
This mushroom may not have the notariety of other medicinal fungi including Reishi, Chaga etc. but this is clearly a strongly beneficial addition to your health routine. Add a tincture or tea which is the most traditional way to take it in the east. And always be sure to harvest the correct mushroom, there is one look alike so be sure to identify it with its various rings and creamy pore filled underside. Here are some additional photos, it is best to have someone familiar with the identification process with you or to identify them before consumption.