Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Edible?

Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Edible?

Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Edible?

Using functional mushrooms has gone from a niche practice to one of the biggest wellness trends of the 21st century. The numbers prove it, too: Data indicates the global market for edible mushrooms will soar to $62.18 billion by 2032.

Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Edible?

But just looking around at the potential health benefits is evidence enough. From #functionalmushroom posts filling your social feeds to mushroom lattes on the blackboard at your local cafe, it’s clear that fungi have officially gone mainstream. And while you may be increasingly familiar with the most common fungi species like reishi and lion’s mane, what’s the background on turkey tail mushrooms? Moreover, especially given its name, is a turkey tail mushroom really edible?

In short: Yes, at least in the most literal sense, but very few might actually suggest tossing turkey tail mushrooms into your casserole or salad. Here’s why—and how you can incorporate this incredible mushroom into your life in a much more delectable way. 

What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Turkey tail mushrooms are one of approximately 100 wild mushrooms that fall under the umbrella of “adaptogenic mushrooms.” This means that, unlike those porcini mushrooms you might really add to your casserole or salad, they work with (or adapt to) your body to support balance and overall well-being. 

Technically known as Trametes versicolor, turkey tail mushrooms have a long, rich history. They’re native to North American woods, where they grow on more than 70 different hardwood trees and conifers and are often found on stumps and fallen logs. They’re also found in deciduous forests throughout Europe and Asia.

Their unusual name is a nod to their spectacularly colored, fan-shaped exterior, which, quite literally, looks like a turkey’s feathered tail.

Is Turkey Tail Mushroom Edible?


What Are Some Turkey Tail Benefits?

Ancient and contemporary mushroom users call upon the fungi to support overall health, including lung function as well as healthy cell turnover. Ditto in Japan, where the fungi have long been known as partake—or “roof tile fungus,” in part because of their unique shape!

Today, the turkey tail species of mushrooms are one of the most comprehensively studied fungi, and yet we’re still unlocking the depths of their potential. Presently, researchers are exploring turkey tail’s possible capacity to:

  • Support athletic performance 
  • Supports the body with occasional fatigue
  • Supports energy levels
  • Promotes healthy weight maintenance by not peaking your blood sugar (it's a low-sugar food!)
  • Support cognitive function
  • Supports bone health

Naturally Support Immune System Health

A strong immune system is one of your greatest lines of defense in staving off viruses, infections, and diseases. There’s plenty you can do on a daily basis to keep it performing at its peak, like following a nutritious diet and prioritizing sound, rejuvenating sleep. But did you know that turkey tail mushrooms also support immune health? 

Incorporate turkey tail mushrooms into your daily or weekly routine—like in a tea, broth, or even a gummy—and you create a shield of protection around your body. And when your body's immune response is in optimal shape, your body can direct its energy levels to things like focus, stamina, and creativity, rather than using it all for immune function.

Support Your Gut Health

Chances are, you’ve seen the growing interest in improving gut microbiome and intestinal balance in the name of full-body wellness. Our gut health is having a social media moment! But for good reason. Gut dysbiosis, or an imbalance in your tummy, can lead to a host of health complications. Meanwhile, a sound ratio between your good bacteria and bad gut bacteria can foster:

  • A clearer complexion
  • Increased energy
  • More restful sleep
  • Healthy digestion

Turkey tail mushrooms can also support your gut health. Turkey tail mushrooms are full of prebiotics, which fuel the helpful gut bacteria needed to find intestinal equilibrium.

Promote Overall Wellness

Mushrooms, as a whole, are nutritional powerhouses. Turkey tail, in particular, is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential to wellness. These include:


  • Selenium is found in a variety of foods, including eggs, Brazil nuts, chicken breasts, and sunflower seeds. Selenium supplies cardiovascular, cognitive, and thyroid support and acts as a potent antioxidant. 

Vitamin D

  • Colloquially known as the sunshine vitamin, vitamin D has a hand in regulating immunity and calcium absorption. Think of it like sunshine’s sidekick: it helps balance out (and brighten) moods.

Vitamin B3

  • Also known as niacin, vitamin B3 is famous for dozens of reasons, including its skin health-enriching properties.

Together, these vitamins play an important role in our well-being. There is most certainly a reason to go foraging (or to your local health store) looking for mushrooms that can increase your daily intake of these vitamins!

Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms Fit for Consumption?

History and benefits aside, the question remains: Is a turkey tail mushroom truly edible?

As mentioned, yes, they are safe for consumption. But turkey tail mushrooms have thick, chitinous cell walls; this gives them a rough, leathery tough texture that, for some, makes them less palatable. They’re also decidedly less delicious than other functional and culinary mushrooms like shiitake mushrooms, morels, crimini, or lion’s mane. (As for, can you eat lion’s mane raw? The answer to that is yes too, but they’re significantly better cooked.) 

Because of its leathery tough texture, most people prefer to steep turkey tail in hot water for delicious teas or umami-packed broths. Many people will dry the fungi and add the powder to sauces or smoothies. 

(A word of caution here: If you forage for turkey tail mushrooms off of dead hardwood logs or elsewhere in the forest, bear in mind that, while distinct, they can easily be mistaken for wild, poisonous mushrooms and must be properly identified before eating.) 

How to Reap the Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms

Because of their tough texture and bitter taste, many people opt for a premade turkey tail product (such as a capsule, tincture, or gummy). Others who have wild-foraged the fungi dry the mushroom, grind it into a powder and use it in a range of ways. The most popular ways to use turkey tail mushroom powder is to add it to:

Mix Daily Tincture

What Should I Look for in a Turkey Tail Mushroom Supplement?

For some, opting for a turkey tail capsule or powder is the easiest and most expedient way to relish the fungi’s perks without having to test your tastebuds. But while turkey tail supplements abound, not all are a match in terms of quality and efficacy. With this in mind, you may want to ensure the turkey tail product is:

  • It is derived specifically from the fruiting body of mushrooms, not their myceliated grain. This part of the turkey tail fungus contains the most powerful, beneficial compounds of the fungi.
  • Free of potentially harmful fillers.
  • Made with organic ingredients (and the brand as a whole has solid sourcing practices), which will curb your risk of coming into contact with pesticides.
  • It is dual extracted with alcohol and water
  • Free from biological contamination and heavy metals.
  • Evaluated for appropriate concentrations of its main bioactive compounds.

Additionally, turkey tail mushroom products should have gone through a dual extraction process to help make sure that you can properly digest them.

Are There Any Side Effects to Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

As with any nutritional supplement or ingredient, turkey tail mushrooms affect every individual differently. Always consult your doctor or healthcare professional before trying out new supplements like turkey tail. 

Level-Up Your Wellness Routine with Mushroom Revival 

We’re fortunate to live on a planet where the very things we need for well-being are right under our feet—or, in the case of turkey tail mushrooms, sprouting on a fallen stump in a North American forest. The way they support the body's equilibrium and immune and digestive health, turkey tail is a testament to the unending powers of nature.

Mushroom Revival is all about bringing this wealth of healthy benefits to the people. We’ve been at the forefront of the functional mushroom scene and plan to be around indefinitely. Since then, we’ve continued our legacy of supplying wellness-minded people like you with only the highest-quality mushroom supplements. 

Whether you consume our turkey tail-infused Daily 10 Mix Mushroom Capsules, tinctures, powders or gummies you can rest assured that all of the criteria for supplements we outlined above have been met and exceeded.

Experience exceptional wellness with Mushroom Revival. 

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Alex Dorr is the founder and CEO of Mushroom Revival. He launched Mushroom Revival with a mission to revive health with the power of mushrooms.

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