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Turkey tail

The colourful butterfly

 

The butterfly porling, also known as turkey tail, is a wood decomposer found on practically all types of wood and widespread throughout Germany. The hats of this mushroom are stacked like a fan, often taking on many beautiful colours and giving it the botanical name versicolor also meaning “colourful”, “shimmering” or “iridescent”. In France in the 19th century, it was often used to make brooches, buckles or hats and is still used today as a decoration in the floral industry.

 

The turkey tail is hardly known in Europe, whereas in Asia, South America and the USA it is one of the most sought-after medicinal mushrooms. In traditional Chinese medicine, it has long been used to strengthen the constitution, the liver, the lungs, the immune system and used to inhibit tumour development. In Mexico, it is traditionally considered a good remedy for fungal diseases and rashes.

 

Today the Coriolus is one of the most researched medicinal mushrooms and is also grown commercially on a large scale. Its two main active ingredients are PSK (polysaccharide krestin) and PSP (polysaccharide peptide). These  have been proven in various studies to have strong tumor-inhibiting and antiviral properties and have become approved as cancer drugs and pharmaceutical preparations in both China and Japan. The mushroom is also used to increase energy and to treat various inflammations and infections.

 

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