Can You Eat Turkey Tail Mushrooms? - Cannabotech CBD Questions & Answers

Can You Eat Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Turkey Tail is a type of functional mushroom used in many supplements and extracts, but can you eat them, and are they poisonous when raw?

Joel Taylor - writer and editor for Cannabotech
By Joel Taylor
Kelli Harris
Edited by Kelli Harris

Updated April 14, 2023.

Turkey tail mushrooms, often regarded as one of the best functional mushrooms for boosting the immune system, get their name from their colourful and frilly appearance that closely resembles a turkey's tail. They are most commonly used in powdered extracts and refined supplements, but are they safe to eat cooked or raw?

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Can You Eat Turkey Tail Mushrooms Raw?

Most functional mushroom species are safe to eat and pose a low risk of side effects, though this risk is elevated when the mushrooms are consumed raw. Though Turkey Tail mushrooms are not poisonous, consuming them raw increases your risk of the following side effects:

  • Heartburn
  • Cold and flu symptoms
  • Constipation and stomach pain
  • Rash
  • Diarrhea

Despite these risks, it needs to be stated that existing research on the topic has noted an extremely low risk of side effects even at outrageously high doses.

The good news is that, due to their unpleasant taste and woody texture, most Turkey Tail products are far safer than eating raw wild Turkey Tail, often taking the form of tinctures or powdered extracts.

Risks of False Turkey Tail

False Turkey Tail is another type of fungus that is almost identical in appearance. However, the benefits of Turkey Tail mushrooms do not seem to be present in False Turkey Tail, but that doesn't stop people from scavenging for wild Turkey Tail and unknowingly consuming the wrong kind.

Thankfully, the risks of consuming False Turkey Tail are about the same as the real kind, so you should be alright if you make the mistake. The only real risk—aside from those present when consuming raw mushrooms—is that you'll have to put up with the unpleasant taste and texture of False Turkey Tail and not receive many benefits for your troubles.