The Secret to Radiant Skin: 8 Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits - Cannabotech CBD Oils & Products Articles

The Secret to Radiant Skin: 8 Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits

Joel Taylor - writer and editor for Cannabotech
By Joel Taylor
Fact-check by Barak Orenstein

Updated September 20, 2023.

Woman smiling in the bathroom mirror while rubbing Turkey Tail mushroom-infused skincare products on her cheeks

The functional mushroom Trametes versicolor is commonly called Turkey Tail due to its striking layers and colors. With potent antioxidants and other powerful compounds, Turkey Tail mushrooms are a superfood with numerous potential health benefits. It may improve your gut health, boost your immunity, and even possess some anti-cancer properties.

One of the most prominent benefits of Turkey Tail mushrooms is their potential improvements to skin health.

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1. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Turkey Tail mushrooms, alongside most other mushroom species, appear to soothe inflammation in your body, which can be extremely beneficial to the symptoms of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis (1).

» Learn more: Treating Inflammatory Psoriasis With CBD and Functional Mushrooms

2. Anti-ageing Properties

The build-up of oxidative stress over time causes and exacerbates wrinkles as free-radicle damage breaks down the collagen, elastin, and other proteins that keep your skin tight and looking full. When these proteins are damaged, your skin sags and struggles to regenerate, leading to wrinkles and other signs of damage, such as sun spots.

The flavonoids and phenols in Turkey Tail mushrooms appear to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, essentially having anti-ageing effects (2). Flavonoid antioxidants, such as quercetin in Turkey Tail mushrooms, also boost immunity by stimulating the release of protective proteins (3).

These mushrooms are used in cancer treatments since they have antitumor properties. Researchers have noted that a daily dosage of turkey tail mushrooms decreased tumor size in their test subjects (4).

Do Turkey Tail Mushrooms Really Reduce Wrinkles?

Yes, it would appear that Turkey Tail mushrooms can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Functional mushrooms such as Tukey Tail contain phenolic veratric acid, an antioxidant compound that helps reduce wrinkles. Its photo-protective effects shield you from the molecular damage caused by sunlight (5).

» Keep your skin young with a personalised anti-ageing skincare routine

3. Turkey Tail May Brighten Your Skin

Turkey Tail mushrooms are gaining popularity as a natural ingredient in skincare products as healthy skin is widely regarded as appearing brighter and free of blemishes. This fungus is packed with antioxidants that slow down signs of ageing and help you retain a more youthful and bright appearance while also repairing cellular damage and inflammation resulting from oxidative stress.

4. Turkey Tail Can Help Moisturize and Hydrate Your Skin

If your skin is dry or damaged, then Turkey tail mushrooms are what you need. The quercetin in turkey tail mushrooms reduces water loss and helps maintain skin hydration by restoring skin barrier function. Quercetin also helps restore connective tissue cells in the skin which positively influences the secretion of collagen and elastin. This rejuvenates your skin and keeps it looking healthier and younger.

Additionally, Turkey Tail mushrooms also contain high levels of beta-glucans that have humectant properties (a substance that draws water into the skin).

» Suffering from psoriasis? Discover how to avoid triggering psoriasis flare ups

Turkey Tail mushrooms

How to Use Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Skin Health

There are many ways to use Turkey Tail mushrooms, such as a simple decoction using the fresh fungus steeped in water and consumed as a tea. However, this mushroom is also available as an extract combined with other therapeutic components, such as capsules, lotions, and tinctures.

» Browse our store for more Turkey Tail-infused products

4 Other Benefits of Turkey Tail Mushrooms

1. Turkey Tail Mushrooms May Stimulate Cognitive Function

Turkey Tail appears to slow the degenerative process of neurotransmitters in the brain due to the accumulation of Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and free radicals. Steady production of AChE and the presence of free radicals leads to cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer's and dementia. A study published by the Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry found that H2O extracts of Turkey Tail mushroom had the benefit of inhibiting AChE and exhibiting anti-radical properties (6).

2. Turkey Tail Mushrooms May Inhibit Cancer Production

As it turns out, there is a growing body of research on Turkey Tail mushroom's cancer benefits.

Firstly, studies have shown that Turkey Tail's polysaccharides appear to inhibit cancer cell growth in vitro by stimulating cytokine response, as well as having direct anti-tumour properties outside of the immune system effects (7). Furthermore, another study found that Turkey Tail mushrooms activated and increased the lymphocyte count, natural killer cells, and specific T cells against breast cancer (8). It may also increase the efficacy of other cancer treatments.

3. Turkey Tail Mushrooms May Boost the Immune System

Caution needs to be exercised by those wanting to use Turkey Tail with autoimmune diseases as it is unclear whether the fungus is immunomodulatory or immunostimulatory. Evidence concluded that Turkey Tail mushrooms benefit gut health as they act as a prebiotic that can stimulate the production of good bacteria in the gut, not only assisting the immune system but also potentially cancelling out a major side effect of antibiotics (9).

The same study also concluded that Turkey Tail mushrooms appear to be anti-bacterial as they suppressed the growth of E. coli and Shigella.

» Discover how functional mushrooms boost the immune system

4. Turkey Tail Mushrooms May Lower Blood-Sugar Levels

Studies have found that one of the functional benefits of Turkey Tail mushroom extract was to lower glucose levels in the blood (10). This alone presents several further benefits:

  • Athletic performance and sleep quality High blood glucose (a common symptom of diabetes) can contribute to feelings of fatigue and lethargy. The same study found that a consequential result of lower blood glucose levels in mice as a result of Turkey Tail improved their athletic performance. It stands to reason that reducing symptoms of fatigue during wakefulness will help your body modulate your circadian rhythm and stimulate better sleep quality.
  • Diabetes and insulin resistance The same study listed above also noted that Turkey Tail mushroom extracts "may promote the glucose utilization to peripheral tissues and has a glucose-lowering action," which could be particularly beneficial to diabetes patients and those who suffer from insulin resistance.

Rejuvenate Your Skin With Functional Mushrooms

If you are unsure whether you are predisposed to any mushroom allergies or the side effects of Turkey Tail, or if you simply would like more advice for your particular situation, chat with a doctor before supplementing your diet. Not only can they recommend dosages, but they can also explain the best ways to take Turkey Tail mushrooms.

However, Turkey Tail and other functional mushrooms may be a great way to bring some life to your skin.

» Need more help? See our anti-ageing skincare tips