top of page

Turkey Tail Mushroom's Potential Cancer Fighting Properties

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor) Mushroom is a powerhouse medicinal mushroom commonly found in the woods growing on dead logs. These beautiful fungi naturally contain compounds and properties that are beneficial to the human body, and as such, these mushrooms have been leveraged in Eastern medicine for hundreds of years. For more than 30 years, medicinal mushrooms have been approved as an addition to standard cancer treatments in Japan and China. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is known as Yun Zhi. In Japan, it is known as kawaratake (roof tile fungus). Amongst the bounty of Turkey tail's therapeutic benefits are its potential anti-cancer abilities. Two compounds in particular: PSK (Polysaccharide Krestin) and PSP (Polysaccharopeptide) have shown tremendous promise as it comes to fighting cancer.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms

The Turkey Tail Mushroom Superhero Tag-Team: PSK & PSP

Turkey tail mushrooms contain compounds called polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK). But what exactly are they, and why have they generated so much interest?

PSK: This is the better known compound within Turkey Tail Mushrooms. This compound has been shown to have immunomodulatory and anti-tumor effects in preclinical studies. PSK is thought to work by stimulating the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells. Researchers have since isolated the PSK compound. In Japan, PSK is an approved adjuvant cancer treatment, according to the National Cancer Institute. PSK has been shown to stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies, as well as modulating the activity of certain immune cells. It has also been shown to have direct anti-tumor effects, and to improve the efficacy of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

PSP: Like PSK, PSP is also known for its immune-improving effects. What makes PSP as a compound especially interesting is its potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Polysaccharopeptide (PSP), which is extracted from the Turkey Tail Mushrooms, was found to target prostate cancer stem cells and suppress tumour formation in mice.

How Do PSK and PSP in Turkey Tail Work to Improve Health Outcomes in Cancer Patients?

  1. Strengthening the Body's Immune System: Both PSK and PSP are thought to enhance and improve the body's immune response. Cancer patients, whose immune systems are often weakened by the disease and treatments like chemotherapy would benefits greatly by a strengthened immune system.

  2. Complementary Therapy with Chemo: In several studies, particularly in Japan, PSK has been used alongside conventional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, to improve patient outcomes and survival rates. It may improve efficacy of these treatments and help reduce side effects.

  3. Targeting Cancer Cells: There's exciting new evidence that PSP may have the ability to inhibit the growth of certain cancer cells.

We are currently working on our Nature's Apothecary section of the site to have more of these groundbreaking and exciting breakthroughs in understanding our body's inner technology. Ultimately, due to Turkey Tail's incredible abilities - it is why it is a star ingredient in our Formula One Soma Supplement which you can get in the shop.

However, we are currently formulating stand alone mushroom and plant potions and elixirs that contain much what Nature has to offer us in order to live out a happy and healthy existence in the body that we have been gifted.


Brown DC, Reetz J. Single agent polysaccharopeptide delays metastases and improves survival in naturally occurring hemangiosarcoma. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:384301. doi: 10.1155/2012/384301. Epub 2012 Sep 5. PMID: 22988473; PMCID: PMC3440946.

Ng TB. A review of research on the protein-bound polysaccharide (polysaccharopeptide, PSP) from the mushroom Coriolus versicolor (Basidiomycetes: Polyporaceae). Gen Pharmacol. 1998 Jan;30(1):1-4. doi: 10.1016/s0306-3623(97)00076-1. PMID: 9457474.

Luk SU, Lee TK, Liu J, Lee DT, Chiu YT, Ma S, Ng IO, Wong YC, Chan FL, Ling MT. Chemopreventive effect of PSP through targeting of prostate cancer stem cell-like population. PLoS One. 2011;6(5):e19804. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019804. Epub 2011 May 16. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2011;6(6). doi:10.1371/annotation/0f6309be-936c-4974-97bf-ed3a98289cd9. Erratum in: PLoS One. 2011;6(6). doi:10.1371/annotation/b0312c4c-e06a-47ef-9e9c-b044dbfa3d6a. PMID: 21603625; PMCID: PMC3095629.

bottom of page