Last Updated: October 19, 2023
Turkey tail mushrooms have proven to be very powerful at enhancing the immune system and a potent adjunct therapy to conventional cancer treatments.
Watch as Paul Stamets tells his personal story of how his 84-year old mother beat breast cancer with the help of turkey tail mushrooms.
“So, another mushroom empowers the immune system, and this is turkey tails. And turkey tail mushrooms have also been used for more than a thousand years. NIH funded our group with a 2.1 million dollar breast cancer clinical study, which has been recently completed. Now this breast cancer clinical study was dealing with a non- ER, non- estrogen responsive, breast cancer patients ladies, and the study has come back with some remarkable results. And when patients have radiation therapy or chemotherapy, their immune system is oftentimes impaired. So, natural killer cells are decreased. Taking these mushrooms as an adjunct therapy, not as a substitution, but to support the immune system, the natural killer cells increase on a dose dependent basis.
The red bar is no treatment with 3 grams and 6 grams per day. And then post radiation, the immune system depressed and then a dose-dependent basis, the natural killer cells are enhanced over a period of four weeks. So, this raises base immunity function, which I think is critically important.
Now, this hit home to me very personally. In June of 2009 when my 84-year old mother called me up and says, “Paul, I have something very serious to talk to you about, but you’re always so busy.” It’s a terrible thing to hear from mom. I said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” And she’s a very happy, genuine person. She goes, “I’m worried.” And my mother’s deeply religious and has not seen a doctor since 1968. She said, “My right breast is five times the size of my left. I have six swollen lymph glands the size of walnuts” and her voice started shaking, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I started crying, “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”
We spent a large part of June at the Swedish Breast Cancer Clinic in Seattle. The oncologists examined her, and upon the second examination she had a five point five centimeter diameter tumor. It metastasized. It went to her sternum. It went to her liver. She had stage four breast cancer. The doctor gave her less than three months to live and stated it was a second worst case of breast cancer she has seen as a doctor in 20 years of practice.
We had the circle family meeting, many of you have gone through this. My mom announced that she bought a pine casket, the cheapest one that she could find because she was going to heaven. But then the doctor said, “You know, you’re too old to have radiation therapy. You can’t have your breasts removed, but there’s an interesting study on turkey tail mushrooms at Bastyr Medical School, you might want to try taking those. And my mother goes, “Well, my son is supplying those.” So, she was put on Taxol and Herceptin, wonderful drugs, and then she started taking eight turkey tail capsules a day, four in the morning and four in the evening. And that was in June of 2009 and today, my mother has no detectable tumors, and I’d like to bring my mother up.”
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FAQs for Turkey Tail Mushroom and Cancer
Q: Is turkey tail mushroom good for cancer? A: Preliminary research suggests that the Turkey Tail mushroom may have potential benefits in supporting cancer treatments. Compounds like polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharide-peptide (PSP) found in Turkey Tail have shown immune-enhancing and anti-tumor effects in some studies. However, it’s important to note that while these findings are promising, more rigorous clinical trials are needed to confirm these effects. It’s always recommended to discuss with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.
Q: How much turkey tail should I take for cancer? A: The dosage of Turkey Tail mushroom can vary greatly depending on individual health circumstances and the specific product you’re using. However, studies that have used Turkey Tail for its potential cancer-fighting properties typically used doses of 1-3 grams per day of the PSK compound. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine an appropriate dose based on your specific health condition and needs.
Q: How much turkey tail did Paul Stamets mother take? A: “So, she was put on Taxol and Herceptin, wonderful drugs, and then she started taking eight turkey tail capsules a day, four in the morning and four in the evening.”
Q: What is the best mushroom to take for cancer? A: There are several types of mushrooms that are believed to have potential benefits for people with cancer, including Turkey Tail, Shiitake, Maitake, and Reishi mushrooms. Each of these mushrooms contains different types of compounds that may help to support the immune system and potentially fight cancer. However, it’s essential to note that while these mushrooms may offer support, they should not be used as a substitute for conventional cancer treatments. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.
Q: Who should not take turkey tail? A: People with mushroom allergies, those taking immunosuppressive drugs, and individuals with autoimmune diseases should be cautious about using Turkey Tail mushroom. The immune-stimulating effects of Turkey Tail could potentially interfere with these conditions or medications. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also consult a healthcare provider before using Turkey Tail as there is insufficient safety information for these groups.
Q: Is turkey tail mushroom hard on the liver? A: There’s no conclusive evidence to suggest that Turkey Tail mushroom is harmful to the liver when used at recommended doses. However, like any supplement, excessive amounts or use in people with pre-existing liver conditions could potentially cause problems. If you have a liver condition or are concerned about potential liver effects, it’s important to discuss these concerns with a healthcare provider before using Turkey Tail.
Q: How to use turkey tail to fight cancer? A: Turkey Tail is most commonly used as a supplement, either in pill or powder form, and is taken orally. It can also be brewed as a tea. The dosage can vary, but studies often use 1-3 grams of the active compound, PSK, per day. However, it’s critical to remember that while Turkey Tail may have potential benefits for cancer, it should not be used as a substitute for conventional cancer treatments. Always discuss any new supplement regimen with a healthcare provider.
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