Growing organic Turkey Tail mushroom at home
I received my order of organic Turkey Tail mushrooms from Fungi Perfecti today. It took a couple of days for this package to get here, but after all -spending the weekend at the UPS warehouse- it looks healhty!
Some of my friends requested pictures, so I will post an other one – hopefully we will see some progress over the next couple of weeks.
Instructions are simple: cut 4-8 holes into the packaging (the vertical side) with a sharp knife, mist two times a day and keep under its “tent” that was included in the package. Instruction says that it likes shade but does not need complete darkness. More soon!
What is Turkey Tail mushroom good for?
Turkey Tail mushroom is one of the most researched medicinal mushrooms today, the studies and findings are well documented. They offer a long list of medicinal properties and health benefits, but they are most prized as a natural source of the anti-cancer polysaccharide PSK.
“PSK is said to fight cancer and halt tumors by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells and “stimulating a host mediated response.” PSK also promotes the body’s own “Natural Killer Cells” to strengthen and kick start the immune system. PSK is frequently combined with chemotherapy to increase cancer survival rates.
A $2.25 Million NIH Study Confirms Turkey Tail Mushrooms’ Power Against Breast Cancer
Recently, the National Institute of Health (NIH) approved a $2.25 million-dollar study conducted jointly with Bastyr University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Washington. Researchers analyzed the impact of Turkey Tail mushrooms on the immune systems of patients with breast cancer.
Dr. Cynthia Wenner is one of the principal investigators on the NIH study. In an interview with Bastyr University’s Bastyr Magazine, she said, “As an overall goal, we’re trying to discover if this mushroom will help stimulate the human immune response to breast and prostate cancers.”
The study — which used mushrooms provided by Stamets’ company, Fungi Perfecti, LLC — confirmed that the mushrooms definitely stimulate the immune system and can even correct deficits in the immune systems of patients, all without the toxicity and side effects that are so common with more traditional treatments.”
Tincturing Medicinal Mushrooms: The Double Extraction Process
Mushroom tinctures are made using a double-extraction technique. First, the alcohol extracts the constituents that are not soluble in water, like sterols & terpenes. After the mushrooms have been extracted in alcohol, it goes through a hot water extraction or decoction process to extract the beta-glucans, proteoglycans, and other immune-supporting polysaccharides. The below steps outline the double extraction process using the folk method of tincturing. (For more detailed recipes and ratios, see references below.)
Part 1: Alcohol extraction
Break the fruitbodies up into the smallest pieces possible. This makes for a larger surface area and thorough extraction. It’s easier to do this while they’re still fresh before drying.
Fill a quart or half-gallon canning jar halfway with the dried mushroom.
Add your alcohol, fill it up to the top.
Cap the jar and keep it in a warm, dark place. Shake daily.
After about a month, strain. Don’t forget to label.
Part 2: Hot water extraction
Take the alcohol-soaked mushroom pieces that are left over after straining and put them in a pot. Cover with water.
Simmer for 2 hours. The water will evaporate throughout this time.
Allow the tea to cool before you strain it. Discard all the solids but save the water.
Add this water to an equal amount of the alcohol extract. This gives you an extract that’s 25% alcohol, as the vodka was 100 proof to begin with (50% water/50% alcohol).
You may need to do some measuring before you boil the water to make sure you have enough. Gauge the amount of liquid used in your first alcohol tincture and boil at least triple that amount of water for the hot water extraction. It may seem like a lot but it will reduce (you can always keep boiling if it doesn’t).