Saturday, February 27, 2016

Turn Tail And Run With It

Trametes versicolor, dorsal and ventral views, Pittsburgh, Feb., 2016

Growing on a Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) stump in the backyard is a colony of turkey tail polypores (Trametes versicolor).  I cut one free and brought in to do a photo study of it.  A fine specimen, pliable and fresh, as with age they tend to become woody and hardened.  Then, I started to do a bit of digging into the function and uses of T. versicolor.  Times like these the internet is really a wondrous thing, such a wealth of information, things that the identification books don't provide.  Of course, you still have to be wary of where and how you get your information, and the veracity of the claims made.  Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it accurate.
I was surprised to discover that T. versicolor has been widely studied in Japan, China, and South Korea as a cancer treatment, most specifically for stomach, colorectal, esophageal, and breast cancers.   My thinking with mushrooms and assorted fungi in the treatment of any ailment, is that it is most effective as a preventative measure, to keep you from getting a disease in the first place.
I'm going to dry some T. versicolor and make a tea of it.  The rule of thumb with mushroom teas is that 1 ounce of dried mushrooms produces 1 gallon of tea.

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