Plant Medicine Wild Card: Turkeytail

in naturalmedicine •  last month 

Turkeytail mushrooms were unknown to me the first time I saw them on a stump at a local park. I took a picture because I thought they looked cool, then I learned how cool they actually are.

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In true fungal fashion, they myceliated my every thought.

Turkeytails are a decomposer fungus. They take dead trees in nature and break them down into bioavailable resources for the ecosystem. The world wouldn't work without decomposer fungi.

When turkeytail reached my mind, it also decomposed a piece of me: my mycophobia.

Mycophobia is the fear of mushrooms. (Source)

When I started learning about turkeytail, I was floored and astounded at the things I learned, not just about Trametes versicolor, but the whole fungal world. The healing and growth that's possible when we "pair with mushrooms" is simply awe-inspiring. It was impossible for me not to embrace this new ally as a long and serially lost friend.

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April 10 marks six weeks from February 27. That's six weeks since I started my turkeytail to tincture on it's first decoction in alcohol. Today's the day to do the water decoction and complete the process!

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Up on their shelf, where they've been for a month and a half except for a daily shake

I kept some dry mushrooms as well to increase the potency of the merc. The merc is what your herbs are are called when they're being tinctured. There's some discrepancy between scientists as to whether the alcohol extraction destorys the precious medicinal polysaccharides in fungi before they can be extracted in water, so I kept some separate to decrease that risk. (Source) That source also contains the guide that I followed in this process.

Since the steps I followed here are in that link, I'm not going to go into the directions. I'm going to speak on the physical uses of turkeytail mushrooms, which are actually called conchs.

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Finished dual extraction tincture. Commercial products go for $15-25 an ounce, so these 42 ounces represent a significant retail value; though it is invaluable to me as they're locally sourced by me on my natural medicine journey.

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Not many people have as good a connection with the fungisphere as Paul Stamets. That's where my learning started when @rawutah posted one day about mycorrhizal fungi and their strong connections with trees in a healthy ecosystem. When I tell you that that's a deep rabbit hole, I mean I've watched weeks of videos and listened to weeks of podcasts on the subject. I started with this video, which is barely a flirt in what has become a deep learning relationship:

The illnesses listed here are expansive. From the flu and herpes viruses to bubonic plague and malaria, to stage four metastatic cancer. Of course, that planted a spore (the fungal version of a seed) which has grown into a huge adventure for me. Turkeytails are one of Paul's top four mushrooms, so it's very hard to ignore their importance. In another interview, he speaks more about his mother's condition and treatment. If memory serves, she was the only person out of twenty in a trial that survived her cancer battle and treatment, and the only one that embraced the adaptogenic strength of turkeytails.

From Google:

Adaptogen: noun (in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes.

I've heard adaptogens described as "they'll do what you need." Meaning that if your immune system needs a boost, they'll boost it. If it needs to calm down, as is the case with autoimmune responses, it will help in that way. The idea of an adaptogen is a powerful one.

Paul's interview on the Joe Rogan Experience is even more in depth, speaking about human development alongside fungi for millennia. Dedicate some time to it, it's two and a half hours long. He speaks to the rapid growth and development of the brain of early humans, and his theories on the role of fungi in that event.

Just last night, I revisited Diego Footer's interview with Peter McCoy entitled Radical Mycology. Another drawn out discussion that's well worth your time. In it they discuss a myriad of fungal uses, including mushrooms' ability to clean up and digest industrial toxins and heal commercial agriculture land, as well as a really interesting foray into a theoretical concept of using mushroom cultures to quickly create your own antibiotics that are tailor made for a specific strain of ailment that you experience. Imagine a home kit where you swab your throat and introduce that culture to a mycelial mass that sprouts mushrooms that can fight the specific illness you're experiencing. The implications are truly radical.

I could go on, but there are two sentences I've found that really resonate with me:

  1. If it works on cancer, it'll work on the common cold. I don't remember specifically where I saw this, but it is a powerful notion that I came across early in this adventure with relation to fungi.
  2. "I think they're afraid of a truly nourished populace." Sally Fallon-Morell

Over seventy percent of TV advertisements are pharmaceutical advertisements (source). Much of the rest are advertisements for commercial processed foods, a strongly linked subject. We are not nourished people and we can change that by embracing a proper traditional diet as described by the Weston A. Price Foundation and by embracing plant medicines. I hope the gravity of that can help you as it has helped me.

Plant medicines are free. They are available. And they are powerful. They are the people's medicine and they are progressive.

Be blessed.
Be fruitful.
Stay relevant.

Nate.


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Paul Stamets’ JRE episode was one of my favourites. Very knowledgeable guy have listened to him a lot. Very good write up of the turkeytail mushroom, really enjoyed reading your post. Welcome to the fabulous world of the fungi!

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I loved it. Not always the most consistent listener of JR, but his topics are extremely wide and he has on good folks.

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Have you watched the one with Hamilton Morris? Sooooo good

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Oh, and Paul on Permaculture Voices Away impeccable too! I just didn't want him to be my only source in this post 😂

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Very interesting read. I like how you have it stored in your medicine cabinet with other medicines, but above on its own shelf. Looks symbolic.

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I did do that intentionally! Thanks for noticing. :)

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Thanks y'all! And to whoever nominated my post, 💚💚💚💚💚

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I'm going to be studying more, too. Like others here, I'm one to stop and admire what Mother Nature has to offer, and going to some events in my community have helped me get rid of the "eew, that's gross" view that I've had for a bit regarding fungi, insects, and other smaller lifeforms that most consider unsavory , at best. If you can get over what they are, then you're good.

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Oh gosh, that's so true!

Around here I've adopted a no-mow policy that my wife is really stressing over. But the bees like it, and a healthy marriage doesn't exist without your wife questioning if you love weeds and bugs more than her.

It's not a full no-mow, but the weeds are really tall now and going to seed. Those first spring weeds are the first food for bees.

Permaculture makes life easier. Less mowing. More planting things that make you not have to mow. And that make food.

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my father was the one who actually taught me to love the natural world as much as he does. Even he's careful at picking weeds out of the yard, make sure that he only gets the ones that really are a nuisance, not the ones that might actually have some benefits.

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Fungi are one of my favorite lifeform :)

Great post 💚

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Thanks! They're really cool! The world wouldn't work without them

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Or without ants ;)

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This is so interesting @nateonsteemit that I'm going to go into more research on these. I love fungi as far as noticing them and admiring them on nature walks. I love to eat mushrooms and have grown my own just from the little kits, like oyster mushrooms, but have not got to the stage of feeling safe enough to identify any in the wild and eat them.

When I was a child we used to 'hunt' morel mushrooms which taste like steak when they are cooked.

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My buddies at work keep talking about morels, and I'm gonna go hunt for some this morning. I've never had one, so I'm kind of excited. We have a lot of trees here, so the mushrooms are thick in the spring. I'll certainly be posting more as time and Nature allow.

I've kinda been wondering how cool a necklace or a pair of earrings made of turkeytails would look. These ones here had some really awesome color to them.

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I’ve also been fascinated by fungi. In China a wide variety of wild mushrooms are served, including “shelf” types like turkeytail or “hen-of-the-woods” in the Southeast USA.

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Yes, turkeytails are found around the world! A lot of traditional diets really embrace fungi.

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Thank you for lighting up my day with this! I need to start diggin in to learn more. You are AWESOME! Much love!!

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Oh you're so very welcome! 💚

Thanks for taking time to comment :)

💚🍄💚🍄💚🍄

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Oh @nateonsteemit I didn't realize you went so indepth into your study of fungi - Awesome!
I knew you were uber excited when you found the Turkey tail mushrooms and their benefits and I'm so happy you are incorporating their medicines into your life.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you share next on you fungi exploration!
To health and happiness!

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I'm still learning :) Atheres a lot and I need a microscope lol

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This is a great write up and i am envious that you are able to harvest your own turkeytail. I have so much respect for fungi and faith in their ability to heal, I just get blown away by the amount of healing that they provide. Hope you get your hands on mycelium running soon, that book is bloody awesome xx

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Oh yes, it's on the list to read! I'm gonna read The Holistic Orchard first, then reread You Can Farm, then probably on to Mycelium Running. THO will have a lot of fungus info to hold me over :)

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Mmmm. The power of the turkey tail! This is one of my favorite mushrooms, I've helped a few friends with harvesting locally. I need to get out and do so for my own self at some point.

Your quote about a well nourished populace is so very true, imo. Frankly, without proper nourishment, one cannot make decisions with their best capacity. People are weaker in all aspects when they are under nourished. The food industry and the pharmaceutical industry... well... I'm sure you know where that goes. ;)

Great post:)

In true fungal fashion, they myceliated my every thought.

That is a very cool sentence. I love this post and I learnt a lot from it , as well as some pretty cool words that I haven't heard of before. Since I've been on steemit I've learnt so much about the healing powers of mushrooms , far more than I I vaguely knew to begin with. Now I wonder whether Melissa will be brave enough to take them. If she does do you think that you could write the steam post about her reaction ? this is a great post and you do natural medicine very very proud xx

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We have watched this journey unfold over time in our Discord channel, and loved your enthusiasm. We admire your willingness to dive deep in the wisdom banks of others that teach you what you can do to heal yourself and your family, and are so proud of everything you have done and contribute to NM and the world. Such love. You are the turkeytail of our hearts. xx We aren't even sure what that mean, we're just trying to say we love you.

You've been visited by @thistle-rock from Homesteaders Co-op.

I guess I really need to start paying attention to the fungi in our area more, I am sure I have seen these around! Thanks so much for the great information!


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These would be useful for the measles nonsense that is taking over the US as I write. Talk about epidemic -an epidemic of imposed public opinion. Thank you for this I will be passing this knowledge on.

Wow that's a cool looking mushroom! Having recently acquired some turkeys, I can see why they're called turkey tails!

This mushroom is in the top 4 and loves wood? I definitely have enough dead trees lying around to feed it, and I've been meaning to find some mushroom to stuff in there. I think we have a winner.

Thanks for the info!

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