The 3 Best Turkey Tail Supplements in United States and Canada

Last Updated on September 3, 2022

Daily supplementation with Turkey Tail mushrooms is a wise choice for mushroom enthusiasts and health-conscious people. Turkey Tail supplements are a hot commodity at the moment in the United States and Canada, with a variety of options available in the market. But which Turkey Tail supplement is the best?

If you are looking to purchase top quality Turkey Tail supplements, you should know several key factors that influence their quality and effectiveness.  And we all know inferior quality products will not give you the effect you are hoping to achieve. So that is why we have put together this no-nonsense guide about our selection process on finding the best Turkey Tail supplement for your health (and wallet’s sake). We have also included our recommendations of what we consider the best Turkey Tail supplements in United States and Canada.

If you’re looking to buy Turkey Tail supplements or already taking them, it is important to consider their quality which will influence their effectiveness. After all, there are many products in the North American medicinal mushroom industry that are inferior in quality and may not have the desired effects. This is particularly important when using Turkey Tail to treat serious or potentially life-threatening illnesses. 

Please remember that Turkey Tail supplements and other supplements will rarely cure an illness on their own! They should be used in combination with a healthy lifestyle and potentially other conventional/alternative therapies. Having a high-quality supplement will ensure that Turkey Tail has its intended effect and can help in the treatment.

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Are you in Australia? Check out our recommendations for the Turkey Tail mushrooms in Australia.

best turkey tail
Image source: FreshCap

Health benefits of Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail mushroom, known by its scientific names such as Coriolus Versicolor or Trametes Versicolor, is a popular polypore fungus that has been used in traditional Asian medicine and North American herbalism for hundreds of years.

The mushroom is one of the most widely studied mushrooms with numerous health benefits such as

  • Strengthening the immune system
  • Combats inflammation
  • Improving vitality
  • Maintain cardiovascular and gut health
  • Balances blood sugar
  • Making muscles and bones stronger
  • Improves liver health
  • Fight against cancer cells
  • Enhances strength and endurance

Our picks for the 3 best Turkey Tail supplements in the United States and Canada

Before you purchase Turkey Tail from the following mushroom brands, we strongly recommend that you read our buying guide below on how to purchase the best Turkey Tail products. Our main goal here at WorldMushroomSociety.com is to help consumers to choose the best medicinal mushroom products to get the full health benefits for themselves and their families.

Our top 3 picks for the best Turkey Tail supplements in the United States and Canada are from the following producers.

  1. Real Mushrooms Turkey Tail
  2. Nootropics Depot Turkey Tail
  3. FreshCap Turkey Tail

1. Real Mushrooms Organic Turkey Tail Supplements

Our findings

  • Ingredients: 100% Organic Turkey Tail mushrooms
  • Extraction Method: Hot water extraction
  • Mycelium or Filler: No added starch, mycelium, or grain of any kind
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Beta Glucans: 30%
  • Other ingredients mentioned: Hypromellose (vegetable capsule), silicon dioxide, microcrystalline cellulose, may contain stearic acid
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: China
  • Serving suggestion or serving size: 2 capsules a day

Pros – What we like

  • Real Mushrooms is the most experienced medicinal mushroom extraction company in North America. Skye Chilton is the founder of Real Mushrooms. He is also the son of Jeff Chilton, the founder of Nammex with The father-son duo have over 40 years of experience in medicinal mushrooms.
  • 30% beta glucans mentioned on the label
  • Made from 100% organic Turkey Tail mushrooms with no grain filler of any kind
  • Health benefits: supports the immune system, and improves digestive health

2. Nootropics Depot Organic Turkey Tail Supplements

Our findings

  • Ingredients: Turkey Tail Extract (Trametes versicolor)
  • Extraction Method & Extraction Ratio: Hot Water Extraction; 1:1 ratio
  • Polysaccharides: ≤ 5%
  • Beta Glucans: 45 %
  • Other active ingredients mentioned: Magnesium Stearate (flow agent), Vegetable Cellulose (capsules)
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: China
  • Number of servings: 60 servings or 180 servings
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Serving suggestion or serving size 1-2 times daily

Pros – What we like

  • Contains 100% mushroom Turkey Tail fruiting bodies
  • Does not contain any grain filler or additives
  • Huge amount of 45% beta glucan amount specified on the label. This is the most beta glucan amount we have seen in Turkey Tail supplements
  • Hot water extracted for increased bioavailability
  • Manufactured in cGMP certified facility and iso17025 certified
  • Health benefits includes promotion of cellular health, immune support, and digestive health

3. FreshCap Organic Turkey Tail Supplements

Wide Range of Options
FreshCap Organic Turkey Tail Capsules
5.0
$34.99

Also available in powder, gummies, drink blends and pet range

Check Availability

Our findings

  • Ingredients: Organic Turkey Tail Extract
  • Extraction Method & Extraction Ratio: Hot water extraction; 5:1 extraction ratio
  • Beta Glucans: 35%
  • Non GMO: Yes
  • Contains Mycelium or Grain? No
  • Contains Fruiting Bodies? Yes
  • Organic: Yes
  • Vegan: Yes
  • Country + Location Grown: Southeast China
  • Serving suggestion or serving size 1 scoop (1g)

Pros – What we like

  • Extracted from mushroom fruiting bodies and does not contain any mycelium grain filler
  • 5:1 ratio of Hot water extraction for increased bioavailability
  • Huge amount of 35% beta glucan amount specified on the label
  • FreshCap founder, Tegan, has a degree in nutrition and food science
  • Health benefits include immune support and gut health

Our Selection Process for Turkey Tail Supplements in the United States and Canada

If you are counting on Turkey Tail mushrooms to give you the immune support you are looking for, then you will have to be mindful of what you are buying. Here are the most considerations we take into account during our selection process of top quality Turkey Tail supplements.

1. Mushroom fruiting body

mycelium-and-fruiting-body

While most medicinal mushroom supplements are made from mushroom fruiting bodies, there are certain products that may be made from mycelium-based materials. Mycelium is the white filamentous spiderweb-like “roots” of fungi from which the mushrooms are produced. Fruiting bodies are the mushrooms that we see in nature and are familiar with from food. The term “mushroom” technically refers to the reproductive structure that we are familiar with and not the mycelium from which they grow, although supplement companies may not distinguish the difference.

  • While mycelium has been shown in many studies to be medicinal, there are issues with mycelium-based mushroom products. Most notably mycelium-based products are typically produced from grains that are colonized by the fungal material. These colonized grains are typically dried, powdered, and processed. The downside with these products is that they may be composed of mostly grain, containing high quantities of plant-based starches and low quantities of fungally derived compounds. 
  • Products made with pure fruiting bodies are almost always the best option for mushroom supplements. They are made of 100% fungal materials and contain higher concentrations of bioactive compounds than colonized grain products. 

It should be considered that certain mycelium products may be produced with 100% mycelium. While these are rare in many parts of the world, they are produced in China and other eastern countries. As previously mentioned, the mycelium itself is medicinal, but it is non-bioactive grain materials that degrade the quality of many mycelium products. Even still, some studies show that mycelium colonized grains do have bioactivity and may be helpful in the treatment of disease.

You can easily check for the presence of grains within a Turkey Tail mushroom supplement by checking the ingredients label. Products with ingredients such as wheat, brown rice, or oats are likely produced from colonized grains. Supplements that contain grain tend to contain lower quantities of beta-glucans and other medicinal compounds while containing unwanted plant-based starches. 

2. Ideal extraction method

Extractions are done to concentrate medicinal compounds and make them more bioavailable. They can be conducted in several different ways but the most common and generally effective is a dual-extraction using both water and alcohol. Extractions are important because medicinal compounds may not always be significantly potent or effectively bioavailable in raw Turkey Tail mushrooms. 

Hot water extraction and dual extraction method

This method is called “dual” because it uses both water and alcohol as solvents for the extraction of medicinal components. This ensures that the water-soluble and non-water-soluble components are thoroughly extracted.

  • In the case of Turkey Tail, the most important medicinal compounds can be easily extracted in water. When looking for high quality Turkey Tail products, we specifically look for hot water extraction.
  • Hot water extraction is is typically done by simmering mushrooms in water for several hours until their components have been successfully removed. The most important water-soluble compounds are the fungal beta-glucans which are responsible for most of the known medicinal properties of Turkey Tail. Turkey Tail contains many different beta-glucans, the most famous being PSP and PSK.
    • PSP is also known as Polysaccharopeptide. It is a beta-glucan originating from Turkey Tail, commonly used in China to help in cancer treatment. It can be chemically distinguished by the presence of rhamnose and arabinose.
    • PSK or Polysaccharide K is another Turkey Tail-derived beta-glucan commonly consumed in Japan as an adjunct therapy in cancer treatment. 
  • Many people argue that alcohol extractions are not necessary for Turkey Tail since their most important compounds are water-soluble. Others argue that the alcohol extract can further help remove more obscure beneficial compounds that may not be fully understood. Regardless, 20% alcohol content is usually used in tinctures to ensure their shelf life. Since alcohol does not contain much of the bioactive compounds, high alcohol contents are not necessary for Turkey Tail tinctures and may result in lower potency. 


Extraction ratios

Extraction Ratios are often displayed on products to help consumers gauge the potency of a product. A “10:1” extract for example uses 10kg of Turkey Tails for every 1 kg of extract that is produced. While this is generally a pretty good indicator of potency it is not directly correlated. This means a 10:1 may not necessarily contain twice the medicinal components of a 5:1 extract. The efficiency of the extraction process and the original potency of the mushrooms may all affect the final potency of the extraction. 

Powdered extracts labeled 1:1 are also called activated powders. These are usually produced by mixing the dried extracts produced from solvents and the original fungal biomass used for extraction. 

3. Beta glucan content on the label

The most trustworthy and reliable producers of Turkey Tail supplements in the United States are going to mention the number of beta glucans in their products. These are not only some of the most studied and biologically active compounds within Turkey Tail but they are good indicators of fungal-derived compounds in general. 

While Beta-glucans are a type of Polysaccharide, it is important to discern between these two when reading product labels. There are many different types of Polysaccharides including plant-based starches that may be present in certain supplements (and which many people avoid in their diets!). The most common reason for this is because of the presence of grains in certain mycelium-based products. High-quality Turkey Tail supplements should contain large quantities of beta-glucans (10-40%) and low quantities of starches (<4%). If only total beta-glucan content and polysaccharide content is shown make sure the polysaccharide doesn’t exceed the beta-glucan content by more than 5%. 

Some products, typically originating from China or Japan, may emphasize or be labeled as PSK or PSP. These are beta-glucans that have been independently studied and shown to be useful for the treatment of certain illnesses. These are more comparable to pharmaceuticals because they are produced via sophisticated laboratory processes that result in a single isolated compound as opposed to a more complex spectrum as occurs in unrefined extraction methods.  

Some producers may go as far as to test for heavy metals and other forms of contamination. This is ideal as mushrooms can bioaccumulate contamination or they can be contaminated during processing/distribution. If this is a concern for you, you can also choose products that are certified organic and thus warrant a certain level of protection from contamination.

4. North American grown Turkey Tail vs Chinese grown

There is frequent discussion about the quality of Turkey Tail mushroom supplements coming from China. Some areas of China have high rates of air pollution which can negatively affect the quality of soil with unwanted pollutants and heavy-metals. But this does not mean Chinese mushroom products are bad.

China has been using mushroom-based medicine for thousands of years, long before it became popular in the west. China is the largest producer of organic Turkey Tail and medicinal mushrooms in the world and grow their products from provincial areas in rural mountain provinces. 

With decades of research and usage, China produces some of the most potent Turkey Tail and medicinal mushroom products on the market, and also has some of the most sophisticated extraction labs in the world.


5. Certificate of analysis

If you are unsure of the quality of the Turkey Tail product, you can request a third party Certificate of Analysis (COA) from the producer. A Certificate of Analysis from a third party lab is important to identify the beneficial compounds in a Turkey Tail product (such as beta glucans and polyphenols), as well as to avoid heavy metals, pesticides and other foreign contaminants. Heavy metals that are typically tested for range from arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury.

6. Organic

Always look for organic Turkey Tail supplements. This verifies that the cultivation process is compliant and is grown without using harmful chemicals, herbicides, and pesticides.

Look for the widely recognized stamp of quality and integrity of a Certificate Organic from the regulatory body:


Turkey Tail Supplements in the United States and Canada

Turkey Tail powder

Turkey Tail dried powders are made from pulverizing the 100% fruiting body. Turkey Tail Powders are often called ‘full-spectrum’ as you get the ‘full entourage effect’ of consuming the entire mushroom and therefore getting all the nutritional benefits as a whole-food. Powders are generally made from mushrooms that have been heated or processed in a way to make the medicinal compounds bioavailable. When choosing a powder (non extract), make sure that it has been heated first to break down the cell walls, called chitin, so that the medicinal beneficial compounds are bioavailable. 

Turkey Tail extract

Extracts contain the individual medicinal compounds of Turkey Tail without the biomass. This is done via an extraction process with hot water and/or alcohol and solvents (dual extraction). This makes small doses of Turkey Tail highly potent, extremely compact, and have a longer shelf life. 

There are two different types of extracts available in the United States and Canada:

Turkey Tail tinctures

Tinctures are liquid extracts that most often use water and alcohol solvents. They are a convenient method of consuming Turkey Tail.

Turkey Tail powdered extracts

Powdered extracts are the dry powdered result of extracting the individual medicinal compounds from the Turkey Tail mushroom. Powdered extracts can be extracted from both the fruiting body and/or the mycelium.

Turkey Tail capsules

Capsules and Tablets are usually either filled with Turkey Tail mushroom powders or extracts. They are the most convenient way to dose and consume Turkey Tail. Buying capsules are in growing demand in the United States and Canada as they are an easy option for those already regularly taking supplements or other medications in this form.

Turkey Tail coffee and tea

Turkey Tail can be incorporated into hot drinks such as coffee and tea. The big benefit these products have is that they are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

Turkey Tail Tea can be purchased as tea bags containing both Turkey Tail powder and dried tea herbs; leaves.

Turkey Tail Coffee products are sold as ground coffee beans mixed with Turkey Tail powder.

Fresh Turkey Tail mushrooms

Turkey Tail Mushrooms are not considered “edible mushrooms” because of their tough, rubbery, and indigestible fibers. They can be cooked and simmered in water for 2-3 hours and then used in tea, soups, and broths. Consuming the mushroom fruiting body itself is not toxic, but may cause some digestive issues if consumed in large quantities.

Fresh Turkey Tail mushrooms as whole fruiting bodies are rare to find for sale in the United States and Canada . Turkey Tail mushrooms grow quite commonly in National Parks and forests across the United States and Canada and can also be foraged.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms legal in the United States and Canada? 

Yes, Turkey Tail mushrooms are legal for purchase and consumption in the United States and Canada.
In the US, all Turkey Tail supplements and medicinal mushroom products must be registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
In Canada, all Turkey Tail mushroom supplements must be registered with the Natural Health Products Regulations (NHPR)

Can Turkey Tail be purchased from my doctor?

Although Turkey Tail is considered a Medicinal Mushroom, you cannot buy it from your doctor. You also do not need a prescription for it. It is considered a complementary therapeutic medicine, that can be purchased online or in stores. You may however be able to purchase dried Turkey Tail mushrooms from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner.

Can Turkey Tail be purchased from a naturopath?

Yes, many US and Canadian naturopaths sell Turkey Tail supplements as part of their treatment for various illnesses.

Does CVS, Walgreens and Safeway sell Turkey Tail?

Yes, we have seen some Turkey Tail mushroom products at CVS, Walgreens and Safeway, in the form of powders and teas. If you choose to purchase those products, make sure you read our buying guide above so you have the right selection process to make sure you are getting a top quality Turkey Tail product.

How much does Turkey Tail mushrooms cost in?

The price of Turkey Tail mushrooms in the Untied States and Canada can vary, depending on the product type and producer.
Turkey Tail Extracts, powders and capsules can range from $20 per product to over $80.

Conclusion

We hope this guide has been useful for you. Turkey Tail supplements and other supplements will rarely cure an illness on their own. They should be used in combination with a healthy lifestyle and potentially other conventional/alternative therapies. Having a high-quality supplement will ensure that Turkey Tail has its intended effect and can help in the treatment. Consuming low-quality products may not only be a waste of money, but it could reduce the effectiveness of treatments compared to using a high-quality product.  Check out those producers we have mentioned above and let us know what you think!

Check out our other medicinal mushroom supplement recommendations:

We are not a traditional society or club. World Mushroom Society is a collective of fungi enthusiasts and health advocates, sharing information and identifying top producers of high quality medicinal mushroom supplements.

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DISCLAIMER

DISCLAIMER
The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information found here is not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information from your doctor for ongoing medical treatment you currently receive. If unsure, please consult with your doctor before using medicinal mushrooms. Any content related to cancer should not be considered as prescriptive medical advice and should not be a substitute for any cancer treatment, unless advised by your doctor first. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by TGA and FDA-approved research. If you are pregnant or on prescription drugs that thin the blood, consult with your medical professional before using medicinal mushrooms.
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