Foraging the “True” Turkey Tail Mushroom

Trametes versicolor is a powerful antiviral, anti-candida, as well as immunomodulating mushroom. Its also getting profound notoriety from Bastyr Universities research with cancer treatment, specifically with breast cancer. Yet, there are a few mushrooms that look somewhat similar to the untrained eye.


Top of Trametes (L) and Stereum (R)


Underside of Trametes (L) and Stereum (R)

Here’s a look at two pics showing the true turkey tail (trametes versicolor) on the left, and it’s look similar, the “false” turkey tail (stereum ostrea) to the right. Notice that trametes versicolor has a white underside shown in the second pic below, otherwise they look very similar and can easily be confused. Although it is not known that false turkey tail is toxic, there are still questions and concerns for working with it as a medicinal.

With all of the research I’ve scoured and all the people I’ve asked I have found several people tell me that they consume stereum ostrea, although no research has confirmed that it is indeed “ingestible”. There is, however, one research article which shows “Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Stereum ostrea, an Inedible Wild
Mushroom“, but nowhere in the article does it mention human ingestion. Can that mean we can extrapolate from that; only you can judge, but always exercise caution.

For a better look at the living discernment of these and a few other similar mushrooms check out my youtube video:

Happy Foraging!


Further Suggested Reading: Foraging Articles

Foraging Videos: Click Here

Other Links:

Mycomedicinals by Paul Stamets

Medicinal Mushrooms – Christopher Hobbs

Anticancer effects and mechanisms of polysaccharide-K (PSK): implications of cancer immunotherapy.

Induction of immunopotentiation activity by a protein-bound polysaccharide, PSK

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About Dan

Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines. He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way – Check out more at
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