by Mike Barrett
Can you prevent and help treat cancer simply by utilizing nature’s gifts? Absolutely – at least that’s what researchers at Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington say. Using a naturally occurring mushroom known as ‘turkey tail’, which has been used for centuries to boost the immune system, the researchers have shown once again how natural foods can be used in the fight against cancer.
Knowing full well that cancer prevention has much to do with turbo-charging the body’s natural defense system, the researchers set out to test the effectiveness of a naturally occurring mushroom in terms of boosting immunity. But instead of lab experiments using mice, the Bastyr researchers tested the ‘turkey tail’ on real cancer patients – after receiving permission from the Food and Drug Administration.
One of Bastyr’s cancer patients and an ice skating competitor, Lisa Clinton, is just one of many individuals around the world who wholeheartedly believe that natural foods played a large role in her survival. After going through surgery, the ice skating competitor refused the extremely questionable cancer-treatment chemotherapy and turned to turkey tail instead to target her cancer.
“We consider cancer a failure of the immune system…When they [turkey tail] are ingested into the body, they stimulate immune cells that line the intestines, and then those stimulate other immune cells all over the body,” says Dr. Leanna Standish at Bastyr University.
Luckily, big pharma is unlikely to sell turkey tail as a patented treatment due to the mushrooms extremely long history in medicinal use. Turkey tail mushrooms have been used by various cultures in Asia, Europe, and by indigenous people in North America to treat various health conditions for hundreds of years – including cancer. While the mushroom has been brewed as a tea since the early 15th century, the medicinal properties of turkey tail have almost without a doubt been felt even before written history. It is no surprise that the mushroom is being explored today.
One ‘scientific’ finding concerning turkey tail revolves around the increased number of ‘natural killer cells’ after ingestion of the mushroom. Natural killer cells protect against viruses and tumors. “What’s more, turkey tail mycelium excretes strong antiviral compounds, specifically active against Human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes cervical cancer, and hepatitis C virus (HEP-C), which causes liver cancer,” reports HuffingtonPost.
What to Look For
If you’re interested in checking out turkey tail, there are a few things to consider first. Whether buying the mushroom itself or buying a product using turkey tail, be sure to purchase only certified organic. Secondly, find out where the mushrooms are grown and who grew them. While it may require a bit of digging, try to look for turkey tail coming from skilled growers with skills in cultivation. Companies are merely worried about the bottom dollar and generally care little for the consumer for various reasons – from constantly switching suppliers to ignoring the real quality of their product for reasons of profict. Doing your own research in this area can help tremendously.
The Turkey Tail Mushroom is Not Alone
Of course turkey tail is not alone; countless natural foods have been shown to heal the body in numerous ways and prevent cancer. The spice turmeric has repeatedly been shown to be an effective cancer-fighter and even block cancer growth, being shown to reduce tumors by an astounding 81% in one study. One father didn’t ignore the marijuana and cancer relationship, and used marijuana oil to save his sons life. Lastly, but certainly not least, a little-known plant known as the ‘thunder god vine’ has made headlines as a cancer killer for vanishing tumors in mice with pancreatic cancer.