As modern science studies mushrooms, the beliefs of ancient medicine are being confirmed: mushrooms have a multitude of health benefits that make them worth eating.
Asian medicine and indigenous peoples have long used mushrooms as a key medicinal tool. Clinical trials are proving those conclusions with results showing positive advantages to consuming mushrooms.
Depending on the variety, mushrooms are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-bacterial, and may help fight cancer and support the immune system, to name a few benefits. Other mushrooms have brain-boosting benefits.
So if they provide a health boost to humans, do they help our four-legged friends as well? The answer is yes. The same benefits enjoyed by humans are being extrapolated to dogs, with the most common advantage being a boost to the animals immune system.
Lets take a look at one of the mushrooms that is beneficial for mans best friend, the Turkey Tail.
The Turkey Tail Mushroom
This variety of mushroom is named because it resembles the tail of a turkey.
The Trametes versicolor, meaning of several colors, is also known as Coriolus versicolor and Polyporus versicolor. Its a common polypore mushroom found throughout the world. As a decomposer in the forest, it produces mushrooms visible all year, making it relatively easy for foragers to find.
Versicolor is a good descriptor as this mushroom displays different colors, although its more commonly called the Turkey Tail. Thats because the upper surface of the fan-shaped fungus has rings of color that vary from gray to brown to reddish-orange. In fresh specimens, the edge of the mushroom is white, making it look remarkably like the displayed tail of a wild turkey.
Turkey Tails Are Good For Dogs
Mushrooms can play a role in prevention, protection and intervention, or to help prevent disease, regenerate and protect cells and intervene as a treatment for disease. Thats true when used for dogs, too.
The Turkey Tail can activate the immune system and help fight off infection and disease.
One study at the Veterinary School at the University of Penn State looked at a common cancer suffered by dogs, known as hemangiosarcoma. They found that dogs treated with a derivative of Turkey Tail mushroom had the longest survival times ever reported for dogs with the disease.
Turkey Tail mushrooms can also help treat canine inflammation of the digestive tract and urinary tract.
Feeding Turkey Tail To Your Dog
One way to feed Turkey Tail mushrooms to your dog is by using a mushroom powder supplement. A powder can be easily added to any meal. Simply sprinkle some into their food, but be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure the correct dose.
There are also options for medicinal mushroom treats, which are even easier to get your dog to eat. Once again, follow the dose guide as it can vary depending on the weight of your animal.
You can also feed your dog whole mushrooms, but its best to completely cook them first. You can then mix the cooked mushrooms into their food, making it easier for your dog to digest them.
We know that mushrooms provide a powerful health punch for humans, making them worth adding to our daily health routine.
For the dog lovers among us, its good to know medicinal mushrooms can also help with their health, offering similar benefits to our pets as we enjoy.