Go to page content

Yunzhi Mushroom Benefits for Health 

You may know that mushrooms are good for you, but are you aware that some are used as medicine? Here’s how yunzhi mushroom benefits your health.

Turkey tail or yunzhi mushroom growing on the side of a tree.

Like other medicinal mushrooms, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has used yunzhi (云芝) or turkey tail mushrooms for over 2,000 years for wellness. The mushroom has become a popular natural remedy for a multitude of reasons, backed by scientific research. Learn more about yunzhi mushroom benefits and how to integrate the fungi into your lifestyle. 

Immune-boosting Abilities

A woman drinking yunzhi mushroom supplement.
Add yunzhi mushrooms to your diet to help your immune system.

These legendary fungi contain two important compounds, polysaccharopeptide (PSP) and polysaccharide-K (PSK), which possess powerful immunity-boosting properties. These polysaccharides suppress inflammation and activate and inhibit specific types of immune cells, promoting an immune response.

A study in Pharmacophore presents new findings of yunzhi mushrooms as one of the promising functional foods for treating inflammatory and cancer-related diseases. This is due to their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects. 

Cancer-fighting Potential 

As mentioned, the mushroom benefits for cancer-related diseases are manifold, thanks to its compounds, PSP and PSK. Singapore clinics use the fungi in TCM as a complementary treatment because of these cancer-fighting components.

Senior consultant for Medical Oncology at the Parkway Cancer Centre, Dr See Hui Ti says clinical studies show that the PSK in yunzhi promotes the growth of white cells to assist with a patient’s immune system

A Chinese Medicine study discovers that using yunzhi with cytotoxic drugs benefits cancer patients and improves their quality of life. This combination enhances the efficacy and eases the adverse effects of the drugs. 

Because of its compatibility with chemotherapy, turkey tail extract is recommended and prescribed to patients undergoing certain cancers, such as breast cancer, gastric cancer and colorectal cancer.

Gut Health

A man holding his stomach with a happy face after a meal.
Gut health is integral to your overall well-being.

What was once a trend, digestive health has now become a health norm worldwide. Your gut controls approximately 70% of your immune response, and 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut.

You can improve gut health by eating more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. You may also consider including probiotics and prebiotics in your diet.

Yunzhi mushrooms contain prebiotics, helping the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. One study from the National Library of Medicine involved 24 participants consuming 3,600mg of PSP extracted from yunzhi mushrooms per day over eight weeks.

This resulted in favourable changes in gut bacteria and the suppression of problematic E. coli and Shigella bacteria growth. Overall, the mushroom helps maintain healthy gut bacterial balance by increasing the growth of beneficial bacteria, while limiting the production of harmful ones.

Respiratory Health 

TCM also uses yunzhi as a treatment for respiratory health. Because of its significant effects on the immune system, yunzhi mushrooms help treat coughs, shortness of breath, and lung diseases and enhance respiratory function. 

Promotes Vitality 

Yunzhi is renowned for its ability to treat general weakness. It improves your alertness and energy levels (following physical exertion), vitality, and strengthening of tendons and bones while promoting longevity, calmness, and a sense of well-being. 

​​In TCM, yunzhi mushrooms are brewed in teas or ingested as a qi tonic, but they can also be taken in capsule form to support immune health.

Despite being an ancient herb in traditional Chinese practice, yunzhi mushrooms have gained popularity in modern times. It’s now a staple, medicinal ingredient in both Asian and Western cultures. Try to incorporate yunzhi into your diet to reap its amazing mushroom benefits. 

Have you tried yunzhi mushrooms before? Let us know what you think. 

This is an adaptation of the article “The Power of Yunzhi”, which first appeared on Eu Yan Sang website.


  1. Alternative and Complementary Therapies. 2005. Medicinal Mushrooms: A Selective Overview. [online] Available at <https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Medicinal-Mushrooms%3A-A-Selective-Overview-Meletis-Barker/1c8a858ec8890362f7f32d1d7f06f4ac9782766e> [Accessed on 10 Jan 2023]
  2. Chinese Medicine. 2020. Herb-drug interactions between the medicinal mushrooms Lingzhi and Yunzhi and cytotoxic anticancer drugs: a systematic review. [online] Available at: <https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-020-00356-4> [Accessed on 10 Jan 2023]
  3. Eu Yan Sang. The Power of Yunzhi. [online] Available at <https://www.euyansang.com/en_US/the-power-of-yunzhi/eysherbsyunzhi2.html> [Accessed on 10 Jan 2023]
  4. Gut Microbes. 2014. Effects of polysaccharopeptide from Trametes versicolor and amoxicillin on the gut microbiome of healthy volunteers: a randomized clinical trial. [online] Available at: <https://doi.org/10.4161/gmic.29558> [Accessed on 10 Jan 2023]
  5. Pharmacophore. 2020. Chemical Composition and Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and Anticancer Effects of Extract from Yunzhi Mushroom (Coriolopsis Aspera) in Vietnam. [online] Available at: <https://pharmacophorejournal.com/storage/models/article/zmhCHWdoXH2YMBL0oTwMkVVbbHlneIDRXPBg8xHNToibtJ3ELf8Mj5NX9FPf/chemical-composition-and-antioxidant-anti-inflammatory-and-anticancer-effects-of-extract-from-yunz.pdf> [Accessed on 10 Jan 2023]

Share this article on

Was This Article Useful to You?

Reviews (1)

Aug 11 2023

Understand the benefits of Yunzhi better

Want more healthy tips?

Get All Things Health in your mailbox today!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Related Articles

Healthcare professional points to a model of a kidney using a pen.
Wellness & Nutrition

11 Herbs That Act as Kidney Health Supplements

Your kidneys play a vital role in your body by filtering your blood and removing waste Ensuring they’re in great shape is important for your overall health and well-being. Start taking care of them with natural herbs that act as kidney health supplements.

Read More
Exploring the History of Cordyceps Sinensis in Wellness
Wellness & Nutrition

Exploring the History of Cordyceps Sinensis in Wellness

You may know of some staples in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and have probably heard about the benefits of bird’s nest soup and chicken essence, but are you familiar with Cordyceps Sinensis? Cordyceps Sinensis has a rich history in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine, with its use dating back 2,000 years. Over the years, this […]

Read More
What to Know About Consuming Bird’s Nest During Pregnancy
Wellness & Nutrition

What to Know About Consuming Bird’s Nest During Pregnancy

A balanced diet is a top priority for expecting mothers—not only do you have to nourish your body, but you would also have to ensure that your baby is getting essential nutrients. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers an essential health food ideal for pregnant women: bird’s nest. Like how Cordyceps Sinensis benefits your overall health, […]

Read More
Fresh snow fungus Tremella fuciformis growing on a tree branch.
Wellness & Nutrition

6 Ways Snow Fungus Benefits Your Health

Snow fungus is a well-known ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine due to its health benefits. Here are reasons to add this ingredient to your dessert and dishes.

Read More
A couple of man and woman drinking tea made from medicinal herbs.
Wellness & Nutrition

Take These 7 Medicinal Herbs for a Healthier You

Looking to level up on your wellness? Learn about these popular TCM medicinal herbs that you can incorporate into your lifestyle for a healthier and happier you.

Read More

The contents of the All Things Health website are for informational and educational purposes only.
Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.