Benefits of Trametes Versicolor (Turkey Tail, Cloud Mushroom) for Lupus

Lupus is a medical condition that affects at least five million people in the world. It is known to arise from the immune system which malfunctions to destroy the healthy cells in the body.

This causes inflammation in the body leading to its symptoms.[1]

The symptoms of lupus are joint pain and swelling, the presence of rashes on the face, mouth ulcers, fatigue, weight loss, etc. [2]

Lupus can affect many other body organs like the kidneys, lungs, brain, abdomen, heart, eyes and blood too. [3] It can also lead to depression and anxiety in some patients. [4]

The main aim of lupus therapies is to reduce the symptoms and prevent flares by using medications like NSAID's, steroids, etc. [5]

It is found by researchers that 50% of the lupus patients tend to use complementary and alternative medicinal approaches in the United States. [6]

The absence of a complete cure for this disease has led to increased usage of numerous complementary and alternative therapies to better manage the disease. [7]

What is Trametes versicolor (Turkey tail or Yun Zhi)?

Trametes versicolor is a mushroom that is obtained from dead or dying trees. [8] It is found to grow in North America, Europe, and Asia. [9]

It is also known as Coriolus versicolor or Polyporus versicolor. It is commonly known as Turkey tail or Yun Zhi. [10]

This mushroom has been identified with medicinal properties for which it has been used for hundreds of years by Asians. [11] It has a history of use in Japan for its property of strengthening the immune system. [12]

Scientific research has identified the antifungal, antioxidant, anti-cancer and its benefits on the neurological disorders. [13]

Trametes versicolor is highly beneficial to the immune system of the body. It strengthens the immunity with its anti-inflammatory as well as immunomodulatory effects. [14]

Benefits of Trametes versicolor (Yun Zhi or Turkey Tail) in Lupus

Benefits if Trametes versicolor is mainly due to its antioxidant effects which are responsible for reducing oxidative stress.

This effect also contributes to reducing inflammation in the body. It can also provide benefits by reducing the symptoms such as fatigue and pain in lupus. Lastly, it may also help by reducing the cancer risk in lupus patients.

Benefits of Trametes Versicolor (Turkey Tail, Cloud Mushroom) for Lupus

1. Trametes versicolor Can Correct Oxidative Stress in Lupus Patients

Oxidation-reduction balance within the body is an important aspect in the body which is usually disrupted in lupus patients. [15]

The redox imbalance leads oxidative stress that results in aggravated inflammation in the body which can be corrected by increasing intake of antioxidants. [16]

Trametes versicolor is proven to have potent antioxidant effects. [17] It acts by removing the free radicals that cause damage to the cells in the body. [18]

The phenolic compounds (quercetin and rutin) present in this mushroom it the main element that gives it the free radical removing ability. [19]

What does this Mean? Trametes versicolor is a powerful antioxidant. Maintaining antioxidant balance can help lupus patients in reducing unwanted damage to the cells that further increases the disease state in lupus patients.

2. Trametes versicolor Can Reduce Inflammation in Lupus

Inflammation is the prominent problem in lupus which leads to most of its symptoms and worsening the disease in the long run.

The effect of Trametes versicolor on body immunity can make it an excellent supplement to be used by lupus patients.

The reduction of inflammation has been seen by utilizing this fungal supplement. Its antioxidant property is interlinked with providing the anti-inflammatory effect. [20]

Trametes versicolor is known to act as an anti-inflammatory by interfering with the normal chemical pathway of inflammation in the body. It reduces the chemicals that cause inflammation. [21] [22]

The anti-inflammatory effect of Trametes versicolor is confirmed by scientific research. Nevertheless, there need to be more studies on lupus patients to determine the extent this benefits on them.

What does this Mean? Trametes versicolor can reduce inflammation in the body which can aid lupus patients to achieve their therapy goals. More research studies are needed to determine its inherent benefits on lupus patients.

3. Trametes Versicolor can reduce Fatigue in Lupus Patients

Fatigue is one of the symptoms of lupus that prevents them from day to day activities. Reducing and managing fatigue takes a great deal of effort in lupus. [23]

At preliminary research levels, the anti-fatigue property of Trametes versicolor has been established. [24] This effect is a great addition to its properties in benefiting lupus patients.

Furthermore, a study that reviewed 20 studies conducted on Trametes described this mushroom to provide anti-fatigue benefits. [25]

However, it must be noted that studies of this nature have not been performed yet in lupus patients which can strongly recommend this supplement for them.

What does this Mean? Trametes versicolor is a medicinal mushroom that has some primary evidence to state that it can reduce fatigue. This effect can be derived to benefit lupus patients in whom fatigue is a common symptom.

4. Trametes Versicolor may Reduce Pain in Lupus Patients

Lupus patients suffer from joint pain as one of their main symptoms. There is some evidence that Trametes can reduce pain by improving the body's immune system functioning. [26]

Studies on animals have also proven this effect of pain reduction by increasing the release of inflammatory chemicals in the body. [27]

The evidence thins out when it comes to such studies in lupus patients. Nevertheless, the beneficial effects of this mushroom and its safety profile may render this mushroom as one other useful supplement for lupus.

What does this Mean? Trametes versicolor is found to reduce pain in the body. Animal studies have proven this effect. It can be of great benefit to lupus patients in alleviating their symptoms.

5. Trametes versicolor Can Help in Cancer Prevention in Lupus Patients

Lupus patients are at a higher risk of developing cancer in their life. There is a three to four-fold increased risk in developing cancer in them. [28]

The soaring research evidence of Trametes for its anti-cancer properties claims this effect to be due to the presence of polysaccharide K in it. [29]

Numerous clinical trials have been done in cancer patients to determine its benefits and they also proved it to be safe to use. [30]

There is a piece of strong evidence for the anti-cancer effect of Trametes versicolor. This effect can prevent the development of cancer in lupus patients.

What does this Mean? Lupus patients have a higher chance of developing cancer in their lifetime. The anti-cancer effects of Trametes can benefit them by preventing cancer development in them.

How to take Trametes Versicolor?

Turkey tail mushroom can be taken in the form of tea by boiling it in some water and preparing a decoction. [31]

Polysaccharide K is also available in the form of capsules which can be taken orally at the dose mentioned by your doctor or as manufacturer guidelines. [32]

As there are no specific studies of turkey tail mushroom in lupus patients the exact dose of this supplement cannot be ascertained.


Trametes Versicolor has a good usage record among Asian countries for several years and has not reported any toxicities. Animal studies also prove the safety of Trametes versicolor. [33]

Turkey tail mushroom is known to have very few side effects when used by various trial subjects. [34] It can cause gastric upset and nausea as side effects. [35]

Even though this mushroom has a good side effect profile one must obtain some medical advice before using it.

Especially people with concomitant diseases and medicines must be careful before taking supplements without medical advice.


Trametes versicolor or turkey tail is a medicinal mushroom that has a good number of benefits to the human body.

It has been used for the past hundreds of years by the Asians to treat immune-related ailments of the body.

Lupus patients can use this supplement to reduce inflammation, fatigue, pain and reduce oxidative stress that can help reduce the disease progression.

It can also be used to reduce the risk of cancer in lupus patients who are otherwise at a higher risk of developing cancer.

The safety profile of this supplement is excellent. It can be a great alternative medicine that can reduce lupus-related problems.

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