The Best Tremella Mushroom Guide: 11 Amazing Health Benefits Of The Unique Snow Fungus

Mushrooms,rich in essential nutrients and bioactive compounds, have a long-standing history in both culinary and medicinal use. The beneficial impacts on human health and nutrition were acknowledged in early Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Chinese civilizations, demonstrating their importance across various cultures.

Over the past twenty years, the medicinal mushroom industry has seen significant growth, delivering a multitude of products to the market with a refined level of professionalism. They have diverse applications in sectors like agriculture, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food-related industries.

What is tremella mushroom good for?

Tremella fuciformis, commonly known as the tremella mushroom (TM) or snow fungus and the beauty mushrooms, bai mu er (in Chinese) and Shiro kikurage (in Japanese) and sometimes referred to as the white jelly mushroom, is a species gaining recognition for its health benefits. This beautiful fungus is rarely seen in the wild of North America. This parasitic fungus thrives on other mushrooms in the wild, ultimately presenting itself as a gelatinous, nearly translucent mushroom with a unique, lobed appearance that resembles coral or a loose brain. Its history in traditional medicine spans centuries, particularly in Eastern cultures where it is prized for its potential medicinal properties and has been used both for culinary and therapeutic purposes.

“As I stumbled upon a stunning tremella yellow mushroom in the serene forest of Surrey, my heart swelled with wonder and awe – truly a magical discovery in December 2023.”

Tremella mushrooms are taking the spotlight in today’s wellness discussions! Their benefits are being discovered and welcomed with open arms. It is an amazing beautiful and delicate fungi 🙂

The fungi are known for their high content of dietary fibers, polysaccharides, and various antioxidants, which confer health-promoting properties. Culinary uses range from soups and desserts, thanks to its jelly-like texture, to being ground into a fine powder that can be incorporated into a multitude of recipes. The fungus itself is bland and will take on just about any flavor you add. Additionally, its potential moisturizing and skin-protective qualities are making tremella mushrooms a popular ingredient in the skincare industry.

The great thing about using this fungus in cooking is that you are getting good medicine with your meal.

white jelly mushroom or  tremella mushroom

Why History Matters

Tremella fuciformis, a member of the Tremellales order and the Tremellaceae family, is one of the great superfood fungi and longevity tonic herbs in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and has a rich history. In China and other East Asian countries, it has been traditionally used for health benefits for centuries.

Tremella is Loved for its traditional medicinal properties, it’s more than just food – it’s a feast of wellness!

Strength, health, and resisting diseases.

This fascinating tradition continues to this day!

Did you know? The name originates from the Latin word ‘tremere’, which intriguingly means ‘to tremble’.

TM holds a position of high esteem dating back to the Tang Dynasty. Its utilization was often associated with the promise of beauty and longevity. Historical records indicate that it was a favored delicacy of Yang Guifei, one of the Four Beauties of ancient China, during the Tang Dynasty. Yang Guifei’s use of the mushroom for maintaining a youthful complexion and overall vitality signifies the cultural and medicinal importance attributed to Tremella.

Practitioners have used it to nourish the lungs: COPD, or asthma, more as a preventive supplement to help the body repair the lung, reducing inflammation and regulating the immune response, stomach, and kidneys, predicated on believing that its moisturizing properties could benefit these organs. During the Qing Dynasty, its therapeutic uses broadened further, solidifying its place in the annals of traditional wellness practices across Asia.

Varieties of Tremella Mushrooms

While Tremella fuciformis is the most studied and recognized species within the genus Tremella, there are over 100 species, all varying slightly in appearance and habitat. This broad genus encompasses a range of mushrooms that possess a similar gelatinous texture, although they may differ in color and size. The white Tremella fuciformis, often called the snow fungus or white jelly mushroom, is one of the few edible varieties; it is not only sought after for consumption but also for its utility in traditional medicine and skincare.

Tremella Mushroom Nutrition Facts

Why do antioxidants matter?

Packed with vitamin C, polyphenols, tocopherols, and flavonoids, antioxidants are our secret warriors. They shield our cells from damage caused by pesky free radicals, and can even dial down inflammation and apoptosis triggered by oxidative stress.

Multiple studies demonstrated the polysaccharide fraction sourced from TM possesses a variety of pharmacological properties. These include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, antitumor, repairing brain memory impairment, hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic and anti-aging effects

 The most powerful nutritional constituents of snow fungus are amino acids,
vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides, Glucurmomannan 1,3-alpha-glucan, Epitope 9beta-D-glucuronosyl), Glucuronic acid, Glucurmic acid, Glucuronoxylomannan, N-acetylglucosamine, Flavonoids, Polyphenols, Alkaloids and Organic acids, enzymes, dietary fiber and trace elements.

Vitamins and Minerals

TM is a valuable source of various vitamins and minerals, the most important is

  • Vitamin D: contains a large quantity of vitamin D. In recent years, several clinical trials have been performed to investigate the therapeutic value of vitamin D in hyperproliferative diseases, secondary, hyperparathyroidism, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, type I diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, and various malignancies Vitamin D also helps in maintaining a healthy immune system.

Macronutrients  

  • Protein: These amazing mushrooms are rich in protein, which is essential for the growth and repair of tissues.
  • Fiber: High in dietary fiber, they can support digestive health.
  • Carbohydrates: These mushrooms mainly consist of polysaccharides, which include fiber and other forms that may contribute to the mushrooms’ health effects. Their carbohydrate content makes them a source of energy as well.
  • Fat: They contain negligible amounts of fat, making them a low-fat addition to diets.

Tremella Mushroom Health Benefits

These unique mushrooms offer numerous health benefits, largely attributed to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, being utilized for their potential to support the immune system, and their beauty-enhancing and heart health properties.

Creates Youthful Healthy Skin

Yang Guifei and tremella mushroom

Imagine stepping back into ancient China, where Yang Guifei, one of the Four Great Beauties, ruled the hearts with her stunning beauty. This imperial concubine, revered as one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history, had a secret weapon – Tremella. She regularly used it to keep her skin glowing and youthful, due to their property of anti-inflammatory for the skin and whole body.

The most famous beauty and skin enhancing properties of Tremella1 mushroom

  • Nourishes Skin
  • 2- Naturally Moisturises
  • 3- Improves Elasticity
  • 4- Slows Skin Aging
  • 5- Brightens Complexion
  • 6- Deeply Hydrates Inside and Out

The polysaccharides, protect human skin fibroblasts from oxidative stress, promote hydration, and elasticity, and slow skin aging, natural moisturizer to relieve skin dehydration, repair the skin barrier, and maintain skin health. TM helps reduce wrinkles and provides a natural glow to the skin due to its moisturizing effects.

The polysaccharides found in this fungi help retain moisture, offering a plumping effect that can reduce the appearance of fine lines. Furthermore, it helps promote collagen production, which is essential for maintaining skin elasticity and firmness. As a result, TM is often incorporated into skincare regimens focused on anti-aging and skin health maintenance.

When compared to traditional moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid, there is a significant cost reduction of 86%, while maintaining the same efficacy.

It’s commonly used in products like lotions, toiletries, makeup, and contact lenses.

Weight loss

Approximately 30% of obese individuals are metabolically healthy, a condition referred to as Metabolically Healthy Obesity (MHO). However, MHO can evolve into metabolically unhealthy obesity (MUO), leading to inflammation and other diseases.

It is widely recognized that the composition of gut microbiota is predominantly determined by daily dietary intake. Several functional foods have been shown to influence gut microbiota composition by promoting the proliferation of beneficial microorganisms. This is attributed to the presence of numerous bioactive compounds, including but not limited to, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, and polysaccharides.

Recent animal studies indicated that fermented white jelly fungus exhibits anti-obesity effects through various means such as preventing weight gain, reducing fat build-up, and enlarging adipocytes.

Polysaccharides and dietary fiber serve as energy for gut microbiota, greatly influencing its composition and the host’s health.

I can confirm, that my clients reported daily bowel movements. This was reported only after 5 days of taking mushrooms powdered.

Immune Support

Polysaccharide plays a vital role in enhancing immune activities through the activation of macrophages, T lymphocytes, and B lymphocytes and the regulation of nonspecific immunity, humoral immunity, and cellular immunity.

Cancer and liver protection

Their polysaccharides exhibit the ability to enhance the immune response and may hinder the growth of certain cancer cells. The Chinese Food and Drug Administration approved “Tremella Polysaccharide Enteric-coated Capsules” in 2002. It’s used to treat cancer patients suffering from leukopenia caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and also as an additional treatment for chronic persistent and active hepatitis.

Cognitive Benefits

TM is thought to have neuroprotective effects, providing neurological damage repair. While research is still ongoing, early studies suggest that they could play a role in supporting brain health and cognitive function, and improved memory and learning capabilities.

Heart Health and Cholesterol Control

Contribute to heart health and cholesterol control by potentially regulating blood lipid levels, and reducing LDL levels Though less well-known than other effects, the presence of antioxidants and fiber in these mushrooms indicates a potential for maintaining cardiovascular health. Protects the circulatory system

Antioxidants and Inflammation

What is Oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress induced by free radicals, which are produced in response to redox reactions, radiation, and chemical reactions, can cause DNA and protein damage. Such stress is associated with the development of many diseases, such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, articular gout, inflammation, and cancer.

Clinical trials on TM assess their efficacy in combating oxidative stress and inflammation—key factors in chronic conditions such as heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases. In one trial, participants consuming TM powder showcased a decrease in inflammation markers, suggesting its potential in anti-inflammatory diets.

Gastrointestinal health: Stomach and intestinal health

Polysaccharides from TM can attenuate ulcerative colitis (UC), by entering the bloodstream through the gastrointestinal tract and clearing the wounds of gastrointestinal ulcers.

Diabetes

Research indicates that effective control of DM1 can be achieved when blood glucose levels are maintained up to 130mg/dL. This is associated with reductions in cholesterol, triglycerides, GPT, and urea levels, alongside an increase in HDL cholesterol.

Elisashvili’s study found that feeding hyperglycemic mice with TM polysaccharides for 15 days significantly reduced their blood glucose and triglyceride levels in a dose-dependent manner.

Great for chronic coughs and Prevents osteoporosis

Culinary Uses of Tremella Mushrooms

It is beneficial in the food industry as an emulsifier, thickener, and food fortifier. It promotes healthier foods and minimizes the use of industrial additives due to its uniformity and viscosity.

From anti-aging soups to delectable desserts, it’s a versatile ingredient that’s celebrated across a multitude of dishes in China.

To incorporate TM into cuisine, one often starts by rehydrating dried TM. This process involves soaking them in water until they become supple, usually taking about 20 minutes. Once rehydrated, the mushrooms should be cleaned and the tough, inedible parts removed.

Soups are a popular choice for utilizing these beautiful fungi, which can be added to both savory and sweet broths. When cooked, they acquire a slippery, yet tender, texture akin to jellyfish, making them a delightful ingredient for adding texture and depth to meals, without overpowering other flavors.

Typically, the mushrooms are simmered until fully cooked, which could take approximately 30 minutes, depending on the recipe and desired consistency. Besides soups, they can also be used to create a sweet dessert jelly or mixed into stir-fries, congees, and medicinal teas. The versatility of TM is showcased when they are ground into a fine powder and used as a supplement or incorporated into food for an extra boost of nutrients.

Supplements and Dosage

When considering TM supplements, it’s important to focus on form and purity as well as the specifics of dosage guidelines.

The purity of the supplement is paramount; hence, opting for products verified by third-party testing is advisable as it assures the absence of contaminants and the accuracy of the dosage indicated on the label. Consumers should also consider the source of the supplement to ensure it’s sustainably cultivated.

The typical dosage of TM powder is 1-2 grams. However, this can vary based on the individual’s health and intended use. For optimal results, it’s crucial to follow manufacturer instructions or consult a healthcare professional. The powder can be added to food, and drinks, or taken directly if encapsulated. Consistency and accuracy in dosage are key.

Are there any side effects of consuming Tremella mushrooms?

Generally, TM is considered safe for consumption with few reported side effects. However, individuals who are allergic to mushrooms should avoid them.

Interactions with Medications

People taking medications for conditions such as diabetesobesity, or high cholesterol should consult with a healthcare provider before including tremella mushroom powder in their regimen. Tremella mushrooms could potentially change blood sugar levels or interact with lipid-regulating drugs.

Consultation with a healthcare provider is advised for those with specific health conditions or concerns.

Key Takeaways

  • These amazing fungi offer key health benefits including anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory properties, cholesterol reduction, obesity management, short-term memory improvement, and potential cancer-fighting abilities.
  • The mushroom is versatile in cooking and can be used fresh, dried, or powdered.
  • Research supports the use of these fungi for skin health and anti-aging properties.
  • Suitable for the routine health needs of the general population who are not in good health and could be widely used in medicine, food and chemical industry.
  • widespread use in a variety of industries, including cosmetics, food and pharmaceuticals
  • The excellent chemical and physiochemical characteristics of TFMS deliver high stability in liquid dosage forms

Frequently Asked Questions

How does TM consumption affect the body before and after?

Before consumption, the body may lack some of the nutrients that these fungi provide, such as vitamin D and dietary fibers. After regular consumption, improvements in skin hydration, immune system support, and potential reductions in cholesterol levels may be observed.

What are the pros and cons of adding Tremella mushroom supplements to your diet?

The pros of adding TM supplements include their potential to improve skin health, boost the immune system, and provide a source of dietary fiber. On the cons side, as with any supplement, there is a risk of unknown additives or impurities, and they may not be necessary if an individual already has a balanced diet.

How often can you safely consume snow fungus?

Snow fungus can be consumed daily as part of a balanced diet. It’s important to consider individual dietary needs and potential allergies when deciding the frequency of consumption.

What health advantages does drinking snow fungus provide?

Snow fungus has been linked to health advantages such as improved skin hydration, immune system support, and potential cardiovascular benefits due to its fibrous content and other compounds that may help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post! I hope you found it informative and enjoyable. If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you and engage in further discussions. Additionally, if there are any specific topics or themes that you would like me to cover in future blog posts, please let me know. Your feedback is greatly appreciated and helps me improve my writing for you. Thank you again for your support and input!

  1. This paper is available online free of all access charges – Faculdade de Engenharia Agronômica
    https://www.ajpr.online – Amaz. Jour. of Plant Resear. 4(3):692-697. 2020 ↩︎

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Madelena Tapliga
Madelena Tapliga

MSc Clinical Nutritionist, accredited Nutritionist of UK from Association for Nutrition (AfN)
Clinical Lead
Herbal Medicine
MLD therapy My specialities: Malnutrition (diet advice weight gain), Weight management (weight loss, fat loss nutrition, difficulty losing weight, high cholesterol), bariatric surgery recovery and lifestyle advices, recovery post surgery, gastrointestinal and colorectal health, cardiac disease, diabetes type 2, food sensitivities, food intolerances, food intolerance testing, healthy skin, family and meal planning, nutrient deficiencies, thyroid disorders, digestive health SIBO, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Hypochlorhydria (low acid gastric), Immune system, Arthritis, relationship with food, nutritional support, vegetarian and vegan diets, mindfulness eating, stress management, dietary advice, recipe developer, personalised nutrition. Intermittent Fasting, evidence based nutrition, sounds therapy, manual lymphatic drainage .

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