Teelixir continues its obsession of cultivating beauty from within with the latest addition to the product range, the awesome "beauty mushroom” that is Tremella fuciformis.
There are many natural food ingredients- plant medicines, tonic herbs, medicinal mushrooms, and superfoods that have been utilized in the beauty and cosmetic industry for both topical use (cosmeceuticals) and internal use (nutricosmetics). These incredible natural substances are touted as being the best ingredients for maintaining beauty, preserving youth, and increasing longevity.
Tremella mushroom is considered one of the top beauty superfoods. Regular consumption of this mushroom makes it easy for us to maintain perfect and flawless skin as we age.
Tremella fuciformis is one of the great superfood mushrooms and longevity tonic herbs in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). It’s use dates back as far as 200 A.D. when it was including in one of the earliest TCM classics- the materia medica by "Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing”, the father of Chinese medicine. In ancient times, like many of the other revered medicinal mushrooms such as Reishi and Cordyceps sinensis, Tremella was only reserved for royalty, ruling family members or for rich people who could afford this highly valued superfood.
Tremella mushroom belongs to the jelly fungus family and has many different names. In Chinese, it's called silver ear mushroom (pinyin: yín ěr), white wood-ear mushroom (pinyin: yín ěr), and in Japanese, it's called shiro kikurage which translates to “white tree jellyfish”. It's also commonly known as “snow fungus” and the “beauty mushroom”.
In the wild, its unique gelatinous fruiting bodies (mushroom) give the appearance that a jellyfish has given birth in the forest. It also resembles a loofah shower sponge which is appropriate given its incredible beauty enhancing properties, the main reason why we have a deep love affair with this mushroom.
Tremella fuciformis is typically found growing on a dead, attached or fallen broadleaf trees (oaks, willows, poplars, chestnut, chinquapin, maple, liquidambar, and eucalyptus) in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. It’s also found in temperate areas of North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.
Tremella has been a popular staple of Chinese cuisine for centuries, rich in dietary fibers, protein, minerals, antioxidants, and high in vitamin D. Its used in China in a variety of dishes from anti-aging soups to desserts.
Tremella has traditionally been used by Chinese and Japanese herbalists as a potent Jing and Chi (Qi) tonic for thousands of years. It is believed to nourish the Lungs, Kidneys (Yin Jing), Heart, Brain, Stomach, and acts as a powerful tonic for the immune system. Tremella has been clinically used to help clear heat and dryness, replenish fluids in the body (Yin deficiency), to treat chest congestion, asthma, constipation, balance blood sugar levels and cholesterol (reduces LDL), and lower inflammation.
Its rehydration and fluid replenishment qualities may be the best reasons to support its claims as one of the best beauty foods for the skin.
Tremella mushroom has many restorative benefits but it's most famous for its beauty and skin enhancing properties:
In ancient China, Yang Guifei (719-756, Tang Dynasty) was one of the “Four Great Beauties”, an imperial concubine that is considered one of the most beautiful women in Chinese history. She was so beautiful that she was referred to as having “a face that would put flowers to shame.” It was reported that Yang Guifei attributed Tremella mushroom to be the secret to her everlasting beauty. She used it regularly to maintain her glowing complexion and youthful skin.
For centuries, Chinese women have been consuming Tremella in its whole mushroom form and as a mushroom extract to make their skin more moist, soft and pliable. Its recognized as one of the best tonic herbs to help maintain the health of the skin as the body ages.
Yang Guifei (719-756, Tang Dynasty)
The chemical composition of Tremella is fairly complex, but like other superfood mushrooms, Tremella contains a wide range of immunologically active polysaccharides (long-chain healthy sugars such as beta-glucans) inside its cell walls that offer incredible immune supportive and human health benefits.
A recent scientific review in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms titled "Medicinal Value of the Genus Tremella Pers. (Heterobasidiomycetes)” revealed that the “the promising feature of Tremella species is that the main pharmacological effects are attributable to acidic heteropolysaccharide glucuronoxylomannan action”. Translation: the polysaccharide compounds in Tremella fuciformis is the main reason behind its many extraordinary benefits. The review went on to state other positive immune boosting potentialities:
"It is shown that the antitumor activity of Tremella mushrooms is due to immunomodulating effects of both humoral and cellular immune factors in the body. Tremella species also stimulate vascular endothelial cells; possess pronounced antiradiating effects; stimulate hematogenesis; demonstrate antidiabetic, antiinflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, antiallergic activities; and show hepatoprotective effects. Tremella glucuronoxylomannan can be recommended to improve immunodeficiency, including that induced by AIDS, physical stress, or aging, and to prevent senile degeneration of microvessels, maintaining better blood perfusion conditions in vital organs."
If that weren’t enough, these health-promoting polysaccharides have also shown to promote nerve growth, support the brain, and assist with improved memory and learning.
Tremella is an incredible youth-preserving mushroom that has the ability to rejuvenate, moisturize, and hydrate the skin naturally. Its unique polysaccharide compounds show remarkable water retaining properties. Its water holding capacity is nearly 500 times its own weight! This is greater than hyaluronic acid, a common ingredient used in expensive skincare products to retain the skin’s moisture. To give you a better idea of their water holding differences, hyaluronic acid holds up to 1000 times its weight in water while Tremella mushroom holds about 5 times more water than hyaluronic acid.
This makes Tremella one of the best natural hydrating foods and therefore, a better alternative to hyaluronic acid. Tremella is also becoming a popular moisturizing and hydration agent in cosmetic products.
Hydrate your skin from within the natural way. Watch Tremella mushroom absorb over 500 times its own weight in water in this short video:
Many doctors and experts around the world agree that dehydration is one of the major factors in many of the common illnesses and diseases that we face today. Tremella mushroom delivers intensive hydration powers that can help combat chronic dehydration and improve our overall health.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a carbohydrate (more specifically a mucopolysaccharide) and gel-like substance that’s found naturally occurring in the body. HA is mostly concentrated in the fluids, the eyes, and joints. The role of HA in the body varies from binding to water, helping to lubricate the muscles, tissues, joints, and to maintain the suppleness and structure of the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules in nature. Thus, it has earned the title of “nature’s moisturizer.” This miracle beauty substance keeps the skin firm and full, thereby keeping it free from wrinkles and fine lines. As we age, however, the production of HA in the body declines. But again, Tremella mushroom to the rescue! Modern science has now shown that Tremella mushroom can naturally increase the production of HA in the body.
Therefore, including Tremella mushroom regularly in our diet is a much better strategy for the health of our skin than later supplementing when our production of hyaluronic acid declines as we age.
Tremella’s polysaccharides also stimulates the production of superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the brain and liver. SOD is one of the most important super antioxidant enzymes in the body. SOD helps to protect and regenerate skin and effectively prevent wrinkling and sagging of the skin.
Further research has shown Tremella mushroom to be an effective topical antioxidant to prevent oxidative damage to skin cells as well as increasing the body's production of its own powerful free-radical defense mechanisms.
As mentioned, Tremella’s potent skin and beauty benefits are often used in premium skincare brands including in anti-aging moisturizers, serums, and face masks to improve the health and appearance of the skin. When applied topically, Tremella generates a natural hydration film on the skin that can help relieve dryness, support overall skin health by balancing optimal hydration and enabling the skin to develop elasticity and appear more supple and full. Try adding Tremella mushroom topically to your own beauty and skin care regimen.
Tremella has been consumed in its whole mushroom form for centuries. It’s a popular culinary mushroom in China that is used in many different dishes.
It’s fascinating, however, that Tremella fuciformis could not be cultivated for centuries on wood like most other well-known superfood mushrooms such as Reishi, Maitake, Shiitake, Oyster, and others. For a long time, it was only wild harvested. Studies in fungal ecology eventually discovered that the Tremella species is a mycoparasite! Translation: a fungus that eats another fungus. Instead of eating the wood for its nutrition, Tremella eats another fungus (Hypoxylon archeri) that eats the wood. Essentially, its life cycle is intertwined with another fungus, in this case, the Hypoxylon genus. It was not possible to cultivate Tremella fuciformis until this method of cultivation was established. Modern production now uses a “dual-culture” method where they inoculate the substrate with both fungal species to produce the Tremella mushroom fruiting body. From there, a concentrated extract is produced using the fruiting bodies.
Teelixir suggests starting with 1/2 tsp of Tremella mushroom extract per day. If you are sensitive to herbs, you may want to start with 1/4 tsp. When your body feels ready, you can increase your dosage according to your daily needs. Concentrated hot water extracts are not heat sensitive. Tremella mushroom is non-toxic and has no known side effects.
The flavor profile of a concentrated extract of Tremella mushroom is very mild and slightly sweet. This makes it easy to add to your teas, smoothies, and your favorite dessert recipes. You can make Tremella mushroom tea by simply adding 1/2 tsp to a mug and mixing it with hot water. You can also add Tremella to other tonic herbs, adaptogens, and superfood mushrooms to create a potent life-promoting elixir. Let us know how you like to enjoy your Tremella mushroom!
Try adding Tremella mushroom into this beauty tonic smoothie recipe.