The Tremella mushroom is an edible fungus, also known as the snow mushroom, silver ear mushroom, snow fungus or white jelly mushroom. Its translucent white lobes have a soft jelly-like texture, resembling that of underwater coral.
Tremella mushrooms grow in tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. You will naturally find them in humid tropical conditions, growing on dead or dying logs and branches from broadleaf trees. They have been cultivated since the 1800’s in China.
Tremella’s medicinal use can be traced as far back as 200AD. Like many other medicinal mushrooms, Tremella was only reserved for royalty, ruling family members or for wealthy folk who could afford this highly valued superfood.
Traditionally it was used to nourish the lungs, kidneys, heart, brain & stomach, act as a powerful tonic for the immune system, and to treat asthma & dry coughs.
But Tremella is best known for its role in skincare. During the Tang dynasty (618–906 AD), they were nicknamed “fountain of youth” mushrooms. According to legend, Yang Guifei (719–756AD), an imperial concubine known as one of the four most beautiful women in Ancient China, attributed her everlasting beauty to tremella mushrooms. It has been called the “Beauty Mushroom” in Asia ever since.
Although these “beauty mushrooms” are best known for their role in skincare, they are first and foremost medicinal mushrooms that have research showing their numerous, incredible health benefits:
- lower cholesterol(i)
- balanced blood sugar(ii)
- immune boosting(iii)
- brain health (neuroprotective effects)(vi)
Tremella Fuciformis Active Compounds
The most powerful nutritional constituents of Tremella are amino acids, vitamins (especially Vit D), minerals, polysaccharides, dietary fibres, enzymes, metabolites, N-acetylglucosamine, flavonoids, polyphenols, alkaloids and organic acids(vi,viii).
It’s been reported that Tremella polysaccharides (TP) are the major bioactive component and activity unit of Tremella – they do the most good in our bodies(ix,x). TP show multiple physiological and health promoting effects, its rehydration and antioxidant qualities may be the best reasons to support its claims as one of the best beauty foods for the skin.
Improved Skin Elasticity
Tremella polysaccharides were shown to stimulate 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 protects and regenerates skin and effectively prevents wrinkling and sagging(xi).
Human keratinocytes (HaCaT) were used to evaluate the moisturising effect of tremella polysaccharides. Dramatic differences between test and control cells were obtained:
Cells treated with TP promoted the expression of genes (AQP3, FLG, CASP14) and resulted in the production of moisturising factors – skin cells permeability increased and water molecule exchange between cells was promoted. This water molecule exchange is essential to increase skin’s moisture and elasticity(xii).
Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide (TFPS) was tested against injured skin cells. It was shown to alleviate oxidative stress and apoptosis (cell death) in skin fibroblasts. It did this by increasing the response of the SIRT1 gene expression.
Too much hydrogen peroxide causes degenerative diseases and aging. By increasing the response of this gene, Tremella polysaccharides can be used as an activator and protector against skin aging(xiii).
In another study, Tremella polysaccharide was extracted from the fruiting body and tested. High antioxidant levels (ergothionine and glutathione) showed radical scavenging ability, as well as both moisture preserving & retention activity. These powerful antioxidants help prevent skin damage and pre-mature aging(xiv).
The large amount of Vitamin D in Tremella also contributes to skin cell health. Vitamin D helps destroy free radicals and supresses inflammation, directly helping to repair and protect the skin.
With proven beauty and overall health benefits, it's no wonder My Beauty Luv worked so hard to source this unique ingredient for our vegan Beauty Blast® nutricosmetic supplement.
The best way to keep the complex internal structure of Tremella is by freeze drying (when compared to microwave drying and hot air drying). This assures the high nutrient content and colour(xv).
Our tremella fuciformis is the whole fruiting body of the fungus, freeze dried and powdered. We do not use extracts, fillers or binders that harm the delicate integrity of its natural compounds – delivering 100% potency.
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- Cho, E. J., Hwang, H. J., Kim, S. W., Oh, J. Y., Baek, Y. M., Choi, J. W., … Yun, J. W. (2007). Hypoglycemic effects of exopolysaccharides produced by mycelial cultures of two different mushrooms Tremella fuciformis and Phellinus baumii in ob/ob mice. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 75(6), 1257–1265.doi:10.1007/s00253-007-0972-2
- Hung, C.-L., Chang, A.-J., Kuo, X.-K., & Sheu, F. (2014). Molecular Cloning and Function Characterization of a New Macrophage-Activating Protein from Tremella fuciformis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(7), 1526–1535.doi:10.1021/jf403835c
- Ruan, Y., Li, H., Pu, L., Shen, T., & Jin, Z. (2018). Tremella fuciformis Polysaccharides Attenuate Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Macrophages through miR-155. Analytical Cellular Pathology, 2018, 1–10.doi:10.1155/2018/5762371
- Qianwang Zheng, Bao-Lin He , Jiu-Ying Wang , Shi-Shi Huang , Yuan Zou , Tao Wei , Zhiwei Ye , Liqiong Guo , Jun-Fang Lin (2020). Structural Analysis and Antioxidant Activity of Extracellular Polysaccharides Extracted from Culinary-Medicinal White Jelly Mushroom Tremella fuciformis (Tremellomycetes)Conidium Cells. Int J Med Mushrooms. 2020;22(5):489-500. doi:1615/IntJMedMushrooms.2020034764
- Park, K. J., Lee, S.-Y., Kim, H.-S., Yamazaki, M., Chiba, K., & Ha, H.-C. (2007). The Neuroprotective and Neurotrophic Effects ofTremella fuciformisin PC12h Cells. Mycobiology, 35(1), 11.doi:10.4489/myco.2007.35.1.011
- Zhang Y, Pei L, Gao L, Huang Q, Qi J. 2011. A neuritogenic compound from Tremella fuciformis. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi 36:2358-2369
- Ohiri RC. GC/MS analysis of tremella fuciformis (white jelly mushrooms) oil. Ukr Biochem J 89(N3)
- Wang R, Cao H, Zhang J. Scientific explorations of the snow fungus (Tremella fuciformis Berk.) in republican China: A brief review. Indian J Hist Sci 50(2):340-344
- Yang, D., Liu, Y., & Zhang, L. (2019). Tremella polysaccharide: The molecular mechanisms of its drug action. Glycans and Glycosaminoglycans as Clinical Biomarkers and Therapeutics - Part B, 383–421.
- Mohamad Hesam Shahrajabian, Wenli Sun, Hong Shen, Qi Cheng. 2020. Chemical compounds and health benefits of Tremella, a valued mushroom as both cuisine and medicine in ancient China and modern era. Jour. of Plant Research. 4(3): 692-697.
- Yang, M., Zhang, Z., He, Y., Li, C., Wang, J., & Ma, X. (2021). Study on the structure characterization and moisturizing effect of Tremella polysaccharide fermented from GCMCC5.39. Food Science and Human Wellness, 10(4), 471–479.doi:10.1016/j.fshw.2021.04.009
- Shen, T., Duan, C., Chen, B., Li, M., Ruan, Y., Xu, D., … Wang, C. (2017). Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1. Molecular Medicine Reports, 16(2), 1340–1346.
- Wang, X., Zhang, Z., & Zhao, M. (2015). Carboxymethylation of polysaccharides from Tremella fuciformis for antioxidant and moisture-preserving activities. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 72, 526–530.
- Yibin LI, Junchen CHEN, Pufu LA, Baosha TANG, Li WU. Influence of drying methods on the physicochemical properties and nutritional composition of instant Tremella fuciformis. Food Sci. Technol, Campinas, 40(3): 741-748, July-Sep. 2020