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Whether you’ve already been basking in the sun this summer or your skin is still healing from a harsh dry winter, Tremella could be your new best friend. Commonly known as “the beauty mushroom,” it’s one of the best superfoods for your skin.
To find out more about the potent benefits of tremella, from its early uses by the most beautiful woman in Chinese history, to the science behind how it keeps your skin looking youthful and vibrant, read on for our scoop on tremella:
For thousands of years (since 200 A.D.!), traditional Chinese medicine has understood and utilized the medicinal benefits of tremella. Fun fact: According to tradition, Yang Guifei, one of the Four Great Beauties in Chinese history, used tremella regularly to maintain her glowing and youthful complexion.
It commonly grows in Asia, but can also be found in other tropical climates around the world. Tremella, also known as white fungus, has many nicknames - “snow fungus,” “silver ear” and “white tree jellyfish” - for its translucent, coral-like shape and jelly-like texture (University of Wisconsin, 2006).
It typically grows on the fallen branches of broad-leaved trees, but it actually survives off of other fungus already on the wood, known as “mycoparasitism” (Mycologia, 1994). In recent years, tremella has also been cultivated commercially, once its powerful medicinal properties were understood in the western world.
Say hello to vibrant and nourished skin. Hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules give tremella a gelatinous quality that offers nourishment to the skin’s elasticity. These molecules support effects of stress in our skin through supporting hydrated skin, as they have the ability to retain large amounts of water. Tremella also helps to prevent fine lines and wrinkles with polysaccharides, a type of antioxidant that helps to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, which we are all exposed to through environmental toxins, such as UV light or tobacco smoke (Int. Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, 2021).
With the pace of our society and the fullness of many of our lives, we’re tired. 38% of US workers experience fatigue (Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 2011), and stress contributes to that fatigue. Tremella is also a stress-supportive adaptogen, meaning that it supports your body in coming back into equilibrium, to counteract the effects of stress. Amazingly, tremella also directly supports gut health through a special compound known as N-acetylglucosamine (Amazonian Journal of Plant Research, 2020) and helps to fight fatigue with its antioxidant properties (Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 2019).
Other than being enjoyed in our SuperTeas, Tremella is used in various Chinese recipes - the most popular form being various soups. Often combined with goji berries, jujubes (Chinese dates) or dried lotus seeds, tremella-based soup has a naturally sweet flavor, and can be eaten at any time of day - from breakfast to dessert. Dried tremella mushrooms can be found easily at an Asian grocery store near you.
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