Frilly, translucent, and oddly beautiful, this medicinal mushroom grows on decaying wood and looks like an ethereal flower from another planet. Tremella fruciformis, also known as Silver Ear, Snow Mushroom or Yin Er (银耳), grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This gelatinous mushroom has been used for thousands of years in China and East Asia for food (see recipe below) and medicine.
Yang Guifei, a royal concubine from the Tang dynasty famed for her legendary beauty, is said to favor the snow mushroom for maintaining her flawless complexion.
Chinese Medicine classifies tremella as a Yin tonic. Tremella is often prescribe to nourish fluids in the body, tonify stomach and lung yin, treat coughs, fight colds, and strengthen the immune system. Modern research shows that tremella possesses a wide spectrum of medicinal properties, including stimulating the immune system, protecting against radiation, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic, hepatoprotective, and anti-allergenic. Pretty impressive for a strange-looking jelly mushroom!
The medicinal benefits of Tremella extend to topical use. Want plump, supple skin? Look no further, this magical mushroom is rich in vitamin D, amino acids, minerals, and polysaccharides all needed to help your skin stay hydrated and radiant. Glucuronoxylomannan, a bio-active compound extracted from tremella is anti-inflammatory, pH independent, and safe for your skin. One study found that polysaccharide extracts from tremella were able to reduce skin pigmentation and protect against wrinkles induced by UVB rays. Another study found that tremella extracts also accelerate wound healing.
We formulate 5YINA products with this healing mushroom for its anti-allergic properties and ability to provide intense hydration. Snow mushrooms bind up to 500 times its weight in water, making this an extraordinary hydrating powerhouse. Compounds extracted from snow mushroom tend to be smaller than most hyaluronic acids so technically it can penetrate the skin more easily.
For plump, bouncy skin inside-out, look out for this magical mushroom in these 5YINA treasures and make yourself a Tremella tonic.
photo: Organic Bee Beauty
Do you tend to feel dry or have dry coughs? You might want to incorporate snow mushrooms in your diet to boost your respiratory system and enhance your complexion at the same time. Here’s a simple recipe for a delicious tonic. Enjoy!
SWEET TREMELLA SOUP RECIPE
Yields 5-6 Servings
- Whole Dried Tremella 2-3 pieces (found in most Asian grocery stores, or on Amazon)
- Purified Water
- Goji Berries 15g (or a small handful)
- Honey or a neutral tasting sweetener
- (Optional - jujube dates or longan berries)
- Rehydrate dried tremella until it blooms into a fluffy, jelly cloud (about 1 hour) Note - sometimes you may find fresh tremella at some specialty markets. You may skip this step if you use fresh tremella.
- Trim into smaller pieces, discard any hard bits.
- Place tremella in a soup pot, pour water to cover all entire content. Cover pot.
(Optional- place jujube dates or longan berries into the pot.)
- Bring the pot to a boil then simmer on low for 1 to 2 hours, until desired softness.
- Add goji berries at end of cooking while the soup is still hot.
- Sweeten to taste. Served warm or chilled.
By itself, Tremella has no flavor or taste, making it a highly versatile culinary ingredient. If you prefer savory flavors, you may use rehydrated tremella in any savory broths, stews, or stir-frys. Try tossing blanched tremella in salads for an added crunch.