The Hydrating Beauty Benefits of Tremella
You’re walking in a forest. You’re taking in the natural fragrance, breathing in the freshest air. You spy a little brown button mushroom popping out of the moss, several insects, and maybe even a baby bunny. Then you look up at a branch and see what looks like a huge ball of snow or ice crystals, or maybe even brains, but looks soft. It’s like jelly to the touch. What the heck is this??
Say hello to your beautiful new BFF, tremella, a jelly mushroom.
Yes, This Jelly Fungus IS a Functional Mushroom
When you see Tremella fuciformis you might not think it could be an edible mushroom. It can look a bit like a loofah or sponge, and definitely has a gelatinous texture. It’s a member of the jelly fungus family. This wiggly, wobbly texture has earned it the nicknames “yellow brain,” “golden jelly fungus,” “snow fungus,” “silver ear,” and “witch’s butter.” Mmmmmm.
The Beauty Mushroom, Tremella
Alongside shiitake, tremella is world renowned for its beauty benefits. It is praised for its anti-aging effects and its ability to support glowing, hydrated skin.
During the Tang dynasty, Yan Guifei, one of the four beauties of Ancient China, used tremella regularly to achieve a “face that put the flowers to shame.”
A good friend of mine has been modeling for over 10 years (a feat itself!). She attributes her radiant complexion to functional mushrooms, especially tremella. Makeup artists will often marvel the skin of this beautiful woman and think she is much younger than she actually is.
Tremella Is Very Hydrating
One of tremella’s polysaccharides can hold up to 500 times its weight in water. This water-holding capacity is much, much more than both hyaluronic acid and glycerin, two ingredients commonly used in those very expensive moisturizing and “anti-aging” skincare products. It is being researched in Korea to validate this effect on reducing wrinkles[*]. Tremella may improve skin texture and increase skin flexibility[*].
Tremella May Help Lighten Sun Spots
Just like oyster mushroom, tremella has kojic acid that can help make the skin lighter, even out sun spots, and help your skin to glow[*].
How to Use Tremella as a Topical Beauty Product
You can make an affordable, natural, very pure moisturizer by mixing tremella extract powder with oils like shea butter or coconut oil. I’ll store a cream like this in a small mason jar and apply it before bed at night. It makes your skin so soft and supple.
Tremella’s Beauty and Immune-Supporting Antioxidant Properties
Tremella has the ability to help the human body produce more SOD, superoxide dismutase. SOD has strong antioxidant properties (you can also find it in chaga). For your skin, this will help it to fight against free radicals[*]. These antioxidant properties can also support immune system function. In traditional Chinese medicine, tremella is commonly used in cough syrups to help support the respiratory system.
Foraging for Tremella
Tremella can be found growing on hardwood trees all over China, Taiwan, Europe, and the USA (especially Northern California). It can be white or yellow. Before you head out for foraging, be sure to read my top tips for foraging for wild mushroom in North America.
Using Tremella in Recipes
Tremella has a pleasant, very neutral flavor. It is very easy to use in recipes, unlike some of the other functional mushroom species like reishi or chaga. You can add it to stir-fry or curry very easily. It is usually used in Chinese cuisine, in dishes like lok mei, similar to a chicken noodle soup.
I also like to start my day with a beauty smoothie that contains tremella. Start with this base and then mix and match the fruit and nut butters. I love pear and walnut butter, apple and almond butter, orange and cashew butter, and more!
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 small pear, cored
- 1 Tbsp. organic nut butter
- 2 tsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. tremella extract or 1 serving 10 Mushroom Blend or Hydration Blend
- Blend on high for 30 seconds and sip immediately.
Tremella Extract in Four Sigmatic Products
To reap all of these beauty benefits, you can start with our best-selling 10 Mushroom Blend. Each serving has 160mg of tremella mushroom extract (only fruit bodies) with no carriers or fillers.
If you’re speedy, there is a second tremella option: Four Sigmatic Hydration Blend, which is being discontinued. This is lucky for you, because it’s on a steep discount, and contains a potent 750mg of the fruiting body tremella extract.
If you find tremella while foraging, or have a recipe or skin product with tremella you love, be sure to post it on our ‘Shroom Club wall.