People started cultivating these beautiful mushrooms (a type of fungi) in China in 1894 during the Qing Dynasty but they were collected in the wild as far back as 200 A.D. Tremella (AKA white fungus, snow fungus) has been used for centuries for its beauty-enhancing benefits. Like other mushrooms, tremella is loaded with vitamin D, high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory. Many of tremella’s health benefits are due to its high amounts of polysaccharides which are antioxidants that can help keep our complexion hydrated and healthy. High amounts of vitamin D in tremella play a role in helping skin cell growth and both repairing and preventing premature skin aging. Vitamin D is also a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it plays a role in keeping skin hydrated and supple.
In addition to helping keep skin looking smooth and glowing, tremella has a lot of other health benefits, such as helping to boost the immune system and lower inflammation.
Polysaccharides in tremella can help maintain skin integrity and avoid sagging skin, as well as weak bones, and joint stiffness. Tremella’s powerful anti-inflammatory benefits have greater implications for their ability to fight off diseases like heart disease, high cholesterol, and tumors and other health problems caused by inflammation, including acne, respiratory illness, and headache.
According to TCM, traditional Chinese medicine, tremella is sweet and light and enters the Meridians of the Lung Channel; Stomach Channel; Kidney Channel.
TCM Indications: Nourishes yin and moistens dryness. It is useful for recovery from illness or surgery resulting in physical weakness, also for chronic cough, bloody sputum, uterine bleeding, constipation, hypertension, and arteriosclerosis.
Precautions: people with mushroom allergies should use caution. People with chronic cough with sputum that is either clear and watery (internal cold) or thick and yellow (damp heat) should avoid use and address the underlying imbalance.
How to cook tremella:
Sweet Tremella Soup
Tremella has a rather mild, slightly sweet taste. They are especially used in Southeast Asian soups and desserts, though their mild taste makes them good for a variety of dishes. Cooking tremella releases its collagen into the soup. Soak one piece of tremella in water overnight so that it becomes softer, Rinse it carefully. With a knife or scissor remove the darker yellow tough center from the back of the tremella. In a cooking pot of cold water to cover the tremella, bring the water to boil then simmer for 45 minutes. Add a handful of Jujube red dates and simmer for another 20 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of dried goji berries and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve the dessert soup in a bowl and when cool add raw honey to taste.