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Tremella at a Glance:
Latin name: Tremella fuciformis
Common names: snow fungus, chrysanthemum mushroom, snow ear, silver ear fungus, and white jelly mushroom. It’s called bai mu er in Mandarin, Eunibeoseot (silver ear mushroom) in Korean and shiro kikurage (white tree jellyfish) in Japanese.
Habitat: found mainly on dying broadleaf trees around the world, especially in warmer or tropical climates
Common and traditional uses: Promotes healthy skin and hydration levels, immune health*
Fun fact: The genus name Tremella comes from the Latin verb tremere, to “tremble.”
Close your eyes and think “mushroom.” What comes to mind? Chances are good that you think of either the classic red-and-white pop culture mushroom that resembles the psychoactive Amanita mushroom or a standard button mushroom like the ones found on pizza. Tremella doesn’t look like most people’s idea of a mushroom., with a stem, cap and visible gills. Some people say it looks more like a flower of some kind, at least from a distance.
Once you recognize Tremella fuciformis, you’ll appreciate not only its uniquely beautiful appearance but also its reputation as the “beauty mushroom.”*
Read on for some Tremella trivia — including how much water this mushroom can hold onto!
Traditionally and in modern times, Tremella’s supple, jelly-like qualities have made it popular as an ingredient to promote beauty.* And while that might be in the eye of the beholder, staying hydrated is important for overall health — and healthy aging.*
Research has shown that the polysaccharides in Tremella can hydrate better than hyaluronic acid (when used in certain topical products).* While the exact amount is up for debate, Tremella can retain more than its own weight in water!
While there are over 500 Tremella species, the one used commercially isn’t widely found in North America — but you can find dried Tremella at Asian supermarkets or try it in supplement form.
Technically a parasitic yeast, Tremella fuciformis is slimy — like it’s covered in a layer of mucus.
According to renowned mycologist Christopher Hobbs, it needs to find another genus of fungus to produce the transparent fruiting bodies we call “Tremella.”
Due to its moist qualities, Tremella is used to support lung health and consumed as a tea or food in Traditional Chinese Medicine.* It is also commonly included in products for healthy aging.* Across Asia — specifically in China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula — Tremella’s use dates back thousands of years. In Vietnam, Tremella is prepared as a sweet drink, a dessert soup or a pudding.
Curious about experiencing Tremella for yourself? The dried mushrooms have a chewy, mild texture once rehydrated, and the sweet dishes that contain it are tasty — but the experience of sweet mushrooms might be new to you!
A simple way to get creative with this fungi is with Tremella powder, like this one from Real Mushrooms. Try it in smoothies or shakes, or mix up a chia pudding! Tremella is one of the eight mushrooms in our Gratitude Mushroom Drops, and it’s a star ingredient in La Juventud Collagen Builder.*