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Tremella (Tremella fuciformis)
The most important benefits of the Tremella mushroom are anti aging effects, anti-inflammatory, decreasing cholesterol, combating obesity, protecting the nerves, and it may fight cancer. The most powerful nutritional constituents of Tremella are amino acids, vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides, glucomannan 1,3-alpha-glucan, epitope 9beta-D-glucuronosyl, glucuronic acid, glucuronoxylomannan, N-acetylglucosamine, flavonoids, polyphenols, alkaloids, and organic acids.
Tremella fuciformis extracts are made from concentrating and distilling down the whole tremella mushroom fruiting body making a much more concentrated powder, liquid or capsule. Extracts hold the most nutritional parts of the tremella mushroom. The powders created allowed people as well as animals to take concentrated doses of the most beneficial chemicals and minerals the mushroom has to offer, receiving the most out of the components this fungus holds.
Tremella extracts contain large sugar-based molecules called polysaccharides, which enhance multiple health benefits. Aside from this, there are multiple health-promoting molecules including xylose, mannose, and glucuronic acid. Glucuronic acid is closely linked to the famous hyaluronic acid and plays a big role in tremella’s anti-ageing and skin hydration benefits. Taking a potent extract of tremella ensures that you will receive the benefits of this fantastic mushroom.
Traditional Chinese Medicine & History of use
Tremella fuciformis has a long history of use as a natural beauty product. There are legends of Yang Guifei, who is one of the legendary ‘four great beauties’ of China. She used the silver ear (yíněr) mushroom to help maintain her exquisite looks. Many stories of Yang Guifei refer to tremella as the beauty mushroom and credit it for much of her longevity and youthfulness.
The first official reference using the tremella mushroom is in 200 AD, found in the writings of Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, one of the fathers of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When people first found it while foraging, it was so valuable that only royals and high-ranking officials could use it.
For a while, western medicine ignored the tremella mushroom as well as most other medicinal mushrooms, thinking it was just mysticism. However, with the modern resurgence of amazing herbalists and holistic medicine, people started studying mushrooms to understand how they work. Scientists are still studying tremella and learning new secrets about its benefits for medicinal uses all the time.
Botany and Foraging
Tremella grows in tropical to subtropical regions in many places around the world, including America, Asia, Australia, and Africa. People first discovered its uses and health benefits in Asia, much of the mushroom cultivation is still located there.
Tremella mushroom starts as a jelly-like film that creates mycelial growth, or vegetative parts of the fungus when it finds a suitable spot to grow. Often found growing on decaying wood. Tremella then forms watery white, sometimes translucent fruiting bodies, which is the part people usually use when cooking. Its jelly form and color are responsible for its many different imaginative nicknames.
Tremella is now commercially produced due to its high global demand. Many farms provide the right kinds of rotting wood piles to cultivate tremella for its use in cooking or for making extracts.
The Nutritional Details of Tremella
Raw tremella mushroom is referred to as a superfood in many health circles due to its numerous potential health benefits and health-promoting properties. Powder extracts are loaded with antioxidants, as well as many other key vitamins and minerals. Holding an incredible source of vitamin D and contains many important B complexes, including B1, B2, B6, and folate. The mineral content contains good levels of zinc, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, and iron.
This fungus also provides a decent amount of protein with almost no fat in each serving. This means an individual receives all the properties at only 200 calories for every 100 grams. Its mild taste and low caloric impact make tremella a great addition to recipes while adding texture, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Health Benefits and Clinical Studies
The tremella mushroom has several health and beauty benefits, backed by traditional Chinese medicine and modern science! Known as an apoptogenic fungi (or herb), many of these benefits work together to increase your overall health. They work in a synergistic way to help you feel better, which can help you feel and look younger. New studies are performed often, finding new medicinal properties, here are some of the most valuable and exciting benefits one may benefit from using the tremella mushroom extract.
Hydrating Skin: Retaining moisture is essential for young, vibrant looking skin. One of the most important compounds found in tremella is gluconic acid, which has well-known water retention properties. These properties help tremella mushrooms hold over 500 times their weight in water!
Despite being smaller in size, the molecules that help hold the moisture in these mushrooms have a higher water retention capacity than the more commonly used hyaluronic acid. Their small size also enables them to be absorbed quicker and more easily. Hyaluronic acid is often referred to as ‘the gold standard’ in the skincare world, while the gluconic acid in tremella extracts is more beneficial.
Properly hydrated skin can help reduce wrinkles and skin cell damage, while maintaining or increasing elasticity.To get these hydrating properties, you can use the extract as part of a skin cream, mix the powder with water to make face masks, or take the extract orally. In whatever way you use this extract one can still reap the benefits to hydrate and replenish your skin.
Tremella extract contains very high amounts of Vitamin D, used in many commercial moisturizers and skin products. Vitamin D is an essential part of skin health that helps with cellular growth and regeneration.
Full of Antioxidants: Packed to the gills with antioxidants (particularly Superoxide Dismutase or SOD), tremella can help slow cell damage due to oxidation caused by free radicals, everyone has free radicals. These are produced through air pollution, smoke, alcohol, toxins, high blood sugar, stress, radiation, and infections. Free radicals can damage your skin by clinging to your collagen and weakening elasticity. This fungus can help protect your skin from damage, brighten the appearance of your skin and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Antioxidants bind to free radicals, helping to get rid of excess amounts of them while contributing to the anti-ageing process we are all seeking!
Weight Loss: Early studies show that tremella extract may aid in battling obesity through its ability to help with blood sugar control. Having control over your blood sugar levels can help stop hunger cravings and fluctuations. If you struggle with blood sugar levels or have a medical condition that can affect your blood sugar levels (e.g. – prediabetes or diabetes) tremella is showing promising effects
As well as blood sugar control, tremella is high in dietary fiber. High levels of soluble fiber help the body with overall digestion and keep your gut bacteria healthy. Fiber may also help you feel fuller for longer periods of time, reducing your appetite and ultimately, help with weight loss.
Boost Your Immune System: Having a robust immune system is crucial in keeping one healthy and free from sickness.
Studies have linked tremella extracts with improvement in the immune response containing high levels of Vitamin D and strong concentrations of polysaccharides called beta-glucans.
Beta-glucans are a known source for increasing the activity of macrophages and natural killer cells (also called white blood cells) in your system that are responsible for attacking diseases, removing dead cells while stimulating the action of other immune system cells. White blood cells are one of the most important features of a healthy immune system, they are an aid to simple colds, but also destroy more serious cancer cell growth. Even if cancer starts to grow, the more active white blood cells can help limit the spread and metastasizing of the cancer cells.
Not just a ‘beauty mushroom’, tremella is a great way to get a helpful boost to your immune system and stay healthy on the inside, as well as out.
Promotes A Healthy Heart: Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common health issues today. Tremella can lower your LDL cholesterol. This type of bad cholesterol can collect in the walls of your blood vessels while raising your chances of heart disease and other health problems.
High LDL cholesterol levels have been linked with heart attacks, strokes, and many other complications. Cholesterol is a major contributor to the formation of plaque which blocks your arteries and causes pressure to build. This ultimately can cut off circulation in your system. Reducing and managing cholesterol can help promote healthy blood flow and function.
Tremella aids a healthy heart by decreasing triglyceride levels. Better heart health, weight loss, and blood sugar control can all work together by helping an individual live a much healthier and more productive life.
Helps To Protect Your Brain: Studies now show that certain compounds in tremella have neuroprotective properties. Neuroprotection refers to the preservation of neurons and their function. Neuroprotective compounds can reduce the loss of nerve cells, allowing you to keep the mind and nervous system sharper and functioning properly. Some studies revealed that tremella mushrooms may aid with improved memory function. It was seen to have positive effects on memory tests for both humans and rats.
This fungus also contains properties known as nerve growth factors that are thought to help replace and regrow nerve cells. The ability to grow your nerve cells makes this mushroom extract an exciting prospect to help in the fight against the effects of brain damage and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Can Support Lung Health: The silver ear mushroom has been used in TCM for thousands of years supporting healthy lung function and treating respiratory ailments.
Herbalists and practitioners use this fungus to help lubricate and soothe the lungs,and issues with dry cough. Even if tremella can’t fix the problem, it can help soothe the upper respiratory tract and alleviate some of the symptoms.
One study suggests that tremella extract may help fight lung cancer by promoting the apoptotic cell death and autophagy of lung cancer cells. Much more evidence is needed in this area, but it shows exciting promise.
A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory: Inflammation starts as a good thing, it’s your body’s natural response to trauma and injury. Unfortunately, it can last too long and turn into chronic inflammation which causes significant ongoing pain and can lead to issues with your heart, brain, nervous system and immune system.
The polysaccharides contained by this mushroom are once again the key player here, they act as an anti-inflammatory, helping to naturally reduce chronic inflammation in the body. Reducing excessive inflammation can help with a range of issues such as joint pain, heart disease, lung issues, cardiovascular health, and weight gain.
Chronic inflammation is common and can cause a lot of discomfort in an individual. This may affect your mental state, happiness and general well-being.
Powell, M. (2014). Medicinal Mushroom: A Clinical Guide
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