Tremella - 6 Benefits and 3 Recipes

August 09, 2019 0 Comments

One of our all time favourites and definitely one of our daily go-to's for beauty and brains is Tremella – a little bundle of wobble that is truly magical and interestingly one of the lesser known Medicinal Mushrooms, but with all the goods!

Known as the beauty mushroom it's been used traditionally to support lung health, asthma, dry coughs etc – essentially when there is a dryness that needs a little moisture – it's also been prescribed to promote strength after periods of weakness (i.e. exhaustion and child birth etc).

Even though cosmetics companies have included Tremella in moisturisers to help topical hydration for quite some time, it's not really an ingredient that's been promoted, who knows why? – perhaps because its natural, perhaps due to patents, perhaps because only recently has it began to gain popularity among the stars and so gained more media presence (apparently, Kim Kardashian being one of those on the uptake of its awesomeness) – we can speculate as much as we like - the most important thing is that it WORKS...
...and it needn't just be for the rich and famous!

Traditional Uses
Tremella (as with Reishi and Cordyceps), was primarily used by emperors and the wealthy, who would organise and send expeditions to forage for it and bring it to them so that they could tap into its greatness.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) primarily prescribed it as a potent Jing and Qi tonic, supporting lung health (soothing, lubricating and nourishing the lungs), for asthma, dry coughs and calm upper respiratory tract inflammation, and to help treat individuals in dry atmospheres or environments with poor air quality – essentially when there is a dryness that needs a little moisture, Tremella was a great treatment. Tremella was also used for the health of the heart, kidneys, stomach and immune system, and as a nutritive tonic during times of debility and exhaustion, improving energy levels after periods of weakness, such as; child birth, gastro, menstruation (of the abnormal variety), constipation, and to re-hydrate.
Interestingly, Chinese Medicine also suggests that the health of the lungs directly impacts the health of the skin, so by taking care of the lungs you can improve skin conditions.

Its ability to hydrate explains why its most revered capacity is that for beauty and skin health.
During the Tang Dynasty of 719-756, Yang Guifei an imperial concubine and one of the “Four Great Beauties”, considered to be one of the most beautiful women in China, suggested she attributed her ever glowing and youthful complexion to none other than Tremella and it is said that she had “a face that would put flowers to shame”. So for centuries Tremella has been held in high regard by Chinese women for its ability to: Promote youthfulness, Health of the skin, Anti-aging, Brightening and Improving Elasticity.

And the best part science now knows how it works! Below are all the juicy details benefits...
1. ANTI-AGING: Hydration / Youthfulness / Skin Health
Our skins ability to stay looking youthful, with resilience, pliability and glow, is a complex process, but we know that being hydrated is an important contributing factor.

A natural compound produced by the body, Hyaluronic Acid* (hydrophylic / water-loving), helps keep us hydrated, however as we age the production of HA in the body declines hence it's popularity in the cosmetic and beauty industry to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles. (1).

Tremella is also hydrophylic, and contains potent anti-oxidants with the ability to attract and retain upto 500 times their own weight in water, not only reducing oxidative stress but also making it an awesome moisturiser. A 2016 study revealed that "cosmetics added with 0.05% Tremella polysaccharides had a better moisture retention capacity than that added with 0.02% HA" with a "moisture retention rate of 65.7% after 96hrs" (2).

Where Hyaluronic Acid can cost around $5-$15 for 1g, Tremella comes in at a much more affordable $0.45 for 1g... and that's all you need, just 1 gram each day – not only is it giving Hyaluronic acid a run for its money, but it's doing things it can’t.

Another compound in the skin which is becoming more well known is collagen, which is a protein in bones, skin and muscles that help them keep their structure (like scaffolding), and you guessed it, as we age this reduces. One of the places this shows is in the reduction of the structure and elasticity of our skin, thus we end up looking older (3). A 2015 study found that when applied topically, Tremella may increase collagen by 22-26%, having an anti-aging effect (4), not to mention the wound healing and anti-allergenic effects described in a review of multiple studies. (5)

A 2018 study found that Tremella can help increase the enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD) one of the bodies most powerful anti-oxidants, helping to provide an anti-aging response by reducing inflammation, oxidation, alleviate stress and have a regenerative effect (5).

Tremella has also been shown to remove 80-87% of the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) radicals which are responsible for damaging the bodies cells and DNA, again leading to its help in protection and anti-aging both in the skin and other cells in the body (5).

Interestingly, in 2015 a study found that when catechin antioxidants (commonly found in matcha) were grafted to the the Polysaccharide anti-oxidant of Tremella, they could have a higher radical scavenging effect than the polysaccharides of Tremella alone (6).
2. ANTI-OXIDANTS: Gut Health
A 2018 study found that Tremella's polysaccharides (anti-oxidants) have been researched for their effect on Gut Health and suggested to help against leaky gut, improve immune health and create an environment which lowers the risk of tumours (9).
Immune Health Another biological activity that defines ageing is a decline in our immune function, when our immune system declines many things happen, the most obvious being that we become more susceptible to sickness, but another being that we are more susceptible to inflammation and oxidation!! A 2018 study found Tremella to have the capacity to have an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative response (7).

Immune function relies on the production of new blood cells which are generated in the bone marrow though a process called hemopoiesis, if this process or the cells in this process are damaged it can impact proper immune function, oxygenation and removal/transport of waste throughout the body. Tremella was found to have the ability to help prevent the disruption of this process by enhancing cellular immunity (8).
A 2018 study found that Tremella has been shown to potentially aid the development of the neurons (transmitters) within the nervous system, specifically relating to 'energising the brain' – research showing that the transmitters in this process increased by 134% (10).

In 2013, a study found that Tremella could potentially aid nerve growth and repair in respect of sciatic nerve regeneration, suggesting that it may be effective in the reduction of damage and improvement of functionality. (11).
In addition, in 2016 the polysaccharides within Tremella were shown to have a protective effect against neurotoxicity, with the potential to help against neurodegenerative diseases (12).

A 2018 study identified a number of interesting interactions that Tremella had on the cardiovascular system, suggesting that the polysaccharides within Tremella can act “as an anti-obesity prebiotic” by disrupting the signalling pathway that instigates the production of fat cells. The high fibre content of Tremella has also been suggested to help lower LDL Cholesterol and help prevent Cardiovascular disease (CDV) (13).

*Hyaluronic acid (HA) is one of the most hydrophilic (water-loving) molecules in nature, earning it the title of “natures moisturiser”. HA is a carbohydrate (more specifically a mucopolysaccharide) and gel-like substance produced naturally in the human body responsible for supporting elasticity, tissue repair, immune response, lubrication, with around 50% of HA found in the skin, and the rest found in the eyes, joints, other tissues and fluids of the body. (1).

Tremella and Ashwagandha Milk
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Body Butter with Tremella
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Raw Mint Slice with Tremella
Add 1 tbsp to this Recipe

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