The tremella mushroom, also known as the “snow mushroom” in reference to its pearly white fruiting body, is an edible species of fungus that has been used in Eastern medicine for centuries. They can be found in many tropical and subtropical regions, as well as in temperate areas of North America, Europe, and Asia.
The tremella mushroom first became known for its skincare benefits during the imperial Tang Dynasty, where it was used by concubine Yang Guifei (713-756 AD). Yang Guifei was known as one of China’s four great beauties and is said to have credited the snow mushroom with maintaining her youthful and vibrant appearance. Tremella is also commonly used in traditional sweet Chinese dishes, such as snow fungus soup, or Tong Sui.
This superfood mushroom is a powerful skincare ingredient thanks to its ability to retain water and its abundant nutrients. Tremella shares some properties with hyaluronic acid, primarily its ability to boost skin hydration and pull moisture into the skin, plumping its appearance and fighting signs of aging thanks to its gelatinous structure.* Even better, the tremella mushroom is high in natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.
High in Antioxidants
The tremella mushroom is naturally abundant in polysaccharides, which are a type of antioxidant that may contribute to anti-aging and antioxidant effects because of their ability to prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable natural compounds in the body that can cause damage to our skin elasticity, collagen production, and encourage the aging process.* Antioxidants act as a natural defense against free radicals, which occur from exposure to environmental stressors such as sunlight, exercise, and pollution. Exposure to high amounts of free radicals can result in oxidative stress, which can contribute to cellular damage. Thus, antioxidants are an important part of diet and can contribute to the promotion of healthy, glowing skin.
Supports a Healthy Immune System
The immune system is how the body defends against infections and foreign substances that may cause harm and negatively impact our health. As we age, the immune system typically weakens over time and does not perform as optimally, leaving us more susceptible to getting sick and healing more slowly from illness or injury. Tremella mushrooms may be beneficial to supporting a healthy immune system thanks to the beta-glucans found in tremella’s polysaccharides. These beta-glucans have been shown to stimulate the immune system and improve immune function.*
Hydrates the Skin
Both vitamin D and polysaccharides are said to be beneficial to the skin, as well. Antioxidants like the polysaccharides found in tremella can play an important role in keeping the skin hydrated and healthy. Vitamin D also supports skin health by promoting skin cell growth which can help repair and prevent premature skin aging as well as helping to keep it hydrated and supple thanks to its properties as a fat-soluble vitamin.
As mentioned above, the tremella is unique for its ability to retain moisture. Tremella mushrooms can hold up to 500 times their weight in water. Skin that has a higher water content will look more supple, bouncy, and nourished. Consuming tremella mushroom can be beneficial for hydrated, nourished skin that feels and looks healthy and glowing.*
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or infection. However, when inflammation levels are too high or become chronic, it can take a serious toll on our health and lead to chronic illness and other diseases.* Tremella mushrooms can help the body to fight inflammation due to their high levels of polysaccharides. A 2018 study found that the polysaccharides from tremella mushrooms may inhibit the development and spread of inflammation in the body.
How to Add Tremella Mushroom to Your Diet
Tremella mushroom is not the same as a portobello or shiitake mushroom, meaning you probably won't be able to find it at your local grocery store and add it to a stir fry or stir it into pasta. Opting for a powder or extract is the best and most convenient way to add tremella into your diet and enjoy some of the skin-boosting benefits. We include tremella mushroom in all of our plant-based collagen boost blends, which help your body naturally synthesize more collagen, resulting in stronger hair, skin, and nails.* Most collagen supplements rely on animal products, but Copina Co. is an entirely vegan collagen supplement that uses a powerful blend of plant botanicals, including the superfood snow mushroom.
All four flavors of our Plant-Based Collagen Boost Blends are formulated with tremella mushroom, plus other skin, hair, and nail-boosting ingredients like hyaluronic acid, bamboo extract, and amla berry. Our herbalist-approved vegan collagen drink powders are edible skincare that help your body naturally synthesize more collagen without the use of animal products. They make a delicious addition to your morning coffee, mid-day matcha, post-workout smoothie, and favorite baked goods. You can find lots of delicious and inspiring recipes on our blog and our Instagram page.