Tremella (Tremella fuciformis)
Snow fungus, witch’s butter
Commonly found on hardwood logs after a heavy rain
Fairly firm, jelly fungus similar in consistency to a soggy gummy bear
Ergosterol, polysaccharides, (1-3, 1-6)-ß-D-glucans, glucuronoxylomannan, tremellastin, xylose
Pharmacologically-active polysaccharides make up the bulk of the fruit body at 60-90%, a significantly more substantial amount than most mushrooms, whose polysaccharides make up a much smaller part of the biomass (closer to 10-40%). These polysaccharides, like all fungal polysaccharides, demonstrate antioxidant and immune-modulating activities (1).
Blood sugar regulation. Intraperitoneal and oral administration with a polysaccharide from T. fuciformis and T. aurantia has significant blood sugar lowering activity in both normal mice and in mice with induced and genetic diabetes. The blood sugar-lowering effects result from the increase in insulin secretion, decreased gastric emptying and the acceleration of glucose metabolism in the liver (2).
Normal rats administered with T. mesenterica have a decrease in two hour postprandial serum concentrations of insulin without altering blood glucose concentrations. These results suggest that T. mesenterica has the ability to increase insulin sensitivity, instead of increasing insulin secretion (3).
Current and traditional medicinal use
History and folk use
In Chinese medicine this slimy mushroom is used for cooling, moistening, and nourishing the lungs, stomach and kidneys. It has been used in body care products throughout Asia and is said to provide proper moisture to the skin. The traditional use for skin elasticity is to brew fruiting bodies as a thick gelatinous tea and apply to the skin with a cotton pad, rinsing after 30 minutes.
A randomized clinical trial demonstrated that oral administration of T. fuciformis improved subjective memory complaints and cognitive performance in individuals with subjective cognitive impairment. Treatment was given in low doses of 600mg per day or high doses of 1,200mg per day and there was significant improvement with short term memory and executive performance in the high dose treatment group. T. fuciformis supplementation was also associated with increases in grey matter volumes of several brain regions (4).
Double extraction. 1:1 - 1:5 liquid extract. The mushroom has been extracted with both water and alcohol.
Hot aqueous extract. Mushroom has been boiled for multiple hours either as a tea or used as a broth.
Powdered extract. 1:1 - 10:1. May be extracted only with water or with both water and alcohol. The extract is then dehydrated into a powdered extract. 10:1 implies that every 1g of extract is equivalent to 10g of dried mushroom.
Myceliated grain. Mycelium is grown on grain substrate and when the mycelium seems to have digested the majority of the grain, the entire block is extracted.
Find tremella in our BRAIN & NERVES formula
Want to learn more? Visit our research collection on PubMed
1. Jeong, Sang-Chul, Sundar Rao Koyyalamudi, J. Margaret Hughes, Cheang Khoo, Trevor Bailey, Karthik Marripudi, Jong Pil Park, Jin Hee Kim, and Chi-Hyun Song. Antioxidant and Immunomodulating Activities of Exo-and Endopolysaccharide Fractions from Submerged Mycelia Cultures of Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms15.3 (2013): 251-66
2. Kiho T, Kochi M, Usui S, Hirano K, Aizawa K, Inakuma T. Antidiabetic effect of an acidic polysaccharide (TAP) from Tremella aurantia and its degradation product (TAP-H).Biol Pharm Bull. 2001 Dec;24(12):1400-3. PubMed PMID: 11767110.
3. Lo, Hui-Chen, Tai-Hao Hsu, Chien-Hsing Lee, Fang-Yi Lin, and Solomon p Wasser. The Fruiting Bodies, Submerged Culture Biomass, and Acidic Polysaccharide Glucuronoxylomannan of Yellow Brain Mushroom Tremella Mesenterica Modulate the Immunity of Peripheral Blood Leukocytes and Splenocytes in Rats with Impaired Glucose Tolerance. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine0.0 (2014)
4. Ban S, Lee SL, Jeong HS, Park S. Efficacy and safety of Tremella fuciformis i n individuals with subjective cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial. J Med Food. 2018;21(4):400-407. doi:10.1089/jmf.2017.4063