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7 Health Benefits of Silver Ear Mushroom (Tremella)

dry tremella mushroom

What is Silver-ear mushroom?

Silver ear mushroom (Tremella fuciformis), aka Snow Fungus

Chinese: 白木耳 Pinyin: Bái Mù Er Tonic herb for Yin Neutral, Sweet Stomach, Kidney, & Lung meridians

fresh tremella mushroom on a log

Tremella is a type of fungus that grows throughout Asia. Just like the more famous brown colored wood-ear mushroom, it usually grows on other trees or logs.

Fresh, it has a white to light yellow color, and a rubber like, mucilaginous texture. It is used in food and in medicine.

Dry, which is how you find it as the Asian supermarket or online, it looks like a round dried-up sponge and feels crunchy. It needs to be rehydrated and cut before being used in any recipe.

Health Benefits

It is particularly beneficial in the Fall season, as we are more sensitive to dryness

1. Promotes healthy Cellular Aging Tremella mushroom can improve skin hydration because of high levels of polysaccharides. It has been shown to posses anti-aging and antioxidant benefits, by preventing cell damage caused by free radicals. (2) A report published in 2018 showed that tremella has excellent antioxidative and cell protective functions. (3)

2. Proven Anti-inflammatory Studies published in 2018 showed tremella fuciformis was able to inhibit the development and spread of inflammation and could therefore be a potential treatment for inflammation-related diseases including heart disease, obesity, and tumors. (4)

3. Controls cholesterol Because of its high fiber content, tremella has been linked to lowering triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels and preventing heart disease. (5) Studies conducted on rats also show the positive effects tremella had on reducing cholesterol levels. (6)

4. Combats obesity As a result of being anti-inflammatory and lowering cholesterol levels, tremella mushroom has been shown to prevent weight gain in rodent studies. (5)

5. Neuroprotective (good for your nerve cells) Research on hot water extract of silver-ear mushroom has shown that it has strong neuroprotective effects. It appears to contain nerve growth factor (NGF), which means it can induce the growth of new nervous tissue, and potentially be used as a treatment for cognitive degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. (7)

6. Anti-cancer In a 2018 study, researchers proved that tremella can fight lung cancer cells and that it has a protective role in lung injury. (8)

7. Beauty & hydration

Tremella mushroom can naturally increase the production of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) in the body. Hyaluronic acid is one of the most water-loving molecules in nature hence its nickname “nature’s moisturizer.” It is a gel-like substance found naturally in the body, mostly in the fluids, eyes, and joints. By binding with water, HA lubricates the muscles, soft tissues, and contributes to joint health. It is also in charge of maintaining hydration and softness in the structure of the skin, keeping the wrinkles and lines away.

Key Chinese medicine concepts behind

silver ear mushrooms properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, silver ear mushrooms is a tonic herbs for Yin. Tonic herbs are used for patterns of Deficiency, when one lacks one Qi, Blood, Yin or Yang. Yin tonics have a heavy, moist nature that replenishes fluids and maintains lubrication in the body. They can nourish the Kidneys and Liver or moisten the Lungs and Stomach. They are usually prescribed to patients with symptoms like as dry skin, dry eyes and mouth, night sweats, and so on.

With the help of modern science, we can now point out to one of the mechanisms of fluid replenishment: Tremella mushroom can naturally increase the production of Hyaluronic Acid in the body.

lisver-ear mushrooms, goji berries and jujubes for skin health and hydration

Silver ear, Goji berry and Jujube sweet soup for skin health and hydration.

  • 1 cup dried Silver Ear mushrooms (roughly one big dried mushroom)

  • 5 Jujubes (Chinese red dates)

  • 1 table spoon dried Goji Berries

  • Rock Sugar to taste

First soak the mushroom in cool water for 30 mins until it is completely softened. The dried mushroom will act like a sponge and swell a lot. Remove the hard bottom center of the mushroom with scissors, and tear it into bite sized pieces.

Add all ingredients except the rock sugar into medium sized pot and add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch.  Boil over low heat for 15 mins, checking water at intervals and adding more boiling water as needed.  Add rock sugar to taste and simmer over low heat for another 5-10 mins until the soup is gel-like. Eat warm or after refrigerating (my favorite).



  • Chang R. Functional properties of edible mushrooms. Nutr Rev November 1996;54(11 Pt 2):S91-3.

  • Cheng HH, Hou WC, Lu ML. Interactions of lipid metabolism and intestinal physiology with tremella fuciformis Berk edible mushroom in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet with or without Nebacitin. J Agric Food Chem December 4, 2002;50(25):7438-43.

  • Gao Q, Killie MK, Chen H, et al. Characterization and cytokine-stimulating activities of acidic heteroglycans from tremella fuciformis. Planta Med October 1997;63(5):457-60.

  • Teeguarden R. Radiant Health: The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs. New York: Warner Books, 1998, p. 251.

  • [2] Jing H, Zhang Q, Liu M, et al. Polysaccharides with Antioxidative and Antiaging Activities from Enzymatic-Extractable Mycelium by Agrocybe aegerita (Brig.) Sing. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2018;2018:1584647. Published 2018 Dec 4. doi:10.1155/2018/1584647

  • [3] Shen T, Duan C, Chen B, et al. Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1. Mol Med Rep. 2017;16(2):1340-1346. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.6754

  • [4] Shen T, Duan C, Chen B, et al. Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1. Mol Med Rep. 2017;16(2):1340-1346. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.6754

  • [5] Ganesan K, Xu B. Anti-Obesity Effects of Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms. Molecules. 2018;23(11):2880. Published 2018 Nov 5. doi:10.3390/molecules23112880

  • [6] The hypocholesterolemic effect of two edible mushrooms: Auricularia auricula (tree-ear) and Tremella fuciformis (white jelly-leaf) in hypercholesterolemic rats1 Peter C.K.CheungPh.D.

  • [7] Park KJ, Lee SY, Kim HS, Yamazaki M, Chiba K, Ha HC. The Neuroprotective and Neurotrophic Effects of Tremella fuciformis in PC12h Cells. Mycobiology. 2007;35(1):11-15. doi:10.4489/MYCO.2007.35.1.011

  • [8] Shi X, Wei W, Wang N. Tremella polysaccharides inhibit cellular apoptosis and autophagy induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide in A549 cells through sirtuin 1 activation. Oncol Lett. 2018;15(6):9609-9616. doi:10.3892/ol.2018.8554


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