Dried Tremella (Tremella fuciformis) also known as “Cloud” or “Snow” mushroom is readily found in most Asian market stores. It is a mushroom that grows on trees and goes by many names in Chinese cuisine such as “Silver Ear”, “Snow Ear”, “White Wood Ear”.
Research has shown it to be high in polysaccharides, including those that benefit the immune system and may have anti-tumour properties. In Chinese Medicine, this mushroom superfood has a long history as a remedy for nourishing lung yin, (supporting moist, health membranes in the respiratory tract) and is also eaten as a beauty food.
This nourishing function is beneficial for those prone to dry, wrinkly skin. It is rich in vitamins D and minerals and has been studied for its benefits in skin hydration and helping inflammation.
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Preparing Tremella at Home
Although it is possible to buy prepared Tremella in powder or capsule form, some of the supplements may have added ingredients such as sugar. If you have an Asian food market nearby – it is usually one of the most recognizable and easy to find items. When shopping from dried tremella at the market, look for ones that are fairly pale yellow-ish coloured, if they are too uniformly white they may have been chemically treated.
It is fairly easy to prepare at home as follows.
- soak approximately 2 oz of dried tremella mushroom in water overnight.
- once softened, cut into smaller sections and discard the yellowish part at the base.
- place in a pot with about 8 cups of water and let it gently simmer for 2 to 3 hours (until it looks very soft and slightly gelatinous).
- drain, let it cool and then store in the fridge in a covered glass container.
- it can be enjoyed daily with a spoonful of honey, and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts, goji berries or black sesame seeds.
- a serving is about 1/2 cup per day (I prefer to let it sit for about 15 mins after taking it out of the fridge).
- keep refrigerated and consume within a few days.
Barbara Poczyniak, R.Ac
Registered Acupuncturist, Clinic Founder
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