Snow fungus (Tremella fuciformis) is a species of mushroom with a very distinctive appearance that looks like white or pale yellow coral in water. It is also known as white fungus, silver ear or white wood ear mushroom or white jelly mushroom.
It has been treasured as a longevity tonic in Chinese medicine as far back as 200 AD in the classic Chinese medicine text Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing. In ancient times, only royalty and wealthy families could afford to consume snow fungus.
Nowadays, snow fungus is well known amongst Chinese for its anti-ageing and beauty properties and commonly consumed in soups and desserts. Quality snow fungus can be very expensive in China and younger people give it as a present to older people as a present on special occasions.
Over two thousand years ago, traditional Chinese medicine recognised that the lungs are located in the chest and have a relationship with the nose, throat, large intestine and skin.
The lung is a very tender and moist organ. It likes to be moist and does not like dryness. I remember around thirty years ago when I studied anatomy at university, the teacher showed us a white and clear looking healthy lung, the other a lung damaged by smoking that looked black. It made me realise that the environment and lifestyle is very important for lung health.
Chinese medicine considers the Lungs are the first defence of the body, they help the body to fight against external pathogens. Also, the Lungs support the large intestines for regular bowel movement function and also support the health of the skin. When the Lung is weak or disordered, the body can be affected by the following Lung Qi and Yin Deficiency symptoms:
I suggest if you have any of the symptoms above you can ask your Chinese medicine practitioner about foods which can benefit the Lungs. Snow fungus is one of the foods I suggest you could eat.
Snow fungus has traditionally been used in Chinese medicine as a potent Jing and Qi tonic for thousands of years. It is believed to tonify the lungs, kidneys, heart, brain, stomach, and acts as a powerful tonic for the immune system. Snow fungus has been clinically used to help clear heat and dryness, replenish fluids in the body (Yin deficiency), to treat chest congestion, asthma, constipation, balance blood sugar levels and cholesterol (reduces LDL), and lower inflammation. Its rehydration and fluid replenishment qualities may be the best reasons to support its claims as one of the best beauty foods for the skin (Shahrajabian et al., 2020).
According to Chinese medicine, snow fungus is very suitable for people who have Lung Qi and Lung Yin Deficiency symptoms:
See our full list of scientific studies and references below.
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