Have you ever considered or thought about eating fungus? It doesn’t sound so pleasant and possible but actually, you can eat it! A wild, edible fungus which is often called snow fungus, white fungus belongs to the tremella family. It is a wild edible mushroom that grows on tree bark and branches, especially on broad-leaved trees. It is popular in oriental cuisine and has a long history of medicinal use.
So, not only is it edible but possesses a lot of medicinal properties which can be beneficial for your health. So, wanna know more about white fungus?
Read on to find out more about this snow fungus!
What is White Fungus?
White fungus is an edible mushroom which is also known as snow fungus, silver ear, white wood ear and white jelly mushroom is known for its characteristic features and because it is found attached to leaves and branches of broad-leaved trees. It is white to pale yellow in colour and has a jelly-like structure that is transparent with a shape that looks like underwater coral. Often snow fungus is available in dried form rather than fresh.
White fungus mostly grows in Asia but it is also found in tropical climate areas like South and Central America, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific islands. In Chinese medicine, the white fungus has been used for years to promote good health and longevity because of its medicinal properties. It has great nutritional value that can improve health in various ways.
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Benefits of White Fungus
The white fungus has a long history of medicinal use and was used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is also used in Chinese cuisine for making desserts such as luk me (dessert soup). Also, in Vietnamese cuisine, the white fungus is often used in Chè, which is a word that refers to the traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, dessert soup and pudding.
Nowadays, white fungus is popular for being an active ingredient in skincare products. Here are some amazing benefits of White fungus for our health:
1. White Fungus may Improve Immune Health
The white fungus has bioactive compounds that may stimulate some of the immune system’s defence cells. The protein found in white fungus may enable macrophage activity, a type of white blood cell which kills bacteria and eliminates damaged tissue. It might help in regulating immune response and reduce infection-related mortality.
2. White Fungus may Boost Brain Health
The gelatinous structure of white fungus is similar to the brain and contains compounds that protect the brain. Studies have shown that snow fungus had neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects on the brain. It may help prevent b-amyloid toxicity which makes it a precautionary agent in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
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3. The White Fungus may Lower the Risk of Heart Disease
The white fungus may help in boosting heart health by lowering the chances of developing any heart disease. The snow fungus is rich in antioxidants that may prevent LDL or bad cholesterol keeping your heart health in check.
Also read: Things To Avoid To Keep Your Heart Safe
4. The White Fungus may Control Blood Sugar Levels
Snow fungus contains polysaccharide which may help in reducing plasma glucose levels. It may increase glucose disposal, improving glucose tolerance and systemic insulin sensitivity without affecting body weight.
5. The White Fungus may Support Healing
Inflammation is the body’s natural way of responding to an injury and supports the healing process. It usually goes away when the wound or injury is healed. However, chronic inflammation can lead to many diseases. Many studies have revealed that white fungus extract has an anti-inflammatory activity that might be capable of lowering inflammation and supports healing.
6. The White Fungus may Improve Skin Elasticity and Complexion
The white fungus may help your skin to retain more moisture which smoothes the skin texture making you feel and look young. It is moisturising and anti-ageing that may help you achieve young and hydrated skin. It is often used in many skincare products too.
How is White Fungus Used?
There are several white fungi uses. From using it for skincare to using it in your cuisine. Here are some white fungus uses for several benefits:
1. In Skincare
Snow fungus is popularly used as a skincare ingredient as it offers anti-ageing and moisturising benefits to the skin. You can look for skincare products with snow fungus in it.
2. As Fungus Powder
This is the most convenient and popular way of using white fungus. The mild, sweet and easily soluble texture of white fungus is an amazing way to make smoothies, parfaits, yogurt and teas.
3. As Fungus Extract
The liquid form of snow fungus can be easily used by adding it to water, drinks and food. Make sure you buy good quality extract and start by adding less.
Also read: Healthy Eating Habits For Staying Young
How to Prepare a White Fungus Dish?
White fungus is easy to cook and can be added to your routine dishes. Dried white fungus should be prepped before cooking. Here are the steps to make white fungus:
- Soak: Cover the dried fungus with water and let it sit for about 1-3 hours.
- Trim: After a few hours, when it is soft, trim the bottom part of the fungus as it remains hard.
- Wash: The next step is to tear the fungus into small petals and wash it properly and let it dry.
The white fungus you prepared will have a sweet and bland texture. You may enjoy it as a soup as well! Here’s the recipe:
White Fungus soup:
- 5-6 red dates
- 25-30g snow fungus
- 30g sugar
- 1500 ml of water
- 10g Wolfberries
How to prepare it:
- Wash red dates and wolfberries thoroughly, remove their seeds and cut in half.
- Boil the water and put dates and snow fungus into it
- Boil it for 40 minutes and add wolfberries and sugar during the last 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
This was all about white fungus, it’s benefits, uses and a few recipes. Make sure not to consume it during pregnancy and avoid using or consuming it if you experience a cold or cough.
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