With a gelatinous structure and high amounts of polysaccharides, Snow Fungus has been hitting the headlines in cutting edge skincare due to its extraordinary ability to boost skin hydration. The scientific reason for this is explained by Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, the director of dermatologic surgery at the Metropolitan Hospital in New York City. He says that the fungus acts in a similar way to hyaluronic acid – a powerful skin hydrator that can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water.
Snow Fungus acts as a “humectant” by holding over 500 times its weight in water – not quite as powerful as hyaluronic acid, however, an extra advantage of Snow Fungus is that its particles are smaller than those of hyaluronic acid, allowing them to penetrate the skin more easily. In other words, Snow Fungus holds less water than hyaluronic acid, but it actually delivers more moisture to the skin due to the smaller particle size.
The Snow Mushroom also has the ability to generate a flexible hydration film that helps to restore dry skin to its optimally hydrated state. This helps to restore elasticity, and with over 18 amino acids, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Snow Fungus helps to accelerate wound healing, aids in collagen production for plumper skin and boosts overall skin health.1
Recent research has determined Snow Fungus to be beneficial in healing atherosclerosis by stimulating DNA synthesis in vascular endothelial cells - cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels. The dysfunction of these cells is a major factor in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, hypertension (high blood pressure) and thrombophlebitis (a circulatory problem caused when a blood clot slows circulation).
Snow Fungus has also been shown to protect endothelium cells from histamine damage and increase clotting time.
Snow Fungus is rich in polysaccharides, compounds which have potent immune boosting qualities. The particular polysaccharides contained in this fungus enhance the secretion of interferon and interleukin, vital immune system components which incite the manufacture of germ consuming macrophages.
Snow Fungus also improves and enhances the action of NK (natural killer) cells, a type of white blood cell that protects the body from viruses and bacteria. It also improves the efficacy of antibodies which are also used by the immune system to fight bacteria and viruses.2
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Snow Fungus is considered to be especially effective for old people with a weakened respiratory system, and for dry coughs.
According to the 16th century theory the “Doctrine of Signatures”, a plants appearance indicated the conditions it can treat. The gelatinous structure of the Snow Fungus is surprisingly similar to that of the brain and it does indeed contain compounds that can protect this important organ.
A 2007 study published in “Mycobiology” found that Snow Fungus has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects. It promotes neurite outgrowth and helps prevent b-amyloid toxicity, making it a potential precautionary agent in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.3
Snow Fungus also increases super-oxide dismutase (SOD) activity in the brain. SOD is an important protective enzyme of the brain – a master antioxidant that forms the first line of defence against pathogens to the brain.
Folklore and history
Snow Fungus is native to subtropical and tropical regions around the world including Brazil, Taiwan, China, Japan, and other Asian countries. Cultivation of the fungus began around 1914 in China and new cultivation techniques began in 1968, leading to the mass production of the variety and the ability to export the mushroom in dried form worldwide. Up until this time, Snow Mushrooms were for the exclusive use of royalty and the very wealthy. Today these mushrooms are found fresh or dried at local markets the world over.
With a long history of medicinal use, Snow Fungus was one of the mushrooms included in the “Shen Nong Ben Cao” (circa 200 AD), its traditional indications include clearing heat and dryness, nourishing the brain and enhancing beauty. As such, Snow Fungus has been used as a beauty product by women in China and Japan for over 2,000 years, and it is claimed that if eaten, the mushrooms will contribute to a long and unblemished life.
With a long history of traditional use, Snow Fungus was extensively used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is also used in Chinese cuisine, mainly in sweet dishes such as luk mei (dessert soup). In Vietnamese cuisine it is often used in Chè – a term that refers to any traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, dessert soup or pudding.
In TCM it is famed for its benefits to the skin, with Snow Fungus popping up nowadays as an active ingredient in many skin care products. Other traditional uses include; to reduce dry coughs, immune booster, freckle and pigmentation reducer and to improve heart health.
Organic Snow Fungus Mushroom Capsules
Take 2 capsules, 1 - 3 times a day as a dietary supplement, or as recommended by your health professional.
Organic Snow Fungus Mushroom Powder
Add 1 - 3g daily to food or drink as a dietary supplement
Snow Fungus Mushrooms constituents include; beta glucans, polysaccharides, mucilage, vitamin D, B spectrum vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and amino acids.
Not recommended during pregnancy.