Tremella mesenterica

(To tremble, resembling the mesentery)

Witch’s butter, Yellow Brain Fungus


This mushroom dries up with the sun and rehydrates with the rain. Dab it all over your face and feel the cooling, moistening properties. As the rain hydrates the Tremella, our organs, inside and out, are soothed and moistened too. An orange blob of an organism, with petal-like folds, it resembles the mesentery. Mesentery is the tissue embracing the intestines, branching with veins and arteries that supply the intestines with blood. It is not a surprise then that T. mesenterica soothes the gut. This mushroom, similar to other fungi and plants of the dank forests, has an affinity for the lungs, moistening, cooling, and lightly expectorant.


  • Often found on logs, Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menzeseii and Hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla, in the PNW and temperate and tropical deciduous forests across the world.
  • A parasitic fungus, grows on the mycelium of other fungi mycelium, typically the of the Peniophora genus.
  • After heavy rainfall, Fall through winter

Active Known Constituents

  • -Glucuronoxylomannan 1,3 alpha-glucan
  • – Epitope (Beta-D-glucuronosyl)
  • – 1,3-beta-1,6-beta glucan
  • – Chitin
  • – Tremellastin
  • – xylose
  • -mannonse
  • -glucurmic acid

Spore Print – White or pale yellow

Therapeutic actions

Immune-stimulating, immune-modulating, radiation protection, hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, hepato-protective, anti-allergenic, demulcent, hypocholesterolemic, anti-diabetic, anti-tussive, anti-asthmatic


Medicinal Uses

  • Pharmacologically active polysaccharides make up the bulk of the fruit body, 60-90%, while with other medicinal mushrooms the polysaccharides make up a much smaller part of the biomass, 10-30%.
  • Polysaccharides significantly inhibit cancer cell DNA synthesis and growth in mice
  • Rich in provitamin D, Vitamin D deficiency is associated with depression and obesity.
  • Polysaccharides are made up of hemicellulose, a soluble fiber, having a hypoglycemic and hypocholesterolemic effect.
  • The polysaccharides are known for their water holding capacities
  • Good for skin elasticity – brew fruiting bodies as a thick gelatinous tea and apply to the skin with a cotton pad. Rinse out after 30 minutes.
  • Anti-oxidant and immunomodulating, the polysaccharides stimulate macrophage enzyme activity3
  • Could be used to treat stomach ulcers. Soothing to the GI and has also shown to be effective against H. pylori6
  • Increased immune function with type 1 diabetic mice2
  • One study, showed a decrease in blood sugar to normal levels for 24 hours4
  • Ethanol extract caused apoptosis in human lung carcinoma epithelial cells.1


  • Cooling, moistens the lungs
  • Nourishes the lung, stomach and kidney
  • Strengthens bones, helps maintain ideal weight, and provides proper moisture to the skin
  • lung yin deficiency. Mild expectorant


  • It was a question if this was even a mushroom, or a type of plant. Or some extraterrestrial organism plopped on the earth, maybe Alien spit? I could see Alien spit looking like this.
  • If the mushroom was found on your door, it was said that there was a curse put on your household, and the only way to rid of the curse is to stab the mushroom with a knife multiple times…this folklore comes from the West. Whereas the mushroom as been used as medicine in Asia for millennia.



Candied Witch’s Butter 


4 Large pieces of Witch’s Butter

2 C Sugar

2 C Water


Heat water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved

Add mushroom and simmer on low-medium for about an hour, or until the syrup has thickened to a desired consistency

Store in the refrigerator and eat like gummy bears or dehydrate for a crunchy sweet treat.


– Make a tea, boiling it in water for at least an hour

– Add to soups and stews, doesn’t taste like much, but an easy way to get medicine in!

Work Cited

  1. Chen, Nan-Yin, and Hsi-Huai Lai. “Induction of Apoptosis in Human Lung Carcinoma A549 Epithelial Cells with an Ethanol Extract of Tremella Mesenterica.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2015.
  1. Lo, Hui-Chen, Tai-Hao Hsu, Chien-Hsing Lee, Fang-Yi Lin, and Solomonp Wasser. “The Fruiting Bodies, Submerged Culture Biomass, and Acidic Polysaccharide Glucuronoxylomannan of Yellow Brain Mushroom Tremella Mesenterica Modulate the Immunity of Peripheral Blood Leukocytes and Splenocytes in Rats with Impaired Glucose Tolerance.”Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine0.0 (2014): n. pag. Web.
  1. Jeong, Sang-Chul, Sundar Rao Koyyalamudi, J. Margaret Hughes, Cheang Khoo, Trevor Bailey, Karthik Marripudi, Jong Pil Park, Jin Hee Kim, and Chi-Hyun Song. “Antioxidant and Immunomodulating Activities of Exo-and Endopolysaccharide Fractions from Submerged Mycelia Cultures of Culinary-Medicinal Mushrooms.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms15.3 (2013): 251-66. Web.
  1. Rahar, Sandeep, Navneet Nagpal, Gaganshah Singh, Gaurav Swami, and Manishaa Nagpal. “Preparation, Characterization, and Biological Properties of β-glucans.” Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research2.2 (2011): 94. Web.
  1. Rogers, Robert Dale. The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North America. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic, 2011. Print.
  1. Lachter, Jesse, Yevgeny Yampolsky, Ronit Gafni-Schieber, and Solomon P. Wasser. “Yellow Brain Culinary-Medicinal Mushroom, Tremella Mesenterica Ritz.:Fr. (Higher Basidiomycetes), Is Subjectively but Not Objectively Effective for Eradication of Helicobacter Pylori: A Prospective Controlled Trial.” International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 14.1 (2012): 55-63. Web.

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