I would be more surprised if you had heard of Hypsizygus ulmarius. The name itself is a mouthful, and over the years, this mushroom has been called by several other names including "elm oyster," which is probably the easiest to remember. Although it is edible and cultivated as a food mushroom in Japan, I value Hypsizygus ulmarius most for its immune-enhancing and cancer-protective properties, as well as for its ability to reduce inflammation when applied to the skin.
Hypsizygus ulmarius is one of several mega mushrooms included in a line of innovative skin-care products I recently helped develop for Origins, a well known cosmetics company I am working with. One of these new "Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins" products is PlantidoteTM Mega Mushrooms Face Serum, which combines Hypsizygus ulmarius with cordyceps and reishi mushrooms, ginger, turmeric, holy basil, resveratrol and argan nut oil to maximize the skin's defenses against aging.
Many common skin problems, including sensitivity, puffiness, extreme dryness, hyperpigmentation, lines and wrinkles are the end results of inflammation that may be otherwise imperceptible. I chose Hypsizygus ulmarius and the other mega mushrooms used in these products because they have a long history of enhancing health, boosting resistance to stress, and promoting healthy longevity.
This fall and winter (2005) Origins will introduce three skin products containing blended mushrooms, all of which have been designed to help reduce the signs of aging and to restore skin vitality. Two are for topical use and one is a mushroom supplement to address skin problems from the inside out.
If you have skin problems, I also recommend that you get adequate sleep at night. My Origins line will include a supplement (Nite-TritionTM) to help you relax and get to sleep.
All of my after-tax profits from the Origins products will go to the Weil Foundation, which I established to promote integrative medicine. To learn more about my Origins line, visit the Personal Care section on this site.
Andrew Weil, M.D.For more answers to your skin questions, browse Dr. Weil's dermatology section.