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Auricularia auricula-judae Schrot.
Hei Mu-erh

Scientific names  Common names 
Auricularia auricula-judae Schrot. Taingan-daga (Tag.)
  Jelly ear (Engl.)
  Jew's ear (Engl.)
  Judas's ear (Engl.)
  Wood ear (Engl.)
  Cloud ears (Engl.)
Taingan-daga is a shared common name of: (1) Taingan-daga, Auricularia auricula-judae, Jew's ear; and (2) Taingan-daga, Oxalis repens, Indian sorrel.

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Hei Mu-erh, Mo-er.

Gen info
"Judas's ear" name comes from the legend that Auricularia formed its ear-shaped fruiting body as a curse on the tree that Judas hanged himself after his betrayal of Jesus.

Taingan-daga is a saprophytic fungus, growing in tree stumps in damp moist forests. Plant is formed by multi-celled hyphae extracting nutrients from decaying tree trunks or logged timber. Spores extending from the tree trunk are shaped like human ear, of variable sizes, smooth, dull brown to gray,sticky when moist, leathery when dry.

Auricularia is found throughout the Philippines. Other than the auricula-judae species, another specie reported edible is Auricularia affinis Leville.

In damp moist forests.

- Yields a high content of carbohydrates (approximately 63% of dried fruit bodies), proteins and minerals (Ca, P, and Fe). (21)
- Main monosaccharide composition of A. auricula polysaccharides is glucose (72%), mannose (8%), xylose (10%), and fructose (10%). (21)

- Neutral, pleasant tasting.
- Considered an immune system stimulant.
- Antitumor, hypolipidemic, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and of cardiovascular benefit.

Edibility / Culinary
- An edible black-brown mushroom.
- Imported in dry state from China and Japan. A popular ingredient for chop-suey, sotanghon, pinsic, etc.
- Used for metrorrhagia, urinary tract diseases, dysentery.
- Used for bleeding hemorrhoids, dropsy and sore throat.
- In Chinese traditional medicine, used for weakness after childbirth, cramps, numbness,dysentery, piles, enteritis, heavy menstrual bleeding, leucorrhea.

Hypoglycemic: (1) Study on mice reports of a 3% polysaccharide extract reducing the fasting blood glucose. Another found the crude polysaccharide improved glucose tolerance to intraperitoneal glucose loading; and neutral polysaccharides showed dose-dependent lowering of fasting and nonfasting glucose and insulin.(2) Study showed the hypoglycemic effect of a water-soluble polysaccharide from the fruiting body of AA on genetically diabetic mice. (5)
Hypocholesterolemic: Study showed hypocholesterolemic effect in rats, lowering the total and LDL cholesterol without affecting the HDL concentration. (3)
Anticoagulant Activity: Study isolated an acidic polysaccharide from the edible mushroom AA, with the alkali extract showing highest anticoagulant activity. The effect was through an inhibition of platelet aggregation. (2)
Antioxidant Activity / Hypocholesterolemic: Study showed lowering of total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increased total antioxidant capacity. (6)
Anticomplement Activity: Study of exo-polymer of AA showed a 70%-anti-complementary activity. (4)
Auricularia auricula Polysaccharide Flour / Antioxidant: Study showed that up to 9% of Auricularia auricula polysaccharide flour could be included in bread formulation without altering the sensory acceptance of the blended flour at the same time markedly increasing the antioxidant property of the bread. Breads containing AAP may be regarded as health-promoting functional foods. (7)
Anti-Tumor Activity: Study compared the antitumor activities of two (1 goes to 3)-beta-D-glucans isolated from the fruiting body of Auricularia auricula-judae.
Hypolipidemic: Study investigated the hypolipidemic effect of biopolymers extracted from culture broth, mycelia, and fruiting bodies (FB) of AAJ in dietary-induced hyperlipidemic rats. Administration of FB reduced triglycerides, TC, LDL cholesterol and the atherogenic index while also increasing the HDL cholesterol. (9)
Cerebral Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury Protection: Auricularia auricula-judea polysaccharide (AAP) treatment protected rat brain from focal ischemia/reperfusion injury by its anti-oxidative effect and worked better than EGb671. AAP treatment decreased Longa's score, brain infarct size, apoptotic neurons and mitochondria-generated ROS in a dose-dependent manner. (10)
Comparative Anti-Tumor Activity: Study compared the antitumor activity of extracts from Auricularia auricula-judae, P. gilvus, G. lucidum and 100 Korean wild plants in the P388D1 macrophage cell line. Results showed four plant extracts (4% of tested wild plants and A. auricula-judae extract with similar levels of Ph. gilvus and G. lucidum extracts may be potential antitumor agents. (12)
Inhibition of Tumor Cell Growth In-Vitro: A dichlormethane fraction from 70% Auricularia auricula-judae ethanol extract showed the highest level of antitumor activity compared to other solvent fractions. The DCMF was found to have more potent antitumor activity against bronchoalveolar cancer and gastric cancer cells. Results demonstrate the DCMF has a potential as functional additive for enhancing antioxidant activities and suppressing tumor growth in the body. (13)
Anti-Inflammatory: Study investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of a dichlormethane extract of A. auricula-judae. Results showed significant inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO) production in a dose-dependent manner. The extract markedly reduced the expressions of inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-ß) mRNA in LPS-treated murine RAW264-7 macrophages. (14)
Antioxidant / Functional Formula Diet: Study investigated the antioxidant activities and protective effects of a functional formula diet AHP, containing polysaccharides from Auricularia auricula, polyphenolic compounds from Hawthorn and Pueraria radix. Results showed the AHP possessed potent radical-scavenging effects and inhibitory effects against peroxidation of LDL induced by Cu in vitro. Results suggest the functional formula diet could be a potent alternative as a functional diet to prevent atherosclerosis at early stage. (15)
Polysaccharide Antithrombotic Effect: Study evaluated the antithrombotic effect of polysaccharide of Auriclaria auricula-judae. Results showed polysaccharides of A. auricula-judae can significantly inhibit the formation of thrombus, with marked prolongation of CTFT (characteristic thrombus formation time) and TFT (thrombus formation time). (16)
Blood Lipids and Bone Density Effect in Middle Aged Obese Women: Study demonstrated consumption of A. auricula-judae had a positive effect in improving blood LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and bone density of middle-aged obese women. (18)
Exercise Endurance Effects: Study evaluated the effects of polysaccharide from AAJ on exercise-induced oxidative stress in mice. Results showed polysaccharides from Auricularia auricula-judae enhance exercise endurance and possess protective effects against exhaustive swimming exercise-induced oxidative stress in mice. (19)
Fruiting Bodies Melanin / Natural Colorant: Study evaluated the physiochemical properties of melanin from Aa fruting bodies. The melanin showed to be dark with a little red and yellow, with properties similar to those of synthetic melanin and same redox properties of natural melanins previously reported. Results suggest a potential for fruiting body melanin to be used in the food industry as a natural colorant. (20)
Wound Healing Effect / Polysaccharides: Study evaluated the wound healing promoting effect of polysaccharides purified from T. fuciformis and Auricularia auricula on an ex-vivo porcine skin wound healing model. Results clearly showed both purified polysaccharide extracts promoted a significant wound healing effect. (21)



Last Update August 2015

Photo © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Potential of Fungi Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine: Auricularia / Anna Bonell 2001
The nontoxic mushroom Auricularia auricula contains a polysaccharide with anticoagulant activity mediated by antithrombin / doi:10.1016/j.thromres.2003.10.022 / Thrombosis Research Vol 112, Issue 3, 2003, Pages 151-158
Effect of Polysaccharide from Auricularia auricula on Blood Lipid Metabolism and Lipoprotein Lipase Activity of ICR Mice Fed a Cholesterol-Enriched Diet / G Chen, Y C Luo et al /Journal of Food Science Vol 73 Issue 6, Pages H103 - H108 / 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00821.x About DOI
Production of an anti-complement exo-polymer produced by Auricularia auricula-judae in submerged culture / Biotechnology Letters . Vol 26, Number 11 / June, 2004/ 10.1023/B:bile.0000025904.21519.3a
Hypoglycemic Effect of Water-soluble Polysaccharide from Auricularia auricula-judae Quel. on Genetically Diabetic KK-Ay Mice / Huan Z et al /Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry Vol. 62 (1998) , No. 10 pp.1898-1903
Antioxidant Capacity of Fresh and Processed Fruit Bodies and Mycelium of Auricularia auricula-judae (Fr.) Quél / Y S Kho et al / Journal of Medicinal Food / February 2009, 12(1): 167-174. / doi:10.1089/jmf.2007.0568
Evaluation of antioxidant property and quality of breads containing Auricularia auricula polysaccharide flour / Lisheng Fan et al / Food Chemistry • Volume 101, Issue 3, 2007, Pages 1158-1163
/ doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2006.03.017
Studies on interrelation of structure and antitumor effects of polysaccharides: antitumor action of periodate-modified, branched (1 goes to 3)-beta-D-glucan of Auricularia auricula-judae, and other polysaccharides containing (1 goes to 3)-glycosidic linkages / Misaki A et al / Carbohydr Res. 1981 May 18;92(1):115-29./
Hypolipidemic Effects of Biopolymers Extracted from Culture Broth, Mycelia, and Fruiting Bodies of Auricularia auricula-judae in Dietary-induced Hyperlipidemic Rats / Hun Jeong, Byung-Keun Yang, Yong-Tae Jeong et al / Mycobiology 35(1): 16-20 (2007)
Study of the effects of Auricularia auricular polysaccharide on local ischemia/reperfusion injury in rat / Ye TM, Sun LN, Su F et al / Zhongguo Ying Yong Sheng Li Xue Za Zhi. 2010 Nov;26(4):423-6.
Auricularia auricula-judae, wood ear or cloud ear mushroom a.k.a. Judas' ear fungus, in honor of Easter / Tom Volk

Comparative antitumor activity of jelly ear culinary-medicinal mushroom, Auricularia auricula-judae (Bull.) J. Schrot. (higher basidiomycetes) extracts against tumor cells in vitro. / Reza MA, Jo WS, Park SC. / Int J Med Mushrooms. 2012;14(4):403-9.
Dichlormethane extract of the jelly ear mushroom Auricularia auricula-judae (higher Basidiomycetes) inhibits tumor cell growth in vitro / Reza MA, Hossain MA, Lee SJ, Yohannes SB, Damte D, Rhee MH, Jo WS, Suh JW, Park SC / Int J Med Mushrooms. 2014;16(1):37-47.
Anti-inflammatory Activity of Dichloromethane Extract of Auricularia auricula-judae in RAW264.7 Cells / Damte, Dereje; Reza, Md. Ahsanur; Lee, S.J;, Daegu; Jo, W.S., Daegu; Park, S.C. / Toxicological Research
Antioxidant Activities and Inhibitory Effects of Auricularia Auricular and Its Functional Formula Diet against Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell in Vitro / Yangchao Luo, Zhenlei Xiao, Qin Wang, Bo Li, Baoping Ji / Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2011, 2, 265-271 doi:10.4236/fns.2011.24038
Study on the antithrombotic effect of polysaccharide of Auricularia auriculajudae. / Fan Yi Qiao; Wu Qian Hu; Sheng JianHui / Journal Chinese Journal of Biochemical Pharmaceutics 2009 Vol. 30 No. 6 pp. 410-412
The Effects of Auricularia auricula-judae on Blood Lipids Profile and Bone Density of Middle Aged Abdominal Obese Women / Jung-Soon Han, Jae-Kun Kim* and Ae-Jung Kim** / Korean J. Food & Nutr. Vol. 25. No. 4, 1075~1080 (2012) / http://dx.doi.org/10.9799/ksfan.2012.25.4.1075
Effect Effects of Auricularia auricula Polysaccharides on Exhaustive Swimming Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress in Mice / Haitao Hao / Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research November 2014; 13 (11): 1845-1851
Physicochemical Properties of Melanin from A. auricula Fruiting Bodies / Yu Zou, Yuebing Wen, Wenxi She and Wenzhong Hu / Advance Journal of Food Science and Technology 6(8): 1002-1004, 2014
Skin Wound Healing Promoting Effect of Polysaccharides Extracts from Tremella fuciformis and Auricularia auricula on the ex-vivo Porcine Skin Wound Healing Model / Ratchanee Khamlue, Nikhom Naksupan , Anan Ounaroon and Nuttawut Saelim / 2012 4th International Conference on Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering IPCBEE vol.43 (2012) / DOI: 10.7763/IPCBEE. 2012. V43. 20

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