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Auricularia auricula-judae Schrot.
Hei Mu-erh

Scientific names  Common names 
Auricularia americana Parmasto & I.Parmasto ex Audet. Taingan-daga (Tag.)
Auricularia auricula-judae (Bull.) Quél. Cloud ears (Engl.)
Auricularia cornea Ehrenb. Ear fungus (Engl.)
Auricularia delicata (Mont.) Henn. Jelly ear (Engl.)
Auricularia fuscosuccinea (Mont.) Henn. Jew's ear (Engl.)
Auricularia mesenterica (Dicks.) Pers. Judas's ear (Engl.)
Auricularia peltata Llyod. Tree ear (Engl.)
Auricularia polytricha (Mont.) Sacc. Wood ear (Engl.)
Auricularia sordescens Ces.  
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.
Auricularia auricula-judea / Synonyms / EOL / Species 2000 & ITIS Catalaogue of Life: April 2013

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Hei Mu-erh, Mo-er.
CZECH: Ucho jidasovo.
FINNISH: Juudaksenkorva
ITALIAN: Orecchio di Giuda.
JAPANESE: Kikurage.
POLISH: Uszag bzowy.
RUSSIAN: Judinyl usi.
SPANISH: Oreja de Judas.

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)
- Main components of the cultivated fungus are ash 4.6%, protein 12.5%, fat 1.7%, carbohydrates 66.1% per dry matter. Gas liquid chromatography yielded a monosaccharide composition of dry biomass: glucose 15.0%, mannos 10.7%, xylose 1.5%, galactose 0.6%. It is a good source of all essential amino acids (34.7% of total) with the umami taste typical of mushrooms. It has an average calorific value of 327.7 kcal/100 g of dry matter. (25)

- 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, hot and sour soup, 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.

- In Ghana, used as blood tonic.

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 fruiting 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)
• Antimicrobial / Antioxidant: Study evaluated crude polysaccharides of Auriclaria auricula-judae for antimicrobial and antioxidant activity. Results showed great antimicrobial activity against E. coli and S. aureus. The crude extract also showed significant antioxidant activities in scavenging free radicals, reducing power assays, and Fe2+ chelating ability assays. (22)
• Production of Natural Melanin: Study evaluated the production of melanin by Auricularia auricula. The highest mycelial growth rate was observed in low-carbon and carbon-free medium. Eumelanin yielded 6 main components viz. phenolic hydroxyl, carboxyl, amidogen, carbonyl, methylene, methyne and sulfur. Results suggest nutritional control is essential to promote melanin production and to make it affordable as material in food, cosmetics, and medicines. (23)
• Antioxidant / Antivira / Anti-HPV: Study evaluated the antioxidant, cytotoxicity, and anti-HPV-16E6 activities. Hot aqueous extract sowed the most potent DPPH radical scavenging activity with highest total phenolic content of 56.89 mg GAE/g of extract. Various extracts showed no cytotoxicity against cancer cell lines tested. All extracts suppressed the expression of HPV-16$6 oncoprotein. Results suggest a potential in the treatment and prevention of cervical cancer caused by high risk HPV. (24)
• Antitumor Activity / Acidic Heteropolysaccharide / wAF: Study isolated a water soluble acidic heteropolysaccharide, wAF. Fractions of wAF exhibited strong inhibition of Acinar cell carcinoma proliferation in vitro and significantly inhibited tumor growth in BALB/c mice in a dose-dependent manner. Results showed wAF3 induced S-180 tumor cell apoptosis by up-regulation of Bax and down-regulation of Bcl-2. (26)
• Prebiotic Properties of ß-Glucan and Oligo-ß-Glucan: Among 8 mushrooms studies, Schizophylum commune and Auricularia auricula showed the highest ß-glucan contents and cheapest cost of mushroom per content of ß-glucan. Study showed ß-glucan from mushroom may have potential prebiotic function similar to those of commercial yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) ß-glucan. (27)
• Quorum Sensing Inhibition of E. coli Biofilm: Study on inhibitory effect of Au. auricula extracts on biofilm of Escherichia coli showed an inhibition rate of 73 (Li and Dong, 2010). (28)
• Fermentative Production of Melanin: Study reports on a low cost and efficient fermentative production of melanin from fungus Auricularia auricula using wheat bran extract as major nutrient source. Results showed wheat bran extract, L-tyrosine and CuSO4 concentrations influenced tyrosinase activity and increase melanin yield. Highest melanin yielded was 519.54 mg/L. (29)
• Antioxidant / Anti-Proliferative: Study evaluated three edible mushrooms (Auricularia auricula-judae, Pleurotus abalonus and Pleurotus sajor-caju for antioxidative and anti-proliferative effects on leukemia cells. All mushroom extracts showed antioxidant effects, with dose-dependent anti-proliferative effects. The Auricularia auricula extract showed the highest potency. (30)
• Antioxidant / Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Properties: In vitro study of A. auricula showed significant inhibition of lipid peroxidation and potent hydroxyl radical scavenging activity compared with standard catechin. Ethanolic extract showed significant increase in NOS activity. (31)
• Ameliorating Effect of Water Soluble Polysaccharides: Study confirms the ameliorating effects of water-soluble polysaccharides from A. auricular-judae in KK-A mice and confirms the beneficial effects on glycemic control and food intake contributed by water-soluble neutral polysaccharides, but not water-soluble acidic polysaccharides. WSP may be the good dietary fiber source in dietary management of NIDDM. (32)
• Antioxidant / Total Phenol and Flavonoid Content: Study of hot water extract showed A. auricula mushrooms are good scavengers of of ABTS, DMPD radicals, reducers of ferric ions and inhibitor of lipid peroxidation and erythrocyte hemolysis. Total phenol and flavonoid content were 8.94 mg CE/g and 3.49 mg RE/g, respectively. (33)
• Ant-Tumor Effects of Polysaccharides: Study evaluated the antitumor activities of two (1 goes to 3)-beta-D-glucans, isolated from the fruiting body of A. auricula-judae and other branched polysaccharides. The water-soluble, branched (1 goes to 3)-beta-D-glucan, a major constituent of the fruiting body, showed potent inhibitory activity against implanted Sarcoma 180 solid tumor in mice. (34)



Updated July 2017 / 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

Extraction, Antimicrobial, and Antioxidant Activities of Crude Polysaccharides from the Wood Ear Medicinal Mushroom Auricularia auricula-judae (Higher Basidiomycetes). / Cai M, Lin Y, Luo YL, Liang HH, Sun PL / Int J Med Mushrooms, 2015;17(6):591-600.
Production of natural melanin by Auricularia auricula and study on its molecular structure. / Sun S, Zhang X, Sun S, Zhang L, Shan S. Zhu H / Food Chem. 2016 Jan 1;190:801-7./ doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2015.06.042.
BIOACTIVITIES OF AURICULARIA AURICULA-JUDAE (FR. QUEL) / VICKNESWARY A/P NAGARATHINAM / Dissertation: Degree for Masters of Biotechnology / University of Malaya Kuala Lumpur / 2009
Chemical Composition and Nutritional Value of the Mushroom Auricularia auricula-judae / Irina A. Kadnikova,  Rui Costa, Tatiana K. Kalenik,  Olga N. Guruleva, Shi Yanguo / Journal of Food and Nutrition Research, Vol. 3, No. 8, 2015, pp 478-482. doi: 10.12691/jfnr-3-8-1 
Antitumor Activity of an Acidic Heteropolysaccharide Isolated from Auricularia auricula-Judae / Xiaoqing Yang, Zhaocheng Ma,  and Hongbing Deng / Research & Reviews in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Evaluation on prebiotic properties of β-glucan and oligo-β-glucan from mushrooms by human fecal microbiota in fecal batch culture / Chiraphon Chaikliang, Santad Wichienchot, Wirote Youravoug and Potchanapond Graidist / Functional Foods in Health and Disease 2015; 5(11): 395-405
Quorum Sensing vs Quorum Quenching: A Battle with No End in Sight
/ Edited by Vipin Chandra Kalia / Google Books
Fermentative Production of Melanin by Auricularia auricula / Yu Zou, Mixia Tian / Journal of Food Processing and Preservation / DOI: 10.1111/jfpp.12909
Antioxidant activity, anti-proliferative activity, and amino acid pro les of ethanolic extracts of edible mushrooms / S. Panthong, N. Boonsathorn and S. Chuchawankul / Genetics and Molecular Research 15 (4): gmr15048886
Antioxidant and Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation Properties of Auricularia auricula / Krishnendu Acharya,, Krishnendu Samui, Manjula Rai, Bani Brata Dutta & Rupa Acharya / Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol 42, May 2004
Ameliorating Effects of Water-Soluble Polysaccharides from Woody Ear (Auricularia auricula-judae Quel.) in Genetically Diabetic KK-Ay Mice / Zuomin YUAN,* Puming HE and Hisanao TAKEUCHI / J Nutr Sci Vitarninol, 1998, 44, 829-840
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, Kakuta M, Sasaki T, Tanaka M Miyaji H / Carbohydrate Research, 01 May 1981, 92(1):115-129 / DOI: 10.1016/S0008-6215(00)85986-8 
Wood ear: Common names / EOL

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