Auricularia auricula-judae Schrot. - JEW'S EAR - Hei Mu-erh

Scientific names

Auricularia auricula-judae Schrot.

Common names

Taingan-daga (Tag.)
Jew’s ear
Judas’s ear
Wood ears
Cloud ears
Hei Mu-erh (Chinese)

Gen info 
“Judas’s ear’ name comes from the legend that Auricularia formed its ear-shaped fruting 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 trunis 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.


Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) 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

(2) 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

(3) 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

(4) 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

(5) 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

(6) 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./

(7) 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.

(8) Auricularia auricula-judae, wood ear or cloud ear mushroom a.k.a. Judas’ ear fungus, in honor of Easter / Tom Volk

Taingang daga3Species
Auricularia is found throughout the Philippines. Other than the auricula-judae species, another specie reported edible is Auricularia affinis Leville.

In damp moist forests.

Constituents and properties
Neutral, pleasant tasting.
Produces different polysaccharides and believed to be an immune system stimulant. Also considered antitumor, hypolipidemic, antiviral, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and of cardiovascular benefit.

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

Taingan-daga5Study Findings
• Hypoglycemic: Study on mice reports of a 3% polysaccharide extract reducing the fasting blood gtlucose. Another found the crude polysacchardie improved glucose tolerance to intraperitoneal glucose loading; and neutral polysaccharides showed dose-dependent lowering of fasting and nonfasting lugcose and insulin. Study showed the hypoglycemic effect of a water-soluble polysaccharide from the fruiting body of AA on genetically diabetic mice
• Hypocholesterolemic: Study showed hypocholesterolemic effect in rats, lowering the total and LDL cholesterols without affecting the HDL concentration.
• Anticoagulant Activity: Study isolated an acidic polysaccharide from the edible mushroom AA, with the alkali extract showing highet anticoagulant activity. The effect was through an inhibition of platelet aggregation.
• Antioxidant Activity / Hypocholesterolemic: Study showed lowering of total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and increased total antioxidant capacity.
• Anticomplement Activity: Study of exo-polymer of AA showed a 70%-anti-complementary activity.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.