- "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.
- Jelly ear or Jew's ear is a species of fungus, brown, gelatinous, and noticeably ear-like in shape, the grows on wood, especially elder. The common name "Judas's ear" was largely eclipsed by the corruption "Jew's ear".
- The species name has gone from Tremulla auricula (1753) to Tremulla auricula-judae (1789) to Exidia auricula-judae (1822). In 1888, the species was given the name Auricularia auricula-judae by Joseph Schröter. The species epithet auricula derives from Latin, meaning ear, and Judae meaning Judas. The name was criticized as cumbersome and slanderous to Jews. Somehow, it continues to remain a valid name for the species. (45)
Auricularia is found throughout
the Philippines. Other than the auricula-judae species, another
specie reported edible is Auricularia
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.
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%, mannose 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)
- Preliminary phytochemical analysis of the extracts revealed the presence of carbohydrate (43.15 %; 38.30 %) proteins (23.75 %; 23.75 %), flavonoids (1.20 %; 0.80 %), alkaloids (0.60 %; 1.00 %), saponin (6.00 %; 2.40 %), tannin (1.65 %; 1.57 %), cyanide (0.24 %; 0.40 %), ash (12.40 %; 10.40 %), moisture (6.00 %;6.00 %), lipids(6.00 %;6.00 %), and fiber (8.70 %; 6.45 %) for the Tris buffer and warm aqueous extracts, respectively.
(see study below) (41)
Neutral, pleasant tasting.
- Considered an immune
- Studies have suggested hypoglycemic, hypocholesterolemic, anticoagulant, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, virucidal, mosquito attractant, anticancer,
anti-complement, neuroprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, prebiotic, antithrombotic, wound healing, quorum sensing inhibitory properties.
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
- 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.
(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
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. (8)
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 dichloromethane 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 dichloromethane 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 Auricularia 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 Auricularia auricula 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) Study reported on the wound healing mechanisms of a water-soluble polysaccharide-rich extract from A. auricula-judae (AAP). AAP contained high amounts of polysaccharides (349.83 mg/g extract) with main components of mannose, galactose, and glucose. AAP displayed antioxidant activity in vitro and significantly promoted both fibroblast and keratinocyte proliferation, migration, and invasion, along with augmentation of wound healing process by increasing collagen synthesis and decreasing E-cadherin expression (all p<0.05). AAP significantly accelerated wound closure in the mice skin wound-healing model. Results indicate wound healing activities that can be applied in an AAP-based product for wound management. (37)
• 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 / Antiviral / 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. auricula-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)
• Anti-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)
• Antioxidant / Procollagen Biosynthesis: Study showed Auricularia auricula-judae extract possessed potent antioxidant activity in vitro and promoted the biosynthesis of procollagen, a precursor of collagen in HaCaT cells. Also, the expression of HAS-3 (hyaluronic acid synthase), which is a moisturizing factor, was increased in HaCaT cells in response to AAE. (36)
• Drying Methods: Study evaluated various drying methods to produce high quality dried-ear mushroom. Results suggest the best method of drying is the drying in vinyl house due to not only high vitamin D2 content, good external appearance and color after drying, but also high hardness and good shape after rehydration. (38)
• Anticancer / Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma: Study evaluated the antitumor activity of crude polysaccharide extract of A. auricula-judae on Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma (EAC) model in mice in measures of tumor growth, hematological parameters, biochemical analysis, chromosomal disintegration assay and in vitro cytotoxicity. Results showed significant anticancer activity attributed to the presence of polysaccharides like Beta-glucans. (39)
• Cytotoxic / Antiproliferative / Cervical Cancer Cells: Study evaluated the cytotoxic, antiproliferative, and apoptotic effects of ethyl acetate extract from the mushroom on cervical cancer cells (HeLa) in vitro. Results showed the best cytotoxic effect was ethyl acetate of mushroom fruit body with IC50 of 538 µg/ml. Antiproliferative analysis of HeLa cells showed best inhibitory effect of mushroom fruit body extract at 24-hour incubation time. The apoptosis test showed HeLa cell death through apoptosis mechanisms was higher than by necrosis. (40)
• Antimicrobial / Protein Extract: Study evaluated the bioactive contents of Auricularia auricula-judae mushroom and the antimicrobial potential of its protein extract against some selected human bacterial and fungal pathogens, i.e., S. aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli, P. aeruginosa, K. pneumonia, Candida albicans and dermatophytic pathogens. Tris and warm aqueous protein extracts showed antimicrobial effects towards all the human bacterial pathogens and isolates. (see constituents above) (41)
• Attenuation of Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Lung Injury: Study evaluated the role of A. auricular-judae polysaccharide (AAP) in acute lung injury (ALI) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in adult Sprague-Dawley rats. Results showed treatment with AAP significantly improved LPS-induced lung pathological changes, attenuated protein concentration in the BALF, inhibited MPO activity and reduced the MS level and lung W/D weight ration. AAP also inhibited the release of TNF-α and IL-6 in blood. Results suggest protective effect of AAP on LPS-induced ALI in rats. (42)
• Ergosterol Peroxide / Anticancer Compound / Review: Review focused on chemical constituents and biological activities of fruitng bodies of seven edible and two inedible mushrooms found in the Philippines with reported anticancer properties. Studies yielded sterols and lipids with reported anticancer properties: Ergosterol (1), ergosterol peroxide (2), omega-6 fatty acid, linoleic acid (3), triacylglycerols (4), and trilinolein (5). Of these, only ergosterol peroxide was found in A. auricula-judae and identified as a major constituent. Ergosterol peroxide has shown strong trypanocidal activity on intracellular form of T. cruzi; anti-inflammatory activity against RAW 264.7 macrophages and growth of HT29 colon adenocarcinoma cells; and antitumor activity in many other cancer cell lines, i.e, multiple myeloma, carcinocarcinoma, human gastric tumor, human gastric tumor, human colorectal tumor, among many others. (43)
• Larvicidal / Attractant to Mosquito Vectors: Study evaluated the effect of Auricularia auricula-judae mushroom extract as larvicidal and adult mosquito attractant of important vectors, including Aedes aegypti and Culex sitiens. On larvicidal activity assay, A. auricula-judae extract did not affect A. aegypti, but slightly eliminated C. sitiens mosquito larvae at all concentrations. As adult mosquito attractant, all three test concentrations showed attractant activity. However, the statistical difference in number of mosquitoes attracted between A. auricula-judae extract and octenol were different in all concentrations (p>0.05). Although not equal to octenol, it was effective in attracting more than half of A. aegypti mosquitoes as dengue vector (58.33%). (44)
- Jelly ears in the Cybermarket.