Jew’s ear – Auricularia polytricha



Jew's ear Quick Facts
Name: Jew's ear
Scientific Name: Auricularia polytricha
Origin Asia and Pacific Ocean. Wood ear fungus was cultivated for over 1,000 years in China but now widely cultivated in China.
Colors Pale brown
Shapes Cup-shaped, Across: 3-8 centimeters (1.2 to 3.1 inch)
Flesh colors Tan, red or brown
Taste Mild sweet
Calories 25 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Copper (49.00%)
Vitamin B5 (39.40%)
Selenium (20.00%)
Vitamin B2 (15.54%)
Iron (6.88%)
Health benefits Reduce arthritis, Assist metabolism, Iron deficiency, Cardiovascular health, Heal wounds
Jew’s ear (Auricularia polytricha) is an edible mushroom native to Asia and Pacific Ocean. This fungus was cultivated for over 1,000 years in China but now widely cultivated in China. It usually have more specific names such as Ear fungus, Jelly ear, Judas’s ear, Cloud ears, Wood ear, Pig’s Ear, Tree Ear, Wood Ear etc. It is mostly used in Asian cooking such as Chinese cuisine.

Jew’s ear is a fungus which grows in a dead or living wood in cluster. The stem is lateral, rudimentary or absent. Fruit bodies are cup-shaped, up to 3-8 centimeters (1.2 to 3.1 inches) across which is composed of pale brown color. The outer surface has got tan-brown color with purple tinge whereas the inner surface is light grey-brown and smooth. The flesh is like a cartilaginous and jelly which is tan, red or brown. The spores are sausage shaped; white, cream or yellowish in color. It possesses a mild sweet flavor.

Nutritional Value

Jew’s ear in raw form provides 25 calories in the serving size of 99 grams. The intake of Jew’s ear provides 0.441 mg of Copper, 1.97 mg of Vitamin B5, 11 µg of Selenium and 0.202 mg of Vitamin B2. Moreover, 0.55 mg of Calcium, 25 mg of Magnesium, 0.65 mg of Zinc and 14 mg of Phosphorus is found in the same amount.

Health Benefits of Jew’s ear

It possess an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, anti-cholesterol, antithrombotic properties which prevents from various health ailments. It is grown for both consumption and medicinal purposes. It has been used to treat various health problems for thousands of years. It can help cramp, injury pain, numbness, piles, nausea, gastric disorder etc.

  1. Reduce arthritis

Copper possess an anti-inflammatory abilities that helps to alleviate pain and stiffness related with arthritis. It strengthens muscles, reduces joint pain and repairs the connective tissue. The people with arthritis wear copper bracelets with a belief that it could reduce the painful symptoms.

  1. Assist metabolism

Copper is essential to take place the reactions of metabolic enzymes in the body. It is vital for the smooth functioning of metabolism which helps in the communication of nerves. Copper is also required for ATP which is one of the source of energy. The low presence of copper leads to low energy, sluggish metabolism and poor metabolic health.

  1. Iron deficiency

Copper helps in the iron absorption from intestinal tract and release to the liver. The iron helps in the creation of red blood cells. Anemia is the cause of low level of copper and iron level. The symptoms of Anemia are muscle aches, fatigue, impaired brain function and digestive problems. Moreover,

  1. Cardiovascular health

Vitamin B5 is essential to maintain the cholesterol level and enhance heart health. It prevents the build-up of plaque in the arteries that results in stroke or heart attack. Vitamin B5 assist in the creation of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout the body. It also promotes the hemoglobin level in the body. Vitamin B2 is essential for the production of red blood cells and helps to transport the oxygen to the cells. The deficiency of Vitamin B2 results inability to exercise, shortness of breath and others.

  1. Heal wounds

Vitamin B5 speeds up the healing process of cuts and wounds. It also slows down the appearance of premature aging, dark spots and wrinkles on the skin. It enhances the normal healing process by improving the multiplication of cells.

  1. Enhance performance

Vitamin B can reduce the brain function illnesses, function loss or age-related memory. The adequate amount of Vitamin B5 prevents insomnia, depression, migraine headaches and chronic brain syndrome.

Vitamin B5 regulates the hormones that help to reduce anxiety, stress and depression. It reduces the fatigue from the body as it balances the hormones that are associated to fatigue, alertness and enhance metabolism.

The chronically stressed people have deficiency in Vitamin B5 which leads to lose the ability to react to the stress and have adrenal fatigue, trouble in exercising, sleeping, mood swings and weight loss or gain.

  1. Antioxidant activity

It promotes an immune system by lowering the damage caused by free radicals. Selenium possesses the antioxidants such as Vitamin E that enhance the body to counteract oxidative stress and prevent the colon and prostate cancer. Selenium is essential to counteract eh oxidative degradation of cells and prevent the mutation and DNA damage which results to diseases.

  1. Enhance immunity

Selenium enhances the immune function in the body and also counteracts the viruses that can cause HIV. In HIV patients, Selenium slows down the process of developing disease in AIDS.

  1. Prevent migraines

Vitamin B2 is effective to treat the headaches and migraine attacks. Riboflavin has the ability to lower the frequency of migraines and reduce its symptoms as well as pains during migraine. It also shortens the duration of migraine.

  1. Supports vision

The low presence of Vitamin B2 increases the chances of eye ailments. It prevents glaucoma, keratoconus and cataracts. The research shows that an adequate intake of Vitamin B2 reduces the chances of eye ailments. Vitamin B2 drops are used to treat eye disorders such as glaucoma.

Jew’s ear – Auricularia polytricha Facts

Jew’s ear is an edible fungus which is found worldwide. The fruit is ear shape, brown and grows upon elder wood. It is found in temperate a region which grows upon both living and dead wood. The body of the fruit can grow up to 12 centimeters. The shape can be cup-shaped or ear-shaped. It is elastic when fresh and hard when dried. The outer surface is covered in small downy hairs which is grey in colour. The colour turns darker along with age.

Name Jew’s ear
Scientific Name Auricularia polytricha
Native Asia and Pacific Ocean. Wood ear fungus was cultivated for over 1,000 years in China but now widely cultivated in China.
Common/English Name Black fungus, Wood ear fungus, Black Chinese fungus, Ear fungus, Wood fungus, Taingan-daga, Tree ear fungus, Jew’s ear, Jelly ear, Judas’s ear, Cloud ears, Wood ear, Pepeao, Pig’s Ear, Chinese Fungus, Tree Ear, Wood Ear, Kikurage
Name in Other Languages Chinese: Hei Mu-erh, Mo-er.
Japanese:  Senji
Growth Habit Dead or living wood, in cluster
Stem Lateral, rudimentary or absent
Fruit shape & size Cup-shaped, Across: 3-8 centimeters (1.2 to 3.1 inch)
Fruit color Pale brown
Outer surface Tan-brown with purple
Inner surface Light grey-brown, smooth
Flesh colour Tan, red or brown
Flesh appearance Cartilaginous and jelly
Hairs Thick-walled, Length: 0.6 mm
Spore colour White, cream or yellowish
Spore shape Sausage shaped
Flavor Mild sweet
Fruit Season Late summer and autumn
Major Nutritions (Raw) Copper, Cu 0.441 mg (49.00%)
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid) 1.97 mg (39.40%)
Selenium, Se 11 µg (20.00%)
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.202 mg (15.54%)
Iron, Fe 0.55 mg (6.88%)
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 0.087 mg (6.69%)
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) 0.08 mg (6.67%)
Magnesium, Mg 25 mg (5.95%)
Zinc, Zn 0.65 mg (5.91%)
Carbohydrate 6.68 g (5.14%)
Health Benefits
  • Reduce arthritis
  • Assist metabolism
  • Iron deficiency
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Heal wounds
  • Enhance performance
  • Antioxidant activity
  • Enhance immunity
  • Prevent migraines
  • Supports vision
Calories in 1cup (99 gm) Raw 25 Kcal.
Traditional uses
  • In the West, Jew’s ear is used in folk medicine in order to treat sore eyes, sore throat and jaundice.
  • In Ghana, it is used as a blood tonic.
  • In China, it is used to cure colds and flu.
  • In UK, it is used to treat jaundice and sore throats.
  • It is used as a poultice to cure eye inflammation and throat problems.
  • It is used as a treatment for metrorrhagia, dysentery and urinary tract diseases.
  • The Chinese traditional medicine used it for numbness, piles, heavy menstrual bleeding, weakness after childbirth, dysentery, enteritis, cramps and leucorrhea.
Precautions It should not be consumed before surgery or one with poor blood clotting.
How to Eat It is eaten by adding to a salad, soups or dressed with soy and vinegar.

Jew’s ear (Auricularia polytricha)Scientific Classification

Scientific name Auricularia polytricha
Kingdom Fungi
Order Auriculariales
Family Auriculariaceae
Genus Auricularia
Division Basidiomycota
Class Agaricomycetes