Auricularia polytricha: The Ultimate Mushroom Guide
About The Auricularia polytricha Mushroom
Auricularia polytricha (syn. Hirneola polytricha) is an edible jelly fungus. It grows on trees in mountainous regions, is gray-brown, and is often used in Asian cooking, especially Chinese cuisine. Usually, it grows as a weak parasite to saprophyte. It occurs in clusters growing on a tree trunk and dead branches. The general habitat for A. polytricha is moist-deciduous to wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats.
This mushroom is edible, however, not much exposed to cuisine outside Asia because of their unique texture and do not inhibit the typical flavor profiles that many mushrooms share. Mainly used for soups and stir-fries to add a textural and visual component.
Auricularia polytricha produces an anticoagulant effect and hence like aspirin, this mushroom should not be ingested before surgery or by patients with poor blood clotting
Other names: Cloud Ear Fungus.
Auricularia polytricha Identification
Fruit body resupinate or pileate, loosely attached, laterally and sometimes by a very short stalk, elastic, gelatinous; sterile surface dark yellowish-brown to dark brown with greyish brown bands, hairy, silky. Hymenium smooth, or wrinkled, pale brown to dark brown to blackish-brown with a whitish bloom. Hairs thick-walled, up to 0.6 mm long. Basidia cylindrical, hyaline, three-septate, 46–60 × 4–5.5 μm with 1–3 lateral sterigmata; sterigmata 9–15 × 1.5–12 μm. spores, hyaline, reniform to allantoid, 13–16 × 4–5.5 μm, guttulate.
Auricularia polytricha Medicinal Properties
Auricularia polytricha extract exhibited the ability to adsorb glucose and suppress the activity of α-amylase; thus it might contribute a beneficial effect on postprandial levels of blood sugar.
Auricularia auricula and A. polytricha have been used in Chinese folk medicines for thousands of years and have traditionally been used to treat hemorrhoids and as a stomach tonic. Chinese people also believed that if this mushroom is eaten regularly or brewed in a tea, enhances health and treats ailments.
Auricularia polytricha has proved to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties against Candida albicans, Escherichia coli, faecalis, Pseudomonas aeroginosa, and Staphylocochus aureu.
Auricularia polytricha Terminology
It is known as Mandarin Chinese: 云耳; pinyin: yún'ěr, lit. "cloud ear", Chinese: 毛木耳; pinyin: máomù'ěr, lit. "hairy wood ear"), and in Japanese, it is called ara-ge-ki-kurage (アラゲキクラゲ, lit. "rough-hair-tree-jellyfish").It is also known as wood ear fungus, wood fungus, ear fungus, or tree ear fungus, an allusion to its rubbery ear-shaped growth. In Europe, it is frequently misidentified as "Jew's ear", and "Jelly ear", which are very closely related but distinct species.
In Hawaii, it is known as pepeiao which means "ear" In Southeast Asia, it is known as bok née in local English (from the Hokkien 木耳 bo̍k-ní) and is used in the salad kerabu bok nee. In Indonesia and Malaysia, it is called jamur kuping, meaning "the ear mushroom", and in the Philippines, the locals call it tenga ng daga, meaning "rat's ear", due to its appearance. In Chinese cooking, it is often referred to as "Black Treasure". In New Zealand, it is known as hakeke by Māori.
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