Auricularia Auricula or Black fungus is an edible wild mushroom sometimes known as cloud ear fungus or tree ear, given its dark, ear-like shape.
Known for its distinct chewiness and jelly-like consistency, black fungus is a popular culinary ingredient across many Asian dishes.
How is Auricularia Auricula used?
Auricularia Auricula is usually sold in dried form. Before you eat it, it should be reconstituted in warm water for at least 1 hour.
While soaking, the Auricularia Auricula mushrooms expand 3–4 times in size. Keep this in mind when you’re cooking, as small amounts can go a long way.
What are the benefits of using Auricularia Auricula for the skin and body?
- Antioxidant: the extract of Auricularia Auricula shows excellent antioxidant activity in scavenging free radicals, promotes procollagen production, and increases expression of the HAS-3 gene. These results suggest that Auricularia Auricula extract can be used as a raw material for cosmetics to promote skin health.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial: the extract of Auricularia Auricula also has anti-inflammatory properties that can calm red, irritated, or inflamed skin.
- Can be used in food: Auricularia Auricula has really powerful antioxidants. It helps in promoting brain health, gut, and immune health, lowering your cholesterol, and protecting your liver.
What are some precautions you should take while purchasing Auricularia Auricula?
Black fungus purchased from commercial suppliers can have some side effects.
Yet, as most Auricularia Auricula is sold dried, it’s important to always soak it before use due to its density and brittleness.
Furthermore, it should be cooked thoroughly to kill bacteria and remove residue. Studies show that boiling may even increase its antioxidant activity.