Auricularia auricula-judae  (Bull.) Quél. 1886
Main synonym = Tremella auricula    L. 1753
Taxonomical Classification:  Fungi / Basidiomycota / Agaricomycetes / Auriculariales / Auriculariaceae
Jew's Ear, Jelly Ear     Maltese name not known
Further Information:
Auricularia auricula-judae is an edible mushroom found worldwide, though the solidified jelly-like consistency does is not attractive for eating. Distinguished by its noticeably ear-like shape and brown colouration, it grows upon wood such as elder, but in Malta this was seen on decaying trunks of Ash. The mushroom can be found throughout the year in temperate regions worldwide, where it grows upon both dead and living wood. Although it is not regarded as a choice edible mushroom in the west, it has long been popular in China, to the extent that Australia exported large volumes of the mushroom to China in the early twentieth century. A. auricula-judae was used in folk medicine as recently as the 19th century, for complaints including sore throats, sore eyes and jaundice, and as an astringent. Today, the mushroom is still used for medicinal purposes in China, where soups featuring it are used as a remedy for colds. It is also used in Ghana, as a blood tonic. Modern research into possible medical applications have variously concluded that A. auricula-judae has antitumour, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant and cholesterol-lowering properties.

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