The auricularia auricula judae, also known as wood ear or jelly ear, is an edible mushroom characterized by a particular ear-like elongated shape. This fungus grows on tree trunks, especially elder, and has been used since ancient times in China as a food and herbal remedy (Balakrishnan et al, International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Jan 2015). From the auricularia fungus a supplement is obtained with important medicinal properties, useful for the well-being of the organism and for the prevention of flu, wrinkles, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems and tumors.
Science is focusing the attention on this mushroom and, in fact, what is emerging from scientific research, is that auricularia extract is a powerful antioxidant but also a beauty cosmetic, able to improve skin health by counteracting wrinkles and aging. Indeed, the intake of auricularia promotes the production of procollagen, a precursor of collagen, the main protein that makes up the skin, and increases the synthesis of hyaluronic acid, which hydrates the skin and protects its elasticity (Choi et al, Nat Prod Res, May 2018). Not only that, the auricularia, thanks to particular substances of the class of polysaccharides, which are a type of carbohydrates, has an anti-diabetes effect helping to reduce blood sugar levels, it lowers cholesterol by inhibiting its production by the liver, stimulates the immune response, being useful in preventing flu and colds, it provides vitamin D2, which is one of the two forms in which vitamin D occurs, but it is also a source of vitamin C and mineral salts, especially potassium and manganese (Chen et al, J Food Sci Technol , Dec 2011 - Ohiri et al, Int J Med Mushrooms, 2017 - Ma et al, Pharmacol Res, Jun 2018). Finally, this fungus also has an antimicrobial action against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus and shows anticoagulant properties with an anti-thrombotic effect (Yoon et al, Throm Res, 2003 - Cai et al, Int J Med Mushrooms, 2015).
You can find the fungus in the form of dry extract tablets. Do not use auricularia if you are taking blood thinners or medicines for diabetes, avoid during pregnancy or if you planning a pregnancy because the fungus could act by relaxing the uterus walls excessively.