Monday, February 13, 2012

Wood Ear Mushroom

Wood ear mushrooms, also known as mo-er, black fungus and cloud ear, is used throughout Asia as a edible fungi and a herbal medicine. Cooked wood ear mushrooms have a crisp texture and a dark color that makes it popular, and is used as a folk remedy for circulation and breathing. Medicinal fungi like wood ear mushroom are not intended to replace medical care, and you should always consult with your doctor before purchasing wood ear mushroom products.

Carbohydrates and Proteins
According to a nutritional study published in the "Bangladesh Journal of Mushrooms" in 2009, researchers found 100 g of dried wood ear mushrooms contained 18.3 percent protein, 18.9 percent carbohydrates and 50 percent dietary fiber. Researchers concluded that the carbohydrates in wood ear mushrooms are not a good source of energy as they are poorly metabolized by the body. However, wood ear mushrooms are a great source of fiber for digestion.
Vitamins and Minerals
Wood ear mushrooms contain a range of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. According to a nutritional analysis published in "The Titi Tudorancea Bulletin" in 2008, wood ear mushrooms provide range of important vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, folate and ascorbic acid. In addition, the mushroom also provides minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium.
In a study published in "Thrombosis and Haemostasis" in 1982, researchers investigated the adenosine content of wood ear mushrooms. Adenosine is a chemical byproduct from cellular metabolism in the body, and effects blood clotting, blood pressure and heart health. Researchers confirmed that a single gram of dried wood ear mushroom contain 154mcg of adenosine, in addition to other unidentified chemicals which contribute to wood ear's ability to inhibit blood clotting and block platelet aggregation.
Medical Actions
According to Mushroom Nutrition, wood ear mushrooms have significant antioxidant properties. The polysaccharides and phenol chemicals in wood ear mushrooms have antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective actions, which may help to prevent many types of chronic illness such as cancer and stroke. The majority of scientific research into wood ear mushrooms have looked into the effects of Auricularia auricula -- a related fungus that is used interchangeably with Auricularia polytricha in Chinese medicine.
Safety and Toxicity
Wood ear mushrooms are considered safe and nontoxic for the majority of the population. There is no research into the safety of wood ear mushrooms during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so women during these times should consume wood ear mushrooms with care. Consult with your doctor before eating wood ear mushrooms if you take prescribed medications, as these mushrooms may cause undesirable drug interactions.
by Joel Le Blanc

No comments:

Post a Comment