Black fungus is a very common type of edible mushroom which is found in Nigeria and other parts of the world. It grows on trees mostly in the rural areas due to the vast untapped vegetation found there.
It has lots of medicinal benefits due to the nutrients it contains such as Vitamins, Protein, Fat, Iron, polysaccharides and a whole lot more. The mushroom can be found throughout the year in temperate regions worldwide, where it grows upon both dead and living wood. The popularity of this mushroom dates back centuries especially in China were it is extremely popular .
Its applications in traditional medicine include preventing iron deficiency anemia, haematemesis, uterine bleeding, hemorrhoid, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and even cancer prevention.
Culinary Uses of Black Fungus: Black fungus is a vegetable that works as meat but is usually added almost at the end of the cooking in other to Keep it fresh and also retain its nutrients. Naturally,it has no flavor of its own but when Used to cook it tends to absorb the seasonings it is cooked with. It could be incorporated in: Salads, Soups, Rice, Stews and whatever meal you can think of.
|Botanical Name: Auricularia polytricha- Google image
Other Names: jelly ear, Cloud ear fungus, wood fungus, mouse ear
Health Benefits: -Black fungus contains polysaccharide, which not only inhibits tumor growth and prevents cancer, it also neutralizes the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. It also has antitumour, hypoglycemic, anticoagulant and cholesterol lowering properties.
-Black fungus also contains iron. Iron contained in black fungus is indeed one of the highest among all the vegetables. when eaten regularly it can enrich blood and prevent iron deficiency anemia. In terms of taste and price, it is a much better alternative to pig liver as a good source of iron, containing up to seven times of iron compared to pig liver
– Black fungus has a reputation in Chinese herbal medicine for increasing the fluidity of the blood (same effect as in aspirin) and improving circulation. It is given to patients who suffer from atherosclerosis.
– Black fungus is found to be effective in reducing blood pressure, and possibly LDL cholestrol levels. This can be done by drinking water in which the fungus has been slow-cooked for at least an hour
-Black fungus is a good source of calcium, reportedly containing twice the amount of calcium compared to milk.
-Black fungus is also rich in protein, vitamins B1, B2 and D.
– Black Fungus helps in nourishing the lungs, liver and stomach. It alleviates dryness and promotes circulation in the body.
– Black fungus is a good “absorbent” and “scavenger” of toxic substances in the body thanks to its pectin that can absorb dust in lungs and digestive system and then excrete together.
Names in other Countries
-Nigeria: Erobelebele Nti
-Thailand: hed hunu
– Indonesia: kuping jamu
-China: mo-ei; wun yee
-Malaysia: kuping tikus, cendawan telinga kera
|Google image:Black Fungus(Erobelebele nti)|
Availability I love hand picking mine fresh from the woods in the village but it is also sold dry in stores . You could find it growing on mango trees. Fresh black fungus is dangerous to eat as it could contain some poisonous matter, but most of the poisonous matter will disappear after being dried under the sun. Black fungus must be fully soaked in warm/cold water till soft before cooking. This would make it expand to several times its normal size. Trim the stem of the fungus and then rinse to remove the dirt. Cut up into any size you want and add to whatever meal near the end of the cooking so it doesn’t lose its vitamins.