Black fungus, or Auricularia polytricha, is sometimes known as wood ear, cloud ear, Judas ear or tree ear. It is a mushroom that is dark brown to black and native to Asia and some Pacific islands with humid climates, according to the Mycological Society of San Francisco. It is edible and often used in Asian cooking. It is a beneficial herb in helping with health issues by treating the lungs, stomach and liver, according to the Institute of Chinese Medicine.
The Mycological Society of San Francisco states that black fungus has a chemical that inhibits blood clotting, and because heart attacks, strokes and blood vessel diseases are linked to clotting, this fungus may improve circulation. Veg for Life also states that it contains anticoagulant substances that act like blood thinners, similar to that of aspirin.
Black fungus may lower cholesterol and blood sugar, according to the Sierra Club Pro website. Laboratory testing in mice found that this type of fungus had a hypoglycemic effect on obese mice. Serum LDL cholesterol levels were reduced by 24 percent in the mice tested.