Cordyceps Sinensis is an Ophiocordycipitaceae family member, known in English colloquially as Caterpillar fungus. It is an entomopathogenic fungus i.e. Caterpillar fungus that grows as insects. The Caterpillar fungus contains the compound of Cordycepin an adenosine derivation however the fruiting bodies harvested in nature usually contain high amounts of arsenic and other heavy metals.
So Cordyceps Sinensis is classified as the medicinal mushroom that has a long history in traditional Nepali medicine as well as a traditional medicine in Tibetan and Chinese medicine and so on. About 2000 years ago, when it was first discovered, the Chinese thought the herb was a worm.
Cordyceps Sinensis or “summer grass winter worms” is a rare parasitic organism. It gets its name because of a cross marriage of the plant and insect kingdom. Just earlier than the rainy season, the spores of Cordyceps Sinensis mushroom (fungus) infect the caterpillars that live on moist grass and hollow soil. Then the fungus buries itself into the caterpillar’s body and works its way out through the insect head.
The fungus parasite gets so much energy from the caterpillars and drains all the energy from the insects and ultimately its dies. When the temperature starts to increase and the snow melts Cordyceps emerges and collected at that time and during monsoon season the cordyceps is swept away.
|English||Cordyceps mushroom, caterpillar fungus|
|Nepali||Yarsagumba, Jeebanbuti, Sanjivani,Kiraghans Sanskrit Sanjiwani|
|Tibetian||Yarchakunbu, dbyarrtswadgun ‘bu**|
|Japanese||Totsukasu, tochukasu Chinese Hiatsao tong tchong, dongchongxiacao, [chongcao]*|
|Hindi||keerajhar, keedajadi, keedaghas or ‘ghaasfafoond|
We can find about 500 species of Sinensis around the world. And three species of Cordyceps are reportedly found in Nepal. They are Cordyceps Sinensis, Cordyceps Nutans, and Cordyceps Nepalensis. Among the three species, only Cordyceps Sinensis is used for medicinal values and it is a rare and expensive plant.
Nepal does not cultivate Cordyceps Sinensis. But, countries like China and Korea have been investing a great effort in research for the cultivation of the fungus. However, in Nepal, the extract method of cultivation of Sinensis is still unknown. Some of the individuals and business organizations are still working on this aspect.
In 1982, the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences isolated the commercial strains of Cordyceps for the first time. The strain, CS- 4 was fermented in the aseptic environment to develop a mycelium, which underwent extensive human testing, and clinical trials during the 1980s. In this way, commercial production of Cordyceps Sinensis begun from China in the name of Jin Shui Bao capsules. A wide range of population was encouraged to use it as a clinical trial.
Cordyceps Sinensis is found above the altitude of 3500 m in the Himalayan regions of Nepal, Bhutan, India, and Tibet. During May and June, thousands of villagers from remote areas head to elevations in the Himalayas in the search and to collect gold rush (Cordyceps Sinensis). It is estimated that one individual can earn up to $25(approximately) in a day. By collecting the Sinensis also lifts the life standard of making.
In peak season, collecting Cordyceps Sinensis is the most valuable work for villagers. The collection of Sinensis in a day is beyond the monthly salary of Nepalese households. Annually, the Dolpa district in Nepal only supplies almost 50 percent of Cordyceps. Here, all adults and school students go in the search of the gold rush. Schools students also take an unofficial holiday to collect Cordyceps Sinensis
Cordyceps Sinensis is called The Himalayan Viagra, Number 1 herb, the body healer, and the luxury herb. It gets its name due to the huge health benefit and its more impact on the reproductive system. As a traditional medicine, it is used for centuries and about 25% of modern medicine is also derived from Cordyceps.
China discovered Cordyceps around 2000 years ago in China, firstly for its medicinal properties. The potentiality of Sinensis also includes, but not limited to strengthening the kidney and lungs, increasing vitality and energy, stopping hemorrhage, impotence, backache, etc. It also helps cure chronic cough asthma, anemia and helps build soreness, bone marrow, increase the production of blood, and strengthen the immune system for the tumor patients.
Cordyceps Sinensis is popular for clinical medicine as well as traditional purposes. Sometimes, the patients who are receiving Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, and deficiency syndrome also use Cordyceps. The use of Cordyceps Sinensis helps cure infertility in women and erectile dysfunction in men.
In Conclusion, Cordyceps Sinensis has so many health benefits attributes to treat many health ailments. The oral use of cordyceps is safe. But consumption during breastfeeding and pregnancy, surgery, and bleeding disorders might be not safe. It might cause side effects like diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal discomfort, etc. But for people with no such conditions, Cordyceps Sinensis is absolutely safe and beneficial.