Cordyceps Sinensis - The Magical Mushroom
Hello all fellow english readers! I have been tending to the french for a while recently but dont worry, I have only covered what we have been through till now! Today I will be talking about an insanely magical mushroom worth more than Gold itself!
They call it...
Cordyceps Sinensis, kordiceps is a Chinese traditional medicine which exists for 1200 years. Many centuries ago the Chinese recognized cordyceps as a miracle of God, the talisman. Chinese healers spoke that Cordyceps sinensis helps people in the treating of many ailments.
Cordyceps resides in the high mountains of China, the provinces Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet, at an altitude of 3500 meters above sea level. It is absolutely unique in the world, in part because of its biological cycle; in one period of life it is a plant, and in the second it exists as an insect.
Cordyceps sinensis belongs to the mushroom family. Propagation is by merging male and female cells, Cordyceps contain both sexes. It lives in places where there are suitable conditions for its growth and nutrition (mountain ranges in China and Tibet, the height of 3500 m). Cordyceps sinensis has a supernatural ability to survive, feeding on roots; mountain plants, including astragal, ofiopogon.
Ophiocordyceps sinensis is a fungus that parasitizes larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body valued as an herbal remedy. The fungus germinates in the living larva, kills and mummifies it, and then the stalk-like fruiting body emerges from the corpse. It is known in English colloquially as caterpillar fungus, or by its more prominent foreign names yartsa gunbu, yatsa gunbu, Dōng chóng xià cǎo.
The caterpillars prone to infection by the fungus which live underground in alpine grass and shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas at an altitude between 3,000 and 5,000 m (9,800 and 16,000 ft). Spending up to five years underground before pupating, the Thitarodes caterpillar is attacked while feeding on roots. It is not certain how the fungus infects the caterpillar; possibly by ingestion of a fungal spore or by the fungus mycelium invading the insect through one of the insect's breathing pores. The fungus invades the body of the caterpillars, filling its entire body cavity with mycelia, a sclerotium and eventually killing and mummifying the host. The caterpillars die near the tops of their burrows. The dark brown to black fruiting body (or mushroom) emerges from the ground in spring or early summer, always growing out of the forehead of the caterpillar. The long, usually columnar fruiting body reaches 5–15 cm above the surface and releases spores.
The fungus is a medicinal mushroom which is highly prized by practitioners of Tibetan medicine, Chinese medicine and traditional Folk medicines, in which it is used as an aphrodisiac and as a treatment for a variety of ailments from fatigue to cancer. In Chinese medicine it is regarded as having an excellent balance of yin and yang as it is apparently both animal and vegetable. Assays have found that Ophiocordyceps species produce many pharmacologically active substances. They are now cultivated on an industrial scale for their medicinal value. However, no one has succeeded so far in growing the larva cum mushroom artificially. All artificial products are derived from mycelia grown on grains or in liquids.
..."The Western world was largely unaware of Ophiocordyceps prior to 1993. The fungus dramatically caught the world's eye due to the performance of three female Chinese athletes, Wang Junxia, Qu Yunxia, and Zhang Linli. These athletes broke five world records for 1,500, 3,000 and 10,000 meter dashes at the National Games in Beijing, China. The number of new world records set at a single track event attracted much attention and suspicion. Following the races, the women were expected by some to fail drug tests for anabolic steroids. However, the athletes' tests revealed no illegal substances, and coach Ma Junren told the reporters that the runners were taking Ophiocordyceps sinensis and turtle blood at his request. However for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Ma Junren withdrew some of his athletes at the last minute. It was speculated that a new doping test would have revealed illegal substances, thus half a dozen Chinese field and track athletes were left at home."...
..."Medicinal use of the caterpillar fungus apparently originated in Tibet. So far the oldest known text documenting its use was written in the late fourteen hundreds by the Tibetan doctor Zurkhar Nyamnyi Dorje (Wylie: Zur mkhar mnyam nyid rdo rje)[1439-1475]) in his text: Man ngag bye ba ring bsrel ("Instructions on a Myriad of Medicines. The first mention of Ophiocordyceps sinensis in traditional Chinese Medicine was in Wang Ang’s 1694 compendium of material medica, Ben Cao Bei Yao. In the 18th Century it was listed in Wu Yiluo's Ben cao cong xin ("New compilation of materia medica"). No sources have been published to uphold widespread claims of "thousands of years of use in Chinese medicine" or use of "chong cao since the 7th Century Tang Dynasty in China". The ethno-mycological knowledge on caterpillar fungus among the Nepalese people is documented by Devkota (2006). The entire fungus-caterpillar combination is hand-collected for medicinal use."...
Theres today's insanely cool pearl of wisdom!