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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Once an exclusive emperor's herb in ancient times...

冬虫夏草 “winter worm, summer grass”

Once an exclusive ancient emperor’s herb, today an increasingly popular parasitic fungus herb boosting your health and vitality.

Cordyceps is a family of about 400 fungi parasitizing underground insect larvae and caterpillars during wintertime, invading and devouring their entire tissue. In early summer, a small fungus stem sprout above soil from the caterpillar's body and can be found (or actually very difficult to find haha) in grassy highlands above 3500-4500 meters on the plateaus of Sichuan, Qinghai, and Tibet in China.

The Chinese name for Cordyceps is very appropriate 冬虫夏草 “winter worm, summer grass” which in English it is sometimes called caterpillar mushroom.

In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the emperor's court physicians studied the fungus, and through their experience and wisdom, improved on its usage. Cordyceps then became a unique medicinal herb for TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), available only for the imperial palace at that time due to its rarity. Even today prices for wild collected cordyceps (non-cultivated) can rise up to thousands of dollars per kilo. The Chinese government has restricted wild picking in many natural highland areas for natural protection.

Cordyceps is used by TCM for kidney health and strengthening the lungs (respiratory and couging conditions). A good kidney health prevents a wide array of diseases and physical and mental conditions and is central in TCM (Yang). The herb is used single or in formulations with other herbs. It is also popular for infusing herbal wines in China or for example (Chinese cuisine).

Cordyceps has been cultivated in natural nutrition beds (most commonly Cordyceps sinensis and militaris species) since decades and its unique health benefits are increasingly available throughout the world for among others energy and vitality boosting, anti-aging or supporting fatigue, diabetes, impotence, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disorders.

#china #traditionalchinesemedicine #naturalhealth #cordyceps #chinesesociety

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