Yarsagumba (Cordyceps Sinensis) has been in the world’s spotlight ever since legendary Chinese coach Ma Junren’s disclosure of this wondrous herb as being the secret behind the fabulous world record breaking feats of his women runners in the 1990s.
Apparently, his runners, who all trained at high altitudes, were given Yarsagumba three times a day to fight the rigors of the high intensity workouts. Yarsagumba is found in the high pastures of the Himalayas in Nepal, Tibet and India, at altitudes of 3000 to 5000 meters, Known also as the Caterpillar Fungus, Yarsagumba is the result of a parasitic fungus (Ophiocordycipitaceae) infecting the caterpillar of a moth genus Thitarodes (Hepialus). Apparently, the fungus spreads its mycelium throughout the body cavity of the larva thus in practice, mummifying it. With the melting of the snows, the mushroom grows out of the caterpillar’s forehead and emerges from the ground. This is what thousands of Yarsagumba collectors go in search of during the spring season. The returns are worth the effort and the risks involved since a person can earn over 2,500 dollars in a good season (a tidy sum considering that the annual per capita of Nepal is below 500 dollars).
Grown in Nepal Cordyceps sold in the US –
Yarasagumba has been a part of traditional Chinese medicine since ancient times. Its many attributes have been studied at some length by some scholars, particularly Chinese scholars who recommend Yarsagumba for the treatment of stress and fatigue, for respiratory diseases like tuberculosis and asthma, for disease related to the kidneys and the liver, as well as for cardiovascular distresses, and so on.
However, the one use of Yarsagumba that has caught most of the world’s attention is its use as an aphrodisiac. Tibetan medicine lists Yrasagumba as a tonic for boosting immunity and for enhancing virility aside from its supplementary role along with other medicines in kidney, lungs and heart problems. Yarsagumba is also recommended by Tibetan traditional practitioners for improving eyesight and for treating Hepatitis B.
To list some of Yarsagumba’s health benefits, Yarsagumba is believed to:
- relieve exhaustion and fatigue
- decrease stress
- strengthen stamina
- strengthen kidneys
- strengthen lungs
- increase libido of both men and women
- increase semen
- strengthen the immune system
- strengthen muscles and body strength
- relive phlegm congestion
- enhance calmness and sense of balance
As far as specific diseases are concerned, Yarsagumba is believed to be effective for:
- reducing arrhythmia
- preventing nephralgia
- strengthening the immune system of tumor patients who have received radiotherapy, chemotherapy or surgery
- increasing the blood cells and protein for producing blood plasma
- eliminating toxins and side effects after certain type of therapies
- treatment of impotence and premature ejaculation
- treatment of neurasthenia,
- treatment of rheumatoid arthritis,
- treatment of cirrhosis
- strengthening flabby waist and knees
- lowering the lipoproteinemia level,
- preventing arteriosclerosis and coronary heart disease
- stimulating sexual hormones and inhibiting free radicals, thus delaying the ageing process
- treatment of chronic nephropathy and chronic nephritis
The general dosage for Yarsagumba is along the following lines:
- For a healthy person the recommended dose is: 0.3—0.7 g (1-2 pc according to the size) daily. Eat whole mushroom in original form, or drink 20 minutes after boiling in water, or mix in powder form with milk for drinking, for 3 to 4 daysDosage can be repeated after a gap of three days.
- In the case of particular health problems, the dosages are often higher, and as per practitioner’s prescription.