Plant Description Medical Properties Dosage
Caution & Interaction Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data Helpful Links
Latin (botanical) name: Cordyceps Sinensis ~ Cordyceps Gracilis
Common names: Deer Fungus, Caterpillar Fungus, Dong Chong Xia Cao Tochukas
Plant Description:Cordyceps can only be found in isolated places in the harsh environment of southwestern China, in some dozen localities in Norway, and in very small amounts in Finland and Sweden. The species has been said to have a scattered distribution in Europe, as well, but this is uncertain. Cordyceps gracilis is vernal (April in the lowlands) to aestivial (July-August in prealpine areas). Wild cordyceps is usually very expensive due to the very small production, and can cost up to $1000 for 100 grams. Cordyceps gracilis grows on the caterpillar larvae of the Lepidoptera order of insects, specifically moths belonging to the genus Hepialis. It is presumed that once encountered by a suitable host, part-spores germinate and penetrate into the larva. The fungus proliferates and infiltrates the circulatory system and finally kills the larva. The fungus usually turns up on the same locality every year.
Interesting Historical Notes: Over 1500 years ago, the meadow region of the Tibetan Himalayan Mountains were covered with a variety of grasses and flowering plants. Cattle and sheep grazed in this area and were particularly drawn to an unusual mushroom-like grass. In time, the herdsmen began to see a marked difference in the strength and agility of their herds. They were curious about the ingredients of this grass, and wondered if perhaps that was the cause of the increased vigor and vitality of the animals. Word spread quickly and a few traditional Chinese doctors began gathering some of this grass to treat their patients. The grasses proved to have many medicinal functions for a variety of diseases for which previously they were unable to treat. It is believed that this is how Cordyceps was discovered. Word of the unusual and somewhat mysterious effects spread worldwide and passed from generation to generation. More than 1000 years later, the Ming Dynasty's court physicians began a study of the Cordyceps formula and eventually improved on its usage. Cordyceps became a respected drug. It was named "Dong Chong Xia Cao Tochukas", or winter-worm summer grass. Today, after studies have been conducted with modern techniques, we know that Cordyceps is a parasite which invades the body of caterpillars and eats the soft tissue.
Medicinal Properties &Uses:In Chinese medicine, Cordyceps fungus is touted as a very effective herb for treating circulatory, respiratory, immune, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other health problems. Because of it's ability to improve energy, stamina, appetite, endurance, and sleeping patterns, it has also been classified as a general health tonic. Cordyceps prevents allergies, depression, and colds and flu by enhancing adrenal and lung energy. It is recommended for people who feel short of breath, achy, or depressed from overwork, pollution, and bad dietary habits. It provides remarkable benefits for cirrhosis, impotence, neurasthenia, rheumatoid arthritis, flabby waist and knee. It is also effective in lowering the lipoproteinemia level, and in preventing arterio-sclerosis and coronary heart disease, as well as certain other diseases related to blood vessels of the brain. In traditional Chinese medicine, Cordyceps is used for the kidney and lungs meridians. Cordyceps also increases levels of natural-antioxidants and is believed to promote longevity. This fungus also has the ability to increase the ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) production in human cell's mitochondria which is known to increase energy levels in those who use it. It is especially good for people who are involved in athletics or enjoy vigorous sports. Athletes who used Cordyceps in their training programs surprised everyone including sports authorities when they broke the 10,000 meter World track record in 1993 and shattered dozens of world records in just one year.
Dosage: 30-60 drops in water or juice, 2-3 times daily, or as needed. Shake well before using.
Cautions & Interactions: Do not take during pregnancy or while nursing. Keep out of the reach of children.
Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data:
Disclaimer (U.S. Only): These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.