Nepalized Tibetan name „dbyar rtswa dgun'bu" (summer grass, winter worm) for a rare fungus that parasites on the body of a caterpillar of a moth (genus THITARODES). This so-called CATERPILLAR FUNGUS (CORDYCEPS, or also OPHIOCORDYCEPS SINENSIS) grows only at high altitudes in Tibet, Nepal, China, Bhutan and North-East India. For its medical effects, YARSAGUMBA has been an important component for a many of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, due to a constantly growing demand and the difficulties in harvesting, YARSAGUMBA has become the most expansive medicinal substance in the world.The caterpillar of a moth genus THITARODES (Hepialus) lives underground in alpine grass and shrublands on the Tibetian Plateau and Himalayas (at an altitude of 3000-5000 m) spending up to 5 years underground before pupating, feeding on roots of a plants. During this larvae state, the caterpillar is attacked by a fungus of the genus OPHIOCORDYCIPITACEAE. (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 its breathing pores.) The fungus fills its entire body cavity with mycelium, eventually killing and mummifying the insect. Before this happens, somehow, the fungus causes the caterpillar to get near the top of its burrow. In springtime, after the snow melts, mushrooms emerge from the ground, always growing out of forehead of the caterpillar. The size of a mature mushroom reaches 5-15 cm above the surface and relaeases its spores onto the ground, and the cycle repeats.the CATERPILLAR FUNGUS is mostly used as a tonic. According to Liu (1994), its main applications are for treating exhaustion, respiratory and pulmonary diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, asthma), renal, liver, and cardiovascular diseases, back pain, and sexual problems (e.g., lack of sex drive, premature ejaculation).DOSAGE OF CORDYCEPS SINENSIS
For a healthy person who uses YARSAGUMBA as an aphrodisiac, life-giving, stimulant for sports etc. The recomended dose is: 0,3—0,7 g ( 1—2 pcs according to the size) daily, eat whole mushroom in original form, or overflow with boiling water (tea) and eat after 20 min., or powder it and drink with milk, for 3—4 days. After pausing for 3 days it is possible to repeat dosage. In the case of particular health problems, the dosages are often higher, but it is recomended to consultate this with your doctor.The taste is pleasant, sweet, with a nutty-mushroom flavor. Any aversion to consuming caterpillars (although actually there is no more caterpillar, just its cover) is quickly overwhelmed by the benefit which YARSAGUMBA provides. There is no possibility of overdose with CATERPILLAR FUNGUS, and, according to all available information, there are no known harmful or negative side effects, even for pregnant women.