By: Sarah@Joyamaze


Dong chong xia cao is the Chinese name for Ophiocordyceps sinensis, it means winter worm, summer grass. In the ancient days, the fungus was mistaken as a worm that lived in winter then morphed into grass in the summer. Now, it is known however, the blade of ‘grass’ is actually the fungus’ fruiting body or stroma that sprouted from the head of white ghost moth larvae, buried in the soil of the semiarid land of Tibetan Plateau.


The Royals and the Fungus

Morphologically, there is nothing outstanding about the way Ophiocordyceps sinensis look, famously known by its former scientific name, Cordyceps sinensis. But, it is so revered to the extent the wild collected Cordyceps price surpass the price of gold of the same weight. In ancient China, Tibet and Nepal, where at the time the price was four times the price of silver; only the imperial families and the members of the courts can afford to consume this fungus, either as health tonic or as curative remedies. Cordyceps was even held at higher regards against the distinguished ginseng, the herb that they treasured as symbol of divine harmony.


Cordyceps and Senior Citizen

Among traditional use of Cordyceps is for maintaining general health of the elderly people. Cordyceps is an adaptogen that is believed to have anti-infection properties to help ward off cold and other infections, thus is considered as immune booster. Those who suffer from renal problems also might be benefitting by this herb as the organs are link to the body’s defense function. It is said to be beneficial to the lungs, helping the users to breathe easier, without any discomfort and help clearing any congestion.


Chinese herbal practitioners also swear by its revitalizing effect on stamina and often prescribe Cordyceps as energy enhancer to the elderlies plague by tiredness and fatigue, as it improve circulation and elevate oxygen intake.


There are many ways to enjoy this nourishing yet sweet elixir. Some people prepare it in stew with ginseng and even chicken or fish during winter time. Some drink it with bird’s nest. One easy way to reap the amazing benefit is enjoying a cup of delicious and aromatic coffee imbued with functional Cordyceps sinensis extract.


MushRoaming, access on January 26, 2014


National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, access February 6, 2014


On the Trail of The Yak: Ancient Cordyceps in the Modern World,

John Holliday and Matt Cleaver

EarthPulse, access on January 26, 2014


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