#ARTICLE~Legends of Cordyceps Sinesis

What is Cordyceps Sinensis? 

Chinese traditional medicine uses a variety of natural products to treat illness, among them Cordyceps Sinensis.

Cordyceps sinensis, colloquially known as Chinese Caterpiller fungus is a plant belonging to the ergot family.

In China, this extremely rare herb is known as the dong chong xia chao (Winter Worm, Summer Grass). It is also known as Aweto in China and Tibet, and as Yarchagumba in Tibet.

Belonging to the fungus category, the nutrients and active ingredients within the Cordyceps possess a variety of pharmacological properties that relates to almost every system in human body.

Cordyceps Sinensis is a species of southeast, mountainous China found only in altitudes above 2000 meters. Cordyceps sinensis spores are scattered by wind after maturation during the end of autumn.

It infects and slowly consumes the Hepialidae larva while feeding on roots.

The Cordyceps sinensis fungus grows and matures within the insect, absorbing the nutrients and soft tissues within the larva.

Gradually the larva dies and dark brown to black fruiting body emerges from the ground, growing out of the forehead of the larvae.

The long, usually columnar fruiting body has a reach of 3-5cm.

Cordyceps sinensis takes around six years to complete its life cycle. Therefore, natural Cordyceps sinensis is both rare and expensive.

Traditional and precious to Chinese medicinal herbology, ancient medical practitioners believed it was the potent cure to all illnesses.

However, for centuries, Cordyceps was exclusive for the Emperors due to its scarcity and high price.

Cordyceps sinensis has always been considered the premier agent in the Chinese culture.

With modern day advances and technological evolution, a medical breakthrough was discovered by Microenvironment Control Technology Research Center of Research Institute of Tsinghua University, Zhejiang Yangtze River Delta when they founded the artificial cultivation and reproduction of the fruiting bodies of fresh Cordyceps sinensis.

Cordyceps is now available in the market. It comes in a variety of range, suitable for the consumption of to all who seeks improved and increased quality of health and life.

Legends of Cordyceps Sinesis 

Legend has it that the Yung people, Tibetan herdsman, first discovered Cordyceps over a thousand years ago in the high plateaus of the region, thinking it was a type of grass.

They first noticed that animals grazing on a tiny, grass-like mushroom became more energetic and agile.

Even the older cattle showed signs of increased vigor. Intrigued, the herders began to harvest the mushroom and soon observed that human consumption seemed to yield similar benefits.

From that moment on, logic ensues and it was only a matter of time before the knowledge of the benefits of this miraculous herb was unlocked.

Chinese herbalists were among the first few who began to use Cordyceps for a host of human ailments.

However, the scarcity of the herb became an indefinite obstacle that made this cure-all panacea limited to the elites of the society.

Cordyceps Sinensis grows wild in the Tibetan Plateau, approximately 15,000 feet above the sea level.

The low oxygen levels in the extreme climate and inhospitable environment causes only the toughest and fittest of a few species survive in the harsh conditions.

The survivors are usually extremely adaptable, having developed powerful defenses against the elements.

Thus, the harsher the environment in which the mushroom is harvested, the higher the quality of the Cordyceps.

Harvesters of the Cordyceps consider the mushroom the “elixir of life” and to be worth “more than gold”. In the narrow window of 4 weeks between May and June during its season, expert foragers unearth less than 10 cordyceps mushroom per day.

The annual harvest of the highest grade cordyceps mushrooms worldwide is barely 660 pounds, making it one of the rarest, most precious mushrooms available.

Its scarcity and the nature of which the mushroom prevails explain why Cordyceps Sinensis was such an exclusive privilege of the Chinese royalty.

In the second century, B.C., the first Emperor of China used Cordyceps religiously as a tonic for longevity.

The legendary Chinese beauty Yang Kue-fei (701-756A.D) also took Cordyceps regularly, crediting the mushroom as her fountain of youth.

The historical use of cordyceps as an anti-aging herb in TCM dates back to 1700BC.

During China’s Chin Dynasty, one emperor is said to have paid an ounce of gold for a three days’ supply of the precious fungus.

Tibetan scholars wrote detailed description of Cordyceps in 15th and 18th century texts.

Only in 1726, at a scientific meeting was Cordyceps introduced to Europe.

Natural Cordyceps Sinensis takes about six years to complete its life cycle and consequently, the natural product is deemed extremely rare.

Due to the scarcity and high price of natural Cordyceps, researchers and scientists have long studied the reproduction of the mushroom in accessible conditions.

It was not until the recent medical breakthrough, discovered by Microenvironment Control Technology Research Center of Research Institute of Tsinghua University, Zhejiang Yangtze River Delta when they founded the artificial cultivation and reproduction of the fruiting bodies of fresh Cordyceps Sinensis, was the development of Cordyceps Sinensis products possible.

While other manufacturers may choose to utilize lower grade mushrooms that are easier to harvest, it only these select, highest grade Cordyceps Sinensis carefully developed and cultured by the Microenvironment Control Technology Research Center of Research Institute of Tsinghua University that AHB uses in our nutritional supplement.


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