Cordyceps Sinensis: The Himalayan Gold

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Cordyceps sinensis is a Chinese fungus used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for “lung protection” and “reproductive invigoration” as well as to balance the “Qi” – the fundamental “energy of life.” Cordyceps is also known as the Chinese caterpillar fungus because it is a parasitic organism that grows on a rare Tibetan caterpillar until the caterpillar dies and the mushroom sprouts from the caterpillar’s head. Owing to the herb’s high efficacy and potency in curing various diseases, it is well known as an important nourishing tonic.

Habitat & Range

Yarsagumba is extremely rare. It is distributed in the alpine region of the Himalayas at an elevation of more than 4000m. It is mainly found above the snowline in Dolpa, Jumla, Humla, Kalikot, Baglung, Mustang, Manang, and Rasuwa districts of western and central Nepal. Major confinement of this species in Jumla district is within Patarasi, Chhumchaur, Dillichaur and Patmara VDCs of eastern sector Chaudavisa river valley.

Production in Nepal

Nepal is the second largest supplier of this fungus, with official annual production standing at three tonnes. Yarsagumba was first collected in Nepal from Chakure Lek of Jumla in 1952. It’s trading, however, began in late 1980s in Dolpa.


Yarsagumba is harvested from June to August; the best time is late monsoon. To collect one has to look at grass level; the fungus has a small spike with dark brown fructification and yellowish white stalk. Collection is done by manual picking without using any tools regardless of age of Yarsagumba.




Increase libido of both men and women


Strengthen the immune system for tumor patients


Relieve exhaustion and fatigue


Strengthen muscles and body strength


Increase semen production


May help resolve joint pains


May help treat cancer


May help cure impotence


Has anti-ageing properties


Potential Anti-Tumor Effects


May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes


Can cure tiredness, chronic cough


May help treat Asthma


May Help Fight Inflammation


Decrease stress


Resists allergy

Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for 2000 years, the caterpillar fungus is a highly prized tonic, touted for its ability to increase energy and vitality, strengthen lung and kidneys, treat cancer and asthma, and, perhaps most famously, cure impotence and boost libido — it’s supposed aphrodisiac effects earning it the nickname “Himalayan Viagra.”


The taste is of mushroom, flavoursome, sweet and neutral in nature. It can be eaten plain or powdered, mixed with milk or water.


Doses of Yarsagumba

The recommended dose for a healthy person is 0.3-0.7g daily.

One can eat the whole mushroom in its original form or after making a drink by boiling in water for 20-30 minutes.

In the case of particular health problems, the dosages are often higher, and as per practitioner’s prescription.

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