Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi, the most famous of which is the vegetable caterpillar - Cordyceps sinensis. The Cordyceps sinensis is called as dong chong xia cao in mandarin.
[ Dong chong xia cao s growth ]: Dong chong xia cao, its abbreviation - chong cao which means vegetable caterpillar. As the name suggests, in winter it is an insect while in summer it is a grass; mainly produce in the Qinghai Yushu and Tibet Naqu of Tibetan Plateau (4,000 meter above sea level) which is the most famous and good quality. The dong chong xia cao is seen firstly in the herbs dictionary 'Herb Anew' (cao ben chong xin) and 'Native Chinese Plants lost articles' (ben cao gang mu shi yi); it is formed as a result of invasion of large underground caterpillars (larva of ghost moths) by cordyceps fungus, the fungus ramifies through the host tissue, eventually completely consuming it and replacing the caterpillar body with fungal tissue, growing in the caterpillar s body. The young larva still looked like a caterpillar in thw winter, the fungus rapidly grows after winter during the spring, while around May and June, the fungus grows a usually columnar fruiting body that reaches the surface (2-5cm cylindrical shaped pouch) and releases spores from its pouch, presumably as its infective stage. Then, again it invades other caterpillar, thereupon produces the new cordyceps.
[ Dong chong xia cao s medicinal value ]: Vegetable caterpillars have long been valued as traditional Chinese medicine , being regarded as having an excellent balance of yin and yang (through being apparently both animal and vegetable). 'Book on Chinese medicine' (ben cao chong xin) records: 'The dong chong xia cao has wonderful effect: nourishes the lung s yin, invigorates the kidney s yang, stops coughs and dissolves the phlegm'. As mentioned earlier, the cordyceps has perfect usage of yin and yang solely, it balances evenly between yin and yang; the cordyceps is one of the three superb tonics together with the ginseng and the pilose antler.
The modern medical research authority also discovered that the cordyceps can enhance the organism immunity function, increase disease-resistant ability and is one kind of rare precious traditional Chinese medicine, its usage and value will certainly be recognised by more and more people in the future.
The wild cordyceps are expensive due to its unique functions, and furthermore because it is only produced at the high altitude mountain and wilderness with extremely limited quantity which makes it more precious. Nowadays, wild cordyceps are found only at Qinghai Yushu and Tibet Naqu domestically, and are the highest quality and the most famous one.
[ Dong chong xia cao essential component ]: cordyceps acid, cordycepin, amino acid, sterol, mannitol, alkaloid, vitamin B1, B2, polysaccharides and mineral substances and so on.
The Yushu Tibetan autonomous state (abbreviation Yushu state) is located at the north west of Qinghai Province, its north is neighbouring with Haixi Mongolian Tibetan autonomous state, its east is interlinked with the Guoluo Tibet autonomous state, its southeast is bordering with the Sichuan Ganmu Tibetan autonomous state, it s south and southwest are crossing with the Changdu and Naqu region of Tibetan autonomous state, while it s northwest corner is linking with Bayin Guoleng Mongolian autonomous state of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.
The Naqu area is located at north of the Tibet autonomous region, its north is crossing with the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region and the Qinghai Province border, its east is neighbouring with Changdu area, it s south meets 3 cities: Lhasa, Linzhi, and Rikeze, while its west is connected with the Ali area.
Naqu in Tibet language means 'black river'; the entire area is situated in the middle of Tanghla, Nianqing Tanglha and Gangdise mountain range, Daerguo snow mountain in the west and Buji snow mountain in the east takes the form of two fierce lions which are protecting this treasure land. This piece of land area exceeds 400,000 square kilometers, is the Qiang pond which the people often said. The entire terrain is higher in west than east which is gradually inclines; west high, center even, east is low, average elevation is about 4,500 meters above sea level. Its mid-west terrain is vast smooth with lots of hills and basin, while the Xingluoqibu lake and rivers passing in between; its east is a river valley region with numerous of mountains canyon, it is the only crops production area of north Tibet, and has a few forest resources and bush pasture, its altitude is between 3,500 -4500 meter above sea level, the climate is better than the mid-west.
The wild cordyceps live at mountains lawn where are three or four kilometers above sea level, it nourishes the lung, restore vital energy, invigorates kidney and brain.
Gufang Chinese medicine complicated diseases research centre provides fine quality cordyceps, and therefore has gained consumers high praise with its good prestige, consequently the cordyceps sales volume has rises year by year. At present, the cordyceps are a best-seller in China including Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia area.
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