The Live Cordyceps (जिउदो यार्सागुम्बा)

The Live Yarsagumba: Is it Possible?
Practically there is no possibility to get live yarsagumba but we can see the entire structural organ of caterpillar on freshly dug yarsagumba. Sometimes people could get the uninfected caterpillar for which they call live yarsagumba. That is nothing other than a live larva but even some people do not let it alive and chew it considering as yarsagumba. Click the video to watch the live cordyceps (caterpillar of himalayan bat moth).
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Himalayan Viagra: Myth and Fact
Yarsagumba is a unique combination of caterpillar of Himalayan bat moth and ascomycetes fungi. This deformed Nepali name from its original Tibetian name “Yarchakunbhu”. The Tibetian name is the combination of two words, having two parts each. In Tibetian Yar = summer, Cha = Grass and Kun = winter and Bhu = Worm, i.e. summer grass and winter worm. The name yarsagumba stands for cordyceps sinensis which is predominant in market. The mycelium hypha of this alpine medicinal mushroom is considered as excellent strengthening tonic for vitality, energy, libido, and immune enhancement. No wonder, it is beyond afford of general people. Once price was hiked up to 12000 US $/kilogram. Hongkong, Singapore, China, Taiwan are the main consumer of yarsagumba. More than 700 fungi related to yarsagumba are identified so far but only few have market value. Cordyceps sinensis has dominancy in the market.

Distribution of Cordyceps sinensis
Yarsagumba is found in all mountainous districts of Nepal. Dolpa, Darchula, Bajhang, Rukum, Taplejung, Manag, Sankhuwasabha, Dhading , Gorkha, Humla, Sindhupalanchowk are the main. Yarsagumaba collected beyond from timberline is considered to have best quality. Eleven species of cordyceps have been indentified in Nepal so far. Some people have reported that it has found even in the low altitude around 2400 masl in eastern Nepal. There is no any research related to chemical composition of yarsagumba has conducted so far. So how can a collector, business man and consumer know about the quality? People should not run just besides the mythological hype? Research should be carried out to find the scientific fact of quality.

Different Varities of Yarsagumba in Nepal

I have collected few yarsagumba from different sites Dolpa, Rukum and Sankhuwasabha. I have posted some photographs here. According to the trader, the actual price is determined by the size, colour, maturity and habitat type. The price was ranged from 30,000- 400000 NRs in 2008. It had crossed 700000 NRs in 2007.

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