Caterpillar Fungus: The Himalayan Remedy

By: Vaishnavi Barthwal 

It is an unlikely combination of caterpillar and fungus that occurs only in the highest Himalayan pastures

Cordyceps sinensis is an entomopathogenic fungus that parasitises the caterpillar, slowly killing and mummifying it

From the tiny corpse, a dark-coloured, stalk-like fruiting body a few centimetres long grows out of the victim’s head

It is normally described as ‘Natural Viagra’

In Asia's Chinese communities, it is promoted as a panacea that enhances energy and endurance, producing positive emotions

Yarsagumba is nicknamed 'Himalayan gold' due to its magical reputation as a remedy

Yarsagumba is known as an immune booster. It is also known as a great aphrodisiac

The district government issues permit for Yarsagumba collectors due to its high profitability

Researchers believe the antioxidant content of Yarsagumba may explain its anti-ageing potential

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