Botanical Name: Cordyceps sinensis
Common Name: Yarshagumba, Jiwan buti
English Name: Cordycep, Caterpillar fungus
Parts Used: Fungus and insect larva
Habit and Habitat: Himalaya, China
Description: Fungus which comes out of the anterior end of a worm (caterpillar) during the monsoon period. The worm is seen living if the plant is collected in early monsoon. To detect the fructification of the plant which comes out of the ground among the grasses one has to bent down to keepone's eye to the grass level and see around. The plant looks like a small spike of Ophioglossum with dark brown fructification and yellowish white stalk 5-8 cm long.
Uses: This species is highly esteemed aphrodisiac, tonic, cardiotonic and expectorant. Its extract is used to cure migraine and in blood pressure.
References: A compendium of Medicinal Plants in Nepal by Sushim Ranjan Baral and Puran Prasad Kurmi (October' 2006)