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You've probably heard about how cordyceps worth even more than gold. But what is the real attraction of this hardy herb that makes it so highly prized?
Even animals recognise the value of cordyceps. Himalayan yak herders first discovered that their animals became remarkably energetic and invigorated after grazing on an unidentified brown grass-like mushroom, growing from the head of a caterpillar.
Being stranded in a storm, your chances of survival look bleak. Yet a certain lucky Tibetan shepherd narrowly escaped the clutches of death, after finding and eating cordyceps. Cordyceps had helped him regain his energy and escape the storm. Marvelled villagers then named the sprout 'Yartsa Gunbu' - 'Winter Worm, Summer Grass', for its life-giving properties. Then therapeutic effects of cordyceps were first recorded in the oldest Tibetan medical dictionary in 710 AD.
While money is transacted in dollars and cents, energy is transacted in Adenoise-Triphosphate (ATP). ATP is high-energy molecule present in every single body cell and stores the energy we need to do just about anything and everything. It is also responsible for other essential body functions like muscle contraction, metabolism and cell growth. When our body systems are imbalanced (hormone disorders, improper nutrition, stress-related discomfort etc). ATP levels can be depleted at faster rate than they can be replenished. Energy levels drop and fatigue sets in. Cordyceps acts like a shot of caffeine to our lifeless bodies by increasing ATP levels which in turn translates to more energy throughout your day. And unlike caffeine which wears off shortly, the effects of cordyceps are longer-lasting, which means you can enjoy a constant state of vitality.
As cordyceps typically grows 10,000 square feet in the pristine wilderness of the mountainous regions of China, Tibet and Nepal, the harvesting of cordyceps involves precarious situations of scaling high altitudes and braving sub-zero temperatures. Due to its scarcity and highly treasured properties for healing and longevity, in ancient China, Cordyceps was exclusively set aside for consumption by emperors.
Despite cordyceps' literal translation from its Chinese name - 'Winter Worm-Summer Grass', cordyceps is neither a worm nor a grass. Instead, it is a unique fungus that feeds on a worm (Ghost moth larvae). In a somewhat cruel fashion, the fungus slowly replaces the host tissue of the hibernating worm during the winter months, making this completion during the summer months, where a grass-like shoot erupts from the head of the fungus, thus giving the name 'Winter Worm-Summer Grass' a symbolic significance.
At the Chinese National Games in 1993, a group of female athletes from Northeast China won a series of medals and broke no less than 17 world records! Shocked, disbelieving outsider raised suspicion, claiming the athletes' excellent performance was owed to steroid abuse. Truth be told, the 'big secret' was simply a cordyceps drink which their coach revealed was taken regularly as part of the training regime.
Just like how greyish-white hair is a splendid indication of ripe old age, the highest grade of rare wild cordyceps produces a greyish-white powder. This colour is the distinguishing mark of quality from the best of rare wild cordyceps - something that is also shared by our new Pure Cordyceps™.
In this article, we discuss the sustainability problem regarding the harvesting of wild cordyceps, and why a cultivatable variety is thus importa