Found in the Himalayas, Tibet and Qinghai's high-altitude grasslands, the caterpillar fungus
, as cordyceps is also known, has become the most important source of income for local communities, offering hundreds of seasonal jobs for the poor and a path to riches for commercial harvesters.
A PRIZED caterpillar fungus
that is more valuable than gold and is nicknamed 'Himalayan Viagra' in Asia, where it is seen as a wonder drug, is becoming harder to find due to climate change, researchers said on Monday.
What is the Chinese caterpillar fungus
Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Ophiocordycipitaceae)?
Summary: Trade insiders say a single caterpillar fungus
sells in India for about $4 to $7, while traders sell it to wholesalers or exporters for $12,000 to $18,000 a kg
Growth and cultural-morphological characteristics of vegetative mycelia of medicinal caterpillar fungus
Ophiocordyceps sinensis G.H.
Small wonder, then, that remedies are highly prized, though who knew that a rare curative like caterpillar fungus
was selling for $75,000 per kilo back in 2008?
And people on the Tibetan Plateau in Bhutan make a living selling caterpillar fungus
to the traditional-medicine industry.
Her coach Ma Junren claimed daily marathons at altitude and traditional tonics of turtle's blood and caterpillar fungus
were behind his athletes' stunning times.
As with every year, thousands of people undertook a treacherous two-day journey from many different districts like Rukum, Dolpa, Baglung, Myagdi and Dolpa to get to Pupal; trekking uphill, some carrying infants to participate in the harvesting of the precious caterpillar fungus
known as Yarsagumba in the region.
Kathmandu, Sha'ban 07, 1435, June 05, 2014, SPA -- Five people foraging for the caterpillar fungus
- also known as Himalayan viagra, prized for its aphrodisiacal properties - died on Thursday due to altitude sickness, dpa quoted police as saying.
Seriously, they did actually drink a tea made from caterpillar fungus
The 50-member delegation, consisting of Tibetan business people, artists and government employees, will bring highland barley, Thangka-a kind of Tibetan scroll painting featuring Buddhist themes, cashmere kataks and Tibetan herb including the precious caterpillar fungus
, believed to be a medicinal cure-all.