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Cordyceps Sinensis|Dongchong Xiacao -Winter Worm, Summer Grass

Cordyceps Sinensis|Dongchong Xiacao -Winter Worm, Summer Grass.

The Chinese name for Cordyceps Sinensis is" Dongchangxiacao" which means 'winter worm summer grass'. Dongchangjiacao is also called 'Chongcao'. At least remember the name 'Changkao' because many Chinese people don't understand what Cordyceps means.

The author had this experience while going to China, the name did not come to mind at that time when went to buy Cordyceps. Finally, it was solved by pointing the finger at the container kept inside the showcase. One more thing important to mention the cost of natural cordyceps is not that much low what you are paying for the cordyceps supplements.

A container of 100-125 good quality capsules is available within 2-3 thousand rupees. It has been possible due to cultivating it on a large scale. Many companies engaged in manufacturing and/or distributing it in the form of supplements nowadays.

If you hear the price of natural cordyceps, you may not want to mention his name anymore. Even if many people sell the land, the desire to eat natural cordyceps will not be satisfied. I went to Nainital once in 2010 with a man named Shankar Acharya.

A rich man was sitting at home eating hot kachori and talking about various things. He had a cow for which he bought 1 kg cordyceps from a Bhutanese person for Rs 5 lakh to improve the health of his cow and get more milk.

The cow, however, was not fed till the end because even though he was a millionaire, he did not want to miss the opportunity to earn Rs 2 lakh from his investment of Rs 5 lakh. He sold it to a Chinese man for Rs 7 lakh- 2 lakh cash profit, thought how much more milk will the cow give? Samples were, however, shown to us and also uttered a name for it in Bhutanese.

First time I came to know that Cordyceps Sinensis is also found in Bhutan. At that time, my knowledge about cordyceps was not far off, I ate Chinese cordyceps and survived from sinus and semi- asthma. That's why the emotions and realization of its benefits I had, the rest of the knowledge was mostly based on listening.

There was not so much opportunity to study more about it and the opportunity to surf the internet and social media in India was too less at that time. Today, I am too emotional while writing about it.

Cordyceps, if you want to know the reason, why I am emotional, answering it will produce a novel. The problem in describing the personal experience is I was not habituated to typing. So let the issue stop here and move on to the purpose for which we started.

What is Cordyceps Sinensis|Dongchong Xiacao?

Cordyceps Sinensis Dongchong  Xiacao, Chinese caterpillar
 Chinese caterpillar, cordyceps. Image-Wikipedia.

Cordyceps Sinensis is the most expensive medicinal mushroom in the World Its Chinese name is Dongchong Xiacao which means 'Winter Worm, Summer Grass'. Basically, Cordyceps is a genus of ascomycete fungi. Most Cordyceps species are parasitic mainly on insects, a few are parasitic on other fungi.

Read Search Queries On Spirulina here.

The Generic Name of Cordyceps.

The name Cordyceps comes from the Latin words: cord and ceps, respectively, meaning “club” and “head.” It is also known as Chinese caterpillar fungi, Tochucaso in Japanese.

Availability Of Cordyceps Sinensis

Cordyceps is abundantly available in tropical forests and humid temperate regions. Cordyceps has been identified on six continents, in many habitats, and with similarly varied food sources.
Cordyceps includes about 400 species of the fungus are mostly available in Asian countries like CHINA, JAPAN, NEPAL, BHUTAN, VIETNAM, THAILAND, etc.

Users Of Cordyceps Sinensis

Among 400 species, Cordyceps Sinensis is considered the most popular tonic herb in TraditionalChinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries.

It has been a highly regarded cornerstone of Chinese medicine for centuries; one that reportedly has several far-reaching medicinal effects. Cordyceps has a long history as a rare and exotic medicinal fungus.

Most people in Western countries have only come to know about Cordyceps within the last 30[35 years. By that time, modern scientific methods have been significantly applied to the research and investigation of its ample range of medicinal applications t to validate what Chinese practitioners have noted for centuries.

Cost of Cordyceps Sinensis

It was beyond the reach of the common man because of its high price. Members of the Chinese royal family, as well as outstanding employees and other wealthy sects, could use it. 

Later, when its cultivation started, the demand continued to increase at an exponential rate and its price reached an incredible level. Today it is being used extensively in the western world as well.2008 price in San Francisco and other major  U.S.cities was as high as  $75,000  per kilogram.

Researches, Studies, and Investigations.

Several types of research and investigations have been made on cordyceps. One of the best research I'm referring to here to understand you better.

The extracts from one of the important research made by John Holliday* & Matt Cleaver Aloha Medicinals Inc., Carson City, NV 89706, USA, published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 10(3):219–234 (2008)1521-9437/08/$35.00© 2008 by Begell House, Inc are written below.


winter worms summer grass cater pillar
photo source screenshot from internet

History of Cordyceps and Traditional Uses

  • At the time of the Tang Dynasty, the first written record of the  Cordyceps species found in China- AD 620. Animal-plant-animal-plant-animal rotation continued. 
  • The substance to the once intangible allegorical narrative, which spoke of a  creature whose annual existence alluded to a transformation from animal to plant, in summer, and then again from plant to animal, in winter the transformation continues.
  • Tibetan scholars wrote of the healing animal/plant through the 15th  to 18th  centuries. 
  • The earliest objective and scientifically reliable depiction of the  Cordyceps mushroom was written by the author. Wu-Yiluo in the  Ben  Cao  Congxin  (“New  Compilation of  Materia Medica” ), during the Qing Dynasty in  1757. 
 Due to the high prices of the wild-collected attempts have long been made to cultivate  Cordyceps. 

 By the  mid-1990s,  the majority of  Cordyceps available in the world’s marketplace was artificially cultivated. 

Because of the development of modern biotechnology-based cultivation methods, the availability of this previously rare health supplement has greatly increased in the last 30/35 years. 

The  demand for  Cordyceps has  also compounded  exponentially, in this same time frame

dry cordycepcs
image source- BBC FUTURE

General Nutritional Components Of Cordyceps—Chemical Constituents

"Cordyceps spp. contains a broad range of compounds that are considered nutritional. It contains all of the essential amino acids, vitamins E and K, and the water-soluble vitamins B1, B2, and B1.

Besides, it contains many sugars, including mono-, di-, and oligosaccharides, and many complex polysaccharides, proteins, sterols, nucleosides, and macro- and microelements (K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Mn, Zn, Pi, Se, Al, Si, Ni, Si, Ti, Cr, Ga, V, and Zr'.

A. Potentially Bioactive Constituents

" Of the Species of Genus CordycepsCordycepin  [3′-deoxyadenosine]  and cordycepic acid  [d-mannitol] was the initial bioactive com-pounds first isolated from  C.  militaris.  Chen and  Chu14 announced the characterization of cordycepin (3′-deoxyadenosine ) and 2′-deoxyadenosine using nuclear magnetic resonance  (NMR)  and infrared spectroscopy (IR) in an extract of C. Sinensis. 

Other components found included various saccharides and polysaccharides, including cyclofurans, which are cyclic rings of five-carbon sugars, whose function is yet unknown; beta-glucans; beta-mannans; cross-linked beta-mannan polymers; and COMPLEX

polysaccharides consisting of both 5 and 6 carbon sugars joined together in branching chains, employing both alpha- and beta-bonds. These are true heteropolysaccharides.

Besides, many nucleosides have been found in Cordyceps, including uridine, several distinct structures of deoxyuridines, adenosine, 2′3′-deoxyadenosine, hydroxyethyl and-inosine, cordycepin [3′-deoxyadenosine], cordycepin triphosphate, guanidine, deoxyguanosine, and other altered and deoxygenated nucleosides, found nowhere else in nature.

Of particular note are various immunosuppressive compounds found in Cordyceps, including cyclosporin, a derivative of the species Cordyceps subsessilis [anamorph: Toly-palladium infalatum]. Other immunosuppressant compounds have also been found in Isaria Sinclair, a species closely related to Cordyceps.B. Polysics

B. PolysaccharidesIn the fungal kingdom, and particularly in Cordycepsspp., polysaccharides are perhaps the best known and understood of the medicinally active compounds.

Many polysaccharides and other sugar derivatives, such as cordycepic acid [d-mannitol], have been identified. Research has shown these polysaccharides to be effective in regulating blood sugar and to have antimetastatic and antitumor effects

C.Proteins and Nitrogenous CompoundsCordyceps spp. contains proteins, peptides, polyamines, and all essential amino acids. Also, Cordyceps spp. contains some uncommon cyclic dipeptides. 
D. SterolsA number of sterol-type compounds have been found in Cordyceps spp.: ergosterol, Delta-3 ergosterol, ergosterol peroxide, 3-sitosterol, daucosterol, and campesterol, to name a few.

E. Other ConstituentsTwenty-eight saturated and unsaturated fatty acids and their derivatives have been isolated from C.sinensis.

Polar compounds of C.sinensis extracts include many compounds of alcohols and aldehydes. Particularly interesting is the range of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons produced by most C. Sinensis strains as secondary metabolites.

These PAH compounds react with the polypropylene used in common mushroom culture bags, resulting in the production of byproducts toxic to C.sinensisand stunting growth as time progresses.

Eventually, these polypropylene/PAH byproducts kill the organism. For extended periods of growth, C. sinensismust is grown in glass or metal containers. The PAH compounds are present in the living culture, but they are volatile compounds and are lost upon."

Volume 10, Issue 3, 2008 225MEDICINAL VALUEOFTHE GENUSCORDYCEPS (FR.) LINK (ASCOMYCETES). A review and understanding of the medicinally active compounds.

"Several polysaccharides and other sugar derivatives, such as cordycepic acid [d-mannitol], have been identified. Research has shown these polysaccharides to be effective in regulating blood sugar,18, and to have antimetastatic and antitumor effects.C.

Proteins and Nitrogenous Compounds Cordyceps spp. contains proteins, peptides, polyamines, and all essential amino acids.

Besides, Cordyceps spp. contains some uncommon cyclic dipeptides, including cyclo-[Gly-Pro], cyclo-[Leu-Pro], cyclo-[Val-Pro], cyclo-[Ala-Leu], cyclo-[Ala-Val], and cyclo-[Thr-Leu]. Small amounts of polyamines, such as 1,3-diamino propane, cadaverine, spermidine, spermine, and putrescine, have also been identified.

D. SterolsA number of sterol-type compounds have been found in Cordyceps spp.: ergosterol, Delta-3 ergosterol, ergosterol peroxide, 3-sitosterol, daucosterol, and campesterol, to name a few."

C.sinensisand stunting growth as time progresses. Eventually, these polypropylene/PAH byproducts kill the organism. For extended periods of growth, C. sinensismust is grown in glass or metal containers.

The PAH compounds are present in the living culture, but they are volatile compounds and are lost upon drying. Although the usual rule that Cordyceps cannot be cultivated in polypropylene bags, new strains have been developed that produce far lower quantities of PAH, making their cultivation in plastic bags possible.

Therapeutic Applications, Indications, and Usage

"The range of therapeutic uses claimed for the Cordyceps species is far-reaching; although many of them have yet to be sufficiently investigated.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Cordyceps has been used to treat conditions including respiration and pulmonary diseases; renal, liver, and cardiovascular diseases; hypo-sexuality; and hyperlipidemia.

 It is also used in the treatment of immune disorders and as an adjunct to modern cancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiation treatment, and surgery)."

Cordyceps is believed by many, particularly in and around Tibet (its place of origin), to be a remedy for weakness and fatigue, and it is often used as an overall rejuvenator for increased energy while recovering from a serious illness.

Many also believe it to be a treatment for impotence, acting as an aphrodisiac in both men and women. Cordyceps is often prescribed for the elderly to ease general aches and pains.

TCM practitioners also recommend the regular use of Cordyceps to strengthen the body’s resistance to infections, such as colds and flu, and to generally improve the homeostasis of the patient.

Traditionally, Cordyceps has most often been used in the treatment of health issues related to or stemming from the kidneys and the lungs.

For example, it is used to ease a range of respiratory ailments: cough and phlegm, shortness of breath, bronchial discomfort, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.

Modern science is attempting to confirm the efficacy of Cordyceps for most of its traditional uses; however, most medical studies regarding its efficacy remain incomplete.

Today in the West, Cordyceps is most widely used by two groups of people: athletes and the elderly.

The use of Cordyceps by athletes stems from the publicity surrounding the performance exhibited by the Chinese Women’s Track and Field team at the Chinese National games in 1993.

In this competition, 9 world records were broken by substantial margins. At first, governing sports authorities suspected that a performance-enhancing drug had been used, but the team’s coach attributed their success to Cordyceps.

Research has shown that the use of Cordyceps results in an increase in cellular ATP.7,21 An increase in cellular ATP results in an increase in useful energy.

This is in contrast to the perceived increase in energy that occurs from the use of CNS stimulants, such as caffeine, ephedrine, and amphetamines, which ultimately results in an energy deficiency."
The above research has mentioned many other benefits of Cordyceps Sinensis that help understand the reasons for increasing demand despite the high cost of the worm-cum-grass.

Final Words

Cordyceps supplement is now available at an affordable price we need to take the opportunity.
Prevention is better than cure everyone knows that. with the advice of a doctor, we can intake cordyceps for strengthening the lungs.

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