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The Amazing Cordyceps Mushroom

The Amazing Cordyceps Mushroom

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Published by SyncOrSwim
One of the Chinese emperor's favorite herbal medicines was a remarkable fungus that grew out of insects in the frigid meadows of Tibet. The emperors prized cordyceps for increased stamina and as a sexual tonic among other things. The story of how cordyceps was discovered by the Weest is a fascinating tale.
One of the Chinese emperor's favorite herbal medicines was a remarkable fungus that grew out of insects in the frigid meadows of Tibet. The emperors prized cordyceps for increased stamina and as a sexual tonic among other things. The story of how cordyceps was discovered by the Weest is a fascinating tale.

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Published by: SyncOrSwim on Nov 10, 2010
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04/22/2011

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On the Trail of The YakAncient Cordyceps in the ModernWorld
John HollidayMatt CleaverJune 2004
 
 2
 
Illustration on the cover –
Cordyceps caustrali
growing out of an ant
 
Click on the left edge of any page to bring up an interactive table of contents
 
 3
Introduction
Cordyceps
is a rare and exotic medicinal mushroom, known in China for centuries. One that reportedlyhas a number of far reaching medicinal effects. Most people in the West have come to know this rareherbal medicine in only the last twenty years or so. During that time, modern scientific investigation intoits seemingly miraculous range of healing powers has proven what Chinese practitioners have noted forcenturies: That it works well in combating a myriad of medicals problems. This chapter is an overview of the description and uses for this once rare medicinal treasure.
Name and general description
A medicinal herb of long and illustrious history,
Cordyceps sinensis
is an Ascomycetes fungus closelyrelated to the mushrooms. While not actually a mushroom in the taxonomic sense, it has been regarded as,and called, a medicinal mushroom throughout history. We will continue that tradition in this paper –referring to it as a mushroom. Please excuse such literary license.The name
Cordyceps
comes from the Latin words:
cord 
and
ceps
, meaning "club" and "head",respectively. The Latin conjugation accurately describes the appearance of the club fungus,
Cordycepssinensis
, whose stroma or fruitbody extend from the mummified carcasses of insect larvae, usuallycaterpillar larva of the Himalayan Bat Moth,
 Hepialis armoricanus
.In historical and general usage the term “
Cordyceps
” usually refers specifically to the specific species
Cordyceps sinensis,
but there are also many other closely related species that come under the general termof 
Cordyceps
. While
Cordyceps sinensis
may be the species of 
Cordyceps
that is most well knownthroughout the world, there are many other species in the genus
Cordyceps
in which modern science hasfound valuable medicinal properties in as well. In this paper we will generally use the term
Cordyceps
 without the species designator, as many of the different species of 
Cordyceps
fit the description and usesrevealed herein. Where a specific species designation is important, that species name will be given aswell.
 

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