Cordyceps – The Gold Of The Himalayas
“Yartsa Goenbub” is the local term for Cordyceps (Cordyceps Sinensis) which thrives at altitudes between 4000 to 5000 meters above sea level in Bhutan.
The classification of Cordyceps are done through its color and size. The young fruit bodies before they make their spores are golden yellow in color making it commercially valuable. The mature fruit bodies although are biologically valuable, considered poor quality in the market. In terms of size, Cordyceps are generally categorized as small, medium and big.
Each year under the rugged and bitter conditions of the high altitudes collectors spend four weeks in May-June collecting Cordyceps.
The benefits the Bhutanese collectors and exporters have acquired from the legalized collection and export of a high value medicinal plant found growing and flourishing in high altitudes of the Country. The government also initiates certain measures to promote sustainable management, whereby only the villagers from cordyceps growing areas are entitled for the collection at the given time in season monitored by the local leaders and forestry officials. Although the collectors and exporters share the profits, the royalty collection has given the government a substantial reap. There are checks maintained for illegal trades and duplication.
Uses of Cordyceps
Traditionally cordyceps has been used as a tonic for promoting longevity, vitality and endurance. Cordyceps has properties similar to Ginseng, being used to strengthen body and mind. Medicinal value of this fungus is endless as it is also good for reinforcing the lungs and kidneys, breathlessness, asthma, joint pains, dizziness, impotence, debility, anemia, to build the bone marrow and reduce excess phlegm. Which is why athletes around the world are opting it as a tonic for better performances.
In the mainstream media publications cordyceps gained the national publicity because of its use by the Chinese women athletes engaged in breaking world records. According to the Chinese cordyceps is able to “increase the primary motive force for life activities”.