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Cordyceps, Winter Worm, Summer Grass Chinese Herb - Information and Benefits

Cordyceps is a group of approximately 400 species of fungus that grows across Asia. It looks like a worm at times and a grass at times, depending on the season. As a result, it is called "winter worm, summer grass" in Chinese medicine; it looks like a worm in winter and looks like grass in summer. Cordyceps has been a part of Chinese herbs for several centuries, but the roots of its medicinal value lie in Tibet. One other form of this medicinal plant demonstrates the strange ways of Mother Nature.

This Chinese herb

Cordyceps sinensis is one strange creature or Chinese herb. It is the figurative fruit of a parasitic relationship between a caterpillar and the fungus Cordyceps. The caterpillars live underground in Tibet and China. When they feed on the roots of the Cordyceps fungus, they are infected with fungus spores. The spores then start growing inside the infected creature's body, replacing the tissue with its own. What follows next is even tranger. When the caterpillar is about to die, the fungus somehow commands it to move to the surface. When the caterpillar finally expires near or on the surface, the spores are exposed from within its decaying body and thus it propagates itself. The Tibetans and Chinese handpick the infected caterpillars and dry them for use in medicine. It is considered as having an excellent balance of yin and yang, since it appears to be both an animal and a plant at once. This Chinese herb is also known by the name deer fungus, because of the antler-like appearance of the branching limbs of the fungus.

On a side note, insects like ants can also be infected by this Cordyceps. The behavior modification effects of the fungus also cause them to behave in particular ways before death. The insects climb plants and attach themselves to it, and then die. The fungus then has a maximized chance to spread its spores far and wide.

Chinese herbs, both forms - "plant" form and "worm" form - are used for pretty much the same things. It was believed to be a panacea of sorts, a medicine to cure any and all illness; after all, it had a great balance of yin and yang. Most notable of the supposed effects was the ability to improve male sexual performance. The Chinese medicinal ideology work on the idea "if it looks like a body part, it is good for that body part". As such, the elongated, slightly curved appearance of either form looked like a man's stimulated genitals and so they thought "it must be good for that".

What are the effects?

It is believed effects are an ability to improve all systems of the body: slow aging, boost immune responses, and increase strength and power - all related to the life energy qi. Even angina, high cholesterol levels and cancer are said to be cured by this wonder drug.

There is still much about Cordyceps that modern science does not have knowledge of. Recent research has shown that there are some detrimental substances in it but other than that, very little is actually known. It appears the oddity of the Chinese herb Cordyceps's existence extends to its effects on the body.


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