Few of our herbs come with such dramatic tales. Cordyceps (Dong Chong Xia Cao) is an incredible and powerful medicinal. Its value is so great that it sparked violent clashes between rival pickers, and in some areas has been gathered to the brink of extinction. The species we carry is a cultivated Cordyceps militaris, therefore avoiding rival clashes of the gatherers. Caterpillar not included! Read the full story in The Guardian.
With steadily increasing demand amongst China’s new wealthy, and decreasing yields due to excessive gathering, wild Cordyceps is almost unheard of in the U.S. import market. While wild Cordyceps is produced when the Cordyceps sinensis fungus infects the Hepialus amoricanus moth and subsequently sprouts from the moth’s body, the cultivated variety, Cordyceps militaris, is grown in jars.
The wild and cultivated varieties are similar in chemical composition, taste, and smell, and are considered to have the same medicinal properties. Coryceps is often included in decoction, is a popular choice for tincturing, and can added to soups as a delicious complement to chicken or duck.