What is that golden in color thing? Is it a dried bug? For those who do not know, this is Cordyceps militaris. Most people know Cordyceps sinensis aka Dong Chong Xia Cao more than this species.
For your information, there are about 400 species of Cordyceps, some species are considered to be medicinal mushrooms in Asian pharmacology. Cordyceps militaris is one of them. Let me share with you my brief understanding.
Cordyceps militaris is one of the most important and well known medicinal mushrooms.
- It is known to the Chinese as Bei Chong Cao.
- It is characterized by the production of orange to orange-red coloured stroma that erupts from the body of the host.
- It is commonly known as orange caterpillar fungus.
- The natural fruiting bodies of Cordyceps Militaris are very rare and costly to collect.
- It has chemical capacities similar to those of C. sinensis.
- Unlike C. sinensis, C. militaris’s stromata can be easily cultivated and the large scale production of stromata is receiving substantial attention.
- Commercial development has focused on C. militaris because of its excellent pharmaceutical effect and short production period.
- Because cultivation on insects is costly, fruiting-bodies of C. militaris are mainly cultivated on artificial media in which rice is the main component. However it has been considered that insect-grown C. militaris to be far superior.
- C. militaris has been increasingly viewed as a substitute for C. sinensis because of their similar chemical capacities and medicinal properties.
Cordyceps militaris cultures have two main uses:-
As HEALTH PRODUCTS and DRUGS
- C. militaris fruiting-bodies and mycelia can be used as health products and drugs.
- In China, many health products contain C. militaris, and these include oral liquids, capsules, wines, vinegars, teas, yogurt, and soy sauce.
- Cultures of C. militaris are also used to produce drugs for maintenance of kidney and lung function, anti-aging, regulation of sleep, and chronic bronchitis.
- Currently, more than 30 kinds of C. militaris health products and drugs are available on the market.
Directly consumed as FOOD
- The fruiting-bodies can be directly consumed as food.
- C. militaris can be used in stewed chicken, stewed duck, soup, hot pot, tea and so on.
- Use of C. militaris in soup is very popular in Southeast Asia, especially in Guangdong, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, China.
- This use has been shown to be safe if consumption is less than 2.5 g/kg of body weight
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- The medicinal fungus Cordyceps Militaris: research and development – Mycol Progress DOI 10.1007 (2012)
- Image credit: www.scientifictradition.com
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(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist and I do not claim to cure any cause, condition or disease. All information is intended only to help you cooperate with your doctor, in your efforts toward desirable weight levels and health. Only your doctor can determine what is right for you. You should always do what is right for your own personal life.)