ABOUT WILD CORDYCEPS SINESIS IN NEPAL
C. sinensis is a black, blade-shaped fungus found primarily in the high altitudes on the Himalayan region in Nepal. Wild cordyceps is rare. This mushroom is parasitic and grows on and derives its nutrients from moth caterpillars. In the fall, the fungal mycelia infect the caterpillar. The fungal infestation kills the caterpillar by early summer of the following year, thus releasing the fruiting body. The wild form of C. sinensis is harvested, while the principal fungal mycelium ( Paecilomyces hepiali Chen) is cultivated aseptically.
The fruiting body and attached mycelium of cordyceps has been used in Chinese culture for centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is valued for its activity in restoring energy, promoting longevity, and improving quality of life. C. sinensis affects numerous human body systems including the circulatory, respiratory, and immune systems, as well as the liver, kidneys, and sex organs. Cordyceps has been used as an adjuvant in cancer therapy.
Seven classes of natural chemical constituents are found in wild C. sinensis including proteins, peptides, all essential amino acids, and polyamines; saccharides and sugar derivatives; sterols; nucleosides (including adenine, uracil, uridine, guanosine, thymidine, and deoxyuridine); fatty acids and other organic acids; vitamins (including B 1 , B 2 , B 12 , E, and K); and inorganic elements. Cordycepin and other adenosine derivatives, mannitol, several unique sterols and their glycosides, polysaccharides, and cyclic peptides have been identified.