Known for its magical medicinal benefits, Yarsagumba, (Ophiocoedyceps Sinesis) is a type of fungus endemic to the Himalayan region. It is also called Yart Swa Gun Bu, which in Tibetan means ‘herb in the summer and insect in the winter’. In Nepali it is referred to by the colloquial term Yachagumbu or Yaxagumbu while the Chinese call it Dong cong xia cao. But this rare fungus is sadly on the verge of extinction due to the alarming increase in smuggling and over grazing of cattle and yaks. This in turn has led to the price of this scarce fungus to skyrocket, fetching up to Rs. 50 lakh per kg! Read on to find out more about this pricey fungus.
Is it an insect? Is it grass? Oh! Look its Yarsagumba!
Four hundred species of fungus, all rolled into one
It’s life cycle is rather complicated
Pretty rare to find
The penicillin of Tibetan and Chinese medicine
Facing extinction, it is illegal to harvest
The wonder bug with a mythological connect
Known by many names, found in relative abundance in the Devbhoomi
Sold for Rs 50-freaking-lakh per kilogram!
It is one of the biggest natural mysteries of the Great Himalayas
Just like everything that’s in high demand, this wondrous plant-slash-bug will soon go extinct and little is being done to prevent it. Nepal has long been fighting the ill-effects of over harvest. This is a medicinal wonder and a biological marvel, and therefore, needs to be preserved.