Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Worm Grass (aka Vegetable Caterpillar)

This is the newest and hottest item of speculation in China right now, guess how much it is worth: 300,000 RMB per kilogram (for your reference, I just checked the live gold price and it was about 174,400 RMB per kilo). This "worm grass" is worth 1.7 times the price of gold.

But what the heck is it?

(http://news.xinhuanet.com/politics/2007-08/30/content_6637017.htm)

I turned to my good friend Wikipedia:

"Caterpillar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) is a species of parasitic fungus that grows on insect larvae from the genus Thitarodes. Its name is Chinese (dong chong xia cao 冬虫夏草) means "winter worm, summer grass".

"...The fungus invades the body of the Thitarodes caterpillars, eventually killing and mummifying it. The dark brown to black fruition body (or mushroom) emerges from the ground in spring or early summer..."

"...is highly prized by practitioners of Tibetan medicine, Chinese medicine and traditional herbal Fold medicines, in which it is used as an aphrodisiac and as a treatment for a variety of ailments, from fatigue to cancer. It is being regarded as having an excellent balance of yin and yang..."

I guess the magic word is "aphrodisiac" then.

Unfortunately, a trend like this in China will only lead to two things: one, the market will get flooded with fake worm grass and sooner or later someone is going to get really sick; two, the suppliers will just harvest the plant like crazy thereby disturbing the ecosystem of the Tibetan highlands, the place where worm grass is found. Apparently this is already happening, the overall production volume of worm grass is now 3.5% of that 25 years ago, and there is 61500 square kilometers of soil erosion around the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River's upstream in Tibet).

Sign....

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_caterpillar

http://shehui.daqi.com/ztnew/252679/1/index.html

9 comments:

veeru said...

i leave in indian himalaya.. at where these grass caterpillar are in quantity... anyone who is intrested to buy.. do contact me.. my email... vbodh@yahoo.com and ttsering2003@yahoo.co.in

prakash.nepal said...

I am from nepal . If any one intrested to buy catterpillar fungus then please contact me my email address is prakashdai_84@hotmail.com

Susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

In the long history of the traditional Chinese and their extensive developements, they accept two-three types of "Winter-Caterpiller-Summer-Grass" only, and they all grown only within the mountainous western China regions, any other grass caterpiller(s) from the indian mountainous regions have always been considered only as " impostors ".

laloo said...

Great post… Great info on bounce rates… I’ll have to write an entry about the same topic some day soon… Bounce rates can tell you alot…
I tend to look at the bounce rate and then look at the keywords that brought people to the site. Does the page answer the keyword question? If No then there is some work to do on that or a new more focused post.


websitedesigning

Sean said...

laloo: what in god's name are you talking about?

steven40peng said...

i'm a son of farmer living in Gansu. my family gather worm grass in plateau open country side since my great grandfather 1920. we are honor and sincerity worm grass farmer. we are looking for business opportunity over sea cause there are all exploiter in China. if you are interesting to purchase worm grass, please feel free to contact me.
my mail: steve40peng@gmail.com

steven40peng said...

sorry! correct my e-mail!
i'm a son of farmer living in Gansu. my family gather worm grass in plateau open country side since my great grandfather 1920. we are honor and sincerity worm grass farmer. we are looking for business opportunity over sea cause there are all exploiter in China. if you are interesting to purchase worm grass, please feel free to contact me.
my mail: steven40peng@gmail.com

tashi dhondup said...

,
< last few month i came from tibet and i have yartsa gonbu
so i want to sell this >,