Yartsa Gunbu (Cordyceps sinensis) and the Fungal Commodification of Tibet’s Rural Economy

  title={Yartsa Gunbu (Cordyceps sinensis) and the Fungal Commodification of Tibet’s Rural Economy},
  author={D{\'a}niel Winkler},
  journal={Economic Botany},
  • D. Winkler
  • Published 23 October 2008
  • Biology
  • Economic Botany
Yartsa Gunbu (Cordyceps sinensis) and the Fungal Commodification of Tibet’s Rural Economy. Cordyceps sinensis is a mushroom that parasitizes larvae of Thitarodes (Hepialus) moths, which inhabit the alpine grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau. Tibetans have used the mushroom, which they call yartsa gunbu (“summer-grass, winter-worm”) for many centuries, if not millennia. A 350% increase in the price paid to pickers between 1997 and 2004 has turned this tiny mushroom into the single most important… 
Steps towards Sustainable Harvest of Yartsa Gunbu (Caterpillar Fungus, Ophiocordyceps sinensis)
Summary Caterpillar fungus (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is an insect-parasitizing fungus endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayas. It has become the most important source of cash income in wide
Distribution, Harvesting, and Trade of Yartsa Gunbu (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) in the Sikkim Himalaya, India
Cordyceps has significantly improved the socioeconomic status of the mountain people in the Sikkim Himalaya, India, but an upsurge in demand and its price has resulted in overexploitation and
People, money, and protected areas: the collection of the caterpillar mushroom Ophiocordyceps sinensis in the Baima Xueshan Nature Reserve, Southwest China
The caterpillar mushroom Ophiocordyceps sinensis (syn. Cordyceps sinensis) is among the most valuable mushrooms in the world, and plays a major role for the local economies in its distribution area
The spatial distribution of Ophiocordyceps sinensis suitability in Sanjiangyuan Region
Ophiocordyceps sinensis is one of rare fungal species parasitizing the larvae of a moth of the genus Thitarodes (Hepialus), which mainly lives in the Tibetan Plateau of China ( including Tibet,
A review of Chinese Cordyceps with special reference to Nepal, focusing on conservation
Molecular analyses and the development of microsatellite markers would allow for the authentication of this medicinal fungus, differentiating it from several closely related Cordyceps species, thus preventing falsification and discouraging illicit trade and the marketing of available counterfeits.
Advances in research of the artificial cultivation of Ophiocordyceps sinensis in China
The reproduction of moth larvae of the genus Hepialus is first described, which includes their ecological characteristics and the methods of artificial feeding and the potential application of modern biotechnology to the artificial cultivation is analyzed in prospect.
dByar rtswa dgun ’bu, “summer grass – winter worm”, is diffused over a large part of the Tibetan plateau and the Himalayan mountains. Tibetans have likely known it since ancient times and have seen
Rapid Vulnerability Assessment of Yartsa Gunbu (Ophiocordyceps sinensis [Berk.] G.H. Sung et al) in Pithoragarh District, Uttarakhand State, India
Any resource of high value and relevance to rural livelihoods is at risk of overexploitation. The anthropogenic pressure on the caterpillar fungus, Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Berk.) G.H. Sung, J.M.
Cordyceps: A Highly Coveted Medicinal Mushroom
With the discovery of the incredible diversity of entomogenous fungi in Peru, many new candidate species are now being researched for their medicinal properties and the potential for cultivation, in an effort to commercialization as substitutes for increasingly rare O. sinensis.


Notes on the alpine Cordyceps of China and nearby nations
There are 3 taxa with morphological features which do not correspond with any of the hitherto described taxa of the genus COTdyceps, which are described and ilustrated as new, Cordyceps nepalensis.
[Resources and distribution of Cordyceps sinensis in Naqu Tibet].
The investigation showed that the yearly yield of Cordyceps sinensis are 7000 kg, the distribution areas are Baqin, Suoxian, Biru, Jiali, Naqu and Nierong county; the ecological geographical distribution is affected mainly by vegetation, soil, temperature and humidity.
The scientific rediscovery of an ancient Chinese herbal medicine: Cordyceps sinensis: part I.
This review presents Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc., a fungus highly valued in China as a tonic food and herbal medicine. The extant records show the continued use of C. sinensis is now centuries
Wild edible fungi : a global overview of their use and importance to people
  • E. Boa
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
Information is provided that will help forestry technicians, nutritionists, natural resource planners, policy makers and other stakeholders concerned appraise the opportunities and constraints in promoting the sustainable use of wild edible fungi.
A Standard System of Tibetan Transcription
Conservation through community use of plant resources Establishing collaborative management at Bwindi Impenetrable and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks, Uganda
Biodiversity conservation in Uganda has strengthened as the country has emerged from political instability. From 1991-1993, six new forest national parks were declared, adding to the four existing
Phylogenetic classification of Cordyceps and the clavicipitaceous fungi
Most diagnostic characters used in current classifications of Cordyceps were not supported as being phylogenetically informative; the characters that were most consistent with the phylogeny were texture, pigmentation and morphology of stromata.