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Ophiocordyceps sinensis

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Ophiocordyceps sinesis is a fungus that infects the larvae of moths. Harmless to humans, the fruiting body is considered an herbal remedy. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is used to treat kidney and lung disorders as well as erectile dysfunction.

The fungus, which is usually harvested with the corpse of the moth larva, is not cultivated and must be found in the wild. It generally can only be found in meadows at high altitude, typical of those in Tibet and Nepal. Because of the demand for it, the fungus is considered an endangered species and efforts have been made to protect it. However, in some areas, its harvest accounts for a substantial proportion of local economies, particularly since the price has risen to the range of $18 U.S. per gram. A single fungus can be worth more than the daily wage of an average laborer.

Ophiocordycep sinesis at Wikipedia

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