Cordyceps tea is made from Cordyceps sinensis which is also called Caterpillar fungus or Dong Chong Xia Cao (winter worm, summer grass). It is a special creature that neither belongs to worm or grass. It is a combination of Cordyceps and Hepialidae larvae (Ghost moths or Swift moths).
Cordyceps sinensis is mainly distributed in China, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. It may also be found in northern India. China is the main producing area of Cordyceps sinensis in the world, which is mainly distributed in high altitude areas of 3,000-5,000 meters in Tibet, Qinghai, Sichuan Gansu, and Yunnan.
Every winter, ghost moths lay their eggs in shrubbery or grass at the foot of snowy mountains, and hatch their larvae in the soil.
Coincidently, at this time and in this environment, a spore fungus called “Cordyceps” will infiltrate the soil through rainwater, erode the larvae, suck the material from them, and frantically grow and reproduce until the whole worm’s body is filled, which is the origin of “winter worm”.
By the summer of the next year, the snow and ice on the plateau will melt and the climate will warm. The spore fungus parasitizing in the larvae will continue to grow, and eventually grow out of the ground to form grass-like substance, which is the origin of “summer grass”.
The “worm body” of Cordyceps sinensis is in the soil, and the “grass body” is on the ground. At this time of the year, a large number of people go to the grassland to dig up Cordyceps sinensis.
Cordyceps sinensis is traditional Chinese medicine and Tibetan medicine with high medicinal and nutritional value. Making tea with Cordyceps sinensis is a very good and easy way of health care.
1. How to make Cordyceps tea
Cordyceps sinensis is not suitable for brewing directly with boiling water. It is best to boil it in water, so that most of the effective substances can be dissolved in the tea.
It is better to use a transparent glass kettle. The glass will not absorb nutrients and flavors like the purple clay teapot, and it will not produce chemical reactions as easily as other utensils. At the same time, the color change of Cordyceps tea in the kettle can also be observed.
Put 3-6 Cordyceps in the glass kettle, add some water and boil them for 6-10 minutes with gentle heat. Do not boil for too long, or the nutrition will be lost easily.
After drinking, continue to fill the kettle with water. When the color of Cordyceps tea is the deepest, it is the time of the richest nutrition. Don’t drink when the color of Cordyceps tea becomes pale or even white, and you can eat the Cordyceps.
It is better not to mix Cordyceps sinensis with other herbs that have an effect on clearing heat to make tea, such as Houttuynia cordata, forsythia, dandelion, honeysuckle, chrysanthemum, etc. Otherwise, the medicinal effect of Cordyceps sinensis will be weakened.
2. Health benefits of Cordyceps tea
Cordyceps sinensis is rich in a variety of nutrients, including cordycepin, cordyceps polysaccharide, protein, fatty acids, vitamins, ergosterol, alkaloids, and also contains calcium, potassium, chromium, nickel, manganese, iron, copper, zinc and other trace elements.
Cordyceps sinensis has the function of regulating the immune system. It can increase the number of cells and tissues in the immune system to promote the production of antibodies and increase the number of phagocytic and killing cells and enhance their functions to make them in the best state.
The extract of Cordyceps sinensis can inhibit and kill tumor cells. The cordycepin contained in Cordyceps sinensis is the main component of its anti-tumor effect.
Regulating respiratory system
Cordyceps sinensis has the functions of expanding bronchus, relieving asthma, preventing emphysema and eliminating phlegm.
Regulating kidney function
Cordyceps sinensis can reduce chronic kidney disease, improve kidney function, and reduce kidney damage caused by toxic substances.
Regulating blood lipids
Cordyceps sinensis can reduce cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, improve high-density lipoprotein which is beneficial to the human body, and reduce atherosclerosis.
Enhancing hematopoietic function
Cordyceps sinensis can enhance the ability of bone marrow to produce platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.
In addition, Cordyceps has the functions of anti-aging, sedation, anti-fatigue, and treatment of impotence and spermatorrhea.
3. Side effects of Cordyceps tea
Cordyceps tea has no obvious side effects, but some special people need to pay attention.
Menstrual women are not suitable to drink Cordyceps tea.
Pregnant women should drink Cordyceps tea under the guidance of doctors. It is safe and beneficial for postpartum women to drink Cordyceps tea.
Baby should not drink Cordyceps tea, otherwise, it will affect its growth and development.
Patients with inflammation or in a high fever state should not drink Cordyceps tea, which will further increase the body temperature and not good for the disease.