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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.716 CiteScore™: 2.6

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushr.v12.i4.100
pages 427-434

Ethnomycological Use of Medicinal Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Berk.) G. H. Sung et al. (Ascomycetes) in Northern Yunnan Province, SW China

Jiyue Chen
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Sangwoo Lee
International Biological Material Research Center, Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology
Yongqiang Cao
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Yanqiong Peng
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Daniel Winkler
EcoMontane Consulting
Darong Yang
Key Laboratory of Tropical Forest Ecology, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming, Yunnan, China

ABSTRACT

Ophiocordyceps sinensis is a well-known medicinal mushroom in traditional oriental medicine such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and traditional Tibetan medicine (TTM). It is endemic to alpine habitats on the Tibetan Plateau, located predominantly in Tibet and Tibetan autonomous prefectures of neighboring Provinces and the high Himalayas. This area includes parts of Northern Yunnan, but is inhabited by other ethnic groups. Although ethnopharmacological use among Tibetan people has been researched, such studies among other ethnic peoples are limited. This study aims to review the traditional uses of caterpillar fungus among Bai, Naxi, Lisu and Tibetan people living in the mountainous Northern Yunnan Province. Ethnomycological survey methods, interviews, participatory action research and field visits were conducted to elicit information on the uses of caterpillar fungus. In this paper, we have presented this traditional knowledge about collection, discovery, protection, and nutritional value, learned from these indigenous peoples. Of special interest is the range of diseases treated with O. sinensis and the corresponding methods of application. Furthermore, the diverse ethnic groups examined each have their own unique legends regarding O. sinensis.


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