Cordyceps tea (冬虫夏草茶, Dōng Chóng Xià Cǎo Chá) is made from Cordyceps sinensis.
Cordyceps sinensis is also called Caterpillar fungus or Dong Chong Xia Cao (winter worm, summer grass). It is a special creature, which belongs to neither worms nor grass. It is a combination of Cordyceps sinensis and Hepialidae larvae (Ghost moths or Swift moths).
Table of Contents
- What Is Cordyceps Sinensis
- How to Make Cordyceps Tea
- Benefits of Cordyceps Tea
- Side Effects of Cordyceps Tea
What Is Cordyceps Sinensis
Cordyceps sinensis is mainly distributed in China, Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. It may also be found in northern India. China is the main planting area of Cordyceps sinensis in the world. In China, it 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, a spore fungus called “Cordyceps” will infiltrate the soil through rainwater, erode the larvae, absorb their nutrients, and frantically grow and reproduce until the whole worm’s body is stuffed, 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 become warm. The spore fungus parasitizing in the larvae will continue to grow and eventually grow out of the ground to form a 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 cordyceps tea is a very good and easy way of health care.
How to Make Cordyceps Tea
Cordyceps sinensis is not suitable to brew directly with boiling water. It is best to boil it in water so that most of the effective ingredients can be dissolved in the tea.
It is better to use a transparent glass kettle. The glass kettle is not as prone to chemical reactions as other utensils. On the other hand, you can observe the color change of cordyceps tea in the glass kettle.
Put 3-6 cordyceps in the glass kettle, add some water, and boil them for 6-10 minutes with low heat. Do not boil for too long, or the nutrition will be lost easily.
After drinking, you can continue to add water to the kettle to boil it. When the cordyceps tea has the darkest color, it is also the time when the nutrition is richest.
When the color of Cordyceps tea becomes lighter or even white, don’t add water to boil it. At this time, you can eat Cordyceps sinensis directly.
Benefits of Cordyceps Tea
Cordyceps sinensis is rich in a variety of nutrients, including cordycepin, cordyceps polysaccharide, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins, ergosterol, alkaloids, and also contains calcium, potassium, chromium, nickel, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, and other trace elements.
Benefits of cordyceps tea:
- Reduce fatigue
- Lower blood lipids
- Treat spermatorrhea
- Boost immune system
- Improve didney function
- Improve respiratory system
- Enhance hematopoietic function
The extract of Cordyceps sinensis can inhibit and kill tumor cells. The cordycepin contained in Cordyceps sinensis is the main component of the anti-cancer effect.
Boost Immune System
Cordyceps sinensis has the function of regulating the immune system. It can increase the number of cells and tissues in the immune system, promote the production of antibodies, and increase the number of phagocytes.
Improve Kidney Function
Cordyceps sinensis can prevent chronic kidney disease, improve kidney function, and reduce kidney damage caused by toxic substances.
Improve Respiratory System
Cordyceps sinensis has the functions of expanding bronchus, relieving asthma, preventing emphysema, and eliminating phlegm.
Enhance Hematopoietic Function
Cordyceps sinensis can enhance the ability of bone marrow to produce platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells.
Lower Cholesterol and Lipids
Cordyceps sinensis can lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, improve high-density lipoprotein which is beneficial to the human body, and prevent atherosclerosis.
Side Effects of Cordyceps Tea
Cordyceps tea has no obvious side effects, but some special people need to pay attention.
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.
Patients with inflammation or in a high fever state should not drink cordyceps tea, which will further increase the body temperature and not be good for the disease.