Dong Chong Xia Cao ( Cordyceps )

Dong Chong Xia Cao (also known as Cordyceps sinensis or caterpillar fungus) is a parasite that grows on a particular type of caterpillar, feeding on the animal and then fruiting in the spring.

The traditional remedy used in China was actually a mixture of dead larva and fungus, although today Dong Chong Xia Cao is often cultivated on a grain base. In ancient China it was kept exclusively for use by the Emperor and his household and was cooked with roast duck to make therapeutic meals.

BOTANICAL NAME: Cordyceps sinensis

COMMON NAME: Caterpillar fungus

FAMILY NAME: C1avicipitaceae (fungus) Lepidoptera (caterpillar)

PARTS USED: The whole fungus on the larva of Hepialus armoriconus

TASTE: Sweet


MERIDIANS: lung, kidney

ACTIONS: Anti-cancer, anti-asthmatic, adrenal stimulant, antibacterial, sedative

TRADIT10NAl USES: • to nourish the lungs and strengthen the kidneys and essence (Jing) • to nourish lung yin and combat coughing

TYPICAL CHINESE DOSE: 6-9 grams (1/4 – 1/3 ounce)

COMBINATIONS: Usually cooked with duck, chicken, or pork as a tonic remedy for debility and weakened Wei Qi, It is also combined with Du Zhong and Yin Yang Huo for impotence and lower back pains associated with deficient kidney yang, and with Xing Ren (apricot seeds, Prunus armeniaca) and other herbs for coughs and asthma.

CAUTIONS Avoid in exterior/superficial syndromes

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