A new mushroom species is touted to be of medicinal value, which has led to prices of no less than Rs 150,000 per kg (€1.650). The cordyceps militaris is presented as a new breed of mushroom, but it has always been part of Chinese and Tibetan herbal medicines. It has now been successfully cultivated by Gujarat scientists at Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE) in Kutch. The mushrooms were cultivated in a controlled environment in a laboratory in 35 jars. In 90 days, this cultivation yielded 350 grams.
GUIDE Director V Vijay Kumar said that the mushroom is often called ‘the Himalayan Gold’ for its health benefits. He said that cordyceps can potentially prevent a range of illnesses. The mushroom is club-shaped and the surface appears punctured. The inner fungal tissue is whitish to pale orange.
The mushroom is said to have many useful properties. It has neuroprotective, renoprotective and lung protective properties and is useful in treatment of chronic bronchitis, kidney disorder and renal hepatitis. It is also touted to improve liver function, as mentioned in the daily. It enhances stamina and promotes antibody production.