About Ophiocordyceps sinensis CO18
Ophiocordyceps sinensis is a fungus that parasitizes larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body valued as an herbal remedy found in mountainous regions of India, Nepal and Tibet.
The fungus germinates in the living larva, kills and mummifies it, and then the stalk-like fruiting body emerges from the corpse. It is known in English colloquially as caterpillar fungus, or by its more prominent names Yartsa Gunbu (, literally "winter worm, summer grass"), or Dōng chóng xià cǎo (). Of the various entomopathogenic fungi, Ophiocordyceps sinensis is one that has been used for at least 2000 years for its reputed abilities to treat many diseases related to lungs, kidney, and erectile dysfunction. This fungus is not yet cultivated commercially, despite the fact that several fermentable strains of Ophiocordyceps sinensis have been isolated by Chinese scientists. Overharvesting and overexploitation have led to the classification of O. sinensis as an endangered species in China. Additional research needs to be carried out in order to understand its morphology and growth habits for conservation and optimum utilization.
The hosts in which O. sinensis grows are ambiguously referred to as "ghost moths", which identifies either a single species or the genus Thitarodes: they may be one of several Thitarodes that live on the Tibetan Plateau (Tibet, Qinghai, West-Sichuan, SW-Gansu & NW Yunnan), and the Himalayas (India, Nepal, Bhutan).
O. sinensis is known in the West as a medicinal mushroom, and its use has a long history in Traditional Chinese medicine as well as Traditional Tibetan medicine. The hand-collected, intact fungus-caterpillar body is valued by herbalists and as a status symbol;; it is used as an aphrodisiac and treatment for ailments such as fatigue and cancer, although such use is validated mainly by traditional Chinese medicine and anecdote, and evidenced-based research into its efficacy is lacking.
This species currently has no variation database. However you can process your own variants using the Variant Effect Predictor: