Cordyceps militaris Introduction
Cordyceps militaris, a valuable traditional Chinese herbal tonic, belongs to the genus of cordyceps, of family Clavicipitaceae, order Sphaeriales, class Pyrenomycetes, phylum Ascomycota. C. militaris, a model species of cordyceps, consists of active ingredients similar to Ophiocordyceps sinensis (commonly known as winter worm summer grass in China) including cordycepin, polysaccharide, and ergosterol.
O. sinensis is called winter worm summer grass in China because in winter, larvae of moths were infected by spores from a parasitic fungus. The fungus devours the body of the caterpillar, leaving the exoskeleton intact, and when spring comes, it blooms in the form of a brown stalk, called the stroma, that erupts from the caterpillar’s head. This process happens only in the fertile....
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