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Cordyceps Sinensis Pickers at Foot of Snow Mountains

  • Source : China Tibet Online Author : Time : 05/24/2014 Editor : Tenzin Choedron

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    As the annual peak season of cordyceps sinensis picking comes during April to June, local residents would flock to pick the valuable medical materials on the mountains of Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan, where the average altitude reaches over 3,900 meters.

      

    Being a famous site of picking cordyceps sinensis, especially thanks to the larger quantity and higher quality, nearly 10,000 local residents were attracted to the deep mountains of Qinglang Township of Trochu County, Aba Tibetan-Qiang Autonomous Prefecture of southwest China's Sichuan Province.

      

    At the foot of snow mountain under blue sky and white clouds, cordyceps sinensis pickers lied on the grasslands on the mountain slope and sought for the valuable medicine, which was not easy at all. A picker may find a dozen or two with any luck, while it is quite usual to come back empty-handed after a daylong searching.

      

    When a lucky guy discovers a piece of cordyceps sinensis, fellows near him would gather together to celebrate, and use a small shovel to dig carefully after examining its growth condition. The newly picked cordyceps sinensis would be packaged by a mud pie to retain water, and the turf where the cordyceps sinensis was dig out would be repositioned to the original place in order to minimize the impact to the environment.

      

    The pickers would not end their daylong working until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m., when they would go back in groups and go to the market place in front of camps to trade with purchasers. Due to the price drop this year, a piece of cordyceps sinensis could only worth 10 to 30 yuan.

       

     

      Photo shows that local people flock to the deep mountains to pick cordyceps sinensis. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

    Thanks to the "cordyceps sinensis fever" warmed up in recent years, excavating cordyceps sinensis has become a key method to bring wealth to local Tibetan people, the price for cordyceps sinensis may reach 200 yuan per gram, or 200,000 yuan per kilogram.

      

    Mainly distributed in the areas with an altitude of 3,500 to 5,000 meters on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, cordyceps sinensis is renowned as the "soft gold" for its few output and high medicinal value. This rare parasitic symbiosis that has produced one of the most expensive traditional Chinese tonics is literally worth more than its weight in gold. The moth caterpillar is attacked by fungus, which slowly takes over the insect body and develops into a mushroom the following spring. Traditional Chinese medical practitioners swear by its immunity-enhancing properties and it is often prescribed to "strengthen the Qi", the energy force in the body.

      

    (1 yuan = 0.614 US dallar)

      

     

      Photo shows a piece of cordyceps sinensis hiding in the thick grasses, which is not easy to be discovered. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that cordyceps sinensis pickers seek cordyceps sinensis carefully on the hillside. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that cordyceps sinensis pickers seek cordyceps sinensis carefully on the hillside. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that when a cordyceps sinensis picker finds a piece of cordyceps sinensis, others would come and watch the fun, before it being digged out carefully. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that a cordyceps sinensis picker digs up a piece of cordyceps sinensis on the mountain slope with an altitude of 4,600 meters. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that a cordyceps sinensis picker presents her gains. Excavating cordyceps sinensis has become a key method to bring wealth to local Tibetan people. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that cordyceps sinensis pickers go back to the camp on 18:00 for trade. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that cordyceps sinensis purchaser examines the quality of cordyceps sinensis, which determines the price. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that cordyceps sinensis purchaser examines the quality of cordyceps sinensis, which determines the price. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows that cordyceps sinensis pickers trade with purchasers in front of camps. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

     

       

     

      Photo shows the camps of cordyceps sinensis pickers by a stream at the foot of mountain. [Photo/ Sichuan Daily]

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