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Saptari Killings was purely Human Rights Violation by the state

Rayznews reported " On March 5th four United Democratic Madhesi Front cadets have been killed in a firing by Police trying to dis...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Born in the stativity of coldness and hard climate, the Yarshagumba is a wonder of nature which not only amortizes science but also proves to be a boon for the needy. With its Latin name Cordyceps Sinensis(CS), it is believed to be effcetive cure for sexual impotency and considered as a Himalayan Herbal Viagra. Literally, meaning summer plant and winter insect in Tibetan language, the Yarshagumba is only found at an altitude above 4000 Meters in the highlands of Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan where it drives people to its existence in far remote corners prioritizing its image with the new passion of gold rush. Like such, it is prized as an aphrodisiac (sex stimulant) and tonic. In Chinese medicine, it is used in treatments of ailments from fatigue to cancer. Especially in countries like China, Thailand, Korea and Japan, the demand of Yarshagumba is swelling up giving the existence of this species to quantify the findings of science and technology. Getting back to the technical aspect, Yarshagumba is a type of fungus which grows on Thitarodes caterpillar larva that feeds underground on the roots of trees and shrubs. Once infected, the body cavity of the larva fills with fungal mycelia and grows out killing the host. With in days, a finger-like mushroom grows out from the larva above the ground during the spring and summer. This fungus- caterpillar organism is called Yarshagumba which is then collected during the time. Normally, it is found as 2500 plants per hectare with in the balanced PH soil level of 7-7.5. The Yarshagumba is mainly found in plants of Rhododendron, Anemone sp, Anaphalis sp, Carese sp, etc. where the germination time starts from April , June/July and is collected from May ,June/July. Moreover on average it is found in 0.3 to 0.5gm per plant. Looking back to its export data, the trade of Yarshagumba has increased so much that it has been regarded as an expensive exportable herb. Likewise, rumors has it that it is exported through different channels to various European countries where it is used as an essential ingredient for sex enhancement drug like Viagra. Every year during May and June season, thousands of villagers from remote areas and across boarder from India come to this region for collecting Yarshagumba risking their lives. It is estimated that one collector can earn up to Nrs. 2,500 approximately to $35 a day just by collecting Yarshagumba. Moreover, Almost 50% of the annual supply of Yarshagumba comes from Dolpa alone. Dolpa is a remote district in western Nepal with high steep valleys and dry climate. During the rush not only adults but school goers also take unofficial holidays in search of Yarshagumba. Looking back to its legal status, collection of Yarshagumba was illegal until 2001. Following its popularity and lobbying, the Government lifted the ban but imposed a royalty rate of Rs. 20,000 (US$ 280) per kilogram (2.2lbs). One Kilo of Yarshagumba that costs around Nrs. 315 (US$ 5/6) in 1992 increased to Nrs. 105,000 (US$ 1,435) by the year 2002 and the price had shooted up, as the international interest increases on the Yarshagumba. However, the enforcement of the royalty fee proved ineffective as the trade went up shooting the bars. The market price of the fungus currently stands at US$3,000 per kg for the lowest quality to over US$15,000 for the biggest and highest quality larva synchronizing the demand to its existence.

BY Shreedeep Rayamajhi


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