Ingredient Name: Worm Grass (also known as Vegetable Caterpillar or Vegetable Fungus)
Traditional Chinese Name: 冬虫夏草 (dong chong xia cao)
Worm grass is a very expensive, yet highly prized, ingredient used in Chinese soups and teas.
It is said to treat everything from fatigue to cancer and has been shown to protect mice against radiation.
- Worm grass occurs when moth larvae are infected by a fungus (Cordyceps). The fungus kills the larvae and invades the body, mummifying it. In the spring, it grows a fruiting body out of the head of the larvae (hence it has a long, black “stem”).
- In traditional chinese medicine, worm grass is said to have an excellent balance of yin and yang.
- The worm grass has a neutral taste and a crunchy texture when eaten (after boiling in soups).
How do I prepare it?
Rinse in cold water before usage
Add directly to soups
Where can I buy this?
You can purchase worm grass from most chinese herb shops
What is the cost?
- A few grams can cost $100 CAD.
Worm grass is said to have many benefits, including invigorating the kidney and lungs, treating exhaustion and dizziness, building immunity, and as a general tonic for recovering from illness.
It is also considered a very potent aphrodisiac for men.
Be sure you are buying worm grass from a reputable source, especially because it is very expensive (pound for pound, has been said to cost more than gold!)
The worm grass can be eaten along with the soup.