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What is Japanese Tochukaso?

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What is Japanese Tohchukaso (Winter Insect Summer Grass)?

The history of an anciently known but newly explored Tohchukaso

Based on the newest research, letfs try to find out what the Japanese Tohchukaso is, and what effects is it thought to cause against the cancer?

Tohchukaso is the name given to the fungi on animals. Academically, it is generic name given to the Cordyceps genus that becomes parasitic to the insects and changes itself to mushrooms and comes out of the ground. As it seems like a plant growing out of an insect, hence it is given the self-explanatory name of Tohchukaso (winter insect-summer grass). From very old times, in China, the bacillus strain of fungi has also been called as grass like a plant.

In the home of herbal medicines, China, the existence of Tohchukaso has been known since the In era, 2000 B. C. Emperor Shikotei of Shin era (210 to 259 B. C.) and Queen Youkihi(719 to 756 B. C.) also liked it very much as a secret medicine for eternal youth and long life.

The Chinese Tohchukaso is the name given to the one parasitic to the larva of the moth (Hepialidae). As the moth is found only in the 4000 meters high alpine ranges of Tibet, Nepal, Himalayas and the Sichuan province, hence Tohchukaso has been taken as an extremely valuable thing.

In 1722, a missionary of the Jesus Society who has been in Beijing on missionary activities wrote to his European friend that to buy Tohchukaso, silver of 4 times in weight was necessary. Perhaps it might be a document to know how greatly the Tohchukaso was valued.

Though Tohchukaso was known for a long time in China, its history in Japan is very short. The first appearance in the literature is said to be in 1723 in by Konyo Aoki. Afterwards, Tohchukaso meant the one imported from China. After that, there was a long period when it was thought as a herbal medicine for nutrition sthenia. Comparing with its long history, the knowledge about the natural existence of some of the members of Tohchukaso in Japan can just be said as a matter of very recent days.

In the wide meanings of animal fungi parasitic to the insects, more than 350 types have been discovered until now. The gResearch Institute of Natural Medicines, Food and Microbiologyh as one of the globally very few research group working on Tohchukaso. This group is conducting research on these ecologically wonderful fungi since 1967. In those days, there were almost no scientific researchers of Tohchukaso, but now, 30 years after we started this work, the detailed research about its elements is being done in universities changing greatly its value.

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