Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops

Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops

The world’s most precious tonic herb!

  • Regarded as one of the greatest tonic herbs on Earth
  • Super potent high precision hydro-ethanolic, multi-stage extraction
  • Genuine precious wild Cordyceps sinensis from Bhutan
  • Blended with premium cultured Cordyceps militaris grown on rice
  • Yin and Yang balanced for use by men and women
  • Major Jing tonic, especially known to support the Kidney functions
  • Major Qi tonic, especially that of the Lungs and immune system
Item No: 034
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Product Description

Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) is one of the premier tonic herbs in the world. It is regarded as one of the five greatest tonic herbs on Earth (with wild Ginseng, wild Reishi, Deer Antler Tips & wild Schizandra). It has been used for centuries as a tonic, revered for its ability to improve physical, athletic, sexual, and mental performance. It is used to quickly and lastingly improve general vitality, support healthy aging, and is considered to be a protective herb of the highest order. Cordyceps is a premium adaptogen due to its potent ability to support the body-mind’s ability to handle stress of all kinds – expanding one’s life capacity and life-force reserve. It is widely used to strengthen respiratory (breathing) functions, and to vivify the mind.

Cordyceps powerfully tonifies both Yin and Yang. And because of its superb balance, and general lack of known side effects,  it can be used by almost anyone safely, either occasionally or over a long period of time.*  It is used equally by men and women, young and old, frail, and hardy. It is known to be consumed by many of the world’s top athletes and business leaders.

Wild Cordyceps is collected in the Himalayas at altitudes ranging from 14,000 feet to 17,000 feet (over 3 times the altitude of Denver). Dragon Herbs wild Cordyceps is collected in the ultra-pristine Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan at 17,000 feet elevation at the Himalayan “snowline.” It is an extremely harsh environment and the Cordyceps is an extremely hardy mushroom. Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps is collected early each summer (May and June). In order to support sustainability of the wild herb, it is illegal in Bhutan to collect Cordyceps at any other time. It is illegal for non-Bhutanese to collect it, and quantity collected is strictly regulated.

This freshly harvested wild Cordyceps sinensis, along with cultured Cordyceps militaris, another extremely potent variety of Cordyceps, is extracted by Ron Teeguarden’s Dragon Herbs into a golden fluid extract – at our own facility, by a sensitive multi-stage cutting-edge process that protects all the constituents. The stunning result is Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops.

† See Precautions section below.

Ingredients: Whole Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps mushroom (Cordyceps sinensis), and premium rice-cultured Cordyceps militaris mushroom fruiting body and small proportion of mycelium as illustrated.

2 fl. oz. (60 ml)
Other Ingredients
Water, grain alcohol (30% by volume)
1-12 squirts per day as desired or as directed by a health practitioner (typical moderate use is 2-6 squirts per day)
  • Di Tao
  • RT Seal of Approval

About the formula:

Traditional Functions: Nourishes Jing (both Yin and Yang) and strengthens traditional Kidney functions and structures. Tonifies bones, connective tissue and marrow. Supports sexual function. Aphrodisiac. Tonifies Qi (vitality and function). Strengthens and supports the Lungs. Bolsters Wei Qi (immunity). Modulates (balances and regulates) Liver Qi.

Who can use it? Everyone (pregnant women should consult with their physician)


Traditional Characteristics

Atmospheric Energy: Warm

Taste: Sweet

Organ Associations: Kidneys and Lungs

Primary Treasures: Yin Jing, Yang Jing, Qi, and Shen



Wild Cordyceps sinensis facs:


Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps can go by several different names:

Common American English – Cordyceps, Caterpillar Fungus, Winterworm, Wild Himalayan Cordyceps, Bhutanese Cordyceps

Botanical Names – Cordyceps sinensis or Ophiocordyceps sinensis

Full Latin – Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc., belonging to the family Clavicipitacea. Recently, due to advances in genomics, the scientific name has been changed to Ophiocordyceps sinensis (Berk.) G.H. Sung et al, Ophiocordycipitaceae. The new nomenclature has not yet been accepted in the general herbal market and lay literature, but the fungus is the same as Cordyceps sinensis (“a rose by any other name is still a rose,” W.Shakespeare)

Chinese – Dong Chong Xia Cao (Winter Worm Summer Grass)

Tibetan – Yarsha Gumba or Yartsa Gunbu

Bhutanese – Yartsa Guenbub or simply Bub

Nepalese – Jeeban Buti

Japanese – Tockukaso

Korean – Tong Ch'ug Ha Ch'o


Cultured Cordyceps militaris facts:

Cultured on rice

Source: China

Latin: Cordyceps militaris Sung et al., Cordycipitaceae

Common English Names: Rice-Cultured Cordyceps


Is Cordyceps considered vegetarian? Yes.

Wild Cordyceps sinensis is a fungus (mushroom) that develops in the soil just below the Himalayan snow line. Cordyceps sinensis is a type of fungus (mushroom) whose spores invade a species of caterpillar known as Hepialus armoricanus. The fungus takes over the body of the caterpillar and its fungal mycelium completely replaces the host tissue over the period of some weeks each spring. Most of the caterpillars escape this fate and go on to become moths, but some convert into the Cordyceps sinensis fungus (now the world’s most expensive tonic herb). This dynamic ecological balance has been established for millions of years.

After some months, the “fruiting body” emerges from the surface of the soil, appearing as a brown sprouted “grass” – though in fact, it is of course a small mushroom. Thus, the name “Winter Worm Summer Grass.”


The mycelium (underground part of the fungus) retains the distinctive shape of the caterpillar, though in fact it is NOT A CATERPILLAR or “worm.” This is how most mushrooms behave – they grow inside a dead piece of plant material or carcass of some sort, then they grow mycelium inside, but retain the original appearance of its growth-material to some degree. Mushrooms grown on wooden logs do the same thing. Despite its original life cycle stage, the resulting fungus, which is called “Cordyceps,” contains NO animal material and is thus considered vegan — it is a mushroom.




Cordyceps is a unique and precious fungus, which has been widely used in traditional herbalism. Cordyceps militaris supports a variety of biological activities, including immunomodulation, antioxidant, and anti-aging functions.*

Consistent consumption of Cordyceps helps to strengthen the skeletal structure, and specifically benefits the lower back region, the knees, and ankles. It is traditionally used for minor and temporary backache due to injury, fatigue, stress, or aging.*

Cordyceps sinensis is an invigorant in Chinese tradition and was honored as one of the five greatest invigorants together with Panax Ginseng, Deer Antler, Astragalus root and Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng). The New Compilation of Materia Medica, a classic herbal text by Wu Yiluo, written during the Qing Dynasty, lists the traditional usage of Cordyceps as a “Yin/Yang double invigorant.” It further states that Cordyceps goes to the Lung and Kidney meridians and is useful for “Lung support” and for “Kidney improvement” (the “Kidney” in traditional Chinese healthcare includes the renal functions, all skeletal structures, bone marrow, the adrenal glands, sexual organs, and the brain itself).

Cordyceps is a major Lung tonic. It can be used to strengthen respiratory power in those who require extra energy in order to perform physical work (e.g., labor, sports, exercise, recreation or sex) or it can be used by those who experience a deficiency of Lung power.* It has been widely used by superior world class athletes.

Cordyceps has always been used as a primary herb to fortify the defensive system of the body, and recent data indicate that Cordyceps is a potent immune system potentiator. Researchers in Japan and China have isolated a number of polysaccharides in Cordyceps which strengthen the immune system. The constituent known as cordycepin plays a major role in fortifying and fine tuning the body’s defenses. Maintaining the immune system is one of the mechanisms involved in healthy aging and helps mitigate dysfunctions typically associated with aging.*

Other studies have shown that Cordyceps can have a benefit in the vascular system as well. Cordyceps has been shown to support healthy blood pressure and to strengthen heart muscle.* Cordyceps improves the function of the micro-circulation and improves efficiency at the capillary level. This is very important to our longevity.

Cordyceps sinensis and militaris are both very highly regarded in China, the Himalayan countries, Japan, and Korea as a tonic for those who are recovering from an illness or an operation, or after giving birth.* In these cases, the Cordyceps helps the patient recover their physical power, improve their appetite, and helps protect the body by developing increased immunological capacity.* It is also a go-to herb for people who have already experienced a trauma or significant stress. Cordyceps directly and quickly helps restore spent Jing of the Kidneys – both Yin (fluids, hormones, neurotransmitters) and Yang (vital capacity, inner power).*

Cordyceps militaris has recently been shown to help with normal blood sugar maintenance.

Cordyceps militaris has been found to have no known cytotoxicity.*

Cordyceps species have been traditionally and broadly used for the enhancement of sexual function by those who can obtain it. It is also considered to be a fertility enhancing herb.

Cordyceps can be added to soups, teas, elixirs, and formulations.


Traditional Health Principles and Uses

Pharmacology of Yin and Yang

Cordyceps is famous for being both a Yang and Yin tonic. A major herbal materia medica written during the Qing Dynasty, lists the traditional usage of Cordyceps as “going to the Lung meridians, being useful as a Lung protector,” and “for Kidney improvement and as a Yin-Yang double invigorant.”

An article from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Department of Biochemistry, entitled “Pharmacological basis of 'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' actions of Cordyceps, a Chinese tonifying herb,” by KM Siu et al, is enlightening.

Here is the published abstract of the article, published in 2004:

“Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. (Cordyceps), a popular Chinese tonifying herb, was revered for being both 'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' in Chinese medicine. In order to establish the pharmacological basis for the 'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' action of Cordyceps, the effects of wild and cultured Cordyceps on concanavalin A (Con A)-stimulated splenocytes, an in vitro bioassay for 'Yin-nourishment', and myocardial ATP generation capacity, an ex vivo bioassay for 'Yang-invigoration', were investigated in mice. The results indicated that methanolic extracts of wild and cultured Cordyceps enhanced both the Con A-stimulated splenocyte proliferation in vitro and myocardial mitochondrial ATP generation ex vivo in mice, with no significant difference in potency of action between the two types of Cordyceps. While the immuno-potentiating effect was associated with the increase in interleukin II production, the stimulation of myocardial ATP generation was paralleled by an enhancement in mitochondrial electron transport. When compared with typical 'Yin' and 'Yang' tonifying Chinese herbs, Cordyceps was found to possess both 'Yin-nourishing' and 'Yang-invigorating' activities. The pharmacological characterization of Cordyceps by means of contemporary bioassays is consistent with the time-honored clinical observation from Chinese herbalists.”


A Powerful Yang Kidney Tonic

Traditionally, wild Himalayan Cordyceps and Cordyceps militaris are used for the purposes of strengthening the primal Kidney functions, which include sexual functions, brain power, structural integrity (bones, joints and connective tissues), wound healing and recovery ability.*

Jing is the primordial “Inner Power” of the body and mind. We are born with a certain amount of Jing, which determines approximately how low we can live. Jing is depleted as we live, and is further depleted by stress, disease and extreme challenge. This loss of Jing is believed in Asian health philosophy to shorten our lives. Fortunately, the Jing we lose by living a robust (or stressful or dangerous) life can be replenished by the consumption of Jing tonifying herbs. This is one of the great secrets of longevity. The most famous of these Jing tonifying herbs are Cordyceps, Eucommia bark, He Shou Wu, Goji berries, Morinda root, Epimedium and a few others. As great as all these herbs are, Cordyceps is definitely at the top of this list – accounting for its extreme value.

As a sexual tonic, Cordyceps is considered to be one of the best. Like the other major Yang tonics such as Deer Antler Tips (tips are the last 1 inch of the antler, literally the tips), Epimedium (“Horny Goat Weed”), Desert Cistanche, Morinda (“Strength Builder”), Eucommia bark and wild Cynomorium root and herb (“Ever Young Herb”), it has a profound long-term strengthening capacity, and of course, may be used along with the other Yang tonics.

Nevertheless, many people claim that Cordyceps is the most powerful aphrodisiac of them all! It is used by both men and women.*

Cordyceps seems to promote fertility (which reflects inner vitality and Jing). Cordyceps has been shown to support innate spermatogenic function in males, and studies indicate it may significantly improve sperm motility. Animal studies indicate that it increases testosterone and estradiol-17 concentrations, but not other hormones such as FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone) or prolactin. Thus, supplementation with Cordyceps is widely thought to improve sperm quality and quantity.*

Consistent use of Cordyceps is traditionally used to help strengthen the skeletal structure, and specifically benefits the lower back region, the knees and ankles. It supports the other joints as well. It is traditionally used for minor and temporary backache due to injury, fatigue, stress or aging. The bone is the “house of marrow.” Marrow quality and health plays a determinative role in human health and longevity, as stem cells for the whole body reside in the marrow. Marrow plays a key role in blood health, immune cell regeneration, kidney functions and hormone-mineral balance. Cordyceps is being intensely studied with regard to all these functions.*

A word to the wise – every depleting episode of our lives should be accompanied by the consumption of some Cordyceps. If you know you are about to embark on a significant challenge, take Cordyceps. While you are going through the challenge, take Cordyceps. Afterwards, take Cordyceps to help recover. And remember, the Cordyceps you consume today will not only be beneficial today and tomorrow, but will have also benefits in the later years of your life.

Watch Ron talk about Inner Power - Jing:

Inner Power - Jing


A Powerful Qi Tonic

Qi is our vitality. This vitality animates our muscles, blood flow, organ functions and all bodily activity, including that of the brain. It is produced in the body from the nutrients we consume and the air we breathe. Therefore, the Lungs and the Spleen-Pancreas-Stomach complex (the digestive system) are considered the primary organs associated with energy accumulation, production and replenishment. Cordyceps strengthens both the lung functions and the digestive functions. As a result we produce more Qi.

Cordyceps has long been recognized in Chinese traditional health practice as a primary herb to fortify the defensive system of the body. Dozens of studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris have profound beneficial effects on our immune functions, helping to protect us from the dangers of the natural environment in which we live every moment of our lives, and even more so in crowded spaces of unmasked revelers, in cities, on planes or in wild jungles.

Circulation is important in all fields of health care. Studies have shown that Cordyceps can have a benefit in the vascular system. Cordyceps has been shown to support healthy blood pressure and to strengthen heart muscle. However, Chinese healthcare puts extra emphasis on the micro-circulation – more than does western health care does. There is an important saying in Chinese health care: “Qi leads Blood.” The vitality of the circulatory system at the microcirculatory level is controlled by our Qi.

Weak Qi. Poor circulation is a consequence of weak Qi. Cordyceps has been shown to improve the function of the micro-circulation and improves efficiency at the capillary level. This is very important to our health and longevity. Combining Cordyceps with Red Salvia and/or Dang Gui root accentuates the circulatory benefits of both herbs.

Cordyceps is very highly regarded in China as a tonic for those who are recovering from an illness or an operation, or after giving birth. In these cases, the Cordyceps helps the patient recover their physical power (Jing) and their overall Qi. Cordyceps helps improve their appetite of those who are in a weakened state, and it helps protect the body immunologically.

When combined with both Jing and Qi tonic herbs, Cordyceps has a broad, all-encompassing power to improve human functioning.


Hear Ron talk about Yin and Yang below:


A Powerful Shen Tonic

A wild and hardy herb such as wild Cordyceps naturally has a ton of spirit. It is capable of handling sub-zero weather, extreme wind, and blizzard conditions, high intensity ultraviolet light and much more. Those who consume it feel a surge of inner power, mental clarity, and sharpening of the senses. The Himalayans and other Asian connoisseurs of wild Cordyceps consider it a potent wisdom-supporting herb, one that vivifies the life spirit that we call Shen. It is considered a “happy herb,” – that is, those who take it feel a sense of awe, and even a sense of satori. Cordyceps, however, it not considered to be a psychoactive mushroom. The Shen tonifying effect is cumulative upon continued use.


Combining and Safety

Cordyceps combines very well with all major tonic herbs. When blended with other Qi tonics such as Ginseng (Asian and American), Reishi mushroom (Ganoderma species), Astragalus root, Schizandra berries, Goji berries, Gynostemma leaf, Mountain Ant and/or Codonopsis root, Cordyceps’ Qi-building power is increased as the synergy of the various herbs results in an even more powerful tonic.

When blended with other Jing tonics such as He Shou Wu, Goji, Eucommia, prepared Rehmannia, Ever Young Herb (Cynomorium), Epimedium and Morinda, Cordyceps will have even more capacity to build Jing.

When blended with other Shen tonics such as wild Ginseng (Chinese and/or American), Reishi, Pearl powder and Albizia flowers, the power of Cordyceps is accentuated.

Cordyceps is commonly blended together with Blood tonics like Dang Gui and Goji berries, and also with blood vitalizers like Red Salvia and Carthamus flower. Cordyceps is frequently combined with Snow Lotus flower, which also grows at the Himalayan snowline and is one of the most powerful, effective and safest detoxification herbs in the world.

Cordyceps combines very well with many nutraceuticals like resveratrol, nicotinamide riboside (NR), Astragaloside IV, Tanshinone IIa (from Red Salvia), ginsenosides from Ginseng, green tea polyphenols, L-theanine (from green tea), and Quercetin, etc.

Cordyceps has no known toxicity. It has also been widely used for over a thousand years (probably for much longer). However, those with established mushroom allergies should use all mushroom products with extreme caution and under the guidance of a professional herbalist and/or physician or professional nutritionist.*

Cordyceps is safe for most people, straight into the mouth or as an ingredient in an herbal tea, elixir or food. [† See Precautions section for rare exceptions].

Cordyceps is also considered safe and beneficial for dogs and cats (in their food). In fact, until Cordyceps became world renowned and became a valuable economic commodity, the Himalayan nomads and herdsmen would encourage their pack animals and herds to forage on Cordyceps-rich grasslands when at the snowline, and would add it to their feed in order to increase their vigor and longevity. [Please introduce this and all herbs to your pet’s diet judiciously, in small doses, so that you can detect any allergic responses (highly unlikely). If you believe your pet is not responding in a positive way, simply cease providing this supplement to your pet].


How We Source Our Ingredients and Produce This Product – Very Deep Dive

The wild Cordyceps used to make Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps is collected in the late spring and early summer (May and June) by native Bhutanese nomadic villagers at over 17,000 feet elevation from the towering peaks in the Himalayas, in the Hermit Kingdom of Bhutan, an awesomely pristine country that borders on Tibet and Nepal in the Himalayas. Bhutan is widely regarded as the most ecology-oriented, and sustainability-oriented country in the world. More than 75% of all Bhutanese land is officially off limits to any kind of human development or industrial use. Highly limited Bhutanese Ministry of Forestry permits are required to collect Bhutanese Cordyceps. Poaching (once, a big problem from armed Tibetan poachers, who crossed the treacherous Himalayan peaks to illegally collect Cordyceps from Bhutan) and smuggling (especially across the border to Tibet) is punishable by severe prison terms. Ministry of Forestry and Ministry of Agriculture scientists and officials accompany the collectors to monitor the harvest and collect data in order to assure the maintenance of the ecological well-being of the collection zone.

The Cordyceps in Dragon Herbs Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops


Ron Teeguarden in Bhutan – the Hunt for the Ultimate Herb

[Picture 1] Ron Teeguarden with Bhutanese Minister of Forestry (center), along with Benchen Khempo, Garnet Dupuis and the Assistant Minister of Forestry (right) at the Prime Minister’s office in the Bhutanese capital building in Thimphu. Ron received a certificate of approval from the government in 2004 in order to purchase the wild Bhutanese Cordyceps and export it to America, the first such certificate ever administered. Ron stayed in Bhutan for four weeks waiting for the certificate. [Picture 2] Ron Teeguarden with Bhutanese Prime Minister, along with Benchen Khempo and Garnet Dupuis. It was a great honor to be received by the Prime Minister in his office.

Our wild Bhutanese Cordyceps is NOT mass harvested, as it is in Tibet. It is collected 100% from the wild without the use of vehicles and tools – and with rigorous sustainability safeguards in place. It is protected by international and extremely protective Bhutanese government regulations to prevent over-collecting, poaching, or damaging the ecological integrity of the land. Because Bhutanese Cordyceps is so rare, it is regarded by true connoisseurs of Cordyceps as the best in the world. The Bhutanese Cordyceps collecting zones are extraordinarily pristine. Foreigners (non-Bhutanese) are not allowed to travel to the snowline Cordyceps collection sites in Bhutan, in order to prevent poaching or damaging the ecology. The film was created and produced by Ron Teeguarden in 2006, but the process has not changed a bit to this day. The collection site is a seven-day trek by horseback and yak up the treacherous paths of the Himalayas. There are no vehicle-accessible roads available. Wild animals abound. Each mushroom is collected by the slowly crawling collectors by hand, without the use of any tool that can damage the terrain (sticks and fingers only). Careless walking on the turf is not allowed. Collectors must crawl on their hands and knees.

Collecting Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps

Watch the video to see the extraordinary process of collecting this precious herb. The film was shot and gathered for Ron Teeguarden by Sonam Dorje. Though it is early summer, the temperature remains close to freezing even during the day – as the snowfall at the end film illustrates.

Collecting Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps

Tibetan ecology is being damaged by over-collection of Cordyceps by crude motorized methods, while Bhutanese Cordyceps collection areas have experienced no damage whatsoever to date. This is why we love Bhutan and Bhutanese Cordyceps!

No mechanical vehicles of any sort are aloud near the zones, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, planes, or helicopters. As a result, the Bhutanese Cordyceps zones are remarkably free of any pollution. It has recently been found that in the last decade, the Tibetan Cordyceps has an increased quantity of heavy metals and arsenic (a metalloid), attributed to pollution from vehicles and loose collection practices. Cordyceps as a fungus is a very powerful soil detoxifier, and unfortunately if the soil and ground water are polluted the Cordyceps will absorb it. Very recent studies (2021) show that Tibetan Cordyceps unfortunately contains quantifiable amounts of arsenic, but not quite at a definitive health-threatening level – not yet.

Going Up the Mountain

Tibetan Cordyceps collectors do not trek to the collection zones as the Bhutanese do – they fly to the Cordyceps area in helicopters in the morning and leave in the evening. This has led to over-collecting and probably to the pollution that is passed on to users of Tibetan wild Cordyceps.

Collecting the wild Cordyceps at the Bhutanese snowline

Dragon Herbs has NEVER used Tibetan Cordyceps in spite of the temptation of ubiquitous availability in China at any time of the year. Bhutanese Cordyceps is only available during the summer – and if you know who to get it from. Bhutanese Cordyceps is virtually free of heavy metals and arsenic other than that which occurs naturally in Himalayan soil (very little – ALL soil on earth naturally contains miniscule amounts of heavy metals).

Individual Bhutanese Cordyceps mushrooms are slightly smaller per mushroom than the pumped-up wild Cordyceps collected in Tibet (generally collected at a somewhat lower altitude), and are richer in constituents (especially the main constituent cordycepin), flavor, and the Three Treasures – Jing, Qi and Shen). It is an inside secret that Tibetan Cordyceps is sometimes soaked in water or milk before drying to pump up their size. Bhutanese Cordyceps is never “plumped” in this manner to increase size.

Ron Teeguarden and Bhutanese Friends


The Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops Blend

Ron Teeguarden and Dragon Herbs are extremely proud to offer this world-elite Himalayan-collected wild Cordyceps mushroom extract on a limited private reserve basis once each year. It is not unusual for us to sell out before a new harvest is available. Witness: we sold out of the 2020 batch – made from mushrooms collected in 2019 – in just the first 4 months of 2020.

This product is approximately 10% wild Bhutanese Cordyceps sinensis by weight (a very high amount) at the time of extraction. This wild Bhutanese Cordyceps is extracted together with “cultured” Cordyceps, a remarkable ultra-modern cultivated version of Cordyceps. The species used is Cordyceps militaris, and it can be grown by precision high tech farming practices. No toxic chemicals are used in the process of culturing Cordyceps militaris (cheap varieties may use chemicals). Cordyceps militaris is itself a profound tonic herb that has gained tremendous attention throughout Asia for its many remarkable action when consumed by humans.

Cordyceps militaris is a unique and precious Chinese Cordyceps fungus, which has been widely used in traditional herbalism. Cordyceps militaris has a variety of biological activities, such as supporting immunomodulation and healthy aging, among others. However, natural Cordyceps militaris is very rare and expensive. Cultured Cordyceps militaris is considerably less expensive than the wild Cordyceps, and thus allows us the opportunity to offer a highly active wild Cordyceps-based product to the world at an affordable price. There are many grades of cultured Cordyceps. Some is poorly produced, and some is exquisite. Ron Teeguarden has travelled to China on numerous occasions to evaluate and choose the best grade of cultured Cordyceps militaris available in the world. Our cultured Cordyceps is grown on brown rice without the use of chemicals. The resulting mushrooms (fruiting bodies) and the mycelium are both used to make Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops. Wild Cordyceps militaris would include both the mycelium and fruiting body, so we do too.


Quality Control and DNA Certification

Herb Processing

Wild Bhutanese Cordyceps Drops is a hydro-ethanolic extraction. No chemicals or additives are used at any time during the processing – just purified water and pure grain alcohol.

The air-and-sun dried wild Cordyceps sinensis is thoroughly cleaned before delivery and again prior to extraction. The cultured Cordyceps militaris is likewise cleaned and dried prior to shipping and extraction. All Cordyceps are approved by Ron Teeguarden’s expert team in Bhutan and China prior to shipping and again by Ron Teeguarden. Though the complete genome of Cordyceps sinensis has not been 100% elucidated, it is possible to do DNA testing that is 99% conclusive of authenticity. Therefore, Dragon Herbs has conducted a DNA certification test on the wild Cordyceps, which proved beyond doubt that it is authentic Cordyceps sinensis.

Click on graphic, or here, to see the DNA Certificate of our wild Cordyceps.



Tincture Extraction

We use freshly collected Cordyceps sinensis and freshly cultured Cordyceps militaris to produce this extraordinary product. Considering the expense and magnitude of this wild Cordyceps, it deserves our highest attention during the production phase. We leave no stone or technique unturned for precious herbs like Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps.

Research indicates that Wild Cordyceps contains valuable components that are both water and alcohol extractable, so either a water extract or an alcohol extract alone would be insufficient to get everything out of the extraction. Our extraction process not only extracts water and alcohol components, but extracts ALL components.

Cordyceps is a sensitive herb. It can be harmed during harsh processing. In fact, some of the phytochemicals that make Cordyceps so special are destroyed by all conventional extraction methods. Our ultra-slow reflux extraction technology extracts out the phytochemicals that are soluble in both alcohol and water.

Dragon Herbs follows strict FDA and US GMP regulations at all stages of production and is subject to FDA and California State Health Department oversight. Dragon Herbs meets or exceeds all quality assurance standards set by every agency. This product has been tested for heavy metals and pollutants (certifiably non-detectable) and meets all regulatory standards of safety. Our internal, repeated controls are consistently implemented to meet Ron Teeguarden’s extreme quality standards. All products are bottled, stored and shipped from our beautiful state-of-the-art warehouse in Southern California. The product is ONLY handled by highly trained and skilled experts at every stage of production and delivery.

Extreme measures have been implemented since January of 2020 to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at all stages of production. Workers are repeatedly temperature checked and antibody tested, wear KN95 facial masks (“respirators”) and other protective gear at all times, and wash their hands multiple time per day. All facilities are disinfected daily as appropriate. Microbial testing of products is regularly conducted.

This proprietary tincture contains all the remarkable phytonutrients contained in wild Cordyceps while it is still fresh from the mountain and the potent phytochemicals of rice-grown cultured Cordyceps militaris. There are no additives.

We are confident that this is the finest extraction of pure Cordyceps available anywhere in the world today.



Keep out of reach of children. Should you have a pre-existing medical condition, please consult your doctor before using this product. Pregnant women should exercise caution when taking herbal supplements. Please consult your doctors and licensed herbalist.

† Cases of dry mouth, nausea, abdominal distension, throat discomfort, headache and diarrhea as well as allergic reactions, have been reported, especially in people who are at risk of allergic and autoimmune-inflammatory reactions. If you are under medical care for such a condition, or have any reason to suspect the safety of Cordyceps for you, consult your senior tonic herbalist and physician before using this or any herb.


History of Cordyceps

Wild Himalayan Cordyceps has a history of over a thousand years of use in the Tibetan and Chinese herbal systems. Cordyceps is a fungus that has been known to Chinese medicine since the Ming Dynasty. Many beneficial properties have been attributed to it, many of which are supported by modern research. Cordyceps sinensis is an invigorant in Chinese tradition and was honored as one of the three greatest invigorants together with Panax Ginseng and Deer Antler. And like Ginseng and Deer Antler, Cordyceps is considered to be highly aphrodisiac, as well as strengthening to the mental faculties. In Asian tradition, it is considered to be a longevity herb.

In recent decades, wild-collected Cordyceps mushrooms have become one of the most coveted (if not the most coveted) tonic herbs in the world. It is extremely precious and rare – and is thus extremely expensive. It is believed to be the most expensive herb in the world. Premium high-mountain Cordyceps mushrooms (such as we use in this private reserve Dragon Herbs product) can typically sell in Asian markets for many thousands of dollars a pound, and the price rises every year.

The medicinal and tonic properties of the fungus have been known to the Tibetans and other Himalayans for at least fifteen hundred years. Shepherds noticed that their flocks became particularly energetic after consuming the fungus. The shepherds started to consume it themselves and found that it was remarkably invigorating. Traditionally, they believed it to be a profound aphrodisiac.

The fungus has been known to Chinese medicine since the Ming Dynasty (about 800 years ago), It has been a staple of the tonic herbalism of the wealthy classes in China, Korea and Japan since then. It is considered an “imperial herb” (suitable for the emperor or empresses).



Research on Cordyceps continues at a strong pace. Over 3,500 research studies have been published describing the biology, actions and functions of Cordyceps.

There are far too many enlightening studies to describe all of them in this space. So here are summaries of a choice few.


Main Constituents

Cordyceps contains dozens of active constituents, the main constituent being cordycepin, along with adenosine and cordycepic acid. Dragon Herbs Bhutanese Wild Cordyceps Drops is rich in these bioactive constituents.

Cordyceps contains substantial amounts of bioactive components such as proteins, fats, essential amino acids, volatile oils, carotenoids, phenolic compounds, flavonoids, minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, nickel, sodium, titanium, palladium, selenium, manganese, zinc, silicon, potassium, chromium, gallium, vanadium and zirconium), vitamins B1, B2, B12, E and K, as well as various types of carbohydrates such as monosaccharides, oligosaccharides, polysaccharides, exopolysaccharides, sterols, proteoglucans, nucleosides, etc.

Cordyceps have been reported to contain other bioactive components such as cordycepin, phenolic compounds, cordycepic acid, adenosine, terpenoids, amphinol, steroids, ergosterol, lectins, and more.

Cordycepin Basic Functions

Cordycepin is generally considered to be the principle active constituent due to its powerful nutraceutical and tonic activity. Cordycepin (A above) is structurally similar in structure to adenosine (B above).

Cordycepin has been reported to have a wide variety of pharmacological actions such as antioxidant and immune-modulatory actions.*

Oral intake of cordycepin could increase the level of osteocalcin, a marker of bone formation.


Cordycepin May Protect Against Skin Aging Due to Exposure to UV Radiation

Cordycepin is reputed to help in the maintenance of healthy skin by reducing inflammation and mitigating sun damage in the skin.

Cordycepin inhibits UVB-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression by suppressing the inflammatory NF-κB pathway in human dermal fibroblasts. In experiments, UVB-in¬duced NF-κB. Activation of MMP and MMP expression were completely blocked by cordycepin pretreatment, in in vitro experiments.

Going a little deeper, it is well established that a nuclear transcription factor, NF-κB (nuclear factor-kappa B), is activated upon exposure to UV irradiation. NF-κB is known to increase MMP-1 in dermis cells. It is also reported that UVB-mediated skin photoaging is prevented by suppression of NF-κB activation. Skin change is one of the most prominent signs of aging. Skin aging can be divided into intrinsic or chronologic aging, which is the process of senescence that affects all body organs, and extrinsic aging (generally photoaging), which occurs as a consequence of exposure to environmental factors. One of the most important extrinsic aging factors is sunlight, particularly exposure to UVB irradiation, which causes skin photoaging. It has been well known that chronic exposure of human skin to UVB radiation results in photoaging and induces the production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs).

MMPs are responsible for the degradation or synthesis inhibition of collagenous extracellular matrix in connective tissues. Collagen represents the main component of the extracellular matrix of dermal connective tissue, and its concentration decreases in both chronologic aging and photoaging. NF-κB is a crucial factor for the immunoinflammatory responses. Although NF-κB is involved in maintaining the skin homeostasis, excessive activation is known to be highly detrimental. NF-κB is initially quietly located in the cytoplasm of every human cell in an inactive form complexed with an inhibitory factor of NF-κB. UVB exposure can dissociate this complex, resulting in NF-KB being released from the complex. NF-κB then instantaneously translocates to the nucleus, where it interacts with specific DNA sites to initiate gene transcrip¬tion. These genes turn on the inflammatory process in the body. This process is necessary for life, but if the inflammation is excessive, the body will show signs of inflammaging – aging due to chronic inflammation. All humans develop inflammaging as we age, but it can be exacerbated by harsh environmental factors like UVB light, xenotoxins (environmental toxins), and many more things. Inflammaging can also be reduced through a healthy lifestyle. Cordyceps is a factor that may reduce inflammaging.

Cordycepin was found to block UVB-induced NF-κB pathways, thereby inhibiting the MMPs expression. These findings suggest that cordycepin may prevent UVB-induced MMPs expressions through inhibition of NF-κB activation.

In conclusion, cordycepin may be a potential agent for the prevention of skin photoaging due to sun exposure in the course of normal living.

However, this role has not yet been proven to treat, prevent or mitigate any skin disease.*


Point of Interest to Mycology and Biology Enthusiasts

Though Cordyceps is considered to be a mushroom, the biology of mushrooms is actually quite complex, and that of Cordyceps is among the most complicated – and elusive.

There is considerable discussion among scientists whether the various species of Cordyceps are in fact single organisms or if they are actually symbiotic colonies of more than one organism. It is possible (or even probable) that wild Cordyceps sinensis may be a fungal/bacterial symbiosis. Remember, a large percentage of the genes in the human body, scientists now know, aren’t even human – they belong to the thousands of species of bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms that live symbiotically in our body. Researchers estimated in 2019 that the total number of genes in the collective human microbiome could be around 232 million. An international research effort called the Human Genome Project, which worked to determine the sequence of the human genome and identify the genes that it contains, estimated that humans have between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. These microorganisms are mostly friendly, but they are not just living in us independently. Researchers now know that some (or many) of them actually control functions in our body, including how we handle nutrients like sugar and salt. Some even control our appetite, and others have an influence over our emotions and compulsions.

Similar symbiotic networks are now increasingly believed to be applicable to all multicellular life (plant, animal or fungus) on the planet. These symbioses have even played key roles in evolution. Our cells contain mitochondria that were originally microbes that found their way into our cells on an ongoing basis. The same is true of chloroplasts in plants. In fact, most of the “organelles” that define our human cells are now believed to have originally been trapped microorganisms that had specific value to the cells they came to inhabit.

You are probably familiar with Kombucha. Kombucha is generally thought of by the public as a fungus, but in fact it is not a fungus at all. It is an as-of-yet imperfectly identified symbiosis of various healthy yeasts and acetic acid bacteria. So kombucha is in fact not a fungus at all. The same is true of Jun, which appears to be similar to kombucha, but is actually a different set of creatures. In nature, things are generally not completely as they appear.

However, it is certain that Cordyceps IS PRIMARILY a fungus and is considered to be one in biology, mycology, herbally and by the public. Surely its genetics are a reflection of numerous evolutionary and experiential (life cycle) influences. It appears that during certain stages of its life cycle, Cordyceps may temporarily incorporate some DNA from the caterpillar or other food source into its own genome, much as human genes contain many genes that originated in viruses and bacteria.

DNA sequencing has so far proven inconclusive as to what exactly Cordyceps sinensis (officially Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is. This is because the DNA sequence actually changes with time and even from one collection site to another (just as the human microbiome is different for every individual human, especially over time and from place to place). It does appear that the fungus may be incorporating some of the insect DNA into its own DNA code at the initial stage, then loses the insect DNA when it further develops. However, some insect and bacterial genes may have long since become permanently incorporated into the Cordyceps genome.

Thus, it would not be at all surprising if Cordyceps turns out to be some kind of unique blend of organisms with primarily fungal traits. Mixed genomes are highly probable in every living creature and in EVERYTHING we eat. Humans are a mixed genome.


Improving Our Innate Antioxidant Activity

Cordyceps sinensis extract improved the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase and catalase. These are the three primary innate antioxidants in the mammalian and human body. Cordyceps lowered the level of pro-oxidation – lipid peroxidation and monoamine oxidase – activity in the aged mice. The study demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis extract can improve the brain function and antioxidative enzyme activity in senescent mice and promote sexual function in castrated rats. All of these findings suggest that Cordyceps sinensis extract has an antiaging effect in mice.

Cordyceps is a potent antioxidant, roughly equivalent to Vitamin C. Non-toxic antioxidants from natural sources, particularly medicinal plants, are known to prevent oxidative damage due to their richness in polyphenolics and bioactive compounds. The antioxidant activity of Cordyceps has been reported by various authors.


Adaptogenic-Immunomodulatory Effects

Cordycepin has been shown to be an effective immunomodulator. An increasing number of studies indicate that cordycepin is a bi-directional immune modulator with both suppressive as well as activating effects on the immune system by regulating the adaptive and innate immunity. This is the basis of Cordyceps’ reputation and categorization as an adaptogen.


A polysaccharide from Cordyceps sinensis REGULATES intestinal immunity and gut microbiota in mice.

According to a paper published in the scientific journal Food Functions in June, 2021, a polysaccharide from Cordyceps sinensis was reported regulate the balance of T helper (Th)1/Th2 cells in mice. Moreover, Cordyceps sinensis Polysaccharide upregulated the mRNA expression of toll like receptors, while it downregulated the TLR-4 expression. In addition, Cordyceps sinensis Polysaccharide modulated the intestinal microbiota composition. These findings indicated that Cordyceps sinensis Polysaccharide “may enhance intestinal immunity and have the potential to become a prebiotic to regulate intestinal microbiota.”

Himalayan Cordyceps Found to Improve Blood Oxygenation

Chinese cordyceps has long been used by people and animals living at high altitudes, knowingly or unknowingly to improve blood, heart and brain oxygenation. A study published in May, 2021 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported that 17 different pathways were identified which acted on, or seemed to be related to, the regulation of blood oxygen levels. The VEGF signal pathway was one of the most important pathways.


Cordycepin, a main constituent of Cordyceps, regulates major signaling pathways

Cordycepin regulates (modulates) nuclear factor kappa B (NF‐κB), a master gene regulator of innate immune response, and the Nrf2 signaling pathway, which is the master signaling process of normal bodily detoxification of toxic materials that enter the liver. Nrf2 is a critical Phase II detoxifying modulator.


Cordyceps militaris Upregulates Krebs Cycle Activity and ATP Level in Rat Brain

The brain requires more energy than any other organ in the body. ATP is the energy molecule of the whole body, and is fundamental brain. It was reported in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms in 2020 that Cordyceps militaris upregulates respiratory chain complex activity and ATP levels in rat brains.


Klotho Increased by Consumption of Cordyceps sinensis Under Experimental Conditions

Chinese researchers have reported that the consumption of Cordyceps sinensis extract by laboratory animals, under experimental conditions, showed a significant increase in the expression of Klotho. Klotho has been dubbed the “Longevity Factor” by longevity researchers around the world.


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*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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