Ophiocordyceps sinensis (formerly known as Cordyceps sinensis) is an entomopathogenic fungus (a fungus that grows on insects) found in mountainous regions of Nepal and Tibet. It parasitizes larvae of ghost moths and produces a fruiting body which used to be valued as a herbal remedy. However, it usually contains high amount of arsenic and other heavy metals so that it is potentially toxic and its manufacture and sales were strictly regulated by CFDA (China Food and Drug Administration) in 2016.
Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible sac fungi closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi in the order Pezizales (division Ascomycota). These distinctive fungi have a honeycomb appearance, due to the network of ridges with pits composing their cap. Morels are prized by gourmet cooks, particularly in French cuisine. Due to difficulties in cultivation, commercial harvesting of wild morels has become a multimillion-dollar industry in the temperate Northern Hemisphere, in particular North America, Turkey, China, the Himalayas, India, and Pakistan, where these highly prized fungi are found in abundance.
Saffron's taste and iodoform or hay-like fragrance result from the chemicals picrocrocin and safranal.It also contains a carotenoid pigment, crocin, which imparts a rich golden-yellow hue to dishes and textiles. Its recorded history is attested in a 7th-century BC Assyrian botanical treatise compiled under Ashurbanipal,and it has been traded and used for over four millennia. Iran now accounts for approximately 90% of the world production of saffron.
This flowering plant usually grows up to 90 cm (3 ft) high and spreads out about 30 cm (1 ft) wide. Its leaves grow in a single whorl below a flower growing in two whorls.It is used as an ornamental plant for woodland gardens or for planting under deciduous trees.
It is classified in Chinese medicine as warm in nature, sweet and slightly bitter in taste, and nontoxic. The dose in decoction for clinical use is 5-10 g. It can be ground to powder for swallowing directly or taking mixed with water: the dose in that case is usually 1-3 grams.