Gorkhatimes

A Gorkha weblog which intends to keeps you updated about everything and bring together all Gorkhali community

Himalayan Viagra excites Sikkim govt

Posted by Ramesh Khati on July 11, 2009

GANGTOK, 10 JULY: In an attempt to mobilise its untapped bio-revenue, the state government is all set to legalise the collection and marketing of an exotic medicinal herb, cordyceps Sinensis, from the highland forests of Sikkim.
Cordyceps Sinensis, popularly known as “caterpillar fungus”, is also known as “Yarcha-Gombuk” in the Himalayan region. Owing to its aphrodisiacal properties it is better recognised as “Himalayan Viagra.” One kilogram of the caterpillar fungus is said to fetch as much as US $2,000 on the global market.
Earlier this week, the “Cordceyps Sinensis (Yartsa Gunbu/Vegetative Caterpillar) Collection and Selling Rules-2009” notification, defines the collection and marketing rules of the exotic medicinal herb, along with provisions for penalties that would come into force with its inclusion in the official gazette.
Nepal and Bhutan have already legalised the collection and marketing of the exotic medicinal herb. Cordyceps sinensis, a rare combination of a caterpillar and a fungus, is found in altitudes above 4,500 metres in the Himalayas. In Sikkim, it is found in areas like Green Lake, Dzongri, Thamjey, Nathu La Pass, Doman Valley, Tholung Pass and other areas above 8,000 ft. All these areas are under the forest department. Though no resource survey of this medicinal herb has been conducted in Sikkim, the forest department says that it knows where the herb can be found.
After a proper survey of the demarcated areas, the state forest department has framed certain rules for the collection of Cordyceps Sinensis. Only registered Joint Forest Management Committees (JFMCs) and Eco Development Committees (EDCs) are allowed to collect the medicinal herb after obtaining permission from the Range Officer. Field verification via approval of Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) of the State forest department will also be required. No collection is permitted in the wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the State.
The quantity collected would then be auctioned by a committee set up by the State government with 75 per cent of the proceeds going to the JFMC who have collected the Cordyceps Sinensis while the remaining 25 percent will be deposited in the government revenue.
The State government will also undertake research to determine the proper techniques of collection, drying, value addition, storage and transportation of Cordyceps Sinensis and then train the relevant persons. Experts on medicinal plants here have welcomed the proposal. They also said that foreign technology is readily available to artificially produce the medicinal herb in Sikkim.

Source: The Statesman

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: