1 December 2014

Yartsa Gunba & Tummo

I think very few people in the world would have ever used the words Yartsa Gunba and Tummo in the same sentence before.
Any Google search for one or either will be directed here for sure.

This will be because I will refer to them a few times.

I won’t do the #YartsaGunba bit – but I could if I wanted to.

I now know how to do it but I still don’t see the point.

Tweeting is still just bird song to me

I don’t want to Twitter.

My friend the Guru Rinpoche gave me six Yartsa Gunba to bring back to Singapore with me.

To help with my head pain.

He has also been giving me his Tummo healing. It is sensationally painful digging into my neck and shoulders for about 3 excruciating minutes then some yoga exercises and some quick meditation.

It doesn’t take long at all.

I have had chronic and frequent and acute head pain for nearly three years.


I have been treated by first dentists and endodontists then Neurologists and Neurosurgeons and Ear, Nose and Throat dudes and then just a Pain Man.

A doctor who just deals with chronic pain.

With painkillers.

He is an Anesthetist.

I started acupuncture four months ago and it is helping but I thought I would give Tummo a try - as the Guru Rinpoche is primarily a healer by reincarnation and meditation and teaching – and is one of very few practitioners of this in the world.

I asked if he would treat me and he told me that he would.

His treatment is short and brutal and it really hurts - but also I think effective. I have made video of me being treated and I scream in pain at times.

The Guru has healed many hundreds of others of people with worse ailments than my own.

So Tummo is worth a crack.

I shall write no more on the subject of Tummo Meditation and healing - suffice to say it is old and I am getting it.

I am not however a travel guide or a history teacher - so look it up yourself.

Unless you are practitioners of Ancient Tibetan or Chinese or Traditional Chinese medicine you would likely never heard of it.

The Yartsa Gunba.

I hadn’t before I start coming to Nepal

Yartsa Gunba is also known as Yarsagumba, Yarchagumba, and Yatsa Gunbu it is a potent cure-all and aphrodisiac.
It is actually a type of parasitical fungus that is like a caterpillar and is called Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis). At certain times of the year at very high altitudes - it grows on and kills Tibetan ghost moths during their larval phase.
This happens underground.
A tiny mushroom sprouts from the head of the dead larva – and for a few weeks a year it pokes its little head a few millimeters out of the ground – and this is when and how Tibetan and Chinese dudes living at very high altitude find them.
They ‘pick’ them and then dry them and sell them traders who sell them to the world market.
They are big bucks.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) claims the fungus—which is boiled and added to tea or soup—can act as an aphrodisiac, cure cancer and fight fatigue.
They are very rare – and by weight they are more expensive than the very best truffles and saffron put together
Although the fungus has been used in TCM for centuries, - its demand really took off after 1993 when three female Chinese runners broke world records and their coach told the media he had fed the athletes Yarsagumba in a soup of turtle blood.
The steroids might have helped too though.
Yarsagumba is harvested by Nepalese villagers – mostly from the Upper Dolpo region where Rinpoche comes from - who sell it for more about $25 a gram. In Kathmandu retail prices soar to $150 per gram or more.
In Hong Kong and Shanghai multiply that by ten.
To receive six Yartsa Gunba from the Guru Rinpoche is a most generous gift indeed.
Climate change is supposedly shrinking the already limited supplies each year. The Dolpo and other high Himalayas regions where the fungus normally grow have experienced lower levels of snow and rain as well as higher temperatures in their winters in the past few years.
Global Warming is touching everywhere.
Here too at the top of the world.
My head hurts a little and I shall have some Yartsa Gunba seeped with hot water in a little while. I shall also take one to work tomorrow to show my Traditional Chinese Doctor Miss Jun - the animal/vegetable insect creature.
I think she will know it and will be interested in seeing it.
The Guru told me it would ease the pain

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