Morchella Esculenta-Guchhi, Morels
Morchella esculenta, (commonly known as common morel, morel, yellow morel, true morel, morel mushroom, and sponge morel) is a species of fungus in the Morchellaceae family of the Ascomycota. It is one of the most readily recognized of all the edible mushrooms and highly sought after. Each fruit body begins as a tightly compressed, grayish sponge with lighter ridges, and expands to form a large yellowish sponge with large pits and ridges raised on a large white stem. The pitted yellow-brown caps measure 2–7 cm (0.8–2.8 in) broad by 2–10 cm (0.8–3.9 in) tall, and are fused to the stem at its lower margin, forming a continuous hollow. The pits are rounded and irregularly arranged. The hollow stem is typically 2–9 cm (0.8–3.5 in) long by 2–5 cm (0.8–2.0 in) thick, and white to yellow. The fungus fruits underhardwoods during a short period in the spring, depending on the weather, but it is also associated with old orchards, woods, disturbed grounds and burnt areas. Although a process was reported in 1982 to grow the fruit bodies under controlled conditions, attempts to cultivate the mushroom commercially have only been partially successful.
Amomum Aromaticum, Black Cardamom (or cardamon) refers to several plants of the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the ginger family Zingiberaceae. Both genera are native to Nepal, India and Bhutan; they are recognised by their small seed pod, triangular in cross-section and spindle-shaped, with a thin papery outer shell and small black seeds. Today, the majority of cardamom is still grown in southern India, although some other countries, such as Guatemala and Sri Lanka, have also begun to cultivate it. Elettaria pods are light green while Amomum pods are larger and dark brown.
The caterpillar fungus, Cordyceps Sinensis is an expensive medicinal mushroom commonly seen in Chinese gift shops and traditional pharmacies. In China it is known colloquially as chongcao (“worm-grass”), a shortened form of dongchong xiacao, which is itself a translation of the Tibetan name yartsa gunbu (“summer-grass, winterworm”). Although formerly used as a medicinal food, often cooked with chicken or duck, it is now so expensive that most users cannot afford it except in medicinal quantities. Nonetheless, among the wealthy and powerful in China, Cordyceps has come to rival French champagne as a status symbol at dinner parties or as a prestigious gift. Cordyceps or Yarsagumba or Yarchagumba in nepal is also a rare species of plant widely used both in clinical medicine. Yarsagumba with its Latin name cordyceps sinesis literally means summer plant and winter insect in the higher himalayan region of Nepal. Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinesis) locally called as “Yarchagumba or Yarsagumba” which is an insect parasite fungus having high commercial demand as tonic/aphrodisiac. Cordyceps or Yarsagumba or Yarchagumba is a rare and unique herb that grows in the meadows above 3,500 meters (11,483 feet) in the Himalayan region of Nepal.
Paris Polyphylla – Satuwa
Paris polyphylla Sm. (Satuwa) one of the medicinal plants listed as vulnerable under IUCN threat category was studied in midhills of Nepal. Family: Liliaceae, Local name Satuwa, is an important perennial medicinal plant growing under the canopy of moist temperate forest in Nepal. Rhizome of Paris polyphylla is widely used in Nepal as an antihelmintic, antispasmodic, digestive stomachic, expectorant and vermifuge. Powder from rhizome is used for fever and food poisoning. Root paste is applied as an antidote to snake bites and poisonous insect bites and also to alleviate narcotic effects. Chewing a piece of the root is believed to heal internal wounds below the throat while applied on cut it heals external wounds.
Picrorhiza kurroa – Kutki
Botanical Name Picrorhiza kurroa. Common Names, Hu huang lian (China), titka kul (Ayurvedic), picrorhiza, kutki,
katuka, kutka (Hindu, Sanskrit), kadu (Gujarati). Picrorhiza kurroa grows in the hilly regions of the North-Western Himalayan region from Kashmir to Kumaun and Garhwal regions of India and Nepal. It is found at 3,000 – 5,000 meters (7-14,000 feet) of elevation, growing in rocky crevices and moist, sandy soil. The bitter tasting roots of picrorhiza kurroa are hard, about 6-10 inches in length, and creeping. The leaves are 2-4 inches long, oval in shape with a sharp apex, flat, and serrate. The flowers are white or pale purple on a long spike, blooming in June through August. The fruit is ½ inch long and oval in shape. The rhizome of picrorhiza kurroa is manually harvested in October through December.
Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. Crocus is a genus in the family Iridaceae. Each saffron crocus grows to 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and bears up to four flowers, each with three vivid crimson stigmas, which are each the distal end of a carpel. Together with the styles, or stalks that connect the stigmas to their host plant, the dried stigmas are used mainly in various cuisines as a seasoning and colouring agent. Saffron, long among the world’s most costly spices by weight and was first cultivated in Greece. As a genetically monomorphic clone, it was slowly propagated throughout much of Eurasia and was later brought to parts of North Africa, North America, and Oceania.