Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, you shouldn't take an herbal medication called Royal Medic No. 1 Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, according to an urgent Health Canada warning released today.
Why shouldn't I eat Royal Medic No. 1 Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, you ask? After all, Utah State University's "Fun Facts About Fungi" says "some people believe the caterpillar fungus cures tuberculosis, coughing, anemia, and back and knee pains," not to mention its supposed strength-enhancing, stress-reducing properties.
Well you might ask, dear reader. The product -- "a fruiting body produced by the fungus, Cordyceps sinesis, on dead caterpillars of the moth Hepilus fabricius" -- sounds appetizing indeed.
Health Canada's moratorium on the med, the warning explains, is due to "concerns about possible side-effects... due to microbial contamination."
Whew -- good thing Health Canada is on top of this one. Though, to be fair, they're a tad behind their counterparts: a paltry six months behind the Hong Kong Department of Health, and a measly three and a half months behind the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Images: Health Canada and Utah State University
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Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Posted by David Elkins and others at 5:19 PM