Lab grown Cordycep militaris. Image: Northeast Now

Bodoland University of Assam’s Kokrajhar has developed a specialized fungal powder from a super mushroom known as Cordycep militaris to help people boost immunity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was prepared by freezing. The outcome was a potent pinch of C militaris, powdered through lyophilization at –80°C. The earth has more than 400 species of Cordyceps, a fungus parasitic on insects as well as other fungi,” said Sandeep Das, Dean of BU’s faculty of Science and Technology.

“Natural Cordyceps is hard to get and if dried, costs at least ?8 lakh per kg. Our lab has been growing C. militaris since 2017 at a fraction of the cost,” he added.

The mushroom is well known for its immune-modulating effect, anti-aging, anti-viral as well as energy booster effect.

Das also heads the Technology Incubation Centre on Mushrooms that is funded by the Central Government’s Department of Biotechnology, in the university.

Bodoland University has decided to provide Cordycep capsules for free to civilians to boost immunity to thwart COVID-19 and its capsulation process is underway.

Sources said the Department of Biotechnology of the university has already ordered capsules in two sizes from a firm based in Nashik in Maharashtra.

Each capsule containing the powdered super mushroom would cost Rs 120 if produced commercially.

“Our university is almost a pioneer in lab-growing Cordyceps. The least I could do is make the paperwork fast to let a passionate team innovate,” said Laishram Ladu Singh, BU’s vice-chancellor.

Shajid Khan

Shajid Khan is Northeast Now Correspondent in Udalguri. He can be reached at: itsshajidkhan@gmail.com