Generic Name: Caterpillar fungus


What is caterpillar fungus used for?

Caterpillar fungus is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China.

Caterpillar fungus is used to treat coughs, chronic bronchitis, respiratory disorders, kidney disorders, nighttime urination, male sexual problems, anemia, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol, liver disorders, dizziness, weakness, ringing in the ears, unwanted weight loss, and opiumaddiction.

It is also used for strengthening the immune system, improving athletic performance, reducing the effects of aging, promoting longer life, and improving liver function in people with hepatitis B.

Some people use caterpillar fungus as a stimulant, a tonic, and an “adaptogen,” which is used to increase energy, enhance stamina, and reduce fatigue.

How does it work?

There are not enough studies about how caterpillar fungus works. Please discuss with your doctor for more information. However, it is known that caterpillar fungus might improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. It may also have activity against cancer cells and may shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using caterpillar fungus?

Consult with your doctor or pharmacist or herbalist, if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription.
  • You have allergy with any substances of caterpillar fungus or other medications or other herbs.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.
  • You have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.

The regulations for a supplement are less strict than the regulations for a drug. More studies are needed to determine its safety. The benefits of taking this supplement must outweigh the risks before use. Consult with your doctor for more information.

How safe is caterpillar fungus?

Caterpillar fungus is possibly safe for most people when taken appropriately by mouth, short-term.

Special precautions & warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking caterpillar fungus if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

“Auto-immune diseases” such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Caterpillar fungus might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it’s best to avoid using caterpillar fungus.

Bleeding disorders: Caterpillar fungus might slow blood clotting. Taking caterpillar fungus might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders.

Surgery: Using caterpillar fungus might increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Stop taking caterpillar fungus 2 weeks before surgery.

Side effects

What kind of side effects may I have from caterpillar fungus?

If you have any concerns about side effects, please consult your  doctor.


What interactions may I have with caterpillar fungus?

Caterpillar fungus may interact with your current medications or medical conditions. Consult with your doctor before using.

Products that may interact with caterpillar fungus include:

  • Cyclophosphamide

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) is used to decrease the immune system. Caterpillar fungus seems to increase the immune system. Taking caterpillar fungus along with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) might decrease the effectiveness of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar).

  • Immunosuppressants

Caterpillar fungus might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, caterpillar fungus might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

  • Prednisolone

Prednisolone is sometimes used to decrease the immune system. Taking caterpillar fungus might make prednisolone less effective for decreasing the immune system.


The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your herbalist or doctor before using this medication.

What is the usual dose for caterpillar fungus?

The dose for caterpillar fungus may be different for every patient. The dose that you take depends on your age, health, and several other conditions. Supplements are not always safe. Please discuss with your doctor for your appropriate dosage.

What form does caterpillar fungus come in?

Caterpillar fungus may be available in the following forms:

  • Raw caterpillar fungus
  • Encapsulated caterpillar fungus

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: September 13, 2017 | Last Modified: September 13, 2017

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