Women with caterpillar fungus

Uyghur women in Xinjiang hold dry caterpillar fungus (冬虫夏草 dōngchóngxiàcǎo), also known as yartsa gunbu and Himalayan Viagra. Many people in China believe that it is an aphrodisiac and can prevent cancer. However, a recent report published by Cell Chemical Biology concluded that the fungus doesn’t have any anti-carcinogenic properties.

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Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita is an award-winning photographer who has been shooting for National Geographic magazine for more than 30 years. He specialized in Asia after spending seven years in the region following his graduation from Wesleyan University.