Popular rush to mountains to collect rare potent herb

LAMJUNG: People from several districts are thronging to the mountains of Lamjung and Manang to collect the valuable medicinal herb Yarshagumba.

Hordes of people could be seen climbing up the mountains, Manang locals said, adding that people could also be seen heading to Manang via Besisahar, the headquarters of Lamjung district.

Some 1800 people from various districts including Gorkha, Tanahun, Dhading and Lumjung are heading to the high altitude areas of Manang district since April 22.

As Yarshagumbas could be found in the areas like Namke, Kicho, Yaak, Ghumre, Pisang, Namle and Phuku in the Upper Manang, people are heading to these areas in search of the valuable medicinal herb, locals said. “Yarshagumbas are also available in the Lower Manang, however, people usually prefer high altitudes as Yarshagumbas found in lower altitudes are smaller and less valuable,” a local Man Bahadur Tamang said.

Manang locals had restricted people of other districts from collecting the medicinal herb in the area last year. However, outsiders are allowed to collect the herbs by paying Rs 3000 to the Yarshagumba Committee, a local BP Lama said, adding, “A Manang local is required to pay Rs 2000 to the committee to collect the herb.”

A person was killed when the locals and people of other districts had clashed in the course of collecting the expensive herb two years ago. Each piece of Yarshagumba was sold at Rs 250 in Manang last year.