The mummified caterpillars are said to be much more potent than ginseng
Police in Indian-administered Kashmir have arrested four people trying to smuggle the rare medicinal herb, caterpillar fungus, to China.
The fungus - known as caterpillar mushroom - is used in Chinese medicine and is believed to be an aphrodisiac.
Police say about 90kg (200lb) of the fungus was seized in the Ladakh region near China. It is worth about $300,000 (£180,000) on the black market.
Caterpillar fungus is found about 5,000m (16,500ft) above sea level.
It must be harvested in freezing monsoon rains in the alpine pastures of the Himalayan mountains around Tibet.
The fungal parasite - Cordyceps sinensis - infects the larvae of a butterfly and grows inside the body of the insect.
The parasite eventually kills the insect when it becomes a caterpillar and then the fungus grows out of the head of the dead caterpillar.
The power of the fungus was discovered some 1,500 years ago and was used by Ming Dynasty rulers as an aphrodisiac and a cure for infertility.
Recent Chinese studies suggest it also has cancer-fighting and cholesterol-lowering properties.