Cordyceps is a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects . When these fungi attack their host, they replace its tissue and sprout long, slender stems that grow outside the host’s body.
A question we ran across in our research was “What is a Cordyceps?”.
Lets see if we can figure it out! Cordyceps is a fungus that grows out of the larval body of an insect at altitudes about 3800m to create a powerfully healing medicinal mushroom (though not technically a mushroom, most practitioners classify it under that heading). Mother Nature is truly incredible!
Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps is available in the United States as a dietary supplement. There are 400 species of cordyceps, most of which are native to Bhutan, China, Korea, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam .
What is the history of Cordyceps?
Cordyceps originated in traditional Chinese medicine about 5,000 years ago—they’re one of the world’s oldest “superfoods.” The health benefits of cordyceps were first described in ancient Chinese medical texts , and folk healers have used them alone or combined with other Chinese herbs to fight various diseases.
What are the benefits of cordyceps?
Cordyceps are thought to increase the body’s production of the molecule adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles. The elderly have traditionally used Cordyceps to reduce fatigue and boost strength and sex drive . Cordyceps ’ potential to slow the growth of tumors has generated significant interest in recent years. Cordyceps contain a special type of sugar that may help treat diabetes.
The remains of the insect and fungi have been hand-collected, dried and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease and low sex drive. Supplements and products containing Cordyceps extract have become increasingly popular due to their many purported health benefits.
Moreover, what are the benefits of Cordyceps?
Most cordyceps supplements are made in a lab. Cordyceps might improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. It might also help fight cancer cells and shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.
For instance, one animal study in Acta Pharmacologica Sinica showed that cordyceps extract helped reduce damage to the heart and liver in rats with kidney disease .
You should be wondering “What are the health benefits of a Cordyceps mushroom?”
Cordyceps is a type of medicinal mushroom said to offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps is available in the United States as a dietary supplement.
How long does it take for cordyceps to work?
Although the exact chemical pathway of this is unclear, studies have shown that kidneys health improve notably after only one month of regular cordyceps herbal usage. Word of Caution: Cordyceps does have a small effect on lowering blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for diabetics, so they should avoid its use.
How many ailments can Cordyceps treat?
It was found that most local folk healers/traditional healers use cordyceps for the treatment of 21 ailments. A modern literature search was carried out to assess whether the curative effects are valid or just blind faith of local people.
Cordyceps has long been used as a traditional treatment for diabetes in China. While there are few quality studies investigating these effects in humans, several animal studies have been conducted, usually with disappointing or inconclusive results.
Another common inquiry is “Can Cordyceps kill cancer cells?”.
According to a 2008 study published in the Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, a cordyceps extract was able to trigger apoptosis (cell death) in breast cancer cells in test tube studies. Similar results have been seen with colon cancer cells. The cordycepins in the cordyceps mushroom also appear to be toxic to leukemia cells.
Another frequently asked inquiry is “Does Cordyceps help with cyclosporine?”.
Our answer was kidney damage caused by the drug cyclosporine. There is early evidence that taking cordyceps with cyclosporine can reduce kidney damage caused by cyclosporine in people with kidney transplants. Early evidence shows that taking cordyceps by mouth might improve liver function in people with hepatitis B.