The History and Health Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms
What is Cordyceps?
Cordyceps (also known as Cordyceps Sinensis) is a type of fungi that grows on the larvae of insects. When the fungi attacks their host, they replace its tissue and sprout long stems that grow outside of the host’s body. The remains of the insect and fungi have been collected, dried and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat things like fatigue and sickness .
What does Cordyceps do?
Cordyceps are most well known for their ability to naturally boost energy. The energy that Cordyceps provides is gradual, and does not result in a crash.
Cordyceps increases the body’s production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)*, which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles. This can improve the way your body uses oxygen, especially during exercise , resulting in a more effective workout.
A study was done by the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, showing that participants who had taken Cordceps for 6 weeks had improved their VO-2 max were increased while subjects who took a placebo were unchanged .
*ATP is an energy-carrying molecule and happens to be in the cells of all living things. From the breakdown of food molecules, it captures chemical energy and releases it to fuel other cellular processes .
*Antioxidants are molecules that fight cell damage by neutralizing free radicals, which can otherwise contribute to disease and aging
Reduces Symptoms of Fatigue
Too much stress can result in your body not being able to produce proper amounts of cortisol*. When this happens, symptoms of fatigue begin to appear.
Cordyceps is an adaptogen that can support the adrenal glands. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants that can help your body adapt to the stressors it faces every day. Therefore, Cordyceps can help balance out any symptoms of fatigue .
*Cortisol is a naturally-occurring steroid hormone that plays a key role in the body's stress response.1 While it is often called "the stress hormone" for its best-known role, it also contributes to many of the body's processes .
Because of it's antioxidant effects, Cordyceps are believed to be a good anti-inflammatory supplement. Studies have shown that beta d-glucan* seems to be the most potent anti-inflammatory compound present in the polysaccharide extracts of Cordyceps .
Because Cordyceps can reduce inflammation, studies have shown that this mushroom has reduced symptoms of high blood pressure and cholesterol, arthritis, diabetes, and other health issues regarding inflammation.
*Beta-glucans are sugars that are found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeasts, algae, lichens, and plants, such as oats and barley. They are sometimes used as medicine. Beta-glucans are most commonly used for heart disease and high cholesterol .
Strengthens Immune System
By stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system, Cordyceps may be able to improve immunity. It is also thought to help fight certain cancer cells (particularly lung or skin cancers) and also shrink tumor size.
Having a strong immune system not only fights off disease and infections, but it also promotes restful sleep, combats viruses, enables fast recovery, and overall leaves you feeling your best, daily.
Cordyceps can also be beneficial after a kidney transplant in order to reduce immune cell infiltration. When given to humans, Cordyceps can have preventative effects along immunosuppressive therapy.
Improves Sexual and Reproductive Dysfunctions
Cordyceps offers a natural and powerful alternative to libido-enhancing pharmaceutical drugs, proven in many studies and used by various cultures worldwide to treat male impotence, improve erectile function, sperm production and stamina, and increase sexual desire in both men and women .
Studies have shown that Cordyceps can significantly stimulate testosterone reproduction which results in enhancements in male reproduction. have been practiced to enhance sexuality and ameliorate illness all around the world with notable successes 
Cordyceps Mushroom is most well known for it's ability to provide a gradual, natural boost of energy; however, taking supplements containing Cordyceps mushrooms can benefit your health in much more drastic ways.
There is a wide range of health benefits that Cordyceps entails, ranging from reducing symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney issues, enhancing libido, and even having anti-tumor properties.
Cordyceps can be taken in gummy, capsule, and even powder form. It is recommended to 1,000-3,000 mg daily, though it is best to confirm the proper amount with your doctor. It is also recommended to take Cordyceps during the day opposed to at night, because of it's energy boosting properties.
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3. Yi, X., Xi-zhen, H., & Jia-shi, Z. (2004). Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and assessment of fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in enhancing aerobic capacity and respiratory function of the healthy elderly volunteers. Springer Link. Retrieved 4 November 2021, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02836405.
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7. Park, S. Y., Jung, S. J., Ha, K. C., Sin, H. S., Jang, S. H., Chae, H. J., & Chae, S. W. (2015). Anti-inflammatory effects of Cordyceps mycelium (Paecilomyces hepiali, CBG-CS-2) in Raw264.7 murine macrophages. Oriental pharmacy and experimental medicine, 15(1), 7–12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13596-014-0173-3
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