You may have heard of cordyceps, a type of fungi (mushroom) used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. It’s been used in TCM for its potential health benefits, like enhanced endurance, fatigue support, better sleep quality, balanced mood and mental clarity.
Read on to dive into the interesting history of cordyceps, learn the benefits cordyceps can have on your health, and how to take this fungus as a supplement.
History of Cordyceps
Cordyceps is a fungi belonging to the Clavicipitaceae family. The kind of cordyceps that’s used most is Cordyceps Sinensis, and it’s found in the mountainous regions of Nepal and Tibet. This kind of cordycep has long been and is currently used as a medicinal mushroom by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners.
The history of cordyceps begins in the Tibet. In Tibet, cordyceps have been used by locals for centuries as a medicinal mushroom to treat everything from fatigue to lung disease.
Cordyceps are a fungus that grows on caterpillars, trees, or other types of fungus in the wild. Cordyceps are known to be parasitic, meaning that they will eventually kill their host.
Although this may sound scary, cordyceps are usually cultivated on a medium of rice and corn for supplement use. The medium is steamed and sterilized to produce mycelium (the vegetative part of the fungus). The mycelium is then placed in bottles or bags with oxygen and water. When the temperature hits about 29 degrees Celsius the mushroom begins to grow.
Benefits of Cordyceps
To date, there have been plenty of emerging research on the many health benefits of cordyceps. Here are some of the top benefits of taking cordyceps:
• Better exercise performance: cordyceps has been studied for anti-fatigue benefits in both human and animal trials.
• Anti-inflammatory benefits: cordyceps has been studied for anti-inflammatory benefits and has been shown to reduce inflammation in mice.
• Improved immune function: cordyceps have been studied for their ability to increase the activity of natural killer cells, which are immune cells that fight against infections.
• Anti-aging: cordyceps have been studied for its anti-aging benefits and has been shown to increase the length of telomeres in mice. This can help prevent DNA damage from aging and environmental factors.
• Blood sugar support: cordyceps have been shown to help blood sugar control by mimicking insulin in diabetic mice.
• Potential support for heart health: research is showing that cordyceps could provide benefits to the heart by helping to regulate cholesterol levels. Cordyceps have been approved in China to treat arrhythmias. While the research is emerging, cordyceps shows promise for heart health.
Active Ingredients in Cordyceps
Cordyceps contain several compounds, including: polysaccharide, adenosine, cordycepic acid, ergosterol peroxide and the nucleosides cordycepin and adenine. These compounds have been shown to have antioxidant properties that help protect cells from free radical damage.
Cordyceps also contains many vitamins and minerals including vitamin B1 (thiamine), riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and biotin. It also contains smaller amounts of vitamins A and C.
Are Cordyceps Psychedelic?
Cordyceps are not psychedelic, but they can have a mild and pleasant effect on the mind. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) uses cordyceps to treat lung disease and fatigue because this mushroom boosts energy levels and improves circulation. Cordyceps also contains an amino acid called ergosterol peroxide which has been shown in studies to boost brain function by increasing oxygen flow to the brain.
Many people also report feeling energized after taking cordyceps. This could be due to the presence of adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter that can improve mood and increase energy levels.
Are Cordyceps Safe?
Cordyceps are generally safe, with few side effects. However, it may cause mild stomach upset and diarrhea when taken in large doses. It’s best to start with a smaller dose and work your way up as needed. Cordyceps is also not recommended for people with liver or kidney disease.
There are many different types of cordyceps, including Cordyceps Sinensis (the true form of wild cordyceps, which is high in cost and hard to find today in supplements), and Cordyceps militaris (a cultivated form of cordyceps that can be considered vegan). Cordyceps supplements come in tablet or capsule form. You can also buy cordyceps powder and use it as tea.
What is the Best Way to Take Cordyceps?
Cordyceps can be taken in capsule or liquid form. For optimal absorption, it’s best to take it with meals. The recommended dose is between 250 and 500 milligrams, three times a day. It’s also important to note that the best time of day to take cordyceps is in the morning. If you are taking it for its brain-boosting properties, this is especially true.
Cordyceps is one of the most powerful and effective supplements on the market today. It’s been used for centuries by athletes, monks, and other groups who are looking to improve their health and performance.
What Cordycep Supplement is Best?
If you’re interested in using cordyceps, make sure you buy a high-quality extract from a reputable company. Host Defense Mushrooms Cordyceps is a gluten-free formula that’s made with 100% organic mushroom mycelium that’s grown in the U.S.A. Host Defense ensures these capsules include the full spectrum of properties and benefits including polysaccharides, glycoproteins, ergosterols, triterpenoids and other myco-nutrients. This supplement is trusted by many natural health specialists and it’s pure, potent and good for vegetarians.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.