Health Benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom
Cordyceps mushroom is a genus of ascomycete fungi that includes about 400 described
species. These mushrooms have a long history as rare and exotic medicinal fungi. They
have been a highly regarded cornerstone of traditional Chinese medicine for
centuries; that apparently have a number of far reaching medicinal effects. Cordyceps
mushrooms have been used to treat conditions including respiration and pulmonary
diseases; renal,liver, and cardiovascular diseases; hyposexuality and hyperlipidemia. It is
also used in the treatment of immune disorders and as an adjunct to modern cancer
therapies (chemotherapy, radiation treatment and surgery). C. sinensis and C. militaris
are the most common in use among the Cordyceps genus. Alongside other medicinal
mushrooms, Cordyceps is a powerful immune booster. It stimulates the immune system
by increasing the number and boosting the activity of natural killer cells (a type of white
blood cell), which protect the body from viruses and bacteria. A recent study showed
that Cordyceps increased the levels of these cells by 74% in healthy individuals. A
number of polysaccharides found in Cordyceps are also believed to play an important
role in enhancing the immune system by increasing its defensive power.
Respiratory System: Discovered by the Yak herders of Tibet, Cordyceps has since been
found to enhance cells’ ability to utilise oxygen, thus assisting the herders at high
altitudes where oxygen is in shorter supply. This effect is thought to protect the lungs,
make it easier to breathe and improve respiratory function in general. Extensive studies
in humans have proven it useful for; bronchitis, asthma, coughs and emphysema.
Enhances Athletic Performance: Another benefit of increasing the cells’ ability to utilise
oxygen is the effect it has on athletic performance. This was famously seen at the 1993
Chinese National Games, where the Women’s Field and Track team broke 9 world
records – not just by a little bit but by startling amounts! The governing sports
authorities suspected some performance enhancing drugs had been used, however it
was freely admitted by the coach that the secret to their success was the Cordyceps he
had been giving the team. Recent research has confirmed that Cordyceps usage also
increases cellular ATP levels, the molecule that actually releases energy into the cell. The
double effect of the increased ATP and better oxygen utilisation go hand in hand to
increase energy and stamina, giving more fuel to burn and more oxygen to burn it with.
Promotes Longevity: Powerfully antioxidant, Cordyceps increases the action of
Super-Oxide-Dismutase (SOD), a potent antioxidant in the body. SOD will quench the
free radicals and other toxins that can cause premature aging and degenerative diseases.
Liver & Kidney Health: Cordyceps benefits the liver by increasing the efficient function
of this important organ. Studies have found it normalises liver enzymes, can inhibit
steatohepatitis and retard cirrhosis. There is one particular study consisting of 22
patients stricken with post hepatic cirrhosis. After consuming 6-9 grams of Cordyceps per
day for 3 months, all of the individuals in the study experienced dramatic liver function
improvement. Renal function has also been shown to be improved by supplementation
with Cordyceps – a study with 51 patients suffering chronic renal failure showed that the
administration of 3–5g per day of Cordyceps sinensis significantly improved the kidney
and immune functions of the patients.
Sexual Health: Also known as “Himalayan Viagra” and “The Sexual Potentiator”,
Cordyceps highly influences the release of testosterone by increasing the blood
circulation, thus enhancing erectile function, virility and stamina. It is especially good for
women who may be in the menopause or post-menopausal – this is partly because it
enhances the biosynthesis of the steroid hormones cortisol, estrogen and testosterone.
Information found from the Study and the Article, link below: