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logo icon 9 Phenomenal Benefits of Cordyceps [Everything You Need to Know]

9 Phenomenal Benefits of Cordyceps [Everything You Need to Know]

Mushrooms have been eaten for thousands of years, and Cordyceps are no exception. It is an exotic mushroom in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has also been used for centuries  for its medicinal value. The first written record of cordyceps was made in AD 620 during the Tang Dynasty. It quickly became prized by the ruling emperors of China for its healing and longevity properties, and physicians of the Ming dynasty used it to make powerful medicinal tonics – from the 1400s onwards. It was officially recorded as an herbal drug in the Ben Cao Bei Yao (Material Medica) by Wang Ang in 1694 during the Qing dynasty. Tibetan scholars also wrote extensively about cordyceps from the fifteenth to the eighteenth centuries.

Many mushrooms spring from dead trees, but cordyceps are slightly different. They are parasitic fungus that normally attacks insect larvae and grow out of them. The fungi are collected by hand, dried, and packaged. There are more than 400 Cordyceps species, but the two most common ones are Cordyceps sinensis (C. Sinensis) and Cordyceps militaris (C. militaris), which we’ll refer to throughout this article. Cordyceps have multiple health and wellness benefits and are used to support libido, energy, heart, liver, and kidney health.*

Benefits of Cordyceps

1. Cordyceps Support Energy Production During Exercise*

One of the main benefits of Cordyceps is: energy production. As such, it has continually been used as an anti-fatigue agent in ancient and modern times. In a 2016 study, researchers investigated this anti-fatigue effect of C. militaris in animals using a forced swimming test. When fatigue-associated factors were tested after the experiment, researchers reported that the polysaccharide nutrients in C. militaris have potential fatigue resistance capabilities.* [1]

In modern times, Cordyceps are considered to be beneficial to athletes who want to increase their energy endurance. In 2006, a study was conducted where Cordyceps sinensis was tested in runners. Researchers reported that taking Cordyceps supported energy generation in the body and displayed the potential to help the efficient and economic function of energy catabolism.* [2] In a 2010 study, researchers also reported that it might also have potential benefits for older subjects and support their physical performance.* [3]

Apart from helping athletes, Cordyceps’ anti-fatigue properties may be beneficial in exercise. In a 2018 study, researchers reported that supplementing with Cordyceps militaris may help with tolerance for high-intensity exercise.* [4]

2. Cordyceps Contains Age-Supporting Properties*

Asia has always been a step ahead in the world of beauty, and Cordyceps are one of the common age-supporting herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It has antioxidative properties that help reduce oxidative stress in the body*, and in a 2016 study, researchers reported that C. Sinensis could potentially help the body naturally reduce DNA damage due to its scavenging properties and contains potential nutrition for DNA repair.* [5] In a 2010 study, researchers investigated the anti-aging activity of C. militaris on mitochondrial function and found that it protected the mitochondria by “scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS), helping with the mitochondrial swelling process, and supporting the activities of antioxidases.” This points to its potential age-supporting benefits.* [6]

In addition to skincare benefits, Cordyceps are believed to support a longer lifespan.* In a limited 2011 study, researchers reported that C. sinensis nutrition helped with healthy gene expression in mice and supported their lifespan.* [7] This was also reported in a 2015 study where researchers investigated the effect of Cordyceps sinensis on the lifespan of a fruit fly. They reported that it helps the natural lifespan of fruit flies through an antioxidative stress pathway.* [8]

3. Cordyceps Support Libido*

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Cordyceps are believed to be a longevity invigorant. It is widely used by elderly people to support their libido.* In a limited 2009 study, researchers investigated the effectiveness of Cordyceps sinensis on castrated rats and reported that Cordyceps sinensis has the potential to support brain function and antioxidative enzyme activity in mice and help with normal sexual function in castrated rats.* [9]

4. Cordyceps Helps with Normal Cell Cycle Control*

In the States, Cordyceps are not an approved cancer treatment method. However, it may have potential cell cycle control benefits that may be used in combination with conventional treatment under the guidance of your healthcare provider.* In a limited 2015 study investigating C. militaris nutrition regarding its cell cycle control mechanism of action, researchers reported that the nutrients supported the body's natural apoptosis cycle and it may contain some bioavailable compounds which are helpful.* [10]

Cordyceps supplementation for natural apoptosis was also reported in a limited 2015 study where researchers reported that it had nutrients that were helpful in supporting cellular cycles. This action was connected to cell cycle arrest and the support of normal mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.* [11] [12]

Apart from Cordyceps cellular cycle activities, researchers believe that polysaccharide content contributes to its benefits, as reported in an inconclusive 2005 study review.* [13] In a 1990 study investigating the benefit of Cordyceps sinensis in mice, researchers found that the mice that received the Cordyceps supplementation lived better than those that didn’t.* [14] And in another 1999 study investigating the benefit of Cordyceps sinensis reported that Cordyceps may possess nutritional benefits from constituents other than Cordycepin.* [15]

5. Cordyceps’ Potential Blood Health Properties*

Among other benefits, Cordyceps are believed to have healthy blood circulation properties.* In a limited 2004 study investigating Cordyceps on healthy glycemic response, researchers reported that the fruiting body helped with normal weight loss, thirst, and insulin response. These benefits suggest that the fruiting body of Cordyceps has the potential to be the functional food for supporting blood glucose cycles.* [16] Cordyceps may also support the body’s natural processes to reduce oxidative stresses, which play a huge role in maintaining a healthy system, thereby showing promising beneficial blood health properties.* [17]

Shop high-quality, authentic, ethically sourced Cordyceps today.

6. Cordyceps Support Kidney Function*

Cordyceps are traditionally used as a tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and in an inconclusive 2014 review, multiple researchers reported that it helped the kidneys naturally excrete substances such as serum creatinine, proteinuria, and helped with normal hemoglobin and serum albumin levels.* [18]

7. Cordyceps Support Heart Health*

Cordyceps are believed to possess nutrition for potential heart health benefits, and in a limited 2013 study, researchers reported that Cordyceps help with blood health and circulation.* [19] It is even approved for use in healthy heart rate control in China. In 2010, researchers reported that Cordyceps supplementation helps with lipid processing.* [20] Cordyceps may also possess potential nutrition for blood health, which is beneficial in maintaining good heart health.* [21]

8. Cordyceps Contain Joint Health Properties*

Cordyceps have strong antioxidant properties, which help support the immune system.* A limited 2003 study investigating the antioxidant effect of Cordyceps in vitro and in vivo reported that it helps normal inflammation responses.* [22] Another limited and inconclusive study reported similar Cordyceps antioxidant properties.* [23]

Cordyceps also has nutritional agents, which support the immune response in a good way.* In a limited 2008 study investigating supplementation with Cordyceps militaris on airway health in a mouse model, researchers reported that it helped with natural airway inflammation responses.* [24]

9. Cordyceps Supports Sleep Health*

Cordyceps are believed to have positive effects on sleep.* In a limited 2013 study investigating the benefits of Cordyceps supplementation on natural sleep in rats, researchers reported that Cordycepin helped with sleep-wake cycles and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.*This showed that Cordycepin might be beneficial for those seeking the best quality of sleep.* [25]

Conclusion

Despite Cordyceps’ amazing health benefits, it is important to note that there is limited and inconclusive research on the effectiveness of Cordyceps for human consumption, so it is best to speak with a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner before adding them to your supplement routine. It is also important to purchase Cordyceps from a reputable source to ensure their quality, safety, and sustainability. Shop high-quality, authentic, ethically sourced Cordyceps and Cordyceps-containing supplements on our website today.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Appendix:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28094746/
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jspfsm/55/Supplement/55_S145/_article
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110835/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5236007/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27433838/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21061463/
  7. https://faseb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1096/fasebj.25.1_supplement.599.1
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4564082/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18803231/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26263965/
  11. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26141646/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26115996/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16354395/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2206772/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10230862/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15050427/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27274781/
  18. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25519252/
  19. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23192916/
  20. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20724804/
  21. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27927214/
  22. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12831777/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4371127/
  24. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19133568/
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3655593/
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