Cordyceps: Benefits & Uses of Nature’s Energy Booster

Cordyceps seem to have stolen the spotlight in the mushroom community in recent years, but what’s with all the hype? This fascinating fungi, best known for its distinctive appearance resembling caterpillars, has been gaining immense popularity within the world of natural health and wellness for its myriad of potential benefits. You might even have come to learn about these superstars from HBO’s hit show ‘The Last of Us’.  Join us as we unravel the secrets of this versatile mushroom and explore the benefits of cordyceps.

What Is Cordyceps?

Cordyceps mushrooms (Cordyceps sinensis), native to the high-altitude regions of China and Tibet, belong to the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. Also known as ‘Dong Chong Xia Cao’ in Chinese, which translates to ‘winter worm, summer grass’, these mushrooms are known for their unique parasitic life cycle, growing on insect larvae. After attacking their host insect, they replace the insects’ tissue and grow long stems that extend outside of the host’s body Cordyceps are orange to brown in colour and have a long, slender, caterpillar-like appearance.

Cordyceps mushrooms are revered for their rarity and medicinal properties. While traditionally harvested in the wild, they are now cultivated and available in various forms, including supplements, making them more accessible to consumers worldwide

Cordyceps Mushrooms Benefits

Cordyceps are considered a type of functional mushroom, a class of edible fungi known as adaptogens believed to possess health benefits beyond their nutritional compositions. Studies have found numerous potential health and wellness benefits for humans who consume Cordyceps mushrooms. These include:

Enhancing energy levels:

Cordyceps are known to improve energy and endurance by increasing the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is essential for delivering energy to muscles [1]. “Studies on sedentary humans also show a significant increase in energy output and oxygen capacity” [4].

Supporting respiratory health:

They are believed to enhance lung function and improve respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergies. “Traditionally C. sinensis has been used to treat respiratory ailments and is reported to be beneficial for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease”[4,7].

Boosting athletic performance:

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts may benefit from the increased oxygen uptake and improved stamina associated with Cordyceps consumption [2,3].

Strengthening the immune system:

The mushrooms are known to have immunomodulatory properties, helping to regulate and boost the body’s immune response as “the nucleoside analogues present in cordyceps species are able to inhibit viral replication. At the same time the polysaccharides in cordyceps modulate the immune response to viral infections.”[5].

Cordyceps Dosage: How Much Should I Take?

For liquid extract supplements, the recommended dosage is typically around 1-2 mL per day. For a powder extract, the recommended dosage generally ranges between 500 mg to 3000 mg per day.

We recommend consulting a healthcare professional or a qualified herbalist for personalised advice and dosage recommendations tailored to you.

Cordyceps mushroom health benefits are best experienced when taken in the morning or before/after exercise, as they may help boost energy levels, enhance performance, and improve overall quality of life [6].

Image of a man presenting orange Cordyceps militaris mushrooms, showcasing their unique color and appearance.

Smith (Co-Founder of Love Mushrooms) with Cordyceps Militaris

Types of Cordyceps Supplements

You might wonder which form of Cordyceps works best for you. Although fresh Cordyceps may provide the most benefits, there are many ways to incorporate these mushrooms into your daily routine. We offer organic Cordyceps supplements in the form of liquid tinctures, capsules, and even delicious fruit-flavoured gummies you can have on the go!

Fun Fact: Did you know that Cordyceps mushrooms have been used traditionally to improve libido and sexual function? This is due to their ability to enhance energy and endurance, making them a natural aphrodisiac in traditional medicine.

Cordyceps Gummies

1. Increased aerobic capacity in healthy elderly humans given a fermentation product of Cordyceps CS-4. Xiao Y, Huang XZ, Chen G, Wang, MB, Zhu, JS, Cooper CB. FACSM Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 1999; 31(5): 174.

2. Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):585-590. 

3. Does Cordyceps sinensis Ingestion Aid Athletic Performance? TB Walker. Strength and Conditioning Journal, 2006

4. Medicinal value of the caterpillar fungi species of the genus Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes). A Review. Holliday J, Cleaver M. Int J Med Mushr, 2008; 10(3 ):219-234.

5. Medicinal Mushrooms–A Clinical Guide Martin Powell

6. 15. Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract. Ji DB, Ye J, Li CL, Wang YH, Zhao J, Cai SQ. Phytother Res. 2009;23(1):116-22.

7. 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. Xiao Y, Huang XZ and Zhu JS. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine. 2004;10,3:187-192.

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