There seems to be a mushroom for everything: chaga for improved immunity; lion’s mane for optimal brain function; and reishi to help combat stress. What of cordyceps mushroom then?
What health benefits can we get from including cordyceps in our diet?
What exactly is cordyceps?
Scientifically known as Ophiocordyceps sinensis, this particular species of the cordyceps mushroom is what you want to add to your diet. Believe it or not, there are 400 species of this fungus but it is the Ophiocordyceps sinensis that has been gaining popularity in recent times. It is harvested from caterpillar larvae, earning it a fun nickname: caterpillar fungus.
Traditional Tibetan medicine has been making use of cordyceps mushrooms to help treat a variety of ailments, from the common cold to cancer. Their belief in the fungus’s healing properties began with local herders who noticed their livestock becoming more robust after consuming cordyceps.
Cordyceps has an orange colour and does not resemble a mushroom at all. In fact, they look like dry orange peels. Studies of this fungus have been limited to animal and lab studies but results look promising. For those who have taken cordyceps mushrooms, its benefits are undeniably wonderful.
Because it is an integral part of traditional Eastern herbalism, cordyceps has become an “all-rounder” of sorts for some. Fortunately recent laboratory studies have shown us that there are potential benefits to regularly taking cordyceps mushrooms as a health supplement.
Improved Athletic Performance
It seems as though cordyceps has the potential to boost athletic performance by improving the production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP, a chemical that is responsible for providing energy to the cells. The boost in production means athletes and gym goers have a more sustainable level of energy.
Cordyceps mushrooms have been commonly used by the elderly in Eastern herbalism due to its anti-aging properties. It is said to reduce fatigue and even enhance sexual function. Because cordyceps is loaded with antioxidants, free radicals in the cells are neutralised making the fungus a potent anti-aging supplement.
Boost the immune system
Looking for ways to protect yourself from getting sick? Look no further. Cordyceps mushroom is full of vitamins and minerals that will help your immune system get back on track. Its antioxidant properties is also another reason your immune system would thank you for taking cordyceps mushroom.
Better heart health
Studies done on rats have shown that cordyceps has a positive effect on the heart. It has yet to be proven that the same can be said for humans but nonetheless scientists have been eagerly studying how the fungus can play a role in improved heart health.
One study noted that rats with chronic heart disease have much less heart injuries after being on cordyceps for 8 weeks. Heart injuries is a clear indicator of impending heart failure; the apparent side effect of cordyceps shows us that aside from a healthy diet and active lifestyle, it can help our bodies combat something as potentially as heart disease. Another study observed that bad cholesterol, or LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels have reduced after taking cordyceps supplements regularly.
Here’s an interesting tidbit for you: cordyceps has been approved in China to treat arrhythmia, a condition that affects the rate our heart beats.
Inflammation is a normal body reaction. It’s the body’s way of coping with injury or infection but if it persists too long, it can lead to chronic inflammation.
When our immune system is on overdrive and is eventually compromised, our bodies can’t tell anymore the difference between what a threat is and what isn’t. It begins attacking organs around the inflammation which can lead to chronic diseases.
Proving that cordyceps can reduce inflammation, scientists exposed human cells to the fungus. What they discovered was far from surprising: the proteins that caused inflammation were lessened. In yet another study, scientists have noticed a significant reduction in the inflammation in the airways of mice, making cordyceps a promising aid in asthma therapy. It could also be used topically since it has been observed that skin inflammation improved on mice.
How to Add Cordyceps to Your Diet
Up until a few years ago cordyceps were pretty hard to come by. In fact, you had to trek to the Himalayan mountains to be able to get a decent amount of cordyceps. It would cost roughly $9000 for a pound of wild cordyceps.
Nowadays, cordyceps is produced using an organic nutrient medium (organic glucose and peptone). This is a more sustainable way of producing the fungus.
Cordyceps extract can be mixed with your favourite drink or smoothie while capsules provide a more convenient way of giving your daily intake of cordyceps mushroom.
The Bottom Line
Traditional Chinese herbalism has long held cordyceps mushrooms with high regards. They believed in its health benefits and have been continuously using cordyceps mushrooms until now. While clinical trials involving humans have been few and far in between, those who have regularly included cordyceps mushrooms into their healthy diet have been praising its nutritional
value and positive effects on the body.
Superfoods Australia offers cordyceps mushrooms that are organically cultured and are extracted in a GMP certified facility and tested for purity and potency by HPLC after extraction. We are committed to providing only high quality products that have been ethically sourced from around the world.