18 Benefits And Uses Of Cordyceps

Cordyceps describes a genus of ascomycete fungi which includes more than 400 unique species. They are endoparasitoids.

Cordyceps have been used for both therapeutic and medicinal purposes for centuries. Some cordyceps varieties contain biochemicals that tend to mimic pharmacological substances naturally.

Whole cordyceps can be bought in stores. Dried and powdered cordyceps can also be purchased.

Below are various uses and health benefits of cordyceps;

1. Treatment Of Sexual Dysfunction


According to a study, cordyceps has proven to help men and women who suffer from poor libido and decreased sexual energy levels. Addition of cordyceps supplements to these men’s and women’s diet has shown an improvement in their sexual energy and libido.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791983/#sec1-6title)

2. Anti-Aging Compound


Cordyceps is made up of anti-aging compounds in high concentration which is very helpful in skin rejuvenation, getting rid of wrinkles, elimination of dry and dead cells as well as improving the appearance of the skin.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18803231)

3. Boosting Energy Levels

Cordyceps boosts energy levels significantly. Increased energy levels are brought about by the increased uptake of oxygen into the body which enhances the production of energy at a cellular level. Cordyceps improves oxygen uptake and utilization as well as improves blood flow in the body, and ATP generation.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3909570/)

4. Protection Against Streptococcal Infection


Cordyceps assists in protecting one against streptococcal infection of group A type. This protection results from the ability of cordyceps to inhibit the spread and growth of streptococcus bacteria.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16014434)

5. Balancing Levels Of Cholesterol


Cordyceps lowers the amount of LDL cholesterol level and raises the level of HDL cholesterol which is very important for the health of the heart and other organs which are affected by cholesterol in the body. Balancing of cholesterol levels helps in the prevention of atherosclerosis, stroke and heart attack. For this to be achieved, cordyceps should be taken weekly.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21882527)

6. Keeps The Heart Healthy


Use of cordyceps supplement, in powdered form, significantly reduces the possibility of one to suffer from heart failure. Cordyceps has this ability because of its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also prevent heart arrhythmias among other heart complications.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24632844)

7. Cancer Prevention


Consumption of Cordyceps Sinensis has proven to reduce the size of tumors. When it reduces the size of the tumor, it lowers the rate at which cancer spreads which makes it easier to control the tumors. This act of reducing the tumor growth rate together with cordyceps antioxidant activities helps in the elimination of harmful free radicals throughout the body.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6088102/)

8. Helps Regulate Respiratory Function


Cordyceps helps in increasing the amount of oxygen which the lungs take in and this is not only essential to athletes but also very important for people who suffer from respiratory conditions e.g. bronchitis, asthma, etc. When oxygen intake is increased, it is helpful for you in the prevention of respiratory weakness and distress. Again the increased oxygen intake assists in the proper oxygenation of the extremities of the body enabling these tissues and organs to run very efficiently as a whole.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5795554/)

9. Immune System Strengthening


Cordyceps stimulates natural killer (NK) cells production directly and these are among the first defense lines of the body. They defend the body against illness and infections. This natural killer (NK) cells immunoprotective effect assists against numerous ailments, i.e. from common cold to cancer.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881426/)

10. Beneficial For Adrenal Health


Cordyceps is capable of helping the body in the production and balancing of cortisol hormone together with other stress hormones. The adaptogenic qualities of cordyceps help in influencing homeostatic balancing of the body. High stress hormone levels would be reduced to stabilize homeostatic balancing. While low levels of stress hormone would be heightened to stabilize homeostatic balance.

11. Control Of Blood Sugar And Diabetes


Cordyceps improves pancreas secretion of insulin and inhibits the degradation of this insulin. Also, cordyceps decreases oxidative stress which is a factor in the resistance of insulin. It improves the functioning of the enzyme regulating glucose in the liver. By so doing, it promotes glucose gradual absorption to the bloodstream from the digestive system. Consumption of cordyceps leads to improved tissue sensitivity towards insulin.
(https://pubag.nal.usda.gov/catalog/6262482)

12 Good For Brain Health


Since stress fatigues the brain, chronic stress could lead to a state of chronic inflammation in our brain. Chronic stress could also cause brain-derived neurotrophic growth factors to reduce as well as imbalance the levels of neurotransmitters. Chronic stress could impair memory and cognitive skills of reasoning and judgment. With cordyceps supplements, inflammatory markers in the brain’s hippocampus are reduced. Cordyceps additionally raises the brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor hence improving memory level and moods.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5874985/)

13. Helpful In Combating Fatigue


Cordyceps, to a great extent, helps in combating fatigue and improves exercise performance. At the same time, it assists in the overall maintenance of wellness in elderly adults. It is composed of adenosine which can stimulate ATP production. ATP is among the primary body cells energy source. Cordyceps supplements help lowers heart rate, therefore, enabling people to train for longer periods. For cordyceps to be effective in improving exercise performance and combating fatigue, it takes only 12 weeks.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23363066)

14. Beneficial For Kidney Health


Kidney disease is a health problem globally which is progressively difficult to treat. But cordyceps has renal fibrosis inhibition potential that is done through the shutdown of pathways of inflammation that destroys the normal functioning of the kidney. These destructive pathways also produce tissue fibrous scars, thus, making the kidney to become unhealthy. Cordyceps is made of Ergosterol peroxide which is responsible for shutting down of these inflammatory pathways. This helps maintain the health of the kidneys.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25519252)

15. Modulates The Immune System


Cordyceps modulates the immune system through the enhancement of natural killer (NK) cells and macrophages activities in the body.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/)

16. Helps People To Recover From Exertion

Cordyceps restores our energy and, by so doing, enable us to maintain our strength, ability to self-heal and resilience. It has the capability of increasing one’s adaptability to the trials faced in life. It also helps in the reduction of excessive thirst.

17. An Excellent Tonic


Cordyceps is a therapeutic substance which can offer to heal to consumers. It is an effective tonic for the lungs, liver, heart, kidney, etc.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3121254/)

18. Detoxification Of The Body


Regular use of cordyceps could lead to a reduction in the amount of toxins in your body just after one month. A well-detoxified body is one whose toxin levels are minimal.
(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312383/)

 

Word Of Caution
Cordyceps has some effect in reducing blood glucose level. As such, diabetics on medications should be cautious while using it. Furthermore, cordyceps have blood-thinning properties. Thus, it should not be taken before or after surgery especially by those on blood-thinning medication or those suffering from bleeding disorders.

 

Further References
Hsu, T. Shiao, L, Hsieh, ND M. (2012). The Comparison of Chemical Composition and Bioactive Ingredients of the Medicinal Chinese Mushroom, it’s a counterfeit and mimicry, and fermented mycelium of Cordyceps Sinensis.

Holliday, T. (2017).Cordyceps; Medicinal Mushroom Highly Coveted. Medicinal Fungi and Plants.
Miller, R. (2014). The Cordyceps Sinensis, the medicinal mushroom.

Castaneda, A., Lee, 5, 8 Huang, T. C. (2017). Antioxidant testing of natural products has attracted increasing interest in recent years, mainly due to the fact that an antioxidant-rich diet might provide health benefits.

 

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