The name Cordyceps comes from the Latin words cordand ceps, meaning “club” and “head.” Thus, the word quite accurately describes this club fungi. Cordyceps sinensis is probably the most well-known of the Cordyceps species throughout the world.
Cordyceps is known to have been ranked as the number one medicine in Tibetan and Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. With polysaccharides, nucleosides and cyclosporine, Cordyceps is known to stimulate the immune system, decrease blood sugar levels, have radio-protective effects and contain anti-cancer properties.
Alternative Chinese Medicine (TCM) has long focused on allowing the human body to restore its own self-regulating and self-healing agents. Many research studies using Cordyceps have shown it to stimulate the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells in an individuals’ body. Because of these properties, Cordyceps is frequently suggested for patients who are recovering from surgery or a serious illness.
But how many species of the Cordyceps “mushroom” are known today? That quantity is hard to fix as a steadfast number.
The genus of Cordyceps has literally been known to have been found throughout the world and usually is accepted to contain approximately 400 different species. However, as the popularity of Cordyceps usage grows in today’s modern health practices, that number has continued to climb. Some experts put the number as high as 600 different species of Cordyceps.
According to one study, species of Cordyceps can now be found on all six inhabited continents in many different climates and feeding off a variety of hosts.
Because of the rarity of the natural product found in the wild, the past 20 years or so have seen a wide assortment of biotechnical firms joining the Cordyceps enthusiasts who wish to cultivate the product. This effort has met with much success, mainly due to the many successes on the medical frontlines as a whole. The demand for the rare Cordyceps health supplement has, of course, led to even more interest in developing new methods for growing Cordyceps in a controlled environment.
Some developers are even able to replicate the exact chemical analysis of Cordyceps found in the wild by using highly-sensitive monitoring equipment and duplicating the growing conditions of the best known species of Cordyceps.
Ancient folk medicine is known to have used Cordyceps to heal a myriad of health problems, including coughs, anemia, tuberculosis, senile weakness, infertility, back pain and impotence. In many areas of the West, Cordyceps has a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. Cordyceps has anti-inflammatory properties, regulates body temperature and reduces pain. Cordyceps also inhibits the growth of many viruses and bacteria, including herpes, adenoviruses and influenza.
Is it any wonder modern science is expending so much energy and so many man-hours to artificially create this uniquely-healing supplement?