Some of the most interesting health benefits of cordyceps includes its ability to improve respiratory health, increase oxygen uptake, boost heart health, detoxify the body, prevent certain types of cancer, slow the aging process, increases energy, and improves the immune system.
The name cordyceps actually describes a genus of fungi that includes more than 400 unique species of parasitic types. Fungi are essential parts of many ecosystems, but this particular genus also has a great deal of importance for people, as it has been traditionally used in herbal medicine for centuries. These “club head”mushrooms have a wide range of chemical components and compounds that make them particularly valuable in traditional medicine, as they are globally available and relatively inexpensive. The wide spread of the Cordyceps genus make it particularly desirable. Cordyceps fungi varieties contain certain biochemicals that mimic current pharmacological substances in a natural way.
As the popularity of Cordyceps increases, so too did access and variety of the herbal supplements. Around the world, you can utilize Cordyceps in liquid extracts, tinctures, powders, and capsules, but the mushroomsthemselves, when dried, look like long thing, brown/orange fingers. You can also buy whole cordyceps in certain stores and add them directly to soups for flavor, or brew teafrom the dried and powdered fungi. The origin of most Cordyceps species seems to be Asia, prior to its global spread, which is why it is so frequently found in the traditional medicines of that region. Now, let’s take a closer look at the many health benefits of cordyceps.
Health Benefits of Cordyceps
Energy Booster: One of the most undeniable health benefits of cordyceps is its ability to significantly boost energy levels and has long been known to athletes for the bursts of energy it can provide. Cordyceps increases the amount of oxygen uptake in the body and enhances cellular energy production, thereby providing that extra push for people who need a shot of energy!
Heart Health: Research studies on the effects of cordyceps have come up with many exciting results, especially in relation to cardiovascular health. One study showed that patients given a powdered supplement of cordyceps were significantly less likely to suffer heart failure. This is mainly due to the anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of the herb, which can prevent heart arrhythmias and other complications.
Cholesterol Levels: On a similar note, one of the chemical pathways affected by cordyceps is closely related to cholesterol levels. “Bad” cholesterol levels go up, and “good” cholesterol levels can go up, effectively protecting the heart, as well as numerous other organ systems that are affected by cholesterol, such as our metabolism and endocrine system. You can help prevent atherosclerosis and subsequent heart attacks and strokes by making cordyceps a part of your weekly herbal treatments.
Respiratory Function: As mentioned above, cordyceps is able to increase the amount of oxygen taken in by the lungs, and while this is helpful for athletes, it is also beneficial for those suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic bronchitis. By increasing your oxygen intake, you help prevent respiratory distress and weakness. Also, increasing oxygen levels helps to oxygenate the body’s extremities better, so organ systems as a whole run more efficiently.
Cancer Prevention: People are always looking for the next big solution in the battle against cancer, and some of the unique biochemical compounds found in cordyceps certainly fit the bill in that respect. There has been direct correlations between the consumption of Cordyceps sinensis and tumor size reduction. By shrinking tumors, cordyceps can help slow the spread of cancer, and even make it easier to eliminate or put into remission. This is combined by the antioxidant activities of cordyceps, which helps to eliminate free radicals throughout the body.
Immune System Booster: Cordyceps directly stimulates the production of NK cells (Natural Killer cells), which are one of the body’s first lines of defense against infection and illness. These immunoprotective effects help with a wide range of ailments, from cancer to the common cold and everything in between.
Anti-Aging Properties: Although many people claim to know the secret to anti-aging, some of the most reliable research stands behind using cordyceps, which has powerful concentrations of anti-aging compounds that can help to rejuvenate the skin, eliminate dead or dying cells, and improve the appearance of blemishes, wrinkles, and age spots, effectively shaving years off your life!
Sexual Dysfunction: One of the most interesting effects of cordyceps is its apparent impact on sexual dysfunction in men. Numerous research studies have shown that men suffering from low levels of sexual energy or poor libido saw clear improvement after adding cordyceps herbal supplements to their diet.
Detoxify the Body: Although the exact chemical pathway of this is unclear, studies have shown that kidney health improves notably after only one month of regular cordyceps herbal usage.
A Final Word of Warning: Cordyceps does have a small effect on lowering blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous for diabetics, so they should be aware of the risks before adding that herbal element to their regimen. Also, as a blood-thinner, it shouldn’t be taken before or after surgery, by those already taking blood-thinners, or people suffering from bleeding disorders.