The Medicinal Power of Cordyceps
Botanical name: Cordycipitaceae
The Medicinal Power of Cordyceps
Cordyceps is a name you should know by now, but if you don’t, it’s time you figure out why it is important. Next time you hear about Cordyceps you will have added it to your own list of medicinal herbs and plants. Let’s get to it!
What in The World Is Cordyceps?
Cordyceps is part of the ascomycete fungi family that includes about 400 species. All cordyceps are parasitic mainly on insects and other arthropods. This fungi is from Asia, most specifically Nepal, China, Japan, Bhutan, Korea, Vietnam, and Thailand. Cordyceps grow in particularly humid and tropical forests.
These fungi have a long history in Chinese medicine and are especially part of Tibetan daily life. Though they have been mostly rare in history, since they grow in altitudes over 3,800 meters, they have recently been praised for their medicinal and longevity properties.
What’s In Cordyceps?
For a while now, cordyceps have been praised for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This fungus is high in amino acids, like lysine, glutamic acid, proline, and threonine.
Surprisingly, this fungus also has high levels of unsaturated fatty acids, or the “healthy” cholesterol, which in this case is linoleic acid. The fungi family also contains important biochemical that inhibit certain bodily functions and prevent other medical conditions from developing. Some of these biochemical components are cordycepin, polysaccharides, ergosterol, mannitol, and adenosine.
Cordyceps Aids Your Cognitive Health
By now you know that cordyceps has some healing and protective properties, but you may be wondering what these can do for you. Let’s begin by looking at their effect on your brain:
- Neuroprotection: the antioxidant effects of cordyceps provide a great way to protect your brain from free radicals found in food, the environment and other agents. Such free radicals cause degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
- Stress: cordyceps has been proven to lower inflammation in the body, and especially in the brain. These anti-inflammatory properties not only prevent diseases, but also allow your mood to balance out and to gain more energy; two things that help us cope with stressful situations better.
- Energy: known as the “natural performance enhancer,” allows for your brain to create more stamina, which makes it an energizing adaptogen. Not only is this beneficial in times of athletic performance, but it can also improve physical abilities, concentration, and prevent fatigue or weakness.
- Parkinson’s Disease: when taking cordyceps, the amount of specific neurotransmitter, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, acetylcholine and gamma amino butyric acid, slows down the process of diseases like Parkinson’s.
- Memory: protecting the brain with cordyceps is a great idea for prevention of diseases, but it also has enhancing effects on your long term and short-term memory, both of which play a pivotal role in your life.
- Cognition: similarly to Lion’s Mane mushroom, cordyceps improves your cognitive abilities by allowing for your brain to focus, memorize more, and activating nerve transmissions. It is also a great way to aid nerve regeneration after injury.
- Sleep: this fungus provides a calming effect for your mind, while also allowing you to get a better night’s sleep. If your mind is soothed, then you have less anxiety and you can enjoy sleep better. Plus, cordyceps is also a mild sedative.
Cordyceps Aids Your General Health
That’s right, if cordyceps can help your brain, then it can certainly help your body. There are many ways that this fungus can improve your overall health, so find some of them here:
- Immune Health: studies have proven that cordyceps impacts your autoimmune system in a good way. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, it allows your immune system to react appropriately to inflammation-induced diseases.
At the same time, cordyceps increases the number of white blood cells, which defend your body against bacteria and virus.
- Cancer: using cordyceps as part of treatment for cancer has proven to lower and slow down tumor growth, while also strengthening your autoimmune system in the process.
- Cardiovascular Health: the antioxidant activities of cordyceps also reduce oxidative damage, which can contribute to heart disease. At the same time, this fungus can restore normal fat mobilization preventing heart disease, the risk for heart attack and more.
- Diabetes: two main ingredients in cordyceps are important in managing diabetes. D-mannitol cordycepin and 3’-deoxyadenosine have been shown to help control insulin levels and blood sugar levels. Taking this fungus is a good way to maintain a healthy life while living with diabetes, but also a way to prevent you from developing this disease.
- Adrenal Health: poor hormonal function and fatigue are signs of issues with your adrenal glands. Taking cordyceps helps your adrenal glands balance the production of hormones and stabilizes them when they are either too high or too low.
- Kidney Health: chronic kidney disease is a hard illness to treat, but taking cordyceps has been proven to inhibit renal fibrosis by shutting down the inflammatory processes that destroy the kidney’s normal functioning system and that produce fibrous scar tissues.
- Respiratory Diseases: if you suffer from chronic asthma, or cough, taking this fungus can improve detoxification and circulation in your lungs so your level of oxygen in them increases. At the same time, this fungus can be a natural remedy for infections.
How Do I Take This Fungus?
While cordyceps have been relatively unknown until now, taking them has become a bit easier in the past years. Scientists have found a way to reproduce cordyceps synthetically to stop the need for wild fungi search.
You can find cordyceps in tablets, powders, and capsules from most stores. If you want, you can make tea with it, or consume it in a blended drink or soup. The recommended dosage to start with is 10 grams once or twice per day.
As with any other herbal supplements and medicines, consult your doctor about the dosage and side effects. Start slowly and watch your own reactions to it.
Cordyceps Saves Lives
Indeed, taking this fungus can change your life radically and it is about time you add it to your diet. This is especially the case if you suffer from stress, fatigue, or memory loss, or if you have a history of heart disease, kidney disease, or diabetes.
What do you think about this medicinal fungus? Let us know!