Cordyceps sinensis

Cordyceps sinensis is one of the most potent of all known fungi on the planet, next to Reishi. Some of the earliest use of the “summer plant, winter worm” date back to 300 A.D. and was once so rare it was reserved only for the Emperors Palace! We now have the opportunity to gain it’s immune enhancing properties, just by going to the health food store! In the wild this sac-fungi or Ascomycotina is part of the largest group of fungi on the planet!(10) It is known to parasitize insects and actually have a symbiotic relationship with about 90% of insect species on earth. Once infected the insect will leave the colony to meet its fate. This fungus seems to take over the insects brain, causing it to climb to the tallest location to sporulate out of the top of the insects head. Now we don’t have to rely on finding these mushrooms in the wild, as the Cordyceps mycelium grown on grain, is widely available in powder form!

One of the most exciting unreported cases I have heard in regards to Cordyceps sinensis, is from a UN study of about 3,000 people infected with HIV in Swaziland Africa. The victims ailments started decreasing with usage of the mushroom powders, until nearly all the symptoms were alleviated. This study was so small that it was not disclosed and must be reevaluated. No claims have been made because of this. What has been shown is that some of the constituents in Cordyceps, blocks certain viruses from docking onto the DNA strand, keeping the said viruses from replicating. The infected person will always have the virus, however are typically not as affected by the ailments.

Cordyceps is considered to be in one of the highest classes of medicines.(3) Used as a sexual potentiator in China this energizing species is a natural form of Viagra, increasing sexual drive and helping to regulate and support the gonads. Studies show Cordyceps to be useful in increasing sperm production, as well as regulating abnormal menstruation and sexual dysfunction, such as impotence.(4)

This adaptogenic tonic is found to stimulate the endocrine glands, increasing blood circulation (5), as well as assisting the cardiovascular system.(8) Generally used as a kidney and Qi tonic, Cordyceps helps defend against the symptoms of aging, anemia, chronic liver disorders, renal and kidney failure and heart arrhythmius. Even helpful with tennitus(4), nephritus and the inflammation of nephrons in the kidneys. This fine specimen builds bone marrow(4), reduces cholesterol(7), and is also an anti-asthmatic, used as a potent lung tonic, plus lending assistance to shrink lung carcinoma.(6)

In conclusion, since I have been consuming these and other kinds of mushrooms over the last decade, I’ve found Cordyceps one of my top five! It was one of the first to pique my interest in mushroom supplements and upon studying them more thoroughly, I have declared it to be one of my missions in life, to help spread awareness and information regarding these fascinating fungi and to get everyone I know and love to use them! If you choose just a few, I’d highly suggest starting with Cordyceps, Reishi and Turkey Tail to start! You will notice the difference. More of my favorites to come soon! Thanks for enjoying!

Here’s a list of documented affects of Cordyceps, from our fabulous mycologist hero of the decade, Paul Stamets from his groundbreaking book Mycelium Running (found at Fungi.com).

Pg. 89 Mycelium Running

Antibacterial, antioxidant, antitumor, antiviral, blood sugar moderator, assists cardiovascular system, cholesterol reducer, immune enhancer, kidney and liver tonic, supports lung/respiratory system, nerve tonic, sexual potentiator, and stress reducer.

Active against these cancers; Leukemia, lung, lymphoma cancers. Also has direct antiviral activity against hepatitis B.(9)

Additional references:
(1) Christopher Hobbs, Medicinal Mushrooms, pg 20
(2) Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running, pg 220
(3) Christopher Hobbs, Medicinal Mushrooms, pg 24
(4) Christopher Hobbs, Medicinal Mushrooms, pg 85
(5) Christopher Hobbs, Medicinal Mushrooms, pg 25
(6) Christopher Hobbs, Medicinal Mushrooms, pg 38
(7) Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running, pg 38-39
(8) Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running, pg 38-38
(9) Paul Stamets, Mycelium Running, pg 41
(10)Christopher Hobbs, Medicinal Mushrooms, pg 4