Cordyceps is a tonic medicinal mushroom generally known for its performance attributing qualities, which enhance endurance & stamina.
Cordyceps is known as the ‘the athlete’s mushroom’ as evidence suggests it boosts the body’s supply of ATP molecules (adenosine triphosphate – an essential molecule responsible for delivering energy to muscles) our primary source of energy to improve stamina and endurance and support physical performance. It has been regarded as a staple in holistic medicine for centuries and has long been revered for its potent anti-ageing and health-promoting properties.
Also considered an aphrodisiac, it is said to support oxygen uptake and enhance low sex drive.
Some of cordyceps’ health benefits include:
• Always check with your healthcare practitioner before using medicinal foods/superfoods such as ashwagandha during pregnancy or on prescribed medication
If you’re thinking of supplementing your diet with cordyceps to benefit from its many health giving properties, make sure you look for the following:
- Certified organic powders for purity – you do not want any concentrated form of powder to contain any impurities, pesticides, preservatives or synthetic binders that will also become concentrated once powdered
- Steam-extracted or steam activated for easy absorption & more bioavailable nutrients – research shows that tonic mushrooms that undergo a steam extraction process have improved nutrient bioavailability
- Grown & harvested cordyceps sinensis or cordyceps militaris – the tonic mushroom ingredients must contain a 100% powdered non-synthetic cordyceps fungi variant either cordyceps sinensis or cordyceps militaris. Majority of Cordyceps supplements contain synthetically grown versions of cordyceps called Cordyceps CS-4.
Of the more than 400 species of Cordyceps discovered, two have become the focus of health research: Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordycepsmilitaris, due to their evidence-based health benefits.
There are bioavailable nutrients unique to tonic mushrooms, like cordyceps, which function to modulate the immune system and strengthen the immune response, whilst others may reduce inflammation and support the liver.
Studies suggest that consuming cordyceps benefits immune function and can help optimise the health of the cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine and reproductive systems. This is because they contain anti-inflammatory compounds like polysaccharides, modified nucleosides and cyclosporine.
Rather than being an immune booster, its action is balancing: lowering immune overactivation in autoimmune diseases while heightening defence mechanisms when the immune system is weakened or under attack.
Promising evidence suggests that cordyceps may improve lung function in people with asthma or COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Cordyceps may protect the kidneys from damage caused by certain antibiotics, enhance kidney function, and help balance the immune system in people with kidney transplants.
Several studies suggest that they can boost athletic performance by improving physical abilities, endurance and stamina, partially because they boost the body’s supply of ATP, one of the primary sources of energy during exercise. Cordyceps contain adenosine, a type of nucleic acid that is needed to make ATP, an “energy carrier” that is depleted in the muscles during physical activity.
You can take cordyceps in powdered form, capsules or extract form. If the taste of a powder is not preferred consider easy-to-use cordyceps powder in vegetable capsules.
Since cordyceps is an adaptogenic tonic mushroom, it has a cumulative effect on the body. Meaning that continuous use amplifies its effectiveness. Taking daily cordyceps over time gives your body the needed adaptogenic support to adjust to your body’s specific biochemistry and enhance its effectiveness.
The powder can be used in hot drinks, soups, mushroom dishes, broths, tapenade or smoothies.
It has a mild & palatable taste that pairs well with malty flavours like maca, bitter flavours like cacao or umami & salty flavours.
BONUS: A QUICK RECIPE
Warm coconut milk & blend it with 1tsp cordyceps, 1tsp maca xpresso, 1tsp maple & 1tsp raw cacao powder. It is simply divine!
Up to 3 tsp per day can be used to accelerate results.
1 tsp = 5ml = approx 2g / 2000mg
*Consult a medical practitioner for correct anecdotal dosage.
Cordyceps fungus is sometimes called the ‘caterpillar fungus’. It’s parasitic in nature because it grows on a type of caterpillar and then eats the host!
Of the more than 400 species of Cordyceps discovered, two have become the focus of health research: Cordyceps sinensis and Cordycepsmilitaris, due to their evidence based health benefits.
Studies seem to suggest that there are no known side effects and safety concerns involving the use of cordyceps. However, the dosage commonly used in human research suggests 1,000–3,000 mg of cordyceps per day is safe to consume without any contraindications.
66 Abstracts with Cordyceps sinensis research