- Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus; its spores infiltrate the bodies and minds of insects. Insects afflicted with cordyceps are quickly taken away and dumped by the other insects, far away from the colony, to not infect other insects. And like something from science fiction, the fruiting body of the cordyceps mushroom erupts from the insect’s head. When its growth is finished, the spores burst from its tip and afflict any insects in the vicinity. This fungus is so virulent that it can wipe out whole colonies of insects. The cordyceps mushroom has a positive effect on a jungle’s diversity, as it stops any single organism from overpopulating. The more numerous a species becomes, the more likely it will become attacked by a cordyceps fungus.
- Such an organism is very likely to have powerful characteristics that can be imparted onto us.
- The Cordycepshave a long history as medicinal fungi. One of the earliest clear record is a Tibetan medical text authored by Zurkhar Nyamnyi Dorje in the 15th century outlining the tonic propensities of Yartsa gunbu, especially as an aphrodisiac.
- As a tonic, Cordyceps is now being used by athletes around the world. It improves performance partly by improving oxygen consumption by the cardiopulmonary system under stress and increasing tissue “steady state” energy levels. Cordyceps also appears to modulate immune function and optimize endocrine system functions, increasing physical strength and endurance. Cordyceps’ has powerful, deep tonifying action. It is used to overcome weakness.
- For three years in the mid-1990s Wang Junxia dominated the world of female distance running. She became the fastest long distance runner in the world, and in history. Wang broke the world records in the 3,000 and 10,000 meter runs, and won gold and silver medals at the Atlanta Olympics. As a key part of her training program, she consumed an herbal tonic in which Wild Cordyceps was the main ingredient. Though her performances caused many people to speculate that she had used steroids, Wang never failed a drug test though she was tested relentlessly during the entire period. She denies ever using a steroid or any performance enhancing substance other than the legal, safe, life enhancing tonic herbs, headed by Cordyceps.
- Cordyceps sinensis increases ATP (adenosine triphosphate) levels in the body by almost 28 per cent. ATP is the body’s energy supply source—the body’s battery, so to speak—and is required for all enzyme processes.
- Cordyceps is also a major Lung tonic. It can be used to strengthen respiratory power in those who require extra energy in order to perform physical work (e.g., sports, exercise or labor) or it can be used by those who suffer from deficiency of Lung power. It is especially beneficial to those who suffer chronic Lung weakness with shortness of breath.
- Cordyceps is very highly regarded in China as a tonic for those who are recovering from an illness or an operation, or after giving birth. In these cases, the Cordyceps helps the patient recover their physical power, improve their appetite, and protect the body from infection. When blended with other tonics such as Ginseng, Ganoderma (Reishi mushroom), Schizandra, Lycium (Goji) or Astragalus, Cordyceps’ power is even increased as the synergy of the various herbs results in an even more powerful tonic.
- .Cordyceps increases cellular Oxygen Absorption by up to 40%
(Lou Y, Liao X, Lu Y. Cardiovascular pharmacological studies of ethanol extracts of Cordyceps mycelia and Cordyceps fermentation solution. Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1986;17(5):17-21,209-213) Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases improvement of 40% after Cordyceps supplement. (Wang WQ. J. Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5 (supp;):24)
- In Chinese medicine, cordyceps is one of the few herbs in the world that tonifies both Yin and Yang. Because of its superb balance, and lack of side effects, it can be used by almost anyone safely and over a long period of time. It replenishes Yin Essence (Yin Jing), restoring the deep energy expended as a result of excessive exertion, adapting to stress, or from aging. Cordyceps is one of the primary herbal substances used in tonic herbalism as an antiaging agent and for the purposes of rejuvenation. It is especially good for those who are in a weakened condition or by those who desire to visibly increase vitality and performance.
- “A pilot study suggests that supplementation with Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) improves exercise performance and might contribute to wellness in healthy older subjects.”
Cordyceps really grabbed Western attention in 1993 after its use was suggested to be the secret behind the setting of a series of long-distance records by Chinese female runners within a very short period of time. Research has since established it as a therapy for the accelerated strengthening and revitalization of the body after exhaustion or lengthy illness. 39-41
Studies show that Cordyceps normalizes stress-induced homeostatic imbalances in the following areas:
- Blood sugar41,42
- Antioxidant activity43,44
- Immune activity39,45
- Lipid peroxidation43
- ATP (adenosine triphosphate)46
- Sexual function43
- HPA axis activity43
Cordyceps Reduces Tumor Size in Cancer Patients
Several clinical studies have been conducted in China and Japan with cancer patients. In one study with 50 lung cancer patients administered CSE in conjunction with chemotherapy, tumors reduced in size in 46% of patients. Researchers in Japan reported that cordyceps enhances the general reactivity of the immune system in individuals with cancer. To discover this, they subcutaneously injected mice with cancerous (lymphoma) cells and then orally administered CSE. This lead to a reduction of tumor size and prolongation of the host survival time. CSE also improved the antibody responses.