Let’s talk about Cordyceps.
This little organism is fascinating. It is much like a mushroom, but not one like you have ever seen. In its natural form, it invades insects and grows inside them, while controlling their bodies and minds to make them seek a high place in the canopy of forests to die. This ensures that the fungal spores of the fruiting body have the best chance of infecting many other hosts.
Absolutely fascinating, especially when you consider that it exerts control over the insect’s mind to make them do its bidding. That’s a rabbit hole that we won’t go down today.
Luckily there are ways to get the good stuff from it without killing off insects, or involving insects at all.
Here is a video showing the life cycle of cordyceps
Cordyceps has some amazing medicinal and therapeutic uses. (I am not a medical professional – read the disclaimer HERE )
According to Scientific American, it increases immune function, gives you more energy and endurance, and better stamina. Some even say it has anti-aging properties among other things.
After a period of time using Reishi, I decided to try Cordyceps. I admit because of the difficulty of the cultivation of this species, I bought pills from a health food store. I wanted to know if it was worth my time and effort to learn the difficult task of growing this mushroom.
For energy increase, this one is heads above Reishi. One pill is very noticeable, although still not jittery like caffeine.
I do seem to have more endurance and stamina when taking it. See the Facebook post about the last two garden beds I put in for proof. I felt great, and no hangover. This one you want to take early enough that it wears off before bedtime. I can’t imagine sleeping while it is active.
Cordyceps has been used in traditional Chinese Medicine for a very long time. It is called Dōnɡ Chónɡ Xià Cǎo or Caterpillar Fungus. It is used for Yang Deficiency. Since I am not a Chinese Traditional Medicine practitioner, that is about all I can say.
My personal take on it?
This one is a keeper. So I have been learning to grow them myself.
Without the insects.
Once I finish up my research, I will show you what I have been working on.
In the meantime … the next article will be about Lion’s Mane mushrooms.
There are many other benefits to taking Cordyceps. Check out the articles below:
A stronger immune system, more energy, improved endurance, and better stamina … one ingredient promises all of that. Whether it’s as an extract, a pill, or powdered into your coffee, the cordyceps fungus is promoted as a one-stop-shop to cure what ails you. Known as Himalayan Gold because it is often farmed in the Himalayan plateaus, cordyceps has long been used in ancient Chinese and Tibetan medicine for curing diarrhea, headache, cough, rheumatism, liver disease, kidney disease, and much more. But is it too good to be true?
Traditional healers in Sikkim recommend the fungus/mushroom Cordyceps sinensis for “all illnesses” as a tonic because they claim that it improves energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and sleeping patterns. It is a rare combination of a caterpillar and fungus found in Sikkim at altitudes above 3,800 m. The mushroom is most popular in the Lachung and Lachen area of North Sikkim and has the reputation of being a precious longevity-promoting herb. The present study was undertaken to collect as much information as possible regarding traditional claims for its uses in different diseases. Attempts to evaluate such claims through studies of available modern literature were also made.
Cordyceps might improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. It may also have activity against cancer cells and may shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers.
Cordyceps is a genus of parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects. When these fungi attack their host, they replace its tissue and sprout long, slender stems that grow outside the host’s body. The remains of the insect and fungi have been hand-collected, dried and used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat fatigue, sickness, kidney disease, and low sex drive.
Traditional wisdom tells us that cordyceps mushrooms can be helpful in treating many ailments. Modern research supports many of those uses now as well.