Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that can be found all over the world. It grows from the inside of an insect with a spore-like appearance, stemming like a root.
There are over 400 different species of Cordyceps. The most common to be used for health benefits are Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris.
Cordyceps are considered a leading superfood in the mushroom community. Growing in popularity, many supplements contain Cordyceps. Using it as a supplement or powder makes it simple and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
So, what’s all the fuss surrounding this parasitic fungus?
Traditionally used as a medicine, Cordyceps is believed to have significant health benefits. People have used Cordyceps for centuries to treat ailments such as lung and kidney disease, fatigue, and reproductive concerns. We continue to use Cordyceps continues in this way today. However, advancements have been made to make dried Cordyceps into a powdered extract. This can be added to supplements for easy ingestion.
This post will give you all the information you need about what Cordyceps can be used for.
- Can Cordyceps Cure Coughs?
- Does Cordyceps Increase Testosterone?
- Does Cordyceps Give You Energy?
- Does Cordyceps Help Asthma?
- Does Cordyceps Thin Blood?
- What Are The Benefits Of Taking Cordyceps?
Can Cordyceps Cure Coughs?
Have you ever had a recurring cough that you just can’t get rid of? A bad cough can be difficult to shift. Especially if it comes as a result of a disease such as chronic bronchitis.
Chronic bronchitis is characterized as an illness that reduces the expiratory flow during forced expiration. This is usually presented as a phlegmy mucus cough.
A cough comes as a result of high levels of carbon dioxide in the blood that are struggling to be expelled from the lungs. The result can be painful and uncomfortable.
So what’s behind the belief in Cordyceps' ability to cure a cough?
Diseases such as bronchitis are caused by inflammation within the lungs. The occurrence of oxidative stress is the cause of an inflammatory process that has a consequential effect on the airways.
Oxidative stress refers to damage caused when there is an imbalance between free radicals (oxidants) and antioxidants within the body. Antioxidants keep free radicals stabilized to stop them from doing damage to the cells and tissue in your body. But, when there are more free radicals than antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs.
The process of oxidative stress in the lungs increases mucus production and secretion, worsening the inflammation.
Cordyceps contains a component called superoxide dismutase (SOD) - an antioxidant known for its ability to restore and regenerate cells. It is believed that Cordyceps may be able to combat the effects of oxidative stress by relaxing and opening the airways as well as reducing inflammation by restoring damaged bronchial cells.
Cordyceps is believed to provide a host of health benefits. One, in particular, is its ability to reduce oxidative stress in the lungs and subside symptoms of coughing.
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Does Cordyceps Increase Testosterone?
Traditionally Cordyceps was used as a medicine to cure numerous ailments, one of the most significant being an aphrodisiac to support sexual performance and reproduction.
It is believed that Cordyceps contains properties that support levels of androgens in men (hormones that contribute to reproduction in men and women).
Studies suggest that Cordyceps may help to support the health of steroidogenic acute regulatory enzymes found in tissues such as the testis. This enzyme serves to help the production of steroid hormones such as testosterone.
One way that Cordyceps is believed to be of help in increasing testosterone levels is its ability to combat oxidative stress.
There are many people who try to increase their levels of testosterone by overtraining with the misconception that this will increase hormone production. Doing so, consequently causes oxidative stress.
Cordyceps may provide anti-oxidative properties and reproductive hormone support to combat the effects and increase levels of testosterone without causing stress.
Additionally, animal studies suggest that Cordyceps may have the potential to boost Leydig cells in the testicles which would contribute to increasing levels of testosterone.
Does Cordyceps Give You Energy?
Considered a powerful antioxidant, Cordyceps is believed to increase energy levels and exercise performance. Studies show that Cordyceps contain polysaccharides.
This compound is believed to have anti-fatigue and energy-boosting properties. As this property exists in Cordyceps, it’s believed that Cordyceps may also be able to increase energy levels by improving metabolic functioning.
Other studies have shown that Cordyceps may have free radical scavenging abilities. This is how a substance such as an antioxidant helps to protect cells in the body from being damaged by free radicals. Free radical scavenging results in an increase in an individual’s energy and aid recovery.
Many people believe Cordyceps may potentially increase the body’s production of a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This molecule plays a critical role in delivering energy to the muscles. It acts as a method of transportation carrying precious cargo (energy). This molecule's ability to transfer energy influences our ability to recover and restore energy.
In relation to this belief, studies showed that after taking supplements of Cordyceps Militaris, participants experienced an increase in exercise performance by 11%.
Cordyceps are frequently used as a natural supplement to increase and improve athletic performance. It is believed that this fungus might be able to increase the body’s ability to absorb oxygen. In doing so, it can potentially use oxygen more efficiently which results in improved stamina and a quicker recovery.
It is also believed that the potential ability of Cordyceps to increase energy comes from the nutrients of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins contained within.
Does Cordyceps Help Asthma?
Like bronchitis, asthma is also affected by inflammation of the lungs. Asthma is caused by an overreaction from the immune system to a trigger.
This could be anything from a response to an allergy to the inhalation of smoke etc. This response is similar to that of a response caused by an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system turns on itself.
The SOD contained in Cordyceps is believed to support a healthy inflammation response by working to reduce inflammation and restore cells.
There is also research that shows that when human cells are exposed to Cordyceps, the protein that is typically associated with increased inflammation becomes suppressed by Cordyceps. This links to the belief that Cordyceps potentially provides anti-inflammatory properties.
Considering that asthma is the result of inflammation in the airways caused by a trigger, animal research shows that Cordyceps reduces inflammation in the airways of mice.
This research suggests that Cordyceps could potentially be used as a source of therapy for asthma by reducing hyperactivity created by a stimulus and boosting respiratory function.
While the effects of Cordyceps on asthma in humans is inconclusive, there are studies that show that patients experienced a reduction of inflammation in the respiratory tract after using Cordyceps. This suggests that there are potential benefits to Cordyceps in helping asthma.
Does Cordyceps Thin Blood?
Cordyceps are believed to have blood-thinning effects to reduce blood clots and create regular blood flow. It is advised that anyone on blood-thinning medication avoids using Cordyceps.
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What Are The Benefits Of Taking Cordyceps?
Besides the potential benefits Cordyceps has on reducing inflammation, increasing testosterone, and increasing energy, Cordyceps contains a wealth of properties associated with various health benefits.
Cordyceps is adaptogenic, which means it is believed to possess the ability to regulate and balance the body during times of stress. Many people think Cordyceps are an ideal substance to use if you are looking for a way to create balance during a stressful time.
Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are essential in maintaining a happy and healthy body. They affect every function in your body by helping to restore and minimize the damage done by free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. Cordyceps are naturally rich in antioxidants and are considered a superfood due to antioxidant activity.
The antioxidant level in Cordyceps is also believed to contribute to maintaining gut health. Its potential ability to protect and restore cells creates stability in the gut by preventing free radicals and reducing inflammation to ensure a balanced gut environment. Considered a superfood, Cordyceps contains Beta-D-Glucans which have been shown to naturally regulate the body's immune system to aid the process of protecting against invaders that may cause illness and disease.
Cordyceps antioxidant potency is linked to another health benefit related to the reduction of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress affects the whole body with a broad range of symptoms, one of them being an increase in ageing. It is believed that this property may be able to reduce the effects of oxidative stress by restoring and regenerating skin cells to reduce the anti-ageing effects of oxidative stress.
Reduction Of Cancer Cells
Cordyceps is believed to have advanced healing effects in reducing cancer cells. Studies show that Cordyceps could potentially be effective in reversing the effects of leukopenia. Leukopenia is a side effect of leukaemia (a type of cancer). Leukopenia causes a reduction in the number of white blood cells in the body. The result is a decline in the body’s ability to defend itself against potential threats increasing its risk of disease and infection.
While Cordyceps are generally believed to be safe, it's important to know that there is always the possibility of side effects. It is advised that using Cordyceps should be avoided if you are currently on blood-thinning medication, you are pregnant, breastfeeding. If you are unsure about whether you can take Cordyceps, be sure to check with your doctor first.
The effects of Cordyceps on humans are still to be determined.
However, the years of traditional use and studies carried out on the effects of Cordyceps on the body show that there is potential for Cordyceps to provide substantial health benefits considering the properties it contains.
Cordyceps can potentially improve the health of multiple areas of your body both internally and externally. The benefits covered show just how many ailments Cordyceps are believed to improve.