The thought of chowing down on a type of fungus might not appeal to you, but if we're talking cordyceps mushrooms, know that this is a fungus that is good for you and can even enhance your health. This is nothing new. Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine have been using mushrooms – including the cordyceps variety – for hundreds of years. This stuff is time-tested, and it works. Cordyceps, per healthline.com, is a parasitic fungi that grows on the larvae of insects (most notably caterpillars; hence, its nickname ‘the caterpillar fungus'), the remains of which are collected by hand and then dried and used to treat a number of conditions, to include fatigue, sickness, kidney disease, and lackluster sex drive.
New Cordyceps Benefits Still Being DiscoveredEven though the use of medicinal mushrooms has been around for centuries with tried and true health benefits, new uses are still being identified. This proves that you can teach an old remedy new tricks. For instance, per draxe.com, cordyceps mushrooms have been found potentially helpful in improving athletic performance, fighting back against aging, and even enhancing heart health. All in all, it can ward off free radicals, infections, and inflammation. There's more. Not only can cordyceps boost the uptake of oxygen (think athletic endeavors) and enhance respiratory health, it can also help detoxify the body. It's not known as a ‘super food' for nothing.
8 of Cordyceps Mushrooms' Most Noteworthy Health BenefitsLet's break it down and take a longer look at some of Cordyceps mushroom's medicinal/healthful benefits, but discuss with a physician before you make any changes to your daily diet/regimen involving mushrooms:
- Energy booster. It does this by bolstering the oxygen uptake in the body and improving production of cellular energy, per organicfacts.net.
- Optimizes respiratory function. By increasing the body's oxygen uptake, cordyceps mushrooms also can alleviate conditions such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, while helping to stave off respiratory distress and weakness. This also helps oxygenate the body's extremities, per organicfacts.net.
- Bolsters the immune system. The mushroom works to stimulate the production of natural killer (NK) cells, which provide a wall of defense to ward off infections and illness, such as the common cold.
- Body detoxifier. Per organicfacts.net, studies have borne out how just 30 days of consistent cordyceps herbal use can lead to notable improvement of the health of kidneys.
- Anti-aging properties. While proponents of cordyceps mushroom's medication uses don't go so far as to claim it can stop the aging process, studies using laboratory mice have given indications it can enhance memory and even extend lifespan, per facty.com.
- Cardiovascular benefits. For one thing, the mushroom, when tested in animal studies, per facty.com, has shown an apparent ability to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, which in excess can lead to arterial blockages, among other heart-related issues.
- Enhance exercise performance. It is believed that cordyceps can boost your body's manufacture of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule considered paramount for providing your muscles with energy. One study, cited at healthline.com, tested healthy older adults using a stationary bike and a synthetic strain of cordyceps, and found the measured fitness level increased by 7 percent for participants given the cordyceps as compared to those given a placebo.
- Manage type 2 diabetes. Several studies on diabetic mice referenced at healthline.com indicated an ability of cordyceps to reduce blood sugar levels; it can apparently work to keep blood sugar levels in a healthy range by mimicking the action of insulin.