What are Cordyceps Mushrooms?
Cordyceps mushrooms known botanically as Cordyceps sinensis are a type of edible fungus with medicinal and nutritional benefits. Although they are very closely related to mushrooms, they are technically not quite the same and are actually classified as an Ascomycetes fungus.
Cordyceps get harvested in certain mountainous regions of the world especially in the Himalyan areas of China. And get this… would you believe that they grow on the back of caterpillars?
They have been used in some parts of the world for hundreds of years and have a reputation in traditional Chinese medicine as being a very powerful longevity herb.
Cordyceps Health Benefits
1) Cancer, Immune Health and the Aging Process
A number of studies into the effects of cordyceps have found they have a positive effect on the immune system. They can help boost immune health and may even help to fight cancer because they possess certain polysaccharides and cyclosporines which help to lower inflammation. (1)
Studies done on animals have also demonstrated that cordyceps has antitumor activity and can help treat certain autoimmune disorders such as leaky gut. There is also some evidence that cordyceps supplements when taken during chemotherapy may help relieve adverse symptoms related to the treatment.
Research published by China’s Peking University found that cordyceps extract had a powerful anti aging effect on mice by increasing the activity of certain antioxidants like glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase. (2)
2) Improved Stamina and Energy
A study published in 2010 found that supplementing with cordyceps could both improve exercise performance and certain wellness markers in older people. (3) Cordyceps can provide energy much like other energizing adaptogens such as maca and may help treat muscle aches, fatigue and weakness.
Several other studies indicate that cordyceps may boost physical abilities, stamina and endurance in part because they help to raise a person’s ATP levels. Cordyceps contain a nucleic acid called adenosine which is necessary to produce ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) in the body. According to research, higher levels of ATP helped give subjects the stamina necessary to perform an intense workout.
Supplementing with cordyceps may also help to control blood sugar and insulin levels making them useful for people with diabetes or those at risk of the condition. This is because cordyceps contain several active compounds partly responsible for controlling blood sugar.
Animal studies have demonstrated that cordyceps extract supplements can combat hypoglycemia in both diabetic and healthy mice. (4)
4) Respiratory Health
According to a number of studies, cordyceps can help to treat and ease the symptoms of many respiratory complaints including coughs, bronchitis and asthma. Supplementing with cordyceps helps improve circulation meaning the level of oxygen that reaches the lungs improves. (5)
5) Liver Health and Detoxification
According to research, cordyceps can also boost a person’s liver health and function especially where the liver has been damaged by a disease such as hepatitis B. One of the liver’s main roles is to eradicate toxins and by improving the efficiency of the liver, cordyceps also improves immune health.
Animal research carried out in China demonstrated that cordyceps had a beneficial effect on various bodily functions including oxidative stress, metabolism of energy and protein metabolism because of their effect on digestive the organs. After 8 weeks of being fed with cordyceps extract, signs of heart damage and liver disease in mice were improved significantly. (6)
6) Other Benefits of Cordyceps
As well as the major benefits above, cordyceps may also have improve your health in the following ways:
- improved fertility
- kidney health
- urinary tract infections
- reduced cholesterol
The Best Cordyceps Supplements
What to Look For
Cordyceps mushroom supplements are becoming widely available both online and in health stores around the country. They are available in a varuety of forms including pills, powder and liquid extract. According to most experts, you get the most out of your supplement when it is taken in pill or powdered form.
Make sure that you read the dosing instructions carefully before you start taking your supplement and if you have any doubts, speak to your doctor.
Having said that, cordyceps mushrooms are generally considered very safe and there are very few reports of adverse side effects. They offer a very safe and natural alternative to many strong pharmaceutical drugs. As an example, anti-inflammatory medications like NSAIDs come with a risk of various unwanted side effects including internal bleeding while certain painkillers can become addictive.
The Best Cordyceps Mushroom Supplements
If you have decided that you can benefit from all the natural health benefits that cordyceps mushrooms offer, you will doubtless be wondering which supplements to buy. As is the case with the vast majority of supplements, the market is growing fast and with so many competing brands out there, shopping can be confusing.
We have compiled a list of the best five cordyceps mushroom supplements some of which are in pill form and some are powdered. Hopefully after reading about each of these supplements, you will be able to make a more informed decision about which ones are right for you.
1) Cordyceps Mushroom Extract Powder : Real Mushrooms
This popular cordyceps extract powder from Real Mushrooms has been made using totally organic cordycep miltaris. You will not find and additional fillers, starch or grains in this product which comes in powder form.
Each pack contains 60 grams of powdered cordyceps extract.
There are plenty of ways to use your powder. You can add it to your coffee, herbal tea or favorite smoothie recipes for a natural healthy kick.
- The powdered extract is easy and convenient to use.
- It is 100% organic and contains no filler.
- Most users are satisfied with the results which include improved immune health, reduced inflammation and increased physical and emotional energy.
- Not as many grams of extract per pack as some of our other featured supplements.
- Some people find the taste unpleasant.
2) Pure Cordyceps Powder BulkSupplements
This is another high quality powdered cordyceps extract made by BulkSupplements. Consumer reviews have been largely positive regarding its effects on immune health in particular.
Each pack provides you with a pure powdered extract with no additional fillers. You can add it to your hot or cold drinks for the health boost your body needs.
- A large 250 gram pack of pure powdered extract.
- No additional fillers.
- Made in the USA in a GMP certified facility.
- This extract contains a good dose of Cordycepic acid.
- Good results when it comes to inflammation and joint health.
- Many customers find the taste too bitter.
3) Organic Cordyceps Mushroom Powder : Sun Potion
This product is also produced in the USA and again comes in the form of an easy to use powder. Each jar of organic mushroom extract contains 100 grams of powder. Users have generally been pleased with its results claiming that it has helped boost their immune systems and their energy levels.
- Extract comes in easy to use Powder form.
- Organic and free of additives.
- The taste is pleasant.
- Boosts strength, energy and immune health.
- Users claim it helps them stay physically strong and mentally focused.
- Slightly expensive in comparison with others.
4) Cordyceps Mushroom Extract : Vitacost
This cordyceps extract from Vitacost comes in the form of a pill. Each capsule pill contains 500 mg of extract with a 7% ratio of cordycepic acid.
There are 60 cordyceps extract pills in each package and customers have generally been impressed with the effects. They are also very reasonably priced.
- Good customer reviews.
- Good value for money.
- Boost energy, strength and reduce inflammation effectively.
- Pills are slightly large.
- Only 60 pills in each jar.
5) Pure Cordyceps Capsules : Aloha Medicinals
This supplement again produced in the U.S comes in the form of a convenient capsule. Each jar contains 90 capsules at a dose of 525 mg a capsule. They are made from 100% organic cordyceps and if consumer reviews are anything to go by, they are extremely effective.
- Supplement is made from pure and organic cordyceps mushrooms.
- 525 gram serving per capsule.
- USA made.
- Good customer reviews.
- Convenient capsules.
- A few people did not notice any positive effects.