Cordyceps is a powerful immune booster. It stimulates the immune system by increasing the number and boosting the activity of natural killer cells (a type of white blood cell), which protect the body from viruses and bacteria. A recent study showed that Cordyceps increased the levels of these cells by 74% in healthy individuals. A number of polysaccharides found in Cordyceps are also believed to play an important role in enhancing the immune system by increasing its defensive power.
Discovered by the Yak herders of Tibet, Cordyceps has since been found to enhance cells’ ability to utilise oxygen, thus assisting the herders at high altitudes where oxygen is in shorter supply. This effect is thought to protect the lungs, make it easier to breathe and improve respiratory function in general. Extensive studies in humans have proven it useful for; bronchitis, asthma, coughs and emphysema.
Enhances Athletic Performance
Another benefit of increasing the cells’ ability to utilise oxygen is the effect it has on athletic performance. This was famously seen at the 1993 Chinese National Games, where the Women’s Field and Track team broke 9 world records – not just by a little bit but by startling amounts! The governing sports authorities suspected some performance enhancing drugs had been used, however it was freely admitted by the coach that the secret to their success was the Cordyceps he had been giving the team. Recent research has confirmed that Cordyceps usage also increases cellular ATP levels, the molecule that actually releases energy into the cell. The double effect of the increased ATP and better oxygen utilisation go hand in hand to increase energy and stamina, giving more fuel to burn and more oxygen to burn it with.
Powerfully antioxidant, Cordyceps increases the action of Super-Oxide-Dismutase (SOD), a potent antioxidant in the body. SOD will quench the free radicals and other toxins that can cause premature aging and degenerative diseases.
Liver & Kidney Health
Cordyceps benefits the liver by increasing the efficient function of this important organ. Studies have found it normalises liver enzymes, can inhibit steatohepatitis and retard cirrhosis. There is one particular study consisting of 22 patients stricken with post hepatic cirrhosis. After consuming 6-9 grams of Cordyceps per day for 3 months, all of the individuals in the study experienced dramatic liver function improvement. Renal function has also been shown to be improved by supplementation with Cordyceps - a study with 51 patients suffering chronic renal failure showed that the administration of 3–5g per day of Cordyceps sinensis significantly improved the kidney and immune functions of the patients.
Also known as “Himalayan Viagra” and “The Sexual Potentiator”, Cordyceps highly influences the release of testosterone by increasing the blood circulation, thus enhancing erectile function, virility and stamina. It is especially good for women who may be in the menopause or post-menopausal - this is partly because it enhances the biosynthesis of the steroid hormones cortisol, estrogen and testosterone.
A typical dose of Cordyceps is 1 to 3 grams up to 3 times a day.