In the ongoing battle for balance, sometimes we all need a little support from nature.
Modern living is often full of personal and environmental stressors, and our ability to maintain mental and physical equilibrium begins with how we nourish our bodies.
If you’re eating well and exercising, yet still lacking that oomph you need to power through the day, it may be time to try adding mushrooms to your wellness routine - more specifically, the Cordyceps Mushroom.
What are Cordyceps Mushrooms?
Cordyceps Mushrooms are a genus of parasitic mushrooms that survive by attaching to an insect host. While a nightmare for insects, we humans can appreciate cordyceps for their ability to support energy, immunity, and endurance.
There are over 700 known species of Cordyceps; in holistic medicine, the most popular of these are Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis, which are recognized as some of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms in the world.
While it may seem like Cordyceps have only just burst onto the natural wellness scene, the use of these mushrooms to support our overall health is no fungi fad - Cordyceps have a long, rich history in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and are used to support Jing, our essence.
Traditionally, Cordyceps were hand-harvested from high altitudes in the Himalayan mountains, and then dried to be used for a host of health benefits: from sickness prevention to ameliorating a low sex drive, the medicinal use of these mushrooms for a range of maladies can be traced back to the 17th century.
Today, new methods have been developed to cultivate these mushrooms in higher quantities, reducing strain on natural resources and helping to meet increasing demand for their many benefits.
*The Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms
Cordyceps Mushrooms have many benefits, all tracing back to a complex makeup of nutrients that work together to support our immunity, energy, and resilience.
Cordyceps contain a bioactive compound called cordycepin, a derivative of adenosine. This compound has been found to have tumor-fighting mechanisms, antioxidant properties, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Cordyceps Mushrooms additionally contain amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that help to support overall well-being.
The components of Cordyceps Mushrooms provide adaptogenic benefits, energy support, and aid cognitive function.
If you haven’t yet added Cordyceps to your holistic toolkit, it’s time to bring this powerful mushroom into the mix. Here, we outline the 8 most significant benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms and how they can help to improve your vitality and essence:
1. Cordyceps are Adaptogenic Mushrooms
Like other adaptogens, Cordyceps help the body regulate and maintain balance when under stress.
Adaptogens promote stability - by counterbalancing the surge of adrenaline and cortisol caused by stress, those who regularly use adaptogens experience more stable heart rates, mental clarity, and regulated energy levels.
2. Cordyceps May Increase Oxygen Uptake
In Chinese Medicine, Cordyceps Mushrooms have been used to help harvesters adjust to high altitudes and low levels of oxygen.
This application has been supported with more recent scientific studies, which measured exercise performance in healthy, older subjects receiving Cordyceps in a double-blind study.
The results showed that those who had been taking the Cordyceps supplements had improved VO2 levels, showing that Cordyceps can help to improve our use of oxygen and support us in low oxygen environments.
3. Cordyceps Support Natural Endurance and Recovery
In one research study conducted on mice, results showed that cordyceps could support exercise endurance by increasing the storage of glycogen, a critical substrate used by the body during intense exercise, in the liver and muscles.
The mice also produced less lactic acid, which the body uses for energy when oxygen stores are limited. By improving oxygen capacity, the use of Cordyceps can improve endurance and help athletes improve overall performance.
Another reason athletes can rejoice: once you’ve powered through a high-endurance workout, cordyceps have been shown to support muscle recovery after your workout has ended.
The same study showed that mice who had received a supplement of cordyceps had reduced levels of blood lactic acid, creatine kinase, blood urea nitrogen, and malondialdehyde levels. These elements, in high high concentration, can indicate oxidative stress, decreased immune function, or muscle inflammation.
By reducing these levels, we also reduce the strain placed on our body to recover from vigorous exercise.
4. Cordyceps have Potential Anti-Tumor Effects
Several studies performed on animals and in test-tubes suggest that Cordyceps may have the potential to inhibit the growth of human cancer cells and reduce our reaction to side effects associated with cancer therapies.
While more research is needed, initial studies show promise in the ability of Cordyceps to help fight cancer-causing cells.
5. Cordyceps Can Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is how our bodies react to a perceived threat, typically a virus or bacteria, and is an important process to help regulate imbalances.
Inflammation can take the form of pain, swelling, or redness, and helps to neutralize the threat.
However, modern diets and stressors have increased levels of inflammation in humans to levels that are difficult to regulate and can even cause chronic illness.
Studies of Cordyceps have shown that these mushrooms help to reduce inflammation in the body, particularly in affiliation with chronic illness.
6. Cordyceps Could Improve Heart Health
Cordyceps may be impactful on your heart-health, as well!
Studies examining how Cordyceps can impact heart health have shown promise in reducing “bad” cholesterol levels as well as levels of triglycerides, which are both linked to heart disease.
While more research is needed to determine if Cordyceps could benefit the human heart, the science thus far is promising
7. Cordyceps Have Anti-Aging Properties
While we can’t keep ourselves from growing older, we can take actions to help our bodies and minds age with grace.
Scientists believe that the antioxidants in Cordyceps help to fight aging; because Cordyceps are rich in antioxidants, they are able to help neutralize free radicals that commonly contribute to disease.
8. Cordyceps Mushrooms May Increase Energy Levels
Instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, incorporating cordyceps into your diet could help to increase your energy reserves by replenishing energy at the cellular level.
This mushroom combines multiple effects to support overall energy and vitality: Cordyceps have demonstrated potential to increase ventilatory thresholds, helping the body to perform better at high altitudes - in general, this can help keep feelings of fatigue at bay.
Altogether, the preceding benefits of cordyceps can contribute to your overall energy levels. By reducing the stressors our bodies experience every day, we are able to use our precious energy for other, more critical tasks - like getting the kids ready for school.
Cordyceps Mushroom Supplements
Supplementing your diet with Cordyceps Mushrooms may help you to reap the benefits of these ancient mushrooms. More and more studies are showing scientific evidence to back long-held beliefs and practices in Traditional Chinese Medicine, around Cordyceps, and how they can interact with, and improve, our well-being.
Here are a few things you may want to know before adding Cordyceps to your holistic wellness routine:
- Cordyceps are generally considered to be safe, though they may cause minor side effects in some individuals. There are no known serious side effects to taking a high dose of Cordyceps, but too much may cause stomach discomfort and disrupt digestion
- Cordyceps Mushrooms can be taken long term: in fact, the longer you use Cordyceps as a supplement, the more likely you are to experience their beneficial effects
- Those with allergies to fungi, yeast, or mold should be cautious when first beginning to take Cordyceps - if you notice any sign of a reaction, contact your doctor.
The benefits of Cordyceps are many, and this mushroom has long been used in Ancient Chinese Medicine to help support Jing, or essence.
Today, studies support a wide-range of benefits, from anti-aging to fighting cancer cells, that can help to increase energy, stamina, and overall wellness. As an adaptogenic mushroom, Cordyceps help the body regulate stress and maintain inner balance.
Ready to explore the benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms in your wellness routine?
Whether you are looking for immune support, hormonal support, or a boost of energy, The Hao Life uses Cordyceps as one of many amazing, natural ingredients to help you be your best. Explore our modern, all-natural plant remedies to see which blend can help bring more harmony and balance to your modern day life.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.