What are Cordyceps?
Cordyceps are a type of parasitic fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in high mountain regions. It commonly grows on a caterpillar in Tibet called the Ghost Moth. Cordyceps grow in warm, humid climate like tropical forests and can be found throughout Nepal, China, Japan and Thailand. It can also be cultivated in labs.It has been used in Ancient Chinese medicine for thousands of years to improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. There are over 600 different species of fungi some of which are poisonous and some not. Cordyceps is actually a very powerful supplement for human health. It is amazing to think that this particular fungus will grow on the backs of insect larvae and ultimately killing its host. (i) When the mycelium in the Cordyceps invade the insect host, it replaces its tissues with the fungi growth. In Ancient Chinese medicine, the fungi left over is then collected and used for “fatigue, sickness, kidney disease and a low sex drive”. (ii) Amazing!
What Are the Benefits of Cordyceps?
· Cordyceps have the ability to strengthen and reset the immune system. They can regulate the body’s existing immune functions and boost its adaptation capabilities (iii).
· There is growing interest in the ability of Cordyceps to reduce malignant tumours. This in addition to its immune boosting properties (iv) make it a potent defence for cancer sufferers and chemotherapy patients.
· Some studies have reported that Cordyceps decreased blood sugar levels by increasing metabolism. This is great news for diabetics. Cordyceps can reduce internal inflammation due to cytokine storms, substances released by the cells in defence of detected pathogens in the body. (v)
· Cordyceps have been prized for centuries in Eastern medicine with the earliest documented usage found in Nepal. It was traditionally used as a health tonic aiding in immune defence, blood cleaner, and energy booster.
· Cordyceps are rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients. They contain large quantities of B vitamins plus vitamins E and K. They contain amino acids and necessary fatty acids. They are high in nucleosides (vi), sugar like compounds, with anti-cancer and anti viral-properties (vi).
Mushrooms have been identified with magic and the supernatural world in much of our folklore. It is interesting to note that the Egyptians believed mushrooms were sent by lightning and were “sons of the Gods”, making them only available to Queens and Pharaohs for consumption. (viii) Like the Egyptians, the Mayans and Celts also believed that mushrooms were sons of the Gods giving anyone spiritual immortality when eaten. This fungus that has been used for thousands of years has been used to treat a host of health problems from muscle pain, immune disorders, cancer, fatigue to diabetes. To think that something growing on insects could be so powerful in benefiting human health, is incredible. Fortunately, present day research proves that Cordyceps are not only a natural way to improve our health, but is essential in preventing disease and infection.