Not only in the gym have you probably been confronted with this secret tip for more strength and vitality - Cordyceps sinensis. But what can the mushroom from the Tibetan highlands really do? We get to the bottom of it.
The Chinese caterpillar mushroom - caterpillar or mushroom?
The so-called caterpillar mushroom is found in the Tibetan highlands at altitudes between 3000 and 5000 metres. Boosted by the wetness of the monsoon in spring, the mushroom's fruiting bodies are ready for harvesting from about April to July. It gets its name from the fact that it attacks caterpillars lying in the ground and feeds on them. The caterpillars remain as an empty mummified shell from which the fruiting body of the mushroom grows.
Npwadays, the mushroom is cultivated and no caterpillars are sacrificed for it. Taking cordyceps is therefore also suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
What effect does cordyceps have on the body?
For thousands of years, cordyceps has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy for fatigue, cough, sexual listlessness and kidney problems. After the 1993 World Championships in Athletics, the Chinese Athletics Association announced that the success of its athletes, who had set several records, was also due to the intake of the vitality mushroom.
Cordyceps in the focus of science
Numerous studies have already been conducted on the effect of cordyceps. The results are really very promising. Among other things, the following was observed:
- Cordyceps has a toxic effect on cancer cells, but none on healthy cells. This suggests that it could be used to support chemotherapy.
- The mushroom has been shown to have both immune-boosting and immune-suppressing properties. This means that it can support the immune system of healthy people, but also help with autoimmune diseases. It also has a positive effect on the intestinal flora, which is enormously important for the immune system.
- It has antioxidant properties, so it protects cells from oxidative stress.
- The vital mushroom can lower the blood sugar level and at the same time prevent it from dropping too low. This makes it a possible remedy for people with diabetes mellitus.
- Cordyceps has similar properties to St. John's wort, which is why it could be used to help treat depression.
- In mice, an increase in testosterone levels was observed by feeding the mushroom. It can be assumed that this effect also appears in humans, thus increasing potency.
- The energy level increases by taking the mushroom, as it enables the cells to use oxygen more efficiently. For this reason, many people take cordyceps to support their training.
- It has liver & kidney protecting properties.
- Furthermore, it contains some unsaturated fatty acids that benefit the body.
What is the best way to take Cordyceps capsules?
Depending on the effect you hope to achieve with the vitality mushroom, it is best to combine it with other plants, vitamins or minerals.
For the male libido and hormone balance, a combination with maca, tribulus and black garlic is recommended. Maca is also considered a natural sexual enhancer, while tribulus and black garlic are known for vitality and cardiovascular health.
For fatigue and exhaustion, the vital mushroom reishi and ginseng are good choices. The latter has been shown to combat signs of fatigue.
if you want to take cordyceps for your liver & kidneys, it is best to combine it with bitter substances. They also have a positive effect on these organs. Milk thistle, for example, is very suitable for this.
Since there are no known side effects from the miracle mushroom, it is perfectly safe to take. If you regularly take medication or suffer from chronic diseases, you should still discuss the intake with your doctor.
- Bao-qin Lin and Shao-ping Li. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/