Cordyceps Health Benefits June 10 2014
Cordyceps History Overview
The first record of Cordyceps appeared in 1082, and a detailed description of its life cycle was found in manuscripts around 1590–1596, but Cordyceps has only been promoted in Europe since 1726, when it was introduced at a scientific meeting in Paris.
Cordyceps sinensis has been used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine as a natural remedy for more than 2,000 years. The imperial Quing dynasty used Cordyceps for treating kidney and lung ailments, restoring physical strength and the immune system, and rejuvenating and enhancing sexual energy.
How can we explain the effect that Cordyceps has on a human health? The curtain of mystery has been reopened by the study of growth conditions and life cycle of the fungus.
The natural environment of Cordyceps sinensis is the mountainous areas of north-western China at an altitude of 3–5,000 metres above sea level. Climatic conditions are very severe, with average temperatures of 0.2–0.8°C, humidity of 50–70% and snow for 140 to286 days a year.
During the last 20 years, modern scientific methods have increasingly been applied to the investigation of a copious range of medicinal applications for Cordyceps in an attempt to validate what Chinese practitioners have noted for centuries.
In the West, an extract of Cordyceps became famous as a powerful aphrodisiac, in addition to all of its other useful properties, and as a rejuvenating agent. Folk medicine has used this mushroom for the treatment of coughs, anaemia, tuberculosis, back pain, impotence, infertility, night sweats and senile weakness.
It had been established that Cordyceps sinensis can reduce the amount of lipids in the blood, prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis, stimulate blood formation, slow the growth of tumours and reduce recovery time from exhaustion. It also has a strong antioxidant effect.
Cordyceps effectively rejuvenates the body, increases resistance to the action of various external and internal factors and activates the production of red and white blood cells. Cordyceps has an anti-inflammatory action, reduces pain and regulates body temperature. It is a natural antibiotic and inhibits the growth of various viruses and bacteria, including adenoviruses, influenza viruses and herpes.
Cordyceps restores the function of the kidneys and liver, dissolves kidney stones and stones of the gall bladder and hepatic ducts, regulates metabolism primarily of lipids (fats), reduces fatigue and improves sleep.
Currently, there are about 2.5 million people affected by diabetes. Of that population, around 7 million remain undiagnosed of the disease. Diabetes is a serious decease prevalent among men and women. The chances of acquiring this disease increases with age. People who are beyond 64 years old have considerably higher chances of having diabetes. Diabetes could be fatal because of the complications it brings. For people afflicted with diabetes, treatments are expensive. Based on existing statistics, the average lifetime medical expenses of a diabetic could be thrice of a person without diabetes. Fortunately, the wonders of natural medicines have been helping a lot in combating diabetes. One example is Cordyceps Synensis (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) that helps in controlling blood sugar levels.
Generally, diabetes can be classified into two groups. Type 1 diabetes starts at an early stage of life in which the immune system destroys the pancreas’ cells responsible for producing insulin. About 10% of diabetic patients suffer from this type. Meanwhile, Type 2 is about the high consumption of refined carbohydrate over time leading to resistance to the activities of the system to insulin. However, the relation between this overconsumption and diabetes remains questionable to some. It has been proven, however, that the overconsumption of sugar may lead to chronic hyperinsulenemia. This could be a reason for the immunity to insulin. Apparently, there is a need to control one’s sugar level even if diabetes has not yet been formally diagnosed.
There have been a series of clinical experiments conducted that gained results about the potential of Cordyceps Synensis in controlling blood sugar levels. In one of these trials, a group was treated with 3grams of Cordyceps Synensis while another group was treated through a conventional method. Those given with Cordyceps Synensis manifested 95% improvement in their blood sugar levels. Meanwhile, the group who had traditional treatment only showed 54% blood sugar level improvement.
In general, Cordyceps Synensis extract helps to improve blood glucose metabolism while increasing insulin sensitivity. It also has antioxidant properties on fats within the blood like cholesterol. It means additional benefits to one’s health aside from lowering the blood sugar level of the patient.
Since Cordyceps Synensis is natural, side effects may not manifest at all. This is the greatest advantage of this natural regulator of blood sugar levels. It has been slowly gaining the attention of the public as an alternative to synthetic medications because of its benefits and practicality.
Without a doubt, your heart is one of the most important organs inside the human body. It is important to maintain the heart’s health; otherwise, the situation could be life threatening. Aside from maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Cordyceps Synensis can be of great help in maintaining the stability of the heart. Cardiovascular health is always crucial, and problems in the heart should be treated as serious.
Cordyceps Synensis has the ability to stabilize heart beat. Research shows that this natural medicine option also helps in lowering high blood pressure. It also serves as a protection from attacks of hypoxia and ischemia. One of the conditions where Cordyceps could help is cardiac arrhythmia. This is a condition in which there is an abnormal activity of the electrical impulses handling the pumping sequence of the heart. With this, there could be problems in the ability of the heart to pump the right amount of blood.
Cordyceps Synensis can control cases of arrhythmia because of the presence of deoxyadenosine, adenosine and other adenosine-related nucleotides and nucleosides. This helps in improving cerebral and coronary circulation. There have been many studies that looked into the effects of long-term administration of Cordyceps Synensis. It is combined with traditional treatments; there would be significant improvement on the mental health, physical condition and cardiac function of patients. This is when compared to those who follow traditional treatments only. More so, there are also studies claiming that the intake of Cordyceps Synensis promotes good blood flow in the coronary vessels towards the heart. Essentially, this helps in reducing the chances of acquiring coronary heart disease. This can also help in decreasing fibrinogen level and blood viscosity in the blood, helping reduce the risk of myocardial infarction. Meanwhile, fermented Cordyceps showed positive effects for cases of myocardial ischemia.
This supports the study conducted by Zhu in 1998 that aimed to establish the role of Cordyceps Synensis in reducing myocardial oxygen while proving the anti-ischemic effects of this natural medicine.
When Cordyceps is taken, there is an apparent stabilization of cells that helps to reduce cases of irregular heartbeat. There was a clinical experiment conducted in 1994 involving 38 patients diagnosed with arrhythmia. After undergoing Cordyceps Synensis medication, the patients showed improvement on their health giving about 80% success rates for those with ventricular arrhythmias.
Further studies established dilation (relaxation) of the aorta and femoral artery during treatment with the extract of Cordyceps, highlighting its potential in the treatment of limb ischemia, which is the leading cause of male disability today.
Since Cordyceps Sinensis is natural, patients may not expect negative side effects which are often the downside of having synthetic medications.
While the problem of having high cholesterol has become rampant these days, there are many things that people may do to prevent health risks. Actually cholesterol in itself is not bad at all. Cholesterol refers to a waxy type of steroid of fat produced in the intestines or liver. This is present among all animals. Everyone needs cholesterol to live as it is important to the cells. For some people, however, the level of cholesterol becomes too much because of the food they eat.
High levels of cholesterol are often considered an indicator of having inefficient metabolism. The liver is a very important organ that has a big role in cholesterol elimination and production. Problems pertaining to the liver may affect the overall cholesterol level of a person.
In a number of clinical studies in nine hospitals
with 273 patients known to have high cholesterol levels, Cordyceps Sinensis has been found to have a role in lowering the level of total cholesterol by around 10-21%. Meanwhile, the triglycerides may be lowered by 9-26%. Aside from these, Cordyceps Sinensis also increases the HDL cholesterol by 27-30%. This is the good type of cholesterol that the body needs. When there is an apparent increase in the level of lipids including cholesterol, the chances of acquiring atherosclerosis also increase, putting a person at risk of worse health problems.
The ability of Cordyceps to lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol levels is possible since it prevents the formation of bad cholesterol plaques on the blood vessels walls. Interestingly, Cordyceps also acts to enhance blood flow. This is very important for patients with high cholesterol levels.
There are many ways in which a person can reduce cholesterol level. One of the most effective ways is living a healthy lifestyle. Aside from getting enough exercise and proper diet, considering Cordyceps Sinensis as an alternative treatment can help lower the level of bad cholesterol.
Having high cholesterol level could bring in serious health risks if not treated right away. The best way to prevent the possible serious health risks is to consult a doctor and undergo the necessary tests. If the condition is determined immediately, the risks could be prevented. For those who are already suffering from high levels of cholesterol, checking out alternative solutions may help. Instead of choosing the synthetic medication with adverse side effects, looking at the natural alternatives could work better. Cordyceps Sinensis serves as the best natural medical option in order to lower the level of cholesterol.
Aside from these, Cordyceps Sinensis also increases the availability of oxygen. It means a person could easily breathe with its presence. This significantly helps in boosting one’s energy. There are a number of clinical studies conducted among elderly patients to prove that Cordyceps Sinensis actually helps in improving cases of fatigue. Other benefits include those related to memory and cognitive capacity, tolerance to cold temperatures and even sex drive. After the patients took it for a month, more than 90% of the patients experienced decreased levels of fatigue, while 89% of them managed to cold temperatures.
In a separate study involving considerably healthy volunteers aged around 65 years old, they were given Cordyceps Sinensis for six weeks. This came with regular exercises through stationary bicycles. After administering Cordyceps Sinensis to the patients, they showed an increase in energy as well as oxygen capacity. There are also ancient Chinese manuscripts that discussed the superiority of Cordyceps Sinensis to the popular ginseng when it comes to the tonic effects. Cordyceps Sinensis has adenosine—an ingredient that effectively regulates vascular tone while promoting the growth of nerve cells.
In a survey conducted in 2003, chronic fatigue syndrome appears among 7 out of 3,000 people. The figures are not consistent since the definition of the sickness is not standard at all. Women are said to be more prone to cases of chronic fatigue, especially those between ages 20 and 40. Fatigue can affect a person in many ways.
Having enough energy to accomplish day-to-day activities is important. Otherwise, doing each task—especially for working people—would be really hard. Cordyceps Sinensis could be one of the greatest solutions in replenishing one’s energy to be productive each day. It is natural, hence no major side effect at all.
Many scientific researchers have proven that Cordyceps Sinensis helps boost the immune system. This happens by increasing the number of white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s first line of defense against diseases. Given this, Cordyceps Sinensis has been often recommended for the body to regain energy or recover after an illness.
In one journal article, the Chinese Journal of Integrated Traditional Western Medicine, it was reported that Cordyceps Sinensis improves the immune system not just among healthy people but for patients diagnosed with leukemia as well. This is because it increased the white blood cells of the healthy individuals by 74% and leukemia patients by 400%.
Meanwhile, the extract of Cordyceps Sinensis helps promote phagocytes within the mononuclear macrophage system while increasing the amount of mononuclear cells.
Cordyceps polysaccharides activate macrophages by increasing their activity (the synthesis of IL-1, and IFN-gamma). These signalling molecules increase the number of lymphocytes and their activity to stimulate NK (natural killer) cells, which itself destroy infected and cancerous cells.
The immune system is very important as it acts as the gatekeeper of the body. Essentially, it eliminates the bad stuff while retaining the good stuff inside the body. There are two types of immunodeficiency where Cordyceps Sinensis can also help: primary immunodeficiency and secondary immunodeficiency.
The primary immunodeficiency is mainly the genetic type. This is actually hard to solve, but never impossible with Cordyceps Sinensis. If the situation is properly handled, then the weak immune system could recover in time. It is like having a puzzle with some missing pieces, and Cordyceps Sinensis helps in bringing back those missing pieces.
On the other hand, secondary immunodeficiency deals with cases caused by certain diseases. A classic example of the secondary immunodeficiency is AIDS. With such a weak immune system, the person may still experience a burden similar to that of someone with primary immunodeficiency.
Treating such immune system problems often depend on the actual case. One treatment or solution does not fit all cases. Generally, people with weak immune systems are prone to pathogens and they easily get sick. Natural treatments like Cordyceps Sinensis may help in reducing the risks to which a person with weak immune system could be exposed. For people with weak immune systems, disease prevention is the best tool they can have against serious health risks. Since they are more prone than anyone else, they should be extra cautious with their own health and try the possible means of protection they can get.
Given the crucial functions of the kidneys, there is a need to maintain them well. This can be done by eating healthy and administration of Cordyceps Sinensis. It promotes the regular function of the kidneys. When kidneys dysfunction other organs in the body would be affected as well. Some effects of having kidney problems include back and joint pain, fatigue, high blood sugar level and impotence. Some studies claim that Cordyceps Sinensis can enhance the potential of kidneys by increasing the 17-hdroxy-costicosteroid as well as the 17-ketosteroid levels.
In another study involving 51 patients with chronic renal failure, the administration of Cordyceps Sinensis (3-5g each day) helped them in regaining the immune and kidney functions of their bodies.
Problems with kidney functions often include anemia, proteinuria and hypertension. Meanwhile, a study where patients with similar health issues showed that administering Cordyceps Sinensis for one month helps reduce blood pressure by 15%. There is also a huge reduction in the urinary protein while increasing the superoxide dismutase. Adding to the evidences of the effectiveness of Cordyceps Sinensis involved a study with 57 patients that have gentamicin-induced kidney damage. Some were treated with Cordyceps Sinensis while some with conventional methods. After 6 days, the group administered with Cordyceps Sinensis recovered by 89%. The group with conventional treatments only had 45% recovery rate. Apparently, there is a wide gap between the traditional methods and Cordyceps Sinensis administration.
Cordyceps Sinensis extract can help reduce death rate of patients with kidney problems by as much as 83%. It also improves anemia condition while enhancing the production of UL-2 of the lymphatic cells. Similarly, it reduces creatinine level and haematuria nitrogen. Interestingly, Cordyceps Sinensis improves cell immunity. Meanwhile, Cordyceps Sinensis liquid helps reduce acute kidney deterioration based on a clinical study. Cordyceps really does a lot of wonders in the body.
Dealing with respiratory problems could be really hard so an immediate solution or treatment should be sought. Cordyceps Sinensis serves as one of the effective treatments for this medical condition.
In addition to the abilities of this Chinese natural medicine, Cordyceps Sinensis prevents tracheal contractions while allowing increased airflow into the lungs. This is very important for people suffering from asthma.
In one study where 50 asthma patients were observed, the group treated with Cordyceps Sinensis showed 81.3% improvement rate. This was done for only five days. The rate of patients who tried Cordyceps Sinensis is higher than those treated with conventional methods with only 61% improvement rate. They were treated for nine days. Apparently Cordyceps Sinensis seems to have done great work in improving the respiratory function of the patients involved in the clinical study. There have been a number of clinical trials proving the effectiveness of Cordyceps in relieving respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, COPD and asthma.
In a study involving mice fed with Cordyceps Sinensis, they were observed to have better tolerance to lack of oxygen when they are inside an environment with limited oxygen. It was concluded that they live about two to three times longer than those that did not have Cordyceps Sinensis. This conclusion could also work for humans and is applicable for patients with asthma or other respiratory problems.
Cordyceps Sinensis offers medical milestones in the search for effective treatments for respiratory diseases. While this may not be officially considered a medication, this can serve as an alternative for people who want to be treated using natural medicine. This is much better than suffering the side effects of some synthetic medications people buy over the counter of pharmacies. The effectiveness of Cordyceps Sinensis for respiratory illnesses has been proven for many centuries already. Trying it would not bring any serious side effects.
Meanwhile, in a number of studies involving human clinical studies, Cordyceps Sinensis helps in increasing sexual urges by affecting sexual hormones or the sexual organs. In three researches conducted, there were a total of 756 people who were observed to have decreased sex drive. They were given a dosage of Cordyceps Sinensis (3g per day) for 40 days. After the said time frame, the results showed that the group who took Cordyceps Sinensis improved their sexual function by 64.8%. This explains how Cordyceps Sinensis can solve sexual dysfunctions.
In some events, Cordyceps Sinensis is actually tagged as the Eastern Viagra. It works by improving blood circulation that helps enhance erections. Among women, blood flow to the genitals is observed. This increases sexual desire and sexual satisfaction among women. It is interesting that both men and women can benefit from Cordyceps, unlike the popular commercial and synthetic medicines promising improved sexual desire.
For elderly people and couples who want to spice up their sex life, Cordyceps Sinensis is a great solution. Unlike the real Viagra, this does not bring side effects since it is a traditional natural medicine. This seems perfect for people with sexual frustration.
In one study involving 200 men with confirmed reduced sexual urges, Cordyceps significantly improved their sexual function by 64%. Meanwhile, in a study published the by Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21 elderly women who experienced sexual frustration were given supplements of Cordyceps. Ninety percent of this group claimed their libido and sexual function improved.
With all of these, Cordyceps serves as a great alternative in improving one’s sexual function, most especially for men who might be dealing with impotence or other sexual dysfunction. This benefit brought by Cordyceps has been considered one of its most important features. Both old and young people can improve sexual functions through Cordyceps.
The clinical studies backing up Cordyceps only prove its effectiveness in boosting sexual urges. It is also free of serious side effects as it is a natural medicine aimed to improve people’s health including sexual health.
Cordyceps contains various biologically active substances, including polyamines, peptides, 77 micro and macro elements, vitamins B1, B2, B12, E and K, all essential amino acids, glutamate, L-trintofan, L-arginine and lysine, d-mannitol, ergosterol derivatives, and alkaloids. Cordyceps also contains 80 types of enzymes (including CoQ10), fatty acids (mainly oleic, linoleic, palmitic and stearic), and sterols.
The pharmacological effect of Cordyceps is due mainly to the presence of biologically active polysaccharides, nucleosides and cyclosporine. Cordyceps polysaccharides have a range of properties: CS-F30 decreases blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemic effect) and fat (lipid-lowering effects); CS-81002 is an immune stimulator; polysaccharide that stimulates the immune system and has radio-protective and anticancer effects.
Modern humans who live at an unnatural pace and have an unbalanced and unnatural diet increase the risk of health dysfunctions.
Traditional medicine rejects the self-healing functions of the human body and replaces them with aggressive methods, which often have many side-effects. At the stage of exhaustion and illness, these methods are absolutely justified and are necessary to protect life.
Alternative medicine focuses on providing the body the possibility of self-regulation and self-healing. This approach fits perfectly into the preventive and wellness aims for a healthy lifestyle and culture of nutrition and health maintenance.
In Chinese and Tibetan medicine, Cordyceps has been ranked as the number one medicine for more than 2,000 years.