A lot of people overlook medicinal Cordyceps extract – and for lots of reasons – that’s a shame because it’s one of nature’s true wonders. Firstly, it’s not strictly a member of the mushroom family, although it is a closely-related edible fungus (it has a distinctly “mushroomy,” taste) of the 600+ strong, sac family. It’s a microscopic parasite, living mostly on insects, snails- and sometimes other, bigger fungi. It’s found all around the world, most notably in Asia. Cordyceps has been a vital ingredient in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for 5000 years. In this article, we’ll explore why.
Its tiny size means it can’t be gathered easily, meaning it has to be produced in very specialized factory and laboratory conditions. It’s very difficult to turn into a usable extract and huge quantities are needed to produce each dose or helping – hence its relatively high cost when compared with other, better- known natural supplements.
The technique, in brief, used to produce the highest quality involves growing it on rice. Once fully grown it is extracted through an expensive, complex series of steps. These begin with it being put in solution with distilled water for about 3 months at a temperature of around 110F to fully purify it.
It’s then, in stages, slowly extracted by forcing out the water with combinations of increasingly high temperatures and pressure until only the essential medicinal compounds remain. It’s then dried, slowly into a powder, which, if an emulsifier is added may be used as a creme or lotion-depending on the type of patient condition. For example, it’s an effective acne treatment in either form, or added to food or drink, a general tonic for the body and brain.
Over the years many claims have been made for Cordyceps. A few are backed up by long-term human studies, but most are not. It is a good broad body cleanser and blood purifier, especially in terms of flushing toxins from the liver and kidneys when used with good hydration. That said; there are plenty of other products of nature available here which do that just as well, if not better-and more cheaply. That Cordyceps helps fight cancer, type 2 Diabetes (an increasingly big health problem, globally), and heart disease are believed by some. The evidence however is lacking, existing only in a few mouse and laboratory dish studies. It may, or may not. It is an anti-inflammatory, which helps fight the ageing process-but again, it’s not the only option there.
So, what does it do?
Like the Maca root plant, Cordyceps has endocrine properties. The extract or tincture (liquid form) gives an enormous boost to the libido-sex drive. It’s another of nature’s performance-enhancing aphrodisiacs. It raises blood pressure (people with high BP should NOT use it) improves blood flow throughout the body, increasing desire and sensitivity. It ups breathing rate which in turn increases the amount of available oxygen, boosting overall energy levels and impressively raises the level of the sex hormones: Testosterone in males and Progesterone (a steroid) in females. Because of this, in large doses it has been used as a natural contraceptive by disrupting the Progesterone/Estrogen cycle balance. Whether it does or not is uncertain and is not a recommended method of family planning. It is safe to say that, for sex, unlike male ED meds, it works for all genders.
Secondly, Cordyceps is a promising candidate for improving the symptoms of kidney disease – again through its endocrine effects. It seems to reduce the excess hemoglobin and serum albumin levels associated with renal failure – and reduce excess creatinine and proteinuria counts as well. Studies are not yet complete, but are so far favorable.
Dosages and cautions:
There is no set dosage; experiment to see what works best. Start low and work up from about 500mg a day for adults. There is no evidence of bad reactions with other medicines or treatment (except above) and overdosing has never been reported. It’s very safe for any healthy person-and in lesser doses for children. As with all new additions or changes to your diet, consult your physician because occasional side effects have been noted. There are 2 known: an increase in severity of symptoms for people with pre-existing autoimmune disease and, because it is a blood thinner, those with existing clotting problems or who are already taking blood thinners for other reasons.
Double Wood supplements produces excellent quality cordyceps extract capsules.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to augment the work of medical specialists, not to replace it. Before taking any supplement or new medication, always consult your Physician.