Cordyceps Health Benefits Cordyceps sinensis, also called just cordyceps, has been known for thousands of years in Tibet and China but is only just becoming known in the West. It is a type of mushroom, that on the one hand you can use as a health supplement, which apparently has enormous medical benefits. You can [...]
Cordyceps Health Benefits
Cordyceps sinensis, also called just cordyceps, has been known for thousands of years in Tibet and China but is only just becoming known in the West. It is a type of mushroom, that on the one hand you can use as a health supplement, which apparently has enormous medical benefits. You can buy it in tablet form. But on the other hand is a rather disturbing fungus or mushroom that infects insects and takes control of their minds and directs them to do what it wants !
Seeing in action it is like watching something out of a Hollywood movie. Take a look at the video by the BBC in the link and see how cordyceps sinensis controls ants brains.
All species of Cordyceps are endoparasitoids, and live mainly on insects and other arthropods ; a few live as parasites on other fungi. They are also extremely expensive to buy and represent good business for the Tibetans who gather them, rather like truffles in France and Italy.
In the West cordyceps was largely unknown until 1993 when 3 female Chinese athletes, broke 5 world records for 1,500, 3,000 and 10,000 meters in Beijing, China. They were tested after the races for anabolic steroids, but the tests proved negative. Their coach told reporters that the runners had been taking cordyceps, which was not an illegal substance.
The best known of the Cordyceps family of fungus is cordyceps sinensis, known in English commonly as caterpillar fungus as it is known to grow inside caterpillars and take them over. It has long been considered a medicinal mushroom in oriental medicines, such as Chinese and Tibetan medicine.
So what are the claimed benefits of cordyceps mushrooms ?
Recently, scientists from Nottingham University documented how Cordiceps can fight cancer.
In Traditional Chinese and Tibetan Medicine it is used to increase energy, the libido, sports and work performance. It is increasing in popularity and is used for its health-promoting qualities. The following are said to be some of the cordyceps benefits :-
Collecting cordyceps in the wild is very time consuming and also very expensive, although it provides a great income for the Tibetan peasants who collect it.
But as it is so expensive, labs have been studying ways of cultivating it in the laboratory. The attempts have been successful and now there are laboratory grown cordyceps which is even stronger than the original wild version.
Cordyceps has also been used for centuries to treat male and female sexual dysfunction, such as hypolibidinism and impotence. It is said to stimulate the supra renal glands and increase hormonal secretions and blood flow; strengthen body and mind ; increase primary ‘motive’ force for life activities ; replenish expended energy from exertion, stress and aging ; improve lung capacity and efficiency ; restore physical stamina and recuperative ability ; improve appetite.
History of Cordyceps Cultivation
The first successful Cordyceps culture was isolated by the Institute of Materia Medica of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1972. This strain was named CS-4 and was introduced in China as a prescription medicine in 1988 under the name Jin Shui Bao.
Although CS4 was the best option at the time, it does not mean it is the best choice now. A company called Aloha Medicinals has now developed a revolutionary method of hybridization for mushrooms that has been granted a U.S. patent and they now make the only cultivated Cordyceps that is genetically Bio-Identical to the naturally occurring wild Cordyceps.
Despite this the Cordyceps grown in cultivation was still not as potent as wild Cordyceps but in May and June of 2006 Aloha Medicinals after extensive research in Tibet developed new methods of cultivation, which have resulted in the cultivation of Cordyceps that has resulted in a quantum leap in Cordyceps cultivation, reducing costs and increasing the quality.
Aloha Medicinals has also made some fantastic discoveries and is currently examining a newly discovered class of antiviral compounds isolated from these recently identified Cordyceps strains. The goal is to produce new antiviral medications for use in treating viral infections including HIV and Hepatitis.
I haven’t actually tried cordyceps yet, but given what I have just learned I think I will get out to my local health food store to see what I can find ! It would also appear that cordyceps is becoming increasingly well-known as I’ve just seen a TV documentary all about it. To see the video of cordyceps controlling an ant click here cordyceps
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