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Written By: Emily Spring
In the hunt for wellness and vitality, functional mushrooms like Cordyceps are prized finds.
These long, cord-like fungi, which resemble the tall tentacles of sea anemone, are primarily found in the grassy highlands of the Himalayas. For thousands of years, the cordyceps fungi has been used to support health after Himalayan herders noticed that their cattle became stronger after dining on favorable cordyceps fungi.
This “Himalayan Gold,” as the magic mushroom sometimes goes by, is packed with mind and body benefits related to its antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-tumor, and anti-inflammatory properties. Ready to learn more? This guide covers the many cordyceps health benefits, and where you can find them.
The term Cordyceps refers to a fungi genus that includes a large number of parasitic fungi, meaning they need a host to survive and thrive.1 Cordyceps, in particular, are especially unique for their:
These intriguing medicinal mushrooms have shown some promise when it comes to health-boosting effects, which has led to a boom in their popularity.
While human studies are still very limited, there are many potential Cordyceps health benefits being researched, such as their anti-tumor and energy-stimulating properties.
Let’s look more closely at some of the possible Cordyceps mushroom benefits.
One of the most promising benefits Cordyceps may have is an ability to inhibit the growth of some types of tumors, including cancers such as:3
It’s important to note that these were laboratory studies and more human research is necessary.
Some inflammation in your body is normal and healthy. Inflammation is how your body responds to and overcomes things like cuts and minor colds. However, you’ve also probably heard about the dangers of chronic inflammation. And those dangers aren’t overstated.
In time, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of serious problems, including:4
Unfortunately, modern western lifestyles do very little to prevent chronic inflammation. Instead, many of the factors that contribute to inflammation can be directly attributed to:
While Cordyceps aren’t a magic pill that will eliminate these things from your life, they may be able to help your body offset harmful inflammation. Several studies cited in the “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” list examples of Cordyceps inhibiting excess inflammatory responses.5 These include:
Research on human subjects is needed, but the positive effects of Cordyceps’ abilities to suppress inflammation in animals are promising.
If you’re in search of a product that can support a healthy stress response, then our WonderDay Mushroom Gummies might be a perfect fit. They contain Cordyceps and nine other functional medicinal mushrooms for full-body support.
Diabetics may also benefit from taking Cordyceps. Type 1 diabetics aren’t able to produce sufficient levels of insulin on their own, while type 2 diabetics have problems utilizing the insulin their bodies have.
In both cases, studies have indicated that there may be two different ways Cordyceps can aid diabetics, including:
Another positive benefit of Cordyceps mushrooms is their ability to help support healthy energy levels, stamina, and focus.
A study in the “Journal of Dietary Supplements” indicated that regular consumption of Cordyceps could help improve tolerance to exercise, specifically high-intensity activities.8 The study noted that “greater benefits may be elicited with consistent, chronic supplementation.” Some of the specific areas studied include:
Therefore, adding a Cordyceps supplement, such as our Advanced Clear Focus Capsules might help give you the boost you need to achieve your exercise goals. The same mushroom for brain health supplement may also support your mood, brain function, mental clarity, and focus throughout the day.
Lastly, Cordyceps mushrooms are an excellent source of potent antioxidants. Antioxidants are well known for their ability to neutralize deadly free radicals and can help prevent or delay the damage accrued by your cells over time.9 Without antioxidants, your body is more susceptible to chronic diseases such as:
Antioxidants also play an important role in slowing the aging process. As such, antioxidants found in Cordyceps might help prevent premature aging of the skin and other body systems.3 A diet that’s rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and healthy fats also help boost the body’s antioxidant levels.
Cordyceps are a superb addition to your routine for this reason. In fact, studies with mice on the impact of Cordyceps indicated that consuming the antioxidant-rich mushrooms helped:10
Many researchers believe consuming an antioxidant-rich diet, full of herbs for the immune system, is key to a long, healthy life. As such, adding some Cordyceps extract to your daily routine may give you a much-needed antioxidant boost.
You can buy supplements containing Cordyceps in several different forms. The most common include:
To maximize cordyceps benefits, you should only purchase high-quality products from a trusted supplier. The FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. Therefore, you should always check and make sure that your functional mushroom supplements have been tested by a third-party lab to ensure that you’re getting a product that matches the claims made on the label.
For the most part, Cordyceps mushrooms are considered safe. However, you should always check with your doctor before adding a new supplement to your routine. Additionally, there may be potential for an unwanted interaction if you’re taking medications like:2
It’s also recommended that pregnant women avoid taking functional mushroom supplements due to limited regulation and studies.
While their growth process is certainly different from many other species of mushrooms, Cordyceps are loaded with potential health and wellness benefits. The “magic” mushroom may help keep tumors from growing, promote anti-inflammatory activity, and modulate glucose levels. It is normal to have questions about mushrooms, oftentimes people want to know lion's mane health benefits.
At Plant People, we work tirelessly to find the best natural solutions for our customers. Our wide selection of functional mushroom products is designed to help support your overall health and wellness. We want it to be as easy as possible to reap the benefits of mushroom products, and have created a mushroom coffee mix that tastes great, provides energy, and supports your metabolism. To capitalize on the unique benefits of Cordyceps mushrooms, try our WonderDay Mushroom Gummies and our Advanced Clear Focus Capsules today.
Written by Emily Spring
Emily Spring is the Director of Marketing at Plant People. A longtime proponent of balanced living, she has enjoyed over 8 years driving growth in the lifestyle, health and wellness sectors with deep experience in functional solutions for optimizing anyone's everyday life.
Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy
Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.
Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.