Are Medicinal Mushrooms for Real? (The Answer is YES!)

For millennia, mushrooms have been used by countless societies for their therapeutic and medicinal benefits. Though recently demonized in Western cultures, mushrooms are having a comeback within scientific and general populations. One genus of mushrooms Cordyceps has been getting a lot of attention for its multitude of health benefits, noticeably its immunomodulatory and energy promoting effects. In this article, the millennia-old genus of fungus will be explored, as well as different ways it can be implemented into a person’s health routine.


Background Info

With over 400 different species within the genus Cordyceps, fans of the fungus typically go with Cordyceps sinensis as their species of choice. This fungus has been used for thousands of years (some estimates dating its usage back to 5000 BC) in Tibetan healing alone or in conjunction with varying herbs. Sinensis has a unique development; according to an article featured in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, the spores of the immature fungus forms a parasitic relationship with caterpillar larvae – hence its colloquial name, Chinese caterpillar fungus. The original users of this species claimed that the sinensis was a cureall, having the ability to improve everything from energy to libido. These effects may be attributed to the over 20 bioactive components found in Cordyceps, including antioxidants and fatty acids.


Sinensis and You

As noted before, a major pull for users of Cordyceps is its energy promoting abilities. According to this article published in Healthline, the fungus increases ATP production which is delivered to muscles, allowing the user’s body to improve its oxygen usage. Those who have athletic aspirations may want to consider trying Cordyceps before their next work out.

Another benefit of Cordyceps sinensis commonly referenced is its ability to support the immune system. It has been shown to soothe the immune system’s overreactive tendency to certain stimuli, which prevents uncomfortable symptoms such as inflammation. The fungus has also been shown to have modulatory effects on the gut’s immunity.


How You Can Start Using Cordyceps 

Though Cordyceps grown in its indigenous habit of Tibet can cost upwards of $50,000 per pound, there are other means of obtaining the substance. There are multiple online sellers who use lab-grown fungus as it requires specific growing conditions – many of these sellers have capsules, tinctures, and powdered Cordyceps.


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