Yes, you read that right: cordyceps is a form of parasitic fungi which is known to grow on insect larvae.
Sounds like the last thing you’d expect to be healthy, right? After all, parasites are usually nasty things that destroy, decay, and infect.
Well, wait until you find out what cordyceps can do for you. By the time you reach the end of this post, you’ll definitely want to give this odd-sounding parasite a try.
What is Cordyceps?
The cordyceps fungi is known to grow on insect larvae, and, as fungi do, it invades the host and replaces the larvae’s tissue with long, slender stem sprouts that end up extending outside the host body.
Creepy Alien-level weirdness, right?
Well, it turns out that Traditional Chinese Medicine has incorporated these larvae-fungi for centuries. The cordyceps-infested larvae are collected, left out in the sun to dry, then ground into powder to be used in a surprising wide range of remedies.
The healers of Tibet use cordyceps to treat twenty-one different ailments, including cancer, asthma, bronchitis, tuberculosis, diabetes, and even the common coughs and colds. It’s used in Ayurvedic and Chinese folk medicine for a number of conditions.
The Potential Benefits of Cordyceps
Science has only begun to uncover what the various species of cordyceps fungi (400 of them, in fact) can do, so there isn’t a lot of concrete, scientifically-backed evidence. However, based on recent research, there are a number of “potential” health benefits you can obtain from these fungi:
Anti-Aging – Traditional medicine has used cordyceps as a sex drive booster, and a remedy to help increase sexual stamina. According to some studies, it might be due to the fact that cordyceps can increase antioxidant activity in older bodies (the tests were done on older mice, not humans), thereby improving not only their sexual function, but also their memory.
The animal study found that mice who received cordyceps lived “several months” longer than the mice that were fed a placebo. And in a study using fruit flies, cordyceps increased the lifespan of these notoriously short-lived insects.
While tests haven’t been run to determine whether humans will derive the same anti-aging effects, the animal studies provide an optimistic outlook that cordyceps could help to lengthen the lifespan of humans as well as mice and insects.
Enhance Athletic Performance – According to preliminary research, this cordyceps fungi is able to increase our body’s natural production of ATP, the molecule that delivers energy to our muscles. With more ATP energy, our body is better able to utilize oxygen during exercise, which in turn increases our endurance.
One study found that adults who took a cordyceps-based supplement saw a 7% increase in their VO2 max, their bodies’ ability to utilize oxygen during intense exercise. The fitness levels of the participants increased noticeably thanks to the fungi.
However, further research found that trained athletes don’t benefit from the cordyceps fungi. The benefits are derived mainly by adults who are in less than peak physical condition, as it helps to boost ATP production and make them better-able to utilize oxygen while they work out.
Anti-Tumor Effects – Cordyceps has gotten a lot of attention from the medical community in recent years because of its potential ability to slow the growth of tumors. Test-tube studies found that cordyceps act as an inhibitor to a number of cancer cells, including skin, liver, colon, and lung cancers. Animal studies (using mice) found that cordyceps can also counteract the growth of melanoma, lymphoma, and lung cancer cells.
But that’s not all the fungi can do! According to one animal study (on mice), it was discovered that cordyceps could help to reverse one of the most common side effects of cancer therapy, a condition called leukopenia. This condition is a drastic lowering of the white blood cells, which in turn lowers the body’s defenses and raises the risk of infection and disease. Administering cordyceps to the mice after chemotherapy drugs helped to raise their white blood cell counts, thereby raising their body’s natural immune function.
Anti-Inflammatory – It turns out cordyceps can also fight inflammation in the body, thereby decreasing oxidative stress and free radical damage. The cordyceps fungi actually suppresses the production of inflammatory proteins.
Animal studies found that cordyceps reduced inflammation in the airways of mice, potentially making them useful for treating asthma. Topical applications of cordyceps also proved useful at combating skin inflammation.
Boost Heart Health – In China, cordyceps fungi are used to treat arrhythmias, an irregular, too slow, or too fast heartbeat. Studies into the effects of cordyceps found that the fungi helped to decrease heart injuries even in mice that suffered from chronic kidney disease, a condition commonly believed to raise the risk of heart failure.
Animal studies also found that cordyceps could help to lower LDL cholesterol, as well as triglyceride levels.
Manage Diabetes – There is a special type of sugar in cordyceps that could prove effective at treating and managing diabetes. This sugar actually mimics the action of insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar levels, and in doing so prevents blood sugar from rising too high. Animal studies have found that cordyceps can help to lower blood sugar levels and protect against kidney disease, a complication common among those with diabetes.
As you can see, there are a lot of pretty amazing health benefits that the cordyceps could potentially provide. While further research is needed to determine just how effective this fungi can be, the preliminary evidence is clear!
Our Pure Immunity supplement proudly includes cordyceps as one of its ingredients! You’ll find that you can obtain all the potential health benefits it offers in a safe, easy-to-take, and delicious formula. If you’re looking to improve your health and raise your body’s natural resistance to disease, this supplement is just what you’re looking for.
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