Cordyceps is a type of fungus that is found living on certain types of caterpillars. Now, don’t go all eek! Fungus does not always mean something gross. Think mushroom, think yeast that give us those oh-so-soft breads! Yup, all of them are fungi! Now that you clearly understand the goodness that can be derived from fungi, you can learn more about Cordyceps. These are a species of fungi most commonly found in the high mountain or tundra regions of China.
This fungus is popularly known by a variety of other names, like Caterpillar Fungus, Hsia Ts’Ao Tung Ch’Ung, Vegetable Caterpillar, Caterpillar Mushroom, Dong Chong Xia Cao, Champignon Chenille, Cs-4, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Cordyceps sinensis, Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, Dong Chong Zia Cao, and Tochukaso. The scientific name for this fungus is Cordyceps sinesis.
Cordyceps has been used for centuries in traditional Asian and Chinese medicine. Western medicine too is slowly waking up to its medicinal benefits.
Many of the Cordyceps chemical constituents have known health promoting benefits. These include nucleosides, sterides, polysaccharides, proteins, essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Other chemical constituents are adenine, adenosine, cholesteryl palmitate, D-mannitol (also called cordycepic acid). ergosterol peroxide, guanidine, hypoxanthicine nucleoside, thymine, thymidine, uracil, uridine, 3′-deoxyadenosine.
Cordyceps Benefits for Skin, Hair and Health:
1. Treats Chronic Bronchitis:
The cordyceps fungus is used to treat chronic bronchitis, coughs, kidney disorders, opiumaddiction, respiratory disorders, male sexual problems, night-time urination, irregular heartbeat, high cholesterol anemia, dizziness, liver disorders, ringing in the ears, weakness, and unwanted weight loss.
2. Body’s Immunity Boost:
Cordyceps is also effective in boosting the body’s immunity. With its anti ageing properties, it helps in the promotion of a longer life, and also improves liver function for people suffering from hepatitis B.
3. Energy Tonic:
Cordyceps is used by some people as a tonic to help increase energy, enhance stamina, and also in reducing fatigue.
4. Prevents Cancer:
The Cordyceps fungus also helps prevent cancer through activity against cancer cells. Research is underway to determine if it can shrink tumor size, particularly in the cases of lung or skin cancers.
5. Immune System Function Regulation:
The Cordyceps fungus increases the growth of the immune system cells and promotes the antibody production in the body, enhancing its function.
6. Tumor Preventive Effects:
Cordyceps extracts help in killing tumor cells when taken in vitro and with a specific inhibition. The Cordyceps fungus is high in cordycepin, which has anti-tumor properties and helps reduce tumor size in the body.
7. Reduces Fatigue And Boosts Cellular Energy:
The Cordyceps fungus helps to rejuvenate the body and reduces fatigue. It increases mitochondrial energy and heightens the body’s ability to increase its basal temperature.
8. Cardiac Function Regulation:
The Cordyceps fungus helps strengthen the cardiac muscles and helps improve cardiac function. It increases cardiac hypoxia tolerance, and helps reduce the rate of oxygen consumption, making the body anti-arrhythmic.
9. Helps In The Regulation Of Liver Function:
The Cordyceps fungus helps reduce the toxic substances released by the body as a result of diseases like liver fibrosis. It also helps regulate the immune system, by enhancing the basic anti-viral capabilities of the body, also playing a beneficial role in preventing and treating viral hepatitis.
10. Helps In The Adjustment Of The Respiratory System Function:
This medicinal fungus can cure asthma, help in the expansion of the bronchus, and even prevent pulmonary emphysema.
11. Helps In The Regulation Of The Renal Function:
Cordyceps has the ability to reduce chronic kidney disease. It improves basic kidney function, and also reduces the toxicity which results due to kidney damage.
12. Regulation of Hematopoietic Functions:
The Cordyceps fungus has been known to enhance the bone marrow in order to generate platelets. It also helps increase red and white blood cell count in the human blood.
13. Regulating the Body’s Blood Lipids:
This healthy fungus has been known to lower blood cholesterol as well as triglycerides levels in the body. It can improve high-density lipoprotein content in the human body. In this way, it also helps in reducing atherosclerosis.
Even though the side effects of Cordyceps have not been placed yet and it is relatively safe for most people, it is still advisable that you consult your health care provider before using this magical fungus.
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