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September 06, 2021 4 min read
Every day we’re bombarded with the best superfoods, health foods and buzz-worthy supplements that we are told wemustincorporate into our diet in order to reach that elevated state of optimal health. It can be exhausting keeping track. Maybe a little frustrating too because there are a plethora of gurus to pay attention to, all of which tell us different things. So that begs the question… who should we listen to?
When faced with this question it’s a great idea to take (trusted) opinions with a grain of salt, but always trust the facts and science behind these opinions first. That’s why here at Rritual, we are dedicated to delivering fact-based blog articles and only the best quality supplements.
With that being said, let’s get into why you’re here! In today’s post, we’re talking all about what is cordyceps and why you should care.
Did you know that a particular species of cordyceps mushroom is sometimes called the caterpillar fungus? If not, you’re in for a fun-fact treat. Parasitic in nature, cordyceps sinensis grows on a type of caterpillar and then actually eats its own host! How? The base of the mushroom attaches itself to the caterpillar, grows about six inches long and then consumes more than 90 percent of it. Cordyceps militaris, on the other hand, can be grown in environmentally-controlled commercial units, thus making it much more accessible.
Fun fact number two is that the many benefits of cordyceps were first discovered by farmers and herders. They began to notice their animal’s increased strength after consuming the wild fungus, so naturally, they developed a powdered version of the fungus to use in tonics and teas.
The result of cordyceps? Well, According to Dr. Axe it can slow the effect of ageing and stress, help the body’s responses and boost energy levels.‡ It’s no wonder why farmers would care about cordyceps, right?
As an adaptogenic herb, cordyceps can act as a mild stimulant that can help fight stress and fatigue and thus boost energy levels.‡ They’re often used to enhance immunity, minimize excessive inflammation and even speed up healing time from the result of tissue damage.‡ Moreover, it’s believed that cordyceps attain their many anti-inflammatory benefits from their ability to positively affect the immune system and stimulate protective cells that maintain overall health.‡
Now that we have a better idea about what are cordyceps and why you should care, let’s talk about what these immune-boosting fungi are actually used for.
Traditionally, mushrooms are said to be beneficial for vigor and vitality in Ayurvedic medicine.‡ But more specifically, cordyceps originated in Traditional Chinese Medicine thousands of years ago and were medicinally used by holistic healers to treat diseases and a wide variety of ailments.
They’ve long been used in religious rituals and linked to longevity and immortality and can be found in Asia, Europe and North America. In addition, studies show that traditional healers in Sikkim used medicinal mushrooms in tonics and claimed “that it improved energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance and sleeping patterns.”‡
Although there are over 680 species of cordyceps, cordyceps sinensis and cordyceps militaris are the most widely used and valued in traditional Asian medical practice. Coming out on top when it comes to fame and price, the sinensis variety is also rarer and cannot be easily grown in laboratories. As stated before, cordyceps militaris can be successfully cultivated in an artificial environment making it much more commercially viable and accessible.
Despite cordyceps sinensis’ fame and lavish price point, modern science has now uncovered that militaris can have similar or even higher concentrations of compounds than most of its counterparts.
This is important to know because the pure scarcity and value of the sinensis species is the reason why a lot of counterfeit products are available on the market. Because of this, cordyceps militaris can be used as a similar alternative due to their functional properties.
Finally, we’re getting to the most important part of this article: why you should care about cordyceps. To answer that, we like to refer to this long list of benefits that includes improved immunity, slowed ageing, enhanced athletic performance and sexual function and better blood sugar levels. Pretty great, right? Let’s dive even further.
Here are our top five benefits of cordyceps:
Enhances athletic performance
Cordyceps are considered to be an energizing adaptogen and are often used to help fight fatigue, prevent weakness and treat muscle aches.‡ Studies suggest that this particular fungus can improve physical abilities, endurance and stamina.‡
Supports blood sugar regulation
In a series of studies, research shows that cordyceps supplements have helped in maintaining blood sugar levels and supporting healthy insulin levels to avoid insulin resistance.‡
Promotes mental clarity
These mighty adaptogens help fight free radical damage, prevent oxidative stress and research shows that it can boost brain function and enhance memory.‡
Helps to promote healthy immune function
Cordyceps contain polysaccharides (anti-inflammatory compounds) and cyclosporine that helps to optimize the body’s systems and overall health.‡
As an adaptogenic herb, cordyceps can support mental health by fighting environmental stress and maintain the body's response to stress.‡
Cordyceps Mushroom Supplement Powder
Cordyceps powder is most often added to beverages like tea, coffee, smoothies and shakes, but with a little creativity, the potential cordyceps uses are limitless.Interested in creating your own delicious tonic? Check out our range of supplements that will help you easily incorporate this nutrient-dense mushroom powder into your life.
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