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October 01, 2021 3 min read

What are cordyceps mushrooms?

Cordyceps mushrooms are definitely a darling of the fungus world. Considered an adaptogen (read: they are known to help maintain good overall health by supporting the body’s health stress and immune responses,) they originated in Tibet and have been traditionally used in Chinese and Tibetan cultures for centuries.  While there are about 600 different species of cordyceps, the two that are most referenced when referring to their benefits on human health are cordyceps sinensis and cordyceps militaris.

Today, these cordyceps are gaining popularity in Western culture and for good reason! Emerging science suggests that traditional uses of cordyceps may have scientific validity and ongoing research has identified a number of properties that support good overall health . We’ll dive into the science and the most well-known benefits to help you find the true hero in the debate of cordyceps vs. ashwagandha: benefits and uses!

Cordyceps mushrooms health benefits (and uses)

A quick internet search would have most of us questioning what cordycepscan’t do! They are perhaps most well-known for providing support for the body’s stress responses. Additionally, they can provide a natural energy boost. They are also receiving some acclaim from the scientific community for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and their ability to improve the availability of oxygen to the body during exercise, suggesting this little mushroom could help to improve physical abilities, endurance and stamina.

Cordyceps mushrooms are most easily found as a powder that is a standalone supplement, or is included in tonics or elixirs as an ingredient to help optimize overall health. At Rritual, all of our adaptogenic mushroom supplements contain cordyceps mushroom powder in order to help support the immune and healthy respiratory systems.  

What is ashwagandha?

Also classified as an adaptogen, ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub, not a mushroom like cordyceps. Commonly known as “winter cherry” or “Indian ginseng”, the plant, including its’ roots and berries, has been used for thousands of years in India’s system of traditional medicine (called Ayurveda,) and has been long revered for helping to bring balance to vital bodily functions. Similar to cordyceps, ashwagandha is best known to support the body’s stress response but this mighty adaptogen doesn’t just stop there! It has been used for over 3,000 years to not only relieve stress, but also to increase energy levels, and improve concentration – and today’s science seems to back it up. A recent scientific study supports the notion that“the traditional use of Ashwagandha has a logical and scientific basis.” 

Ashwagandha health benefits (and uses)

Feeling less stress overall is sure to help maintain other health body functions, right? Totally. Both physical and mental benefits have been identified that go beyond a stress relief functionality. For example, memory and cognitive functions have been studied in relation to the consumption of ashwagandha and the results suggest that it may be effective in supporting both immediate and general memory, reaction time, task performance and attention.  Additionally, ashwagandha contain a high concentration ofwithanolides,which are known reduce inflammation and help support healthy skin.

Similar to cordyceps, ashwagandha is most often consumed in a powder form, either on it’s own or as part of a broader supplement. In these instances, it can be paired with reishi mushrooms to help enhance the relaxing benefits, as reishi mushroom powder helps the body maintain balanced sleep and overall health.

At Rritual, our plant-based reishi elixirs are enhanced with a blend of ashwagandha root to support both the body and the mind. Taken together, these powerful adaptogens may help calm your mind, ground your body, and prepare you for a restful night’s sleep.

The Verdict: Cordyceps vs. ashwagandha

So in the debate of cordyceps vs. ashwagandha: benefits and uses, which is the winner? To be honest, we are going to call it a draw! While cordyceps and ashwagandha both provide support for the body’s healthy stress and immune responses, they also fundamentally differ. Cordyceps are most popular for a natural boost of energy and physical endurance. Conversely, ashwagandha is often used to support relaxation and sleep.

Though you will find cordyceps mushrooms in all of Rritual’s adaptogenic mushroom supplements, you may experience some additional benefits to those listed here when they are combined with other adaptogens, nutrients and compounds. Learn more about which elixirs are right for you by checking out our collection of adaptogen elixirs which combine superfood mushrooms and prebiotics with the right adaptogen herb to help you support and maintain good health.



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