Among the natural remedies that have been depopulating in recent years even here in our area, the cordyceps mushroom deserves a place of excellence.
Despite its very ancient origins, it has only recently aroused the interest of alternative medicine and has therefore been able to make known its multiple benefits for human beings.
It is even said to be a sort of elixir of youth! Will it be true?
Let's find out in this article full of information on its uses, its properties, and its possible contraindications.
Yes, because if it really is a mushroom that keeps you young, it is really worth having it as an ally for health and therefore knowing how to make the most of its potential.
The cordyceps mushroom: the origins
The first to discover the beneficial nature of the Cordyceps mushroom were some Tibetan shepherds. We are talking about 2000 years ago, when during one of the normal days of work in the pastures they noticed a repetitive behavior on the part of their animals. They used to eat a plant that they vehemently sought by digging up to extract it from the ground.
At first they were unable to give themselves an explanation, but soon they paid attention to the effects that the mushroom was able to give to the pasture and they deduced it was a very interesting species which conferred vitality, agility and fertility.
So it was that they decided to experiment it on themselves with surprising results that made the mushroom in question an increasingly widespread celebrity in the medical sector.
It was the Cordyceps mushroom, or cordyceps sinensis, from the Cordycipitaceae family. For many centuries its importance remained limited in Chinese medicine, until 1993, when during the Chinese national swimming games in Beijing it was used by the competing athletes who recorded world records. The excellent performances were due to the regular intake of supplements based on the cordyceps mushroom!
The studies conducted on the mushroom since that time have led science to have more and more information, including those concerning its birth which is even linked to the life of caterpillars.
It seems that it is born right inside a larva, acting as a parasite which gradually leads to the death of the insect, and then comes out directly from its head, determining the beginning of a new life cycle through the release of new spores.
Macabre right? This bizarre behavior has led to its quirky nicknames, such as winterworm or caterpillar mushroom.
Yet, forgetting for a moment its unconventional origin, we cannot underestimate its antioxidant, regenerative, energizing and reproductive properties.
Here they are in detail!
Cordyceps: properties not to be underestimated
From the kidneys to the lungs, from the liver to the heart, all human organs are positively influenced by the cordyceps mushroom. Briefly summarizing its faculties is not easy so we want to specify each of its beneficial powers point by point to give you the opportunity to really appreciate the functions performed in each specific organ of man.
The Tibetan mushroom acts internally by promoting a greater supply of white blood cells, used to defend the body from viruses and bacteria. Therefore it is able to boost the immune system. His is a 360-degree intervention, because it also manages to protect against harmful substances and even from cancer cells that are generated due to DNA alterations.
The anti-inflammatory power can help both in infections and in more or less serious traumas.
Lungs, heart and kidneys
Increasing the flow of air into the lungs, improving oxygenation and relaxing the bronchial tubes: these are the many positive consequences for humans. These are intrinsic qualities of the mushroom which therefore becomes an ally against pulmonary emphysema, asthma and bronchitis.
But it also has functions that protect the cardiovascular system. Its antihypertensive power allows it to improve heart health and prevent any arrhythmias and related problems.
Moreover, its protective action is also felt in the kidneys. Used in the treatment of various renal pathologies, it has found a series of results that bode well for its curative action in defense of renal function.
The cordyceps sinensis mushroom improves liver function, becoming a valid aid in cases of liver problems. In fact, it seems that it is able to monitor the harmful substances released by the human body, improve the antiviral defenses and thus prevent forms of hepatitis, fibrosis and other similar disorders.
Central nervous system
It acts as a sedative on the central nervous system. In fact, it has the ability to naturally relax, thus helping to combat any forms of stress and facilitating sleep.
Furthermore, it manages the balance involving neurotransmitters, which are responsible for conveying information between neurons. Then it is also able to improve the person's mood: this is why Sinensis is considered an excellent antidepressant.
For sportsmen it is a panacea. Indeed, the cordyceps mushroom increases physical resistance, agility and vitality. And it does so by decreasing fatigue through the combined action of several substances (cordycepin, adenosine, cordycepic acid, d-mannitol, polysaccharides and vitamins).
For the sexual sphere it represents a good news. According to Chinese medicine it has amazing effects on impotence and fertility problems.
Naturally increases the libido, and in addition to improving sexual performance, it allows better functioning of the reproductive organs.
Cordyceps: benefits for the body?
Directly from the Himalayas, the cordyceps mushroom reaches us to improve health and lengthen life expectancy.
In cutting-edge medicine it is now a valid adjuvant to soothe problems related to the liver, kidneys, heart and respiratory system, as well as in couple problems that accuse sexual dysfunctions.
It is a very valid adaptogen, which even performs a hypoglycaemic action, reducing the amount of sugar in the blood and therefore giving its specific contribution in the fight against diabetes.
It prevents seasonal ailments by strengthening the body's defenses and supports sport (all types of sport, even those performed at high altitudes!) thanks to its regenerating qualities which give energy and resistance.
But that's not all: the cordyceps mushroom is a powerful anti-aging. It slows down aging and fights against free radicals, with the result that it keeps you young and strong for much longer.
Medicine and cordyceps: supplements
It was impossible not to exploit all the beneficial power of the cordyceps mushroom in everyday life!
Thus, as already happens with other species of mushrooms with a healing or soothing power such as the Chaga mushroom, supplements were also born for sinensis. The uses in which they are employed are truly varied. They range from sport to sexuality, from stress management to immune defense.
But all this is possible thanks to the active ingredients contained in the parasitic mushroom:
- Mineral salts (calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc, magnesium)
- Vitamins (E, K, B1, B2 and B12)
- Essential amino acids
- Cordycepina, with antibiotic and anticancer power
- Ergosterol and ergosterol palmitate
- Cordycepic acid.
Cordyceps sinensis mushroom supplements are commercially available in capsules, pills, or powder form. There are also more particular formulations that associate it with other preparations based on chocolate or honey, to be used in the food sector. But they say that its beneficial effects are reduced.
When should cordyceps be taken per day?
According to the research conducted so far, it should not exceed 1000-3000 mg. But everything also depends on the person who hires it: age and sport greatly influence the necessary percentages. Depending on the activity performed, the dosage can also be increased. The essential thing is that you remember to take it before sitting down at the table, as absorption is thus ensured.
As always, we remind you to consult your doctor to ask for his opinion and to make sure it is right for your specific situation.
Tibetan mushroom, contraindications?
Just like with other medicinal mushroom species, it is important to know about any allergies before incorporating it into your diet.
If you have problems with intolerances to mushrooms and yeasts, it should be avoided because you will almost certainly notice side effects. But for the rest of the cases there are no contraindications worthy of note.
Even if for someone it was an indication of gastrointestinal disorders, the percentages are so small that they are not taken into account in the official statistics. Obviously we must not abuse it and remember to always be cautious and aware. So if you feel any discomfort after taking it, suspending it and seeking medical advice is the only way to go in order not to make a mistake.
What about pregnant women? Of course, it is best if they avoid taking cordyceps, at least until there are more studies proving that it is harmless and does not cause problems for the unborn baby.
Now you know everything, absolutely everything about the Tibetan mushroom with many properties. So do not hesitate to immediately look for the supplements that are found in practically every herbalist's shop or parapharmacy and immediately try its effects on your health.
The Chinese are convinced of this: the cordyceps mushroom is that all-natural elixir of youth that helps you live better, strengthening your physical structure and internal organs. But also acting on the synapses to improve mental health and fight stress, fatigue and everyday problems.