Cordyceps, known as a medicinal mushroom, describes a genus of fungi that includes over 400 different species. Amazingly, cordyceps mushrooms grow at altitudes about 14,000 feet in the Himalayas and at other high-altitude locations around the world. Traditionally, cordyceps extract has been used in herbal medicine for centuries as a natural remedy for respiratory problems and fatigue. In fact, cordyceps extract contains a wide variety of chemical compounds that are useful for natural healing. (1)

9 Cordyceps Health Uses and Benefits

1. Boosts Energy

Cordyceps is best known for its natural ability to boost energy levels. How does it do this?  Well, cordyceps increases the amount of oxygen uptake in the body. Increased oxygen leads to enhanced cellular energy production. Because of this, cordyceps extract use is common among athletes for its natural bursts of energy. (2)

2. Balances Cholesterol Levels

Adding cordyceps extract to your daily herbal regimen may help balance your cholesterol and lower your total cholesterol. In one study, for example, this medicinal mushroom improved cholesterol profiles by reducing low-density, “bad” cholesterol levels while raising high-density, “good” cholesterol levels. (3)

3. Protects Heart Health

Cordyceps extract may also help prevent atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. Research into cordyceps has shown it can help protect heart health. For example, one study found that patients who were given a powdered supplement of cordyceps were significantly less likely to suffer from heart failure. According to the research, the anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties of cordyceps extract can help prevent heart arrhythmias. (4)

4. Regulates Respiratory Function

Cordyceps plays yet another important role in the body. Because it can increase the amount of oxygen taken in by the lungs, cordyceps may be especially beneficial for people suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis. Furthermore, athletes may also benefit from taking cordyceps because of the increase in oxygen uptake. Just like another boost of energy! Increasing your oxygen intake can help prevent weakness and respiratory distress. (5, 6)

5. Helps Prevent Cancer

The biochemical compounds cordyceps contains may potentially help slow the spread of cancer. Studies have linked cordyceps to a reduction in tumor size. Furthermore, reducing tumore size may help the body eliminate the cancer or put it into remission. (7, 8)

6. Has Anti-Aging Properties

Cordyceps extract just may be the secret to anti-aging. This medicinal mushroom contains powerful anti-aging compounds that can help rejuvenate the skin. These compounds not only eliminate dead cells but also improve the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes. Cordyceps may help shave years of aging off of your skin! (9)

7. Strengthens the Immune System

Cordyceps also stimulates the immune system. Cordyceps has properties that work to directly stimulate the production of natural killer cells. NK cells are the body’s first line of defense against illness, particularly cancer. Furthermore, cordyceps extract has strong anti-oxidation activity. Therefore, the immunoprotective effects of cordyceps extract can help protect the body from a wide range of illnesses. (10)

8. Treats Sexual Dysfunction

Cordyceps extract may help improve sexual dysfunction. In fact, Traditional Chinese Medicine includes cordyceps as a tonic herb to improve sexual health. Additionally, studies have shown that men who suffer from low levels of sexual energy or poor libido experienced improvement after adding cordyceps extract to their diet. (11)

9. Detoxifies the Body

We have several “elimination pathways” in the body, including the kidneys. Detoxification involves supporting our digestion and elimination, to help the body remove unwanted toxins. Studies suggest that cordyceps extract may help promote the natural detox process. For example, when cordyceps extract is added to the diet, kidney health significantly improves after only one month of regular use. (12)

Caution: Cordyceps has the ability to lower blood sugar levels. While this may be beneficial for many, it may also be dangerous for diabetics taking medication to lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, diabetics should be aware of this risk before adding the herbal supplement to their diet. Also, the medicinal mushroom has the ability to thin the blood, so it should not be taken before or after surgery, by those who are already taking blood thinners, or by those who suffer from bleeding disorders.

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