Cordyceps health benefit capsule or tablet supplement, risk and safety
November 18 2016
Cordyceps is one of the better-known traditional Chinese medicines. It consists of the dried fungus Cordyceps sinensis growing on the larva of the caterpillar. It is commonly used in China for the replenishment of body health. One of the known pharmacological effects is its anti-oxidation activity.
Cordyceps sinensis has been known as a component of traditional medicines that elicit various biological effects such as anti-fatigue, immune system influence, and blood sugar lowering actions.
Full Spectrum purchase Cordyceps 450 mg, 120 Tablets – Planetary Herbals
Full Spectrum Cordyceps 450 provides the same amount of cordyceps CS-4 extract (standardized to 0.1% adenosine) used in clinical studies. This is combined with mycelia, grown on organic brown rice form spores originally gathered in the Himalayas. This combination insures a full spectrum of important constituents.
Suggested Use: One tablet, 1 to 2 times daily between meals, or as recommended by your health care professional.
Purchase Cordyceps supplement product
Availability from herb and ingredient suppliers
Cordycepsis sinensis is available as a plain powder or in various extract potencies, for instance an extract that has 5 percent adenosine.
Cordyceps health benefits
Anti-aging action of Cordyceps extract in rodents
One of the known pharmacological effects is its anti-oxidation activity. Cordyceps is also known as an immune system stimulant. To investigate the anti-aging effect and mechanism of cordyceps, aged mice were treated with cordyceps extract. After six weeks, the scientists found that cordyceps increased their ability to learn, remember, and it improved the activity of their antioxidant systems.
There are many herbs, mushrooms, and supplements that have shown similar properties. It’s probably a good idea to take cordyceps a few times a month.
The extracts of cultured Cordyceps sinensis possess potent antioxidant and anti-lipid peroxidation activities and inhibit accumulation of cholesteryl ester in macrophages via suppression of LDL oxidation.
Cancer effect, prevention, treatment
Cordyceps has been used as an additional medication in cancer treatment and appears to improve tolerance to the adverse effects associated with radiation and chemotherapy.
Apoptosis-inducing effects of sterols from the dried powder of cultured mycelium of Cordyceps sinensis.
Chem Pharm Bull. 2009.
The methanolic extract and its ethyl acetate-soluble fraction from the dried powder of cultured Cordyceps sinensis mycelium showed cytotoxic effects on promyelocytic leukemia HL-60 cells. Sitosterol and ergosterol were isolated from the ethyl acetate fraction.
AHCC is a mushroom extract used for immune system enhancement and as a treatment for cancer.
Depression, mood effect
Cordyceps influences the adrenergic and dopaminergic systems.
Q. I have suffered from severe clinical chronic depression, along with Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia for maybe 15 years and will try anything (within reason). Am currently on Bupropion, Methadone for degenerative herniated discs plus bad hip arthritis, Xanax (titrating way down) for Panic Disorder. What think you re: cordyceps? I just want to see what it feels like to get a small sense of normalcy for a time. Thank you, and all the best.
A. It is difficult to predict the effect of cordyceps in any one person since responses to this mushroom are varied. There are many other herbs and supplements that have been tested more thoroughly for depression and anxiety. One has to be very careful combining supplements with a combination of prescription medications.
Diabetes, blood sugar
Cordyceps improves glucose metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity in normal rats. For more diabetes info.
Energy and anti-fatigue
A 5 week study using a trademarked formula CordyMax Cs-4 had no effect on aerobic capacity or endurance exercise performance in endurance-trained male cyclists. The dose used was 3 grams a day.
Is cordyceps good for promoting more energy to use during the day or during exercise? I saw that the Chinese used it in 1993 for more endurance. Is it that special by its self or is it best taken with other herbs and such?
We find combinations of nutrients and herbs to be more effective than one supplement by itself. Many people tell us that they get great energy from MultiVit Rx. Cordyceps can provide a little energy, but other supplements may be more potent.
Fertility and reproduction
In vivo stimulatory effect of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium and its fractions on reproductive functions in male mouse.
Life Sci. 2004.
Cordyceps sinensis, an Ascomycetes fungus parasitic to Lepidoptera larvae, has been traditionally used as nutritious food for the enhancement on sexual performance and the restitution of impairment in sexual function in Chinese society. We have previously demonstrated the stimulatory effect of Cordyceps sinensis and its fractions on steroidogenesis both on primary mouse Leydig cells and MA-10 mouse Leydig tumor cells. In the present studies, we determined the in vivo effects of Cordyceps sinensis and its fractions on steroidogenesis in mouse. Different concentrations of CS and Cordyceps sinensis fractions were fed to immature or mature mice from 1 to 7 days. The plasma levels of testosterone were evaluated by radioimmunoassay. The weights of reproductive organs were also determined. Results illustrated that Cordyceps sinensis significantly induced plasma testosterone levels both in immature and mature mice in 3 and/or 7 days treatment. In general, Cordyceps, F2 and F3 didn’t have considerable effect on the weights of reproductive organs. Taken together, these studies illustrate that Cordyceps and its fractions significantly stimulated in vivo mouse testosterone production.
Hepatitis B treatment
Cordyceps may be helpful in treating hepatitis B. One study showed an improvement in the CD4 to CD8 ratio with its use for 3 months.
Cordyceps has an influence on the immune system, although the research is still too early to know the full details.
In China, Cordyceps sinensis is recognized as a premier tonifier . Cordyceps 450 provides the same amount of CS-4 extract (standardized to 0.1% adenosine) used in clinical studies. This is combined with mycelia, grown on organic brown rice form spores originally gathered in the Himalayas. This combination insures a full spectrum of important cordyceps constituents.
Kidney disease, renal health
Q. I read that cordyceps helps kidney function. Does codyceps interact with medications. I have stage 4 kidney disease, would it help me?
A. We cannot predict the influence of any supplement on a medical condition. We suggest your physician read the research on cordyceps supplement and guide you. What works for one person may not in another.
Cordyceps sinensis mycelium extract induces human premyelocytic leukemia cell apoptosis through mitochondrion pathway.
Exp Biol Med. 2007.
This study was to identify the signaling pathways for the induction of HL-60 cell apoptosis by Cordyceps sinensis mycelium extract. Cordyceps sinensis extract at 25 mug/ml induced nuclear fragmentation and DNA degradation, two hallmark events of apoptosis, Our results suggest that Cordyceps sinensis mycelium extract induces apoptosis in HL-60 cell through the mitochondrial pathway rather than the death receptor pathway.
Q. I suffer form chronic myelogenous leukemia CML an I am doing well on Imatinib, known by the product name Gleevec. My blood count shows good results with a combination of feverfew, curcumin and black pepper. Recently I learned about cordyceps mushroom and the good influence on leukemia Now I was considering to start using this. According to a Chinese research team in can boost up natural killer cells activity in leukemia patients to 400 percent. According to a Sloan Kettering however cordyceps shows proliferation of progenitor red blood cells and therefore should not be used in myelogeous cancers. Being impressed with your expertise I would be very happy to know your opinion.
A. It is very difficult to extrapolate from in vitro lab studies to what would occur if a cordyceps supplement was taken orally. Also, the effects may be influenced by the type of cordyceps extract and the dosage used. There won’t be easy answers until actual cordyceps studies are done in humans with different types of leukemia. Also, it is difficult to predict the influence of a cordyceps supplement when used in combination with medications and other supplements.
Cordyceps has been studied in systemic lupus erythematosus in rats. Cordyceps sinensis could inhibit lymphadenectasis, reduce the level of proteinuria and anti-ds-DNA antibody in plasma, and improve kidney function in SLE rats.
There are claims that cordyceps is an aphrodisiac. We are not able to find human studies regarding its influence on sexuality. However a mouse study indicates that it can stimulate testosterone release.
How well does cordyceps extract work for erections or erectile function. Is it of any benefit at all in the sexual area for men?
We have limited experience regarding cordyceps extract in terms of libido or impotence treatment. There are much more powerful herbs for libido improvement. One of these is tongkat ali which helps sexual enhancement and better libido within a few days.
Q. I’m going in for hip replacement surgery and of course the surgeon says “No herbal supplements, vitamins, and NSAID’s a week or two prior to surgery. I do understand. I’m wondering if cordyceps supplement would be a bad idea?
A. It is a good idea not to take the cordyceps supplement since we don’t know the full interactions of supplements and analgesics, anesthesia, and bleeding / clotting issues.
Side effects, adverse reactions, toxicity
No major cordyceps side effects have been mentioned in the medical literature, but just as with any herb, excess amounts could have potential for unpleasant side effects. It would be a good idea to occasionally take breaks from the use of cordyceps.
Interactions with herbs, supplements
Can Cordyceps S-4 and L-Tyrosine be taken at the same time with no adverse reactions. Both are considered to be amongst the safest of supplements.
Cordyceps may be safer than tyrosine which can cause heart rhythm problems.
Q. I bought a relatively large quantity of cordyceps powder from a reliable source approximately 8 months ago, and immediately transferred it to an air – tight glass jar with tight fitting lid. Have kept it in a dark, dry cupboard since. Do you know what, or if, there is a shelf – life to this powder? And in reading your material on cordyceps, I noticed about 3 grams to be a good average daily dose?
A. If it is sealed well the mushroom powder should last a long time but we don’t know how long the powder was made before you purchased it. We often suggest people begin with low amounts for a few days before increasing the dosage.
Could you please clear my doubts about cordyceps supplement. I have read that it is recommended for SLE. I’ve read cordyceps is used for replenishment of general body health and has a broad range of actions on the liver, kidneys, heart, and immune system. Isn’t there a danger that an herb with such properties could stimulate the immune system? If so, it could cause a great aggravation in SLE (similar ones experienced with astragalus, ginseng, echinacea, zinc, and other immune-stimulating supplements) — I am speaking from years of painful personal experience. Unfortunately, even substances that are described as having a “BALANCING” action on the immune system (e.g.maritime bark-derived formulas), in fact stimulate it and aggravate an autoimmune disease. So what about cordyceps? Unfortunately, there is not much information. I would be happy to know that it could mimic prednisone, down-regulate the immune system and thus reduce inflammation.
A. You raise a good point. Any supplement that has a strong influence on the immune system could have effects that are not predictable. Not much is known about the long term use of herbs that stimulate the immune system and whether they have long term side effects. There is also a wide range of response among individuals. As to cordyceps supplements, it is a good idea to take frequent breaks from use.
Q. From the website, you are in the product containing the cordyceps powder. Our company is one of the most earliest and biggest manufacturers specializing in producing cordyceps mycelium powder by liquid-fermentation technology in China. Zhejiang Wanfeng Medicines Group, 51 Renmin Road, Xiaoshan District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang, Prov., China. Postcode: 311201
Q. I have a question regarding cordyceps: my acupuncturist recommended it to me a couple of years ago when my liver functions were just a little off for no apparent reason? she said it was a “liver tonic”. I took it (along with homeopathic remedies and acupuncture treatments) and after a while my liver function returned to normal. In the meantime, however, my flexibility went THROUGH THE ROOF (I practice karate.) I certainly never CONNECTED the Cordyceps with the increase flexibility I figured my hard work at the sport was simply paying off. I did, however, mention the flexibility increase to my acupuncturist one day and she said without hesitation it was the Cordyceps; according to her, in Chinese medicine the liver controls the elasticity of connective tissue so that when liver health improves, flexibility does as well. Have you ever heard of such a thing? (I have several adult friends at the karate studio who have all kinds of flexion issues who’d LOVE to find a supplement that would help but I don’t feel comfortable making recommendations based solely on personal experience.)
A. We have not seen studies regarding the role of cordyceps mushroom supplements and flexibility. Yoga is a much more reliable and effective way to improve flexibility than taking supplements.
I understand tribulus terrestris extract is used as an aphrodisiac herb and I have also seen cordyceps added to libido herbal formulas with the promoted benefits of a better sexual experience. Is cordyceps useful for this purpose?
Cordyceps is added to such formulas, but it is not as potent as tribulus, catuaba, or other herbs.
Cordyceps sinensis suppliers
We are GMP enterprise and exporting the products to the USA, Canada, Australia and Southeastern Asian countries in large quantity, enjoy the good reputation. Our main products as follows: 1. Cordyceps Cephalsporium Mycelia: adenosine 0.375%, mannitol 11.50%, Polysaccharide 10% 2. Fermentation Cordyceps Cs-4 Powder: adenosine 0.337%, mannitol 15.59%, Polysaccharide 19% 3. Cordyceps Polysaccharide Powder: Polysaccharide 35% , mannitol 18.19% For the detailed information, you can contact me directly. Company Name: Zhejiang Wanfeng Medicines Group Co.,Ltd. Original Name: Zhejiang Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicines Factory. Office Add: 51 Renmin Rd, Xiaoshan, Hangzhou City, China.
I visited your website and saw Zhejiang Wanfeng Medicines Group Co. Ltd. Would you mind let me know that who supplies the Cordyceps Powder to you? We are GMP and HACCP certified company and export the products to the USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and Southeast Asia in large quantity, enjoy the good reputation.
Main products: Cordyceps Mycelia Powder, Cordyceps Extract, Cordyceps P.E 25-50%,
Cordyceps Cs-4 Powder, Reishi Mycelia Powder, Shiitake,Maitake etc.
Cordyceps Mycelia Powder: Cordycepin (Adenosine) 0.37%, Cordycepic Acid (Mannitol) 12%
Cordyceps Cs-4 Powder: Cordycepin (Adenosine) 0.4%, Cordycepic Acid (Mannitol) 13%
Cordyceps Polysaccharide 35%: Polysaccharide 35%, Cordycepic Acid (Mannitol) 18%
Reishi Mycelia Powder: Polysaccharide 30%, Ethanol-soluble extractives 20%
Specialize in various Medicinal Mushroom Powder & Polysaccharides etc.
Wanfeng Medicines Group / Mushroom life Corp. Ltd
Cordyceps mushroom article
This black fungus is found largely in the high altitudes on the Tibetan plateau in China and grows commercially in many parts of the country. Therefore this is an unusual natural product: a parasitic complex of fungus and caterpillar. Cordyceps has a broad range of pharmacological and biological actions, The supplement influences quite a number of human organ systems, including the circulatory, respiratory, and immune systems, as well as the liver, kidneys, and sex organs.
What’s in it?
The pharmacological actions of cordyceps extract are complex due quite a number of substances. C. sinensis has proteins, peptides, polysaccharides, sterols; nucleosides, fatty acids, vitamins and other organic acids. Cordycepin and other adenosine derivatives have been found.
In rodent studies, cordyceps improves glucose metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity.
Cordyceps has an influence on immunity, and perhaps can enhance certain aspects of the immune system, although the research is still too early to know the full and intricate details.
Although this supplement has been used in China as a treatment for sexual dysfunction, there are other herbal products that are more potent and act faster, including tribulus, horny goat weed, muira puma, mucuna pruriens, tongkat ali, and a combination product called Passion Rx.
It is difficult to know the appropriate dosage of this mushroom product, but one option is to begin with about 300 to 600 mg a day. Much depends on the condition being treated. For general health enhancement, one capsule two or three times a week seems sufficient.
Cordyceps is an intriguing supplement since it’s source is so unusual, a fungus drawing its nutrients from a caterpillar. Over the next few years additional human research will give us more clues regarding the complex nature of this supplement and the various medical conditions it can treat.