A unique species in the medicinal mushroom family, it grows on an insect host rather than a plant. Originally thought to be a parasitic relationship, in some cases it seems to be also beneficial to the moth larvae it grows on - they obtain energy from the cordyceps to give them a selective advantage, particularly useful in extreme environments such as the high Tibetan plateau.
The vast majority of cordyceps available today is cultivated on non-insect, grain-based substrates so suitable for vegetarians & vegans.
Traditionally it was used in the treatment of asthma, erectile dysfunction and a tonic for the elderly.
Energy & Fatigue - Cordyceps-based products are used to enhance athletic performance & endurance by increasing the efficiency of energy metabolism.
Clinical trials have found cordyceps to benefit elderly patients with fatigue.
Fertility - increasingly being used in the field of infertility, clinical evidence suggests this fungus is beneficial in female fertility & improves success of IVF treatment.
Sexual function - in addition to its traditional use for improving libido & improving erectile dysfunction, Cordyceps increases levels of male sex hormones, sperm quality & quantity
Respiratory support - as well as increasing efficiency of energy metabolism, it provides valuable support for those with impaired lung function from conditions such as asthma & chronic bronchitis.
Antiviral - Cordyceps can inhibit viral replication & the polysaccharides in this fungus have been shown to enhance the immune response to viral infection.
Note - use caution in hormone dependent cancers (breast & prostrate) due to increased levels of oestrogen & testosterone. Always seek professional advice from your practitioner.