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Supplement Review: Munchable Cordyceps

Cordyceps Munchable

Cordyceps is a mushroom. The wild variety used in herbalism grows in very high mountains, primarily in Asia. The most famous, Di Tao source of wild Cordyceps is the Himalayas. This wild Cordyceps is very rare and extremely expensive. Mycologists have developed a cultured (cultivated) variety using the Cordyceps militaris species of Cordyceps. It is grown in a super-clean environment on a base of organic brown rice. This “munchable,” or edible, Cordyceps is an amazing treasure of health. It is a superb value. It is many multiples less expensive than the wild variety from the snowline of Tibet or Bhutan, yet it is very close in nutrition and herbal potency. In fact, it has a higher content of the established key component of Cordyceps, cordycepin, than the wild variety. It may be eaten raw, several pieces a day, or may be cooked into soups and teas. It has a delicious and interesting mushroom flavor that makes it easy to consume regularly. This amazing superfood should be in every home elixir bar and kitchen.*

Ingredients: Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris) ascocarp (fruiting body)

Usage: Consume several strands at a time for energy and well being. Or cook in soup or tonic tea.

Remember Ron Teeguarden’s “First Rule of Tonic Herbalism,” summed up in a single word – Compliance. If you don’t take the herbs, they won’t work.”

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Studies with Cordyceps sinensis

Much of what is known about Cordyceps sinensis we owe to the research of Dr. Georges Halpern, a physician and professor emeritus with the University of Hong Kong, and author of several books about Cordyceps.

Research suggests that Cordyceps may improve the BIO ENERGY status of animals and probably in humans. This would happen because Cordyceps improves the internal balance mechanism, thus making the utilization of OXYGEN more efficient. These properties may account for the overall physical enhancement, the added endurance, and the anti-fatigue effects which are seen in humans using the Cordyceps supplement.

1. Cordyceps Improves the Respiratory Function
Several scientific studies have demonstrated the benefits of Cordyceps sinensis in alleviating the symptoms of several respiratory illnesses including chronic bronchitis and asthma (Reference 2, Chapter “Effects on the Respiratory System”, pages 429-432). In a double blind, placebo controlled study with 30 elderly volunteers Cordyceps significantly improved the maximum amount of oxygen these people were able to assimilate (Reference 4).

2..Cordyceps increases cellular Oxygen Absorption by up to 40%
(Lou Y, Liao X, Lu Y. Cardiovascular pharmacological studies of ethanol extracts of Cordyceps mycelia and Cordyceps fermentation solution. Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1986;17(5):17-21,209-213) Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases improvement of 40% after Cordyceps supplement. (Wang WQ. J. Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5 (supp;):24)

3. Cordyceps Improves the Functioning of the Heart
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of Cordyceps sinensis on heart rhythm disturbances, such as cardiac arrhythmias and chronic heart failure (Reference 2, Chapter “Effects on the Cardiovascular System”, pages 436 – 441).

An even more vigorous study was conducted using “in vivo” mouse model induced acute Pulmonary Edema (Pneumonia) which causes systemic lack of oxygen, acidic body, and death. Research results show that animals taking Cordyceps had a significantly greater survival rate of 20% mortality vs. 80% mortality in 30 minutes. This is a startling 400% improvement. (From Wan F, Zhang S. Clinical observations of fermented Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in antitussive, expectorant, and antathematic effects. Collection on the Basic Medicinal and Clinical Studies of Submerged Culture Cordyceps sinensis. Beijing, Nanchang, China:Jiangxi TCM/IMM, 1985:35-39)

4. Cordyceps Helps Maintain Cholesterol
Four excellent studies have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis helps to lower total cholesterol by 10 to 21% and triglycerides by 9 to 26%. At the same time it helps to increase HDL-cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) by 27 to 30% (Reference 1, Chapter “Effects on blood lipid metabolism and arteriosclerosis”, pages 299 – 301).

Blood Cells – Improves Blood Cell Viability & Function.

Genetic – Promotes DNA Repair

Liver Protection – Improves Liver Functions, helps with Hepatitis and Cirrhosis Sub chronic and chronic hepatitis on related liver diseases are more prevalent than most people think. Liver is the living filter of the human body, cleaning the blood and all other fluids of impurities. There is no way for you to survive, much less feel healthy, without a functioning liver.

Research clinical trials on 33 patients with Hepatitis “B” and on another 8 patients with cirrhosis taking Cordyceps supplement showed 71.9% improvement on “Thymol Turbidity Test” and 78.6% improvement in” SGPT Test” both of these are enzyme test showing improving functions of the liver. (Zhou LT, Yang YZ, Xu YM, Zhu QY, Zhu YR, Ge XY, Gao JD. Short term curative effect of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. Mycelia in chronic hepatitis B. China J Chinese Materia Medica 1990;15(1):53-55)

5. Chronic kidney diseases improvement
(3) Chronic kidney diseases improvement of 51% after only one month with Cordyceps supplement.(Jiang JC, Gao YF. J Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5(suppl):23-24)

6. Cordyceps Reduces Tumor Size in Cancer Patients
Several clinical studies have been conducted in China and Japan with cancer patients (References 1 and 2). The studies were done with CSE (Cordyceps sinensis mycelium) using a therapeutic dose of 6 grams per day (= 4 capsules twice daily). In one study with 50 lung cancer patients administered CSE in conjunction with chemotherapy, tumors reduced in size in 46% of patients. A study in cancer patients with various types of tumors found CSE (6 g/day for over 2 months) improved subjective symptoms in the majority of patients. White blood cell counts were maintained and tumor size was significantly reduced in about half of the patients. Researchers in Japan reported that CSE enhances the general reactivity of the immune system in individuals with cancer. To discover this, they subcutaneously injected mice with cancerous (lymphoma) cells and then orally administered CSE. This lead to a reduction of tumor size and prolongation of the host survival time. CSE also improved the antibody responses.

7. Immune System
Increases NK cell activity, makes more MUSCLE – Increases Power, builds better/younger cells.

Recharge the Protective Army of NK cells – Your body’s ability to fight infections and tumors depends on the availability of Natural Killer (NK) Cells. These are essential first lines of defense for our body’s protection mechanisms commonly known as the Immune System.

Several scientific studies of Cordyceps have especially focused on Natural Killer (NK) cells and Cordyceps effect on them and cancer formation. One such in-vitro study demonstrated Cordyceps adding significant enhancement of NK cell activity in normal individuals as well as leukemia stricken individuals. (Liu C, Lu S, Ji MR, Xie Y. effects of Cordyceps sinensis on in-vitro natural killer cells.

Chinese J Integrated Traditional Western Med (Chung-Kuo Chung His I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih) 1992;12(5):267-269) showed that natural Cordyceps enhanced the NK cell activity of normal patients by 74% and increased the NK activity of leukemia patients by 400% and similar improvements of NK cell activities was found in big melanoma cancer (Xu RH, Peng XE, Chen GZ, Chen GL. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on natural killer activity and colony formation of B16 melanoma. Chinese Med J 1992;105(2):97-101)

8. Improvements in the Immune System
The improvements in the Immune System were so impressive that Dr. Zhu at the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 1998 stated: “Because of the above profound influence on immune functions, natural Cordyceps products have been used in many clinical conditions in patients with altered immune functions.”

9. Anti-aging
The First Anti-Aging Supplement Known to Mankind
It’s An Anti-Aging Fighter with clinical research proof in controlled studies which showed that elderly patients suffering from fatigue and some senility related symptoms reported. (1) Improvements in the reduction of fatigue 92%, of feeling cold 89%, in dizziness 83%, after taking Cordyceps for 30 days. Patients with respiratory/breathing problems felt physically stronger and some were able to jog for 600 ft. (Cao A, Wen Y. J Applied Traditional Chinese Med 1993;1:32-33)

10. Cordyceps Protects against Free Radical Damage
Several studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis protects against the damages caused by free radicals, and as such has powerful antioxidant properties (Reference 1, Chapter “Äntisenescence and Oxygen-Free Radical Scavenging Activity”)

11. Cordyceps Reduces Fatigue
Several studies with animals have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis increases the cellular energy production and oxygen supply. A double blind, placebo controlled investigation showed a marked reduction in fatigue in elderly patients when they were given three grams of Cordyceps daily. In another study, Cordyceps sinensis improved shortness of breath and reduced fatigue in patients suffering from chronic heart failure (Reference 1, Chapter “Improvement of physical performance and quality of life”, pages 293 – 295).

12. Cordyceps Helps Discomforts from Tired Legs
Several studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis improves the flow of blood in the body by relaxing the smooth muscles of the blood vessels allowing them to expand. Cordyceps also improves the functioning of the heart and lungs (see above). Cordyceps therefore prevents or reduces the contraction of blood vessels which interferes with the flow of blood vessels in the legs, the main cause of tired legs (Reference 2, Chapter “Effect on the Cardiovascular System”, pages 436 – 441).

13. Endurance & Stamina
Reduces muscle Soreness, Enhances Recovery, Promotes Better Oxygen efficiency,

14. Fitness
Increases ATP Synthesis, Promotes Faster Energy Recovery, Reduces Fatigue, Improves Physical Function, Provides More Stamina.

15. Cordyceps Improves Stamina and Athletic Performance
Several studies with animals have shown that Cordyceps sinensis increases the cellular energy production and oxygen uptake ( Reference 1, Chapter “Improvement of physical performance and quality of life”, pages 293 – 295). A study with mice demonstrated their improved swimming capabilities after six weeks of Cordyceps supplementation compared with a control group (Reference 3, page 260).

16. Cordyceps radically increases cellular energy
Cellular energy, which is also known scientifically as the ATP/IP ratio. Cordyceps has been clinically proven to increase cellular Bio-Energy by as much as 55% (Reported XU C.F et al in ZHU J-S, Halpern GM, Jones K. The Scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis: Part I. J Alt Comp Med 1998;4(3):289-303.)

17. Cordyceps Combats Sexual Dysfunction
Three separate Chinese double blind and placebo-controlled studies with over 200 men with “reduced libido and other sexual problems” showed remarkably similar results. On average, 64% of the Cordyceps-users reported significant improvement at the conclusion of the experimental period compared with 24% of the placebo group. In another double blind, placebo controlled study conducted with 21 elderly women with similar complaints, 90% reported improvements of their condition following the use of Cordyceps, compared with none in the control group (Reference 1).

18. Hormones – Adrenal Thymus, Mitochondrial energy.
Dramatic Natural Improvements are seen in endocrine hormone levels, in fertility, and in Sexual Libido for men and women.

19. Sexual Function
Improves Libido and Quality of Life in Men & Women, Fights infertility, Increases Sperm Count, Increases Sperm Survival.

(1) Research on animal studies shows cordyceps increases natural sex hormones(Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Chinese Traditional Patented Med 1988;9:29-31)

(2) Prevention and improvement of adrenal glands and thymus hormones, and infertile sperm count improve by 300% after cordyceps supplement.(Huang Y, Lu J, Zhu B, Wen Q, Jia F, Zeng S, Chen T, Li Y, Xheng G, Yi Z.. Zhongchengyao Yanjiu 1987;(10):24-25)

(3) Human clinical studies involving both men and women of 189 patients with decreased libido and desire showed improvement of symptoms and desire of 66% (Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Chinese Traditional Patented Med 1988;9:29-31) and

(4) Another double blind study by the Institute of Materia Medica in Beijing, China showed a woman improvement of libido and desire at 86%. (JIA-SHI ZHU, M.D., Ph.D. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, Vol.4, Number 3, 1998, pp.289-303)

(5) The most dramatic physical proof came from Fertility Study (Guo YZ. J Modern Diagnostics Therapeutics 1986;(1):60-65) involving a clinical research of 22 males showed that cordyceps supplement increased clear evidence of 33% increase in sperm count, decreased 29% incidence of sperm malformations, and a 79% increase in survival rate after 8 weeks of cordyceps supplement.

Much of what is known about Cordyceps sinensis we owe to the research of Dr. Georges Halpern, a physician and professor emeritus with the University of Hong Kong, and author of several books about Cordyceps. His interest and commitment have resulted in making available to the Western world the many research studies conducted by Chinese scientists published in various Chinese scientific journals. These investigations with Cordyceps sinensis have been summarized in the following scientific articles:

1. Zhu, J.S., Halpern, G.M., and Jones, K. (1998): The Scientific Rediscovery of an Ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine: Cordyceps sinensis. Part I. Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine 4(3), pp 289-303.

2. Zhu, J.S., Halpern, G.M., and Jones, K. (1998): The Scientific Rediscovery of a Precious Ancient Chinese Herbal Regimen: Cordyceps sinensis. Part II. Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine 4(4), pp 429-457.

3. Mizuno T. (1999): Medicinal effects and utilization of Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes) and Isaria Fr. (Mitosporic Fungi) Chinese Caterpillar Fungi, “Tochukaso” (Review). International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 1 (3), pp 251-261.

4. Xiao Y., Huang X.Z., Chen G.,Wang M.B., Zhu J.S., Cooper C.B.: Increased Aerobic Capacity in Healthy Elderly Humans given fermented Cordyceps Cs-4: a Placebo controlled Trial. Ann. Meeting American College of Sports Medicine, Seattle, WA, June 3-5, 1999.

For Performance Enhancement

Biological Active Ingredient Levels about 5.3 times higher
than the best wild collected samples

Increases ATP production – Increases Oxygen Utilization
Decreases Blood Pressure – Regulates Blood Sugar
Decreases Appetite – Increases Libido & Sexual Function
Decreases Alcohol Desire

Product Applications

Sports and Performance Enhancement
Alcohol-ex Preparations
Weight Loss
Sexual Function in Men and Women
Diabetes Control Supplements
Jet Lag
Veterinary Medicine

Sinensis or Cordyceps Militaris?
You may have heard about Cordyceps medicinal mushrooms, but are all Cordyceps really alike? Should I choose Cordyceps Sinensis or Cordyceps Militaris?

In order to demonstrate how supplements that sound very similar can have dramatically different health benefits, let’s discuss magnesium for a moment.

Many people think that all magnesium supplements produce the same health benefits. And yet, some of the supplements consist of magnesium oxide, some contain magnesium citrate and yet others may include magnesium bis-glycinate. The sad fact is that all of these supplements have different potencies and differ greatly when it comes to your body’s ability to absorb magnesium. And, did you know that magnesium stearate is used in the lubrication process when producing supplements? If ANY of your supplements contain magnesium stearate – listed as an inactive ingredient – the supplement’s absorption rate is probably reduced!

Should I choose Cordyceps Sinensis or Cordyceps Militaris?

Medicinal Mushroom Information Center wrote a story last year about Cordyceps medicinal mushrooms, asking how is it possible that you can buy a bottle of Cordyceps Sinensis from a U.S. manufacturer, probably for $2-$4 per bottle, even though China’s Xinhua news agency reported that the price of Cordyceps Sinensis has surged to a new record: $1,500 per pound! Cordyceps is collected between May and July in Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan around heights of over 11,000 feet above sea level. This makes it extremely difficult to collect, and therefore the price has gone up ten-fold in just ten years.

Because of the high price of the original Cordyceps, other strains of Cordyceps are being marketed. We are not quite sure if wild Cordyceps Sinensis or more industrially produced Cordyceps Militaris produce exactly the same health benefits, but the sales of Cordyceps Militaris are booming in China! According to a new research report by Reportsnreports, China’s Cordyceps Militaris market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 20% until 2017.

According to the report, Cordyceps Militaris’ cordycepin content is higher than the content of wild Cordyceps Sinensis and yet, its price is more easily accepted by consumers.

It sounds almost too good to be true! Is it really possible that much cheaper Cordyceps Militaris is as potent or even more potent than Cordyceps Sinensis? Or is Cordyceps Sinensis more potent because of possible synergistic qualities that natural compounds often have, and artificial strains may not?

Diabetes Relief behind popularity of Cordyceps Sinensis or Cordyceps Militaris?

It is understandable why Chinese people have a craving for Cordyceps, whether it is Cordyceps Sinensis or Cordyceps Militaris. Diabetes has become even a bigger problem in China than it is in the United States. The country has a higher rate of incidence than the U.S., and screening for the disease is not covered by insurance plans.

China now has the largest diabetic population in the world (114 million), according to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

China’s diabetes prevalence has increased from just one percent in 1980 to 11.6% in 2010, which is even higher than the United States (11.3%). What is even worse is that almost half a billion people or 50% of all adults in China are believed to have pre-diabetes!

Medicinal Mushroom Information Center earlier reported that researchers Kan Wei-Chih, Wang Hsien-Yi, et al. set out to test the effect of Cordyceps Sinensis on blood sugar levels, glucose and insulin tolerance, cholesterol triglycerides, and levels of lipoproteins in mice with induced diabetes.

One group of mice were fed a high-fat diet over a course of eight weeks while a second group had a regular, control diet. Cordyceps sinensis extract was given to diabetic mice over two or four weeks while body weight and blood samples were recorded throughout the trial. The results showed no significant effect of cordyceps sinensis on cholesterol or triglyceride levels after four weeks but increased insulin levels in the blood. They believe this is due to stimulation of cells in the pancreas.

In other words, Cordyceps could provide much needed relief for China’s diabetes epidemic. Whether this can be accomplished by using Cordyceps Sinensis or Cordyceps Militaris remains to be seen.

You are supposed to eat a few strands at a time and at .1 grams of carbs that’s not a problem!

They actually taste great also!

Check them out! With all the potential health benefits it’s worth the price! Buy now and munch away!


7 responses

  1. Never heard of these mushrooms before. Interesting.

    January 23, 2015 at 12:08 AM

  2. Reblogged this on My Voyage Through Time and commented:
    Hummmm…. I have never heard of these, but this is a great writeup by Bianco. He actually takes the time to cite the piece. Research suggests that there are several good reasons to use these mushrooms as a supplement. Msybe I’ll try and track some down this weekend. ~~~Felicia

    January 23, 2015 at 12:14 AM

    • They actually taste good also!

      January 23, 2015 at 5:43 AM

    • Felicia did you ever try them yet? They are good!

      February 5, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      • Noooooo!! I guess they are rare! I couldn’t find them at Whole Foods here or Tico’s (a little herbal shop). Santa Fe isn’t that big. 😦

        February 5, 2015 at 7:53 PM

      • Amazon has them

        February 5, 2015 at 8:34 PM

      • Amazon LoL? They have everything!

        February 5, 2015 at 9:24 PM

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