With lore around it as an aphrodisiac & libido tonic reserved for ancient emperors, being the root of thee special strength & stamina powers of high-altitude Himalayan Sherpas, and the secret sauce of record-shattering Olympic athletes, the hype around Cordyceps mushroom is no joke!
What can you expect from a fungus that grows in the wild by taking over the body of a caterpillar? (Don’t worry, no insects were harmed in the growing of our Cordyceps as we only work with ones cultivated on plant-based substrate!)
(Wild cordyceps after parasitizing it's host. Don't worry, ours is cultivated!)
A species of the Cordyceps mushroom (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) was discovered in the high altitude of Tibet and Western China more than a millennia ago - by yaks. Yes, yaks. Herdsmen noticed that their animals were feasting on this mystery fungus and becoming noticeably stronger and more vital. Soon, humans were trying it and it was adapted over time by the region’s traditional healers.
(Cultivated version of Cordyceps)
Since the original Yak experiment, modern science has found Cordyceps to be anti-fatigue & enhance exercise performance in humans (1)(2), improve sexual potency (3) (a wry smile and confirmative nod those ancient emperors), as well as an expansive list of other positive properties like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant/anti-aging, & immunity boosting (4), as well as anti-viral (5) and anti-cancer of specifically breast and other various cancer cells. (6)(7)
(Clean sterile techniques are essential for Cordyceps cultivation!)
While we still have so much to learn, a lot of this is believed to be attributed to a unique compound found in Cordyceps and thus named after it accordingly, Cordycepin. Cordycepin is structurally similar and has similar effects to adenosine, the ‘A’ in ATP energy adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the energy-carrying molecule found in the cells of all living things (ctrl+f to old memory files from high school biology)
(Cordycepin remarkably molecularly similar to Adenosine)
Essentially, for the body of any living thing to complete any action as essential as our necessary natural processes (i.e. muscle contraction, nerve-impulse function, breathing) to less ‘essential’ & ‘necessary’ processes like say, surfing, sports, getting a PR at spin class, box jumps & burpees (yuck), or just hiking with friends, all depend on the exchange of ATP. Thus, one might extrapolate that cordycepin’s similarity to ATP could result in higher-functioning of said natural essential (see Jazzercise GIF below) & inessential processes!
Even if you aren’t an jazzercise athlete…or a yak…or even a yak-lete (It’s probably a thing), who wouldn’t want to have an extra gear to kick into? To those wanting to go all day…and night (what what), with increased stamina, energy, and performance both physically AND mentally, Cordyceps is your (fun) guy!
1. Anti-fatigue, Effect of Polysaccharide from Cordyceps militaris (Ascomycetes) on Physical Fatigue Induced by Forced Swimming
2. Increase Excercise performance, Effect Of Cs-4 (Cordyceps Sinensis) On Exercise Performance In Healthy Older Subjects: A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Trial
3. Sexual Potency, Effect of Cordyceps militaris supplementation on sperm production, sperm motility and hormones in Sprague-Dawley rats
4. Anti Oxidant & Immunity, Effect of polysaccharide from cultured Cordyceps sinensis on immune function and anti-oxidation activity of mice exposed to 60Co
5. Anti-viral, Anti-In vivo anti-influenza virus activity of an immunomodulatory acidic polysaccharide isolated from Cordyceps militaris grown on germinated soybeans
6. Anti-cancer (Breast), Cordycepin-induced apoptosis and autophagy in breast cancer cells are independent of the estrogen receptor
7.Anti-Cancer (various) Inhibitory effects of ethyl acetate extract of Cordyceps sinensis mycelium on various cancer cells in culture and B16 melanoma in C57BL/6 mice