This strange and miraculous fungi is an opportunistic parasite that has been used as medicinal food and notable aphrodisiac for at least 2000 years in the Himalayan region. Herdsman in the high elevation areas of Tibet and Nepal noticed the sexual potency of their yaks increased after they grazed on grasses containing the small mushroom. After testing it themselves, they found it was very effective for libido!
In China, it is often consumed as a medicinal food, added to stews and soups for chronic illness. It is sometimes referred to there as "winter worm, summer grass", as it is a parasitic fungi that attacks the central nervous system of caterpillars, taking over the bodily functions and finally sprouting its fruiting body out of the insect's head. There are many species of cordyceps in the wild, all of them parasitizing different species of insects and their larvae. Reflected in its ability to target the central nervous system and brain in insects, it has an affinity for these bodily systems and actually improves the functions of those systems in humans.
In the wild, it prefers high altitudes and its growth is restricted to various insect hosts. However, much of the cordyceps now on the market is the C. militaris variety; with much of the same constituents as the C. sinensis native to Asia, and cultivated in sterile, vegetarian( caterpillar-free!) environments. It contains a multitude of beneficial constituents: very high in beta glucans and other polysaccharides; oleic, linoleic, palmitic fatty acids; high levels of 18 amino acids; minerals such as potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, sodium,iron, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium; Vit E, K, B, B12.
Natural sustained energy--strengthens qi, restores deep energy reserves depleted by prolonged stress. Acts directly on adrenals, increases overall stamina and endurance of the body. Increases ATP production by 30%, delivering more energy to the body. Will not cause harm to the body and nervous system like prolonged use of caffeine does
- Brain function & cognition-improves blood flow to brain, clears mental fog and confusion, used in alleviating inflammation in brain, balances the flow of hormones between the pituitary and adrenal systems. Neuroprotective.
- Lung tonic--increases red blood cells that deliver oxygen throughout the body, supports the bronchial tissue, alleviates chronic cough & bronchial bleeding, reduces bouts of asthma and bronchitis, assists various lung infections, improves shallow breathing.
- Kidney tonic--used in treating kidney infection, restores vital kidney essence and "jing"--the body's inherited bank of qi stored in the kidneys. Used to treat tinnitus and overall weakness originating in depleted kidney function & aversion to cold temps.
- Improves libido--treats impotence, sexual hypofunction( under-functioning), increases and restores semen, used as an effective aphrodisiac by both men and women for the last 2000 years.
- Strong anti-viral--while it is great for a number of viral infections, it has a special affinity for treating respiratory viruses, and viral infections of the brain and central nervous system. It increases oxygen in mitochondria of the cell, making the cell less inhabitable to viruses.
- Hepatoprotective-- reduces cirrhosis and fibrosis of liver, can help clear hepatitis, treats jaundice.
- Immune Adaptogen--stimulates and normalizes immune system function, assists those with immune dysregulation and auto-immune diseases.
Traditional Chinese Medicine Classification:
It is classified both as yin nourishing, and yang invigorating. This means it can be used safely in a variety of conditions. Restores depleted jing, or regeneration power held within the kidneys. Calms and balances entire nervous system. Strengthens overall vitality and stamina.