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Cordyceps Is Triggering A Full-Blown Adaptogen Frenzy Around The Globe

In America, cordyceps is known as caterpillar fungus, an eerie name that alludes to the peculiarities of this Tibetan parasite. Rising interest in traditional medicine has sparked a global conversation about the rare species Cordyceps sinensis. The medicinal use of this adaptogen dates back centuries in Himalayan folklore. Today, people seem to be going crazy for it! 

Except, there’s more to the story. You see, cordyceps isn’t your average adaptogen. The not-so medicinal mushroom doesn’t behave like reishi, lion’s mane, or chaga due to its parasitic power over ghost moth caterpillars on the Himalayan mountains. 

“[Cordyceps] kills them and sprouts out of their heads, like a unicorn horn,” explains Kelly Hopping [1], an ecologist with Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.  

Disturbing? That’s an understatement! Yet cordyceps keeps rural communities in Tibet afloat thanks to its popularity on the Chinese market. In fact, for many Tibetan harvesters, the adaptogen is their main source of income. [2] Concerns about overharvesting and extinction are keeping experts busy with the task of coming up with a sustainable, long-term plan for cordyceps. 

High-quality cordyceps can go for $3,000/kg [3], although it’s likely valued at an even higher price now that more people are trying to get their hands on it. Just what makes cordyceps such a commodity item? 

In this article, we’ll breakdown the benefits of cordyceps, plus go over some of the traditional and modern uses. Even though we don’t have clinical trials to prove the power of cordyceps (at least, not yet anyway), we’ll share information from the modest findings available to us now. Let’s dive right in! 

What are the benefits of taking cordyceps?

Elevates libido

You may already know that your libido fluctuates with age. The older you get, the stranger your hormones start to behave. Reproductive hormones like estrogen and testosterone start to gradually decline as you age and may cause issues in the bedroom. 

Cordyceps, funny enough, is nicknamed “Himalayan Viagra.” This fungus has been long-revered as a natural aphrodisiac in Asian culture. The libido-promoting activity of cordyceps could be due to sex hormone excretion in the central nervous system. [4]

For men and women with low sex drive, cordyceps may boost desire and stamina in the bedroom. In the U.S., you’ll usually find this adaptogen extract in powder form blended with other adaptogenic herbs. 

Energy supplements such as our Purpose+ formula might get your juices flowing so you can get back to performing like you used to. 

Skyrockets energy levels 

Even if you sleep eight hours, do you ever wake up still feeling exhausted? People often chalk it up to depression, because when you feel lethargic for days on end, the cycle can definitely bring you down. These things are typically related to a hormone imbalance or nutrient deficiency. 

As an adaptogen, cordyceps may stimulate adrenal function by balancing cortisol (stress) levels. [5] This is important because we rely on cortisol for energy to cope with stress. Next time you feel tired even after a good night of rest, you might benefit from a good ol’ fungus boost. That’s what people in Asia use it for and they swear by it.

Anti-aging properties

Aging is beautiful and natural, not a sad process many people make it out to be. Your body may hurt a little more than it did before and your memory may slip ever now and then, but you can still protect what’s left! Adaptogens like eleuthero, bacopa monnieri, and cordyceps all support cognitive and oxidative functioning. [6]

The more we age, the harder it is for our bodies to fight off free radicals. For this reason, older folks are more susceptible to diabetes and cancer. Cordyceps has both anti-tumor and anti-diabetes properties which makes it a valuable supplement for people in their 30s and up. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this herb is sought out specifically for its anti-aging, adaptogenic aspect. You can try it yourself for a little more pep in your step. 

Boosts immune function

Cordyceps is believed to increase the production of immune-regulating molecules. [7] As is true for most adaptogens, it has antioxidant powers that may build up your body’s response to disease. 

In Tibetan culture, people drink tonics with milk, honey, and cordyceps. Taken early in the morning, this mixture supposedly boosts energy and increases life span, according to field research published by the American Botanical Council. [8]

You can combine your favorite adaptogens and barista add-ins to make your own cordyceps creation for a stronger immune response. Feeling lazy? Our Purpose+ blend has hemp, cordyceps, ginseng, and schisandra already mixed together.

Promotes physical strength

Cordyceps could also amp up your workouts. The fungus’ effect on stamina is apparently the secret to some athletes’ success. In fact, a Chinese track coach gave major props to this herb after three female athletes set world records during the 1993 National Games in Beijing. [9]

Cordyceps might be a better pre-workout supplement for energy, muscle fatigue, and athletic performance, compared to sugary, caffeinated energy shots that cause cramping.   

Supports healthy organs

In addition to its aphrodisiac, stress-reducing properties, cordyceps is prescribed for liver, lung, and kidney issues in East Asia. [10] Preliminary studies reveal the potential of the herb to delay cirrhosis [11], to improve asthma symptoms [12], and to fight renal fibrosis [13].

Healthy organs are your body’s building blocks. Rather than ignore their existence and wait for them to fail, you might be able to stay ahead of illness with cordyceps. Taking herbal supplements not only assists your organs, but empowers you to follow through on health goals. When in doubt, talk to your doctor, especially if you’re already on prescribed medicine. 

What is the best cordyceps supplement? 

With all of this information, you’re probably wondering about the next step: how to get cordyceps. Despite the rarity and popularity of this herb, many companies in America source it from China. 

Our Purpose+ formula features standardized cordyceps for a more potent and higher quality product. We also fused hemp ingredients like CBD and CBG into the blend to raise the stakes. 

energy supplement

The cordyceps craze may seem, on the outside, pretty crazy. It’s a fungus that lives on deceased caterpillars, after all. But there’s always more than meets the eye when it comes to medicinal plants that have been around for ages. 

If anything, the incomparable cordyceps is opening the world of adaptogens to people who could benefit from them. 

  1. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/10/181023130447.htm
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/10/tibetan-caterpillar-fungus-trouble/573607/
  3. https://www.bonappetit.com/story/cordyceps-foraging-tibet
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791983/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16141547/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104994/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881426/
  8. http://cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue83/article3433.html
  9. https://herbarium.usu.edu/fun-with-fungi/caterpillar-fungus
  10. http://mushroaming.com/sites/default/files/blog_images/Winkler%20Caterpillar%20fungus%20sustainability%20IMMC7%202013.pdf
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4621576/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5165155/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3232436/