Could this medicinal mushroom help you feel better and perform better overall? Cordyceps has been found to build lean muscle and it’s good for energy and endurance, so you can use it instead of coffee to boost your energy levels without burning your adrenals. It’s a stress–buster too! 

A recent pilot study found that cordyceps was able to reduce pain, improve physical activity levels and improve energy in people with arthritis. Arthritis is very common and affects around 10 million people in the UK. It causes inflammation and pain in the joints and does not only affect older people. This study followed people with knee arthritis who took cordyceps as part of a mushroom blend for 3 months. At the end of 3 months, the pain was reduced by 23.4%, mobility was improved and stiffness decreased, plus pain was reduced by 20%. 

Heart health: Medicinal mushrooms, including cordyceps, contain beta-glucans which are beneficial sugars called polysaccharides/which are complex carbohydrates found occurring naturally in fungi. Beta-glucans are a source of soluble fibre and have been shown in research studies to reduce high cholesterol. Even better than that, cordyceps has been found to improve heart arrhythmia and is even recommended as a treatment for arrhythmia in China.

Could cordyceps be an aphrodisiac? Revered as a sexual tonic in Asia for over a thousand years, it was first recorded as an aphrodisiac in the 15th century. Because of its ability to improve energy levels and physical stamina, it has been suggested that cordyceps could be used as a type of natural Viagra. However, studies to date have only involved mice but they have been promising and it has been suggested that this wonder mushroom could be used to improve your sex life.  

This amazing medicinal mushroom has also been found to help alleviate stress and reduce feelings of anxiety. Cordyceps is an adaptogen, which means that it can support your body and help it to adapt to stress, be it mental or physical stress. It stimulates the adrenal glands and helps to regulate the nervous system, which is the system that becomes overstimulated when you experience chronic stress. 

This has been evidenced in a double-blind trial that found Cordyceps acted as an endocrine regulator. It follows that the use of this mushroom could help to normalise the physiological effects of stress on the thyroid and other endocrine glands, such as the adrenals and pituitary gland. 

Boost your performance: Cordyceps can increase energy and reduce recovery time.  

Cordyceps increases our production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is a coenzyme that is used to transport energy within our cells. Every cell in your body uses ATP for energy, so as you can imagine, it is vital to our daily lives. 

Research has found that after 3 weeks of taking Cordyceps sinensis, the adenosine it produces can increase your resistance to fatigue by 73%. This is really important for anyone doing exercise or anything where your body might need more energy. 

Another study found that cordyceps improved exercise performance in 18-26-year-olds. Participants took either a mushroom blend containing cordyceps or a placebo and after three weeks those taking the mushroom blend showed improved tolerance to high-intensity exercise whereas the placebo group did not show any significant differences. Further research found the same positive effects in older adults.

Try: Cordyceps Vital Powder Superfood by Hifas da Terra

words by Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart