What exactly is Cordyceps?
Cordyceps belong to that class of fungus that grows on certain caterpillars especially found in the high mountains of China. Supplement manufacturers are able to get enough of the product to sell because Cordyceps will reproduce in the laboratory.
Cordyceps have a variety of uses. It is used to treat coughs, respiratory problems, chronic bronchitis, kidney diseases, nighttime urination, anemia, male sexual disorders, irregular pace of heartbeat, liver infections, high cholesterol, dizziness bone weakness, abnormal weight loss, ringing in the ears and to deal with opium addiction.
Apart from that, it is also widely used to make the immune system stronger and better, boosting athletic performance, slowing down the process of aging, encouraging longer lifespan and improving liver function for people affected by Hepatitis B.
A large chunk of the world’s population uses cordyceps sinensis as a stimulant (just like other drugs), tonic and sometimes as an “adaptogen” which is used to increase energy levels, enhance stamina and reduce fatigue.
How does it work?
Cordyceps sinensis might improve your immune system by performing stimulation in cells and certain chemicals in the immune system. It may also support activity against cancer cells by helping in shrinking tumor size specifically for lung and skin cancer.
Cordyceps Sinensis Uses and Effectiveness
It has been shown by studies that taking cordyceps has or maybe a combination of cordyceps and roseroot has proven inefficient in improving endurance in trained male cyclists.
On the other hand, insufficient evidence has been collected to list down health benefits of Cordyceps sinensis;
● Kidney injury caused by antibiotics like aminoglycoside and nephrotoxicity
Early research clearly shows that the usage of cordyceps sinensis along with the drug amikacin might aid in reducing kidney damage caused by these antibiotics.
Early researches have shown that consuming cordyceps alone can reduce asthma symptoms in adults. However, there is contradictory research which suggests that taking cordyceps with other herbs for a period of six months does not reduce the need for medication or improve asthma symptoms amongst children.
● Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD)
Early research has also shown that taking cordyceps with standard therapy for chronic kidney disease may assist in improving kidney function. It should not go unnoticed that most of these studies do not fulfill the standard criteria of credibility and reliability and were conducted for a period of six months or even less than that.
● Kidney damage caused by contrast dyes also known as contrast induced nephropathy
Some early research suggests that taking cordyceps while taking an exam using contrast dye reduces the chance of kidney damage caused by the dye. However, other early research shows no such benefit.
● Kidney damage caused by cyclosporine
Scientists have collected early evidence that consuming cordyceps along with cyclosporine can control kidney damage caused by cyclosporine in people with kidney transplant.
● Inflammation (swelling) of the liver as a result of Hepatitis B virus
Early researchers show that taking by way of mouth might improve liver functions in patients affected by Hepatitis B. However, it seems to be less productive than the supplement astragalus and fo-ti.
● Kidney transplant
Some of these early research show that taking cordyceps with low dose cyclosporine can improve one year survival chances, prevent potential transplant rejection and reduce the risk of infection similar to taking normal dose cyclosporine in people with a kidney transplant. Apart from that, cordyceps increases kidneys transplant survival rate and infection similar to azathioprine when taken with other supplements to prevent rejection. It might lower the risk of long term impaired kidney function which is also known as chronic allograft nephropathy, the major cause of kidney transplant failure.
● Sexual problems in male prevent sexual activities
Early research shows that taking a certain type of cordyceps product (CordyMax Cs-4) for a session of forty days might improve improve wex drive in people with relatively low sex drive.
- Breathing disorders
- Lung disorders Bronchitis)
- Decreasing fatigue
- Frequent urination at night
- Heart arrhythmia
- Liver problems
- High cholesterol
- Promote longer lifespan
- Ringing in the ears
- Other conditions
Side Effects and Safety Concerns
Several studies show that it is safer for people to take in cordyceps by mouth. It might cause mild side effects such as diarrhea, uncomfortable constipation and abdominal discomfort.
● Pregnancy and breastfeeding
There is not much reliable information to allow safe consumption of cordyceps during pregnancy and breastfeeding or what the consequences may be. Therefore, it is suggested to avoid its use during such conditions to be on the safe side.
● Autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or other conditions
When you take cordyceps by mouth, the drug might cause your immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of autoimmune diseases. If one is suffering from such conditions, it is best to avoid the use of cordyceps.
● Bleeding problems
When taken by mouth, cordyceps might affect blood clotting. People with bleeding disorders should not take cordyceps.
Cordyceps could also affect the flow of blood during a surgery. One should stop taking cordyceps before a surgery.
It is always advisable to stay cautious with the combinations.
It is used to decrease the functionality of the immune system while cordyceps are more likely to increase the immune system. Taking cordyceps with cyclophosphamide may affect the performance of cyclophosphamide.
● Medications which decrease the immune system interacts with cordyceps
Cordyceps are often paired with medications which are specifically used for decreasing the immune system. Some of these medications are basiliximab (Simulect), daclizumab ( Zenapax), mycophenolate (CellCept) and others.
This is sometimes used to decrease the immune system. Intrusion by cordyceps might make prednisolone less effective for decreasing the immune system.
Dosage of cordyceps depends upon a number of factors. These might include health, user’s age, past disorders, etc. At this point, no reliable scientific information is there to identify the appropriate range of doses for cordyceps. One should always take help of the professional advice before making any use of cordyceps
We hope that the above article has increased your knowledge and awareness about cordyceps sinensis.