The Top 10 Benefits of Cordyceps that Support Your Health & Wellness

Have you heard of Cordyceps mushrooms? Maybe you have from the show, The Last of Us... Or maybe you've already been taking them for years as a health supplement. Cordyceps has caused quite the stir in recent social media and even had a scandal dating back to the 1993 Olympics. Cordyceps tends to create a lot of controversy in the media so let's dive in to its history of use, all the juicy drama, and the top ten reasons you might want to add Cordyceps to your diet. 

Meet Cordyceps: the most misunderstood mushroom in the world. These fascinating fungi have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their numerous health benefits that range from sexual dysfunction to lung health. Cordyceps mushrooms are most known for their ability to increase energy levels and enhance athletic performance. 

Cordyceps History of Use in TCM

Cordyceps mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine due to their reputed health benefits. In Chinese medicine, Cordyceps is considered a highly valuable tonic and is believed to have properties that can help boost the immune system, improve lung function, and increase energy and endurance.

Historical records suggest that Cordyceps was first used by Chinese herbalists during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and became more popular during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). The mushroom grows naturally in the mountainous regions of China and Tibet, and it was traditionally harvested by hand by local farmers. 

Cordyceps was considered a luxury item and was once only reserved for use by the imperial family and wealthy elites. Today, Cordyceps is still widely used in Chinese medicine and is also a popular health supplement around the world.

Cordyceps Scandal: 1993 Olympics

In 1993, the Chinese female running team made headlines by breaking world records in the 1,500, 3,000, and 10,000 meter races, which raised serious suspicions of doping or steroid use. Despite rumors and headlines of alleged steroid use, their drug tests came back clean with no traces of performance-enhancing drugs, putting those rumors to rest. 

What was their secret to success? 

The team's coach revealed to reporters that he had been administering doses of "Cordyceps" to the athletes before each training session. 

This incident brought alternative medicine to the forefront, not only for immune health but also for physical performance. Cordyceps, a medicinal mushroom, was used for its energizing properties that boost the body's metabolism and improve respiratory function, ultimately enhancing the athletes' performance.

Top 10 Benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom

1. Boosts Immune System

Cordyceps is known for its immune-boosting properties, as it contains beta-glucans, which stimulate the production of immune cells. This can help your body fight off infections and diseases, and keep you healthy.

2. Increases Energy

Cordyceps is also known for its energy-boosting properties, as it improves oxygen utilization and enhances cellular energy production. This can help you feel more alert and energetic throughout the day.

3. Enhances Athletic Performance

Cordyceps has been shown to enhance athletic performance by increasing oxygen uptake, reducing fatigue, and improving endurance. This makes it a popular supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Real life evidence: In 1993, two women at the National Games in Beijing broke the world records for the 1500, 3000 and 10000 meter runs. When asked what attributed to their record-breaking wins, their coach gave credit to the “revitalizing” properties of Cordyceps.

4. Improves Respiratory Function

Cordyceps has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis. It can improve lung function and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

5. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Cordyceps has been shown to regulate blood sugar levels, making it a potential treatment for diabetes. It can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance, which can help control blood sugar levels.

6. Lowers Cholesterol

Cordyceps has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

7. Anti-Aging Properties

Cordyceps has anti-aging properties, as it contains antioxidants that can protect against free radical damage and oxidative stress. This can help reduce the signs of aging and promote longevity.

8. Improves Sexual Function

Cordyceps has been used in traditional Chinese medicine as an aphrodisiac, and modern research has shown that it can improve sexual function in both men and women. It can increase libido, improve erectile function, and reduce sexual dysfunction.

9. Anti-Cancer Properties

Cordyceps has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, as it contains compounds that can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. It can also boost the immune system to help fight off cancer. According to one article, Cordyceps has been registered as an official medicine in China since 1964.

10. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Cordyceps has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate pain and discomfort. This makes it a potential treatment for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Short-term and Long-term Benefits of Cordyceps 

Consuming Cordyceps mushrooms can provide numerous benefits for both the short-term and long-term. In the short-term, consuming Cordyceps mushrooms can increase energy levels, boost the immune system, and improve athletic performance. It can also help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and improve respiratory function. Over the long-term, consuming Cordyceps mushrooms regularly can lead to even greater benefits, such as improved sexual function, anti-aging properties, and even anti-cancer properties. Incorporating Cordyceps mushrooms into your daily routine can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellness, both in the short-term and for years to come.

Why Researchers are Interested in Cordyceps

Researchers are currently exploring a variety of potential health benefits associated with cordyceps mushrooms. Some of the areas of research include their potential anti-cancer properties, their ability to improve heart health, and their potential as a treatment for diabetes. Other areas of interest include their anti-inflammatory properties, potential benefits for the respiratory system, and their ability to improve cognitive function. Additionally, researchers are exploring new ways to extract and utilize the beneficial compounds found in Cordyceps mushrooms, such as polysaccharides and cordycepin. As interest in these fascinating fungi continues to grow, it's likely that even more research will be conducted in the years to come.

The Best Ways to Consume Cordyceps

Luckily, there are a variety of ways to consume Cordyceps mushrooms to reap their health benefits. One popular method is in powder form, which can be added to smoothies, coffee, or other drinks. You can also find Cordyceps mushrooms in tincture form, which can be added to water or other liquids. For those who prefer a more convenient option, Cordyceps mushrooms are also available in gummy form. Additionally, you can find Cordyceps mushrooms in capsules or tablets for easy consumption. With so many options available, it's easy to find a method of consumption that works best for you and your lifestyle.

How Cordyceps Helps Symptoms of Anxiety

Cordyceps mushrooms are also believed to have adaptogenic properties, meaning they can help the body adapt to stress and anxiety. When consumed regularly, Cordyceps mushrooms may help regulate the body's stress response and promote a sense of calm and relaxation. They may also help improve sleep quality, which can in turn help reduce stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, Cordyceps mushrooms contain compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which can also contribute to lower stress levels. Whether you're dealing with day-to-day stressors or are looking for a natural way to manage anxiety, incorporating cordyceps mushrooms into your routine may be a beneficial option to consider.


In conclusion, Cordyceps is a highly valued mushroom with numerous health and wellness benefits. From boosting the immune system and increasing energy, to enhancing athletic performance and improving respiratory function, Cordyceps has a lot to offer. Whether you are an athlete, a health enthusiast, or someone looking to improve your overall well-being, Cordyceps may be worth considering.

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