Cordyceps has been compared to Asian ginseng as a rare, adaptogenic herb of high esteem—adaptogenic herbs being nontoxic, helping the body adapt to stress of all kinds, bringing it back into balance. In the past, Cordyceps was taken by Chinese royalty, since they were the only ones who had access to it. To this day, wild-crafted versions are pricey, going for as much as $400 for 40 grams.
Fortunately, modern technology has allowed for Cordyceps to be grown in large quantities under controlled environments, making it much more affordable, without using bugs as hosts.
It is said that taking Cordyceps can enhance athletic performance, overcome general weakness and fatigue, improve sexual vigor, strengthen the immune system, promote mental energy and act as a tonic for physical stamina and longevity. Recent research on Cordyceps has found it to have benefits on liver and kidney disorders, elevated cholesterol, low libido and fatigue. It also has anti-cancer effects, antioxidant activity and immune-modulating effects, as well as studies suggesting that it can improve lung function and aerobic capacity.
I typically recommend Cordyceps in capsule form or as a liquid extract—typically two capsules one to two times daily with the goal of getting at least a daily dose of 1,000 mg. Starting doses for liquid extracts are one to two droppers daily. I like companies like Fungi Perfecti and New Chapter.
Allergies to mushrooms are rare, but some people find them difficult to digest.
Whether it’s shaving off your time in the 400-meter freestyle or just improving your walk around the neighborhood, Cordyceps just might be for you.
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