Originally described as Clavaria militaris by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, Cordyceps militaris is a fungal species belonging to the family Cordycipitaceae. Cordyceps species are club-shaped and with a bright orange head or fruiting body. They originally grew on dead underground pupae in the Tibet mountains and can get up to 8cm high.

Traditionally, Cordyceps species have a long history of medicinal use in ancient China. Known to tonify and strengthen the lungs, nourish, and fortify the kidneys, Cordyceps is considered a life-enhancing herb as it nourishes both the Yin and Yang and enhances general health and wellbeing.

In the Daoist herbal tradition, cordyceps is also known to increase physical performance; reduce recovery time after exertion and cultivate an overall robust feeling in the body, mind, and spirit.

Initially, the rarity made it quite expensive to obtain until Cordyceps militaris was successfully cultivated. Cordyceps militaris is now grown indoors in laboratories using organic cultivation protocols and it has been found to be just as beneficial as any other Cordyceps species.

Some of these health benefits include the following:

Anti-Tumor Activity

Cancer is among the top leading cause of disease-related mortality in the world today. However, there have been limited success in the various anti-cancer therapies so far.

Fortunately, studies have shown that Cordycepin from Cordyceps militaris has great potential to play an evolutionary role in certain diseases like cancer, HIV and SARS. It has been shown to have anti-tumor activities [1] that inhibit cell proliferation in tumor cells through various pathways. Beta-glucan has also been shown to inhibit tumor growth and metastasis (cancer spread). Results from certain studies also suggest that cordycepin may help reduce complications associated with some cancer therapy.

Immune System Boost

The immune system helps the human body fight or fend off diseases. Immuno-modulating agents stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight diseases. Both Cordycepin and beta glucan are proven immuno-modulating agents. They help fight disease through the activation of innate immune cells. Increasing evidence has shown Cordycepin to be a bi-directional modulator [2] with both stimulating and suppressive effects on the immune system.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

While some inflammation is good, excessive inflammation can lead to certain diseases. Research has shown Cordyceps to suppress certain proteins that increase inflammation [3] in the body, making Cordyceps militaris extract to be a useful anti-inflammatory supplement.

Enhances Performance

Together with adenosine, cordycepin improves the way your body uses oxygen especially during exertion. In certain studies, Cordyceps militaris extract was shown to improve exercise performance [4] in both older and younger adults. It achieved this by increasing the VO2 max level, which is a measurement for determining fitness level.

Anti-Aging Agent

In Chinese history, Cordyceps was traditionally used to boost strength and sex drive and reduce fatigue.

It is believed that Cordyceps' antioxidant property explains its anti-aging ability. Antioxidants are molecules that neutralize free radicals which contribute to diseases and aging.

Studies have shown Cordyceps anti-aging ability through the inhibition of oxidative stress. [5]

Effective Management of Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is disease that results from poorly regulated sugar levels in the blood. This is because the body either does not produce enough insulin or cannot respond well to available insulin, the substance responsible for proper blood sugar regulation.

Research has shown Cordyceps to mimic the action of insulin thus properly regulating blood sugar levels. Several studies have proven cordyceps to have a decreasing effect on blood sugar [6] levels. In addition, beta glucan has been tied to better weight management by increasing satiety capacity (ability to feel full) by short chain fatty acid generation through colonic fermentation. All these make for the better management of diabetes mellitus.

Healthier Heart

The benefits of this fungi on heart health are becoming more apparent. The adenosine content of the Cordyceps militaris extract is largely responsible for this. Also, cordyceps has been shown to decrease unhealthy fat levels [7], responsible for several heart diseases, in the blood. In addition, there is proof from several studies that this mushroom extract significantly reduces heart injuries in underlying chronic kidney disease. The benefits of cordyceps have been quite apparent that in China, it is now approved for the treatment of arrythmias.

Enhances Sexual Function

Necessary for normal sperm development, testosterone activates genes in the Sertoli cells which promotes spermatogonia. There is great evidence to show that Cordyceps militaris restores impaired sexual function and improves reproductive activity [8]. It achieves this by boosting testosterone release in the plasma.

Protects The Kidneys

Owing to its apoptotic and anti-inflammatory properties, C. militaris has been shown to protect the kidneys [9]. One of the ways it does this is by inhibiting the proliferation of human mesangial cells [10]. It has been touted that glomerular sclerosis is usually preceded by mesangial proliferation. Also, cordyceps has been largely used in the treatment of several renal diseases.

Treatment Of Liver Diseases and Protection

Cordyceps has been employed in the treatment of chronic hepatitis [11] and other similar diseases. It contributes to the protection and treatment of these liver diseases through several pathways.

Thrombolytic Agent

There have been thrombolytic properties [12] attributed to C. militaris. This gives it the potential to protect against thrombo-embolic disorders such as pulmonary emboli and deep venous thrombosis. Thus, providing an alternative to the other costly thrombolytic agents.

Antimicrobial Benefits

The advent of antibiotics is one of the most significant in the world of science. These antibiotics act in various ways either by interfering with metabolic processes or with the organism structures. Research showed that C. militaris protease extract inhibited the growth of certain fungi in a controlled concentration manner. There have also been other studies that have suggested that an acidic polysaccharide from C. militaris showed therapeutic effects against the influenza virus infection.

Cordyceps militaris extract can also be used in the treatment of so many other ailments like cough, asthma, high blood pressure, cholesterol management and in ensuring better bone health.

Our Cordyceps militaris mushroom product is sourced from the Gutian county in Fujian province and contains three main active components.

These have been specially extracted to maximize the many health benefits derived from the Cordyceps militaris mushroom.