Before medications were prescribed, Natural supplements were used as a regular part of our medical culture for over a thousand years. And it still is. Due to the cultural shifts, modern scientists are experimenting and recommending the public use herbs as both a cure and preventive measure for ailments. Most medicinal herbs are much safer than over-the-counter medications and provide many health benefits that prescribed medications wouldn’t.
Mushrooms are grouped into the fungi family. But despite the stigma, over two hundred fungi have benefits besides being aesthetics for gardens. Mushrooms are incredibly healthy and contain several nutrients our bodies need to function. Several of them are even used as a medicinal remedy. One example includes the cordyceps mushrooms.
What are cordyceps mushrooms? Why is it important?
Cordyceps are one of over three hundred edible mushrooms that grow worldwide. The oldest written use was dated back two thousand years ago as a medicinal herb in China and Tibet. They were mainly to help increase energy, stamina, improve the immune system, and much more. Scientists have discovered that the mushroom provides far more benefits to our daily health and why.
Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits
1) Energy Boost
Cordyceps are known to increase the body’s adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, which is essential for delivering energy to the muscles. It can improve how your body uses oxygen, giving you more stamina, Energy, and Endurance.
Cordyceps mushrooms contain several bioactive compounds that provide a range of health benefits that improve your Respiratory Health, including lung health support. It has the potential to be effective in reducing shortness of breath and other respiratory issues by opening airways and maintaining free and easy breathing.
When exposed to cordyceps, unique proteins that increase inflammation become suppressed and reduce inflammation. This can reduce pain, swelling, weight loss, and other side effects. However, the rash isn’t all bad. It’s our body’s natural response to what it perceives as ‘danger.’
Inflammation is caused when the body sends cells to defend its host against a foreign entity, such as an irritant, thorn, or pathogen (bacteria, viruses, and other infection-causing organisms). Additionally, inflammation is effective in healing injuries. Nevertheless, too much can lead to a range of ailments like heart disease, depression, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, cancer, etc.
Though being a tell-tell sign of many problems that may be affecting our bodies, it’s just as valid to want to ease the discomfort it causes, and one way to do that is by using cordyceps.
3) Kidney Health
Levels of creatinine in the blood reflect the amount of muscle a person has and the amount of kidney function. Men with normal kidney function should have approximately 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams/deciliters (mg/dL) of creatinine. In contrast, women would have between 0.5 to 1.1 mg/dL of creatinine. A higher level of this chemical isn’t ideal and can be associated with kidney issues.
However, more studies need to be done before cordyceps wouldn’t be questioned on its benefits. It has shown results to support these uses. Cordyceps may lower creatinine levels in people with chronic kidney disease and protects the kidneys from toxic drugs, complications of diabetes, and transplant rejection. It also helps Blood Sugar Regulation.
4) Sexual Health
According to research, it is estimated that about 35 to 75% of men with diabetes are likely to experience some degree of erectile dysfunction. Cordyceps mushrooms mimic the properties of insulin, which offers help to people with diabetes, improves blood pressure, and controls cholesterol.
Additionally, cordyceps mushrooms aid in the production of sperm cells. Its protein structure resembles the luteinizing hormone. This hormone is responsible for stimulating spermatogenesis, the process by which sperm cell production occurs.
5) Immune System Support
The immune system’s main job is to fight invading organisms from entering and damaging the body. Most immune system cells are produced in the bone marrow. These cells move to different organs and tissues through the bloodstream.
Parts of the immune system
The immune system comprises two main parts: the innate and the adaptive (specialized) immune system.
● Innate immune system
This is the body’s first line of defense against germs entering our body. It acts way quicker than the adaptive part of the immune system. For instance, any bacteria that have entered the body through wounds are detected and destroyed immediately. However, the innate immune system has limited power to prevent germs from spreading.
The innate immune system has two different ways of defending the host.
Protection by the body’s skin and mucous membranes
Protection by the immune system cells (defense cells) and proteins
● Adaptive immune system
The adaptive immune system takes over if the innate immune system can’t destroy the germs and specifically targets the type of germ that causes infection. But to do that, it first needs to identify the embryo. This means it is slower to respond than the innate immune system, but it is more accurate when it does. It also can “remember” germs, so the adaptive immune system can respond faster the next time a known embryo is encountered.
This memory is also why there are some illnesses you can only get once in your life because afterward, your body becomes “immune.” It takes a few days for this immune system to respond the first time it comes into contact with the germ, but the next time the body can react immediately. The second infection is usually not even noticed or is less severe.
The adaptive immune system is made up of:
Antibodies in the blood and other bodily fluids
T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes ( found in the tissue between the body’s cells ).
Cordyceps mushrooms might help the immune system by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system, making the reaction time to harmful foreign bodies much quicker. It also helps shrink tumors and fight cancer cells.
Recommended dosage and precautions
Most adults can take about 3-6 grams daily for a year. But despite its many nutritional benefits, cordyceps mushrooms can affect medications and cause side effects to vulnerable individuals. It’s explicitly advised against the following individuals.
● People with autoimmune disorders
● Pregnant and breastfeeding women
● Those who had surgery
How to take cordyceps mushrooms?
Cordyceps mushrooms should be taken orally in the morning before a workout. It is not advisable to take it before bed.
Cordyceps mushrooms have been used as medicinal herbs for thousands of years. They can be eaten daily and provide various health benefits, like reducing blood pressure, boosting energy, and improving the immune system. Like any natural remedy, it is always advisable to consult a medical professional before using a medicinal herb, especially if other medications are involved.