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Cordyceps

Medicinal Mushroom: Cordyceps Sinensis - Caterpillar Fungus - Cordycepin - TCM

July 25th, 2013 | Author: Master of Herbal Medicine, University of Sydney Australia.

Australia Ch ABC - The Secret Garden (Tibet Cordycpes) - Watch full video, click "Play video" on the website.

Other Names: Caterpillar Fungus, Caterpillar Mushroom, Cs-4, Champignon Chenille, Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, Cordyceps sinensis, Dong Chong Xia Cao, Dong Chong Zia Cao, Hsia Ts'Ao Tung Ch'Ung, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Tochukaso, Vegetable Caterpillar.

Cordyceps is a fungus (mushroom). It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. As cordyceps must be grown in high altitudes, it is somewhat difficult to cultivate and can be expensive. Cordyceps is actually a type of fungus, just like mushrooms. However, it is a very unique and precious type of fungus. The best Cordyceps are found in Si Chuan province of China and the highland of Tibet. Wild Cordyceps are extremely difficult to harvest, here’s a passage from ancient Chinese text to give you some idea of how it’s done. “It has to be collected around the beginning of summer time, before the melting of snow (since it grows on very high altitude). At this time, the stroma (part of the fungus) is just above the thick snow. After this period, the snow melts and all sorts of plants and grasses start to grow and it would be almost impossible to find the Cordyceps.”

With the preparation for the Beijing 2008 Olympics, the price of Cordyceps has skyrocketed. Rumour has it that Chinese government were buying up all the Cordyceps for their athletes. And with the record breaking number of Gold medals the Chinese Olympic athletes had won, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all consuming government supplied Cordyceps!

My recent research has indicated that you’d have to pay $600 Australian dollars for 37.5g of wild Cordyceps. And even at that price, there is not enough stock to go around. People in the know just can’t get enough of it!

Cordyceps has been used as a healing mushroom in China for thousands of years. The first written notation of cordyceps dates back to the Tang Dynasty. It has been through rigorous clinical trials in China and has been used as a prescription medicine there since 1988 under the name of Jin Shui Bao. Cordyceps was introduced to the United States in the mid-19th century. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved cordyceps as a dietary supplement.

Indications:
Provides natural immune system support.
Helps support the respiratory system.
Provides temporary relief from coughing.
Provides temporary relief from coughing.
Formulated to support the kidneys
Formulated to support the liver metabolism and acts as a liver tonic.
Helps calm nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
Aids in the improvement of general wellbeing.

So what make Cordyceps sinensis so special?

Well, in ancient time, only the imperial family and the really powerful and rich had privilege to access Cordyceps sinensis.

So Cordyceps has always carried with it an aura of class, prestige and value.

Obviously it was so sought after because of the wide range of health benefits Cordyceps provide for the person who consumes it.

And Cordyceps is actually quite a wonderful nutritious powerhouse.

Here’s a list of the ingredients:

1. Protein and amino acids: these are essential for life.
2. Nucleic acid: part of our DNA and RNA structure
3. Organic acids: vital in maintenance of our normal body metabolism
4. Polysaccharides: regulate the immune system
5. Vitamin: such as vitamin B1, B12, Vitamin C.
6. Trace elements: these are required by our body to perform the normal functions.

Sources

Balon TW, Jasman AP, Zhu JS. "A fermentation product of Cordyceps sinensis increases whole-body insulin sensitivity in rats." J Altern Complement Med. 2002 Jun;8(3):315-23.

Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. "Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial." J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):585-90.

Colson SN, Wyatt FB, Johnston DL, Autrey LD, FitzGerald YL, Earnest CP. "Cordyceps sinensis- and Rhodiola rosea-based supplementation in male cyclists and its effect on muscle tissue oxygen saturation." J Strength Cond Res. 2005 May;19(2):358-63.

Huang H, Wang H, Luo RC. "Inhibitory effects of cordyceps extract on growth of colon cancer cells." Zhong Yao Cai. 2007 Mar;30(3):310-3.

Jin CY, Kim GY, Choi YH. "Induction of apoptosis by aqueous extract of Cordyceps militaris through activation of caspases and inactivation of Akt in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 Cells." J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2008 Dec;18(12):1997-2003.

Ji DB, Ye J, Li CL, Wang YH, Zhao J, Cai SQ. "Antiaging effect of Cordyceps sinensis extract." Phytother Res. 2009 Jan;23(1):116-22.

Kuo CF, Chen CC, Luo YH, Huang RY, Chuang WJ, Sheu CC, Lin YS. "Cordyceps sinensis mycelium protects mice from group A streptococcal infection." J Med Microbiol. 2005 Aug;54(Pt 8):795-802.

Kumar R, Negi PS, Singh B, Ilavazhagan G, Bhargava K, Sethy NK. "Cordyceps sinensis promotes exercise endurance capacity of rats by activating skeletal muscle metabolic regulators." J Ethnopharmacol. 2011 Jun 14;136(1):260-6.

Ng TB, Wang HX. "Pharmacological actions of Cordyceps, a prized folk medicine." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2005 Dec;57(12):1509-19.

Parcell AC, Smith JM, Schulthies SS, Myrer JW, Fellingham G. "Cordyceps Sinensis (CordyMax Cs-4) supplementation does not improve endurance exercise performance." Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004 Apr;14(2):236-42.

Shi B, Wang Z, Jin H, Chen YW, Wang Q, Qian Y. "Immunoregulatory Cordyceps sinensis increases regulatory T cells to Th17 cell ratio and delays diabetes in NOD mice." Int Immunopharmacol. 2009 May;9(5):582-6.

Zhou X, Gong Z, Su Y, Lin J, Tang K. "Cordyceps fungi: natural products, pharmacological functions and developmental products." J Pharm Pharmacol. 2009 Mar;61(3):279-91.