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Organic Cordyceps Mushroom Extract

This mushroom helps to improve energy, and helps with asthma management, as well as having good anti-viral actions
Availability: In stock

Directions: 1/2-1 teaspoon diluted twice daily as a part of a balanced diet

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May not be appropriate for those suffering from hormone dependent cancers (prostate and breast) and its hypoglycemic properties mean that it should be used with caution by those taking insulin.

If you are taking any other medication, or have any health issues please check with one of our qualified medical herbalists before using one of our herbal products. Seek advice if pregnant.

Max Dose: 1/2-1 teaspoon diluted twice daily as a part of a balanced diet.

Fungi Fun Facts

Medicinal Mushrooms - A brief guide written by Martin Powell.

Martin is a biochemist and a Chinese herbalist who has worked with mushroom nutrition for over 20 years. He lectures at the University of Westminster and is the author of Medicinal Mushrooms - a Clinical Guide. As well as running a clinical practice he continues to research mushrooms health benefits and runs seminars on their clinical uses for doctors and health care professionals in the UK and world wide. D.Atkinson Mushroom Extracts All of our mushroom extracts are produced for us by Martin Powell. Our products are practitioner strength and are produced to the highest standards.

Disclaimer: The information below is intended for educational use and is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Anyone who is experiencing any symptoms, has been diagnosed with or suspects they may have a medical condition should contact a medical doctor or appropriately qualified health professional.


Main active components

The ability of Cordyceps to increase metabolic efficiency and promote adaptation to harsh environments is largely due to the nucleoside derivatives (cordycepin, etc.) that it produces, which are also responsible for many of its unique health promoting properties. In addition, polysaccharide fractions have shown significant immunomodulatory activity.

Traditional use

Because of its rarity, Cordyceps was traditionally restricted to the few who could afford it. Its main uses were in thetreatment of asthma and erectile dysfunction, and as a tonic for the elderly and those recovering from long illness.

Main Health Benefits

Energy: In the same way that Cordyceps species help their hosts survive in oxygen-poor environments, Cordyceps-based products are used to enhance athletic performance and endurance by increasing the efficiency of energy metabolism. Studies in healthy elderly subjects using Cs-4 (see below - 3g/ day) showed significant increases in aerobic capacity and resistance to fatigue, while other research has shown increases in energy output and oxygen capacity in sedentary humans taking C.sinensis and increased endurance in animals given C. militaris1, 2.

Asthma/COPD: As well as increasing efficiency of energy metabolism, Cordyceps provides valuable support for those, including children, with impaired lung function from conditions such as asthma and COPD, based on an adult dose of 3g/day3 .

Anti-viral: The nucleoside analogues found in C. militaris and hybridized cordyceps species function as reverse transcriptase inhibitors, inhibiting viral replication. At the same time, cordyceps’ polysaccharides have been shown to enhance the immune response to viral infections3 .

Cancer: Because of its combination of immune-modulating polysaccharides and nucleoside derivatives, many practitioners consider Cordyceps to be one of the most useful mushrooms for helping improve treatment outcomes in cancer, with cordycepin reported to induce apoptosis (cancer cell death) in multiple cancer cell lines, including: oral, colorectal, bladder, leukaemia, melanoma, multiple myeloma, breast and prostate.

Diabetes: Cordyceps provides useful support for cases of diabetes, with actions including:

• Triggering release of insulin

• Increasing hepatic glucokinase

• Increasing sensitivity of cells to insulin

Again, cordycepin and related nucleoside derivatives appear to playa key role in cordyceps’ antidiabetic action and cordycepin has also been shown to suppress the chronic low-grade inflammation associated with diabetes4, 5.

Infertility: In addition to its traditional use for improving libido and treating erectile dysfunction, Cordyceps can be beneficial for both male and female infertility, with increases in steroid hormone production and improvements in testes morphology, sperm quantity and quality at a dose of 3-4.5g/day6, 8.

Kidney protective: The traditional use of Cordyceps to support the kidneys is backed-up by reports of improved kidney function in patients with chronic renal failure and speedier recovery in patients with antibiotic-induced kidney damage3 .

Hepatoprotective: Cordyceps can be a beneficial supplement for those suffering from impaired liver function, with inhibition of fibrosis and reductions in liver enzymes reported for liver conditions, including hepatitis and liver steatosis (fatty liver)9.


Nowadays the Cordyceps available in supplement form is almost exclusively sourced from commercially cultivated material, dramatically increasing its availability, lowering its cost and making it suitable for vegetarians and vegans.The move to cultivated material has led to a number of different Cordyceps products being available:

• Cordyceps sinensis - Strains of wild-harvested Cordyceps that have then been cultivated on grainbased substrates(solid fermentation / mycelial biomass technology).

• Cordyceps militaris - C. militaris has long been a common substitute for C. sinensis and, as C. militaris contains higher levels of cordycepin than C. sinensis, it may even be that it is at least partially responsible for the reverence in which C.sinensis has traditionally been held. Now artificially cultivated and harvested as fruiting bodies,as well as by solid fermentation / mycelial biomass technology. Sometimes called Cordyceps Flowers and known in Chinese as Yong Chong Cao. • Cs-4 - Not strictly Cordyceps, Cs-4 has been identified as Paecilomyces hepiali, an organism isolated from wild C. sinensis specimens by China’s Academy of Sciences and selected for ease of cultivation by large-scale liquid fermentation technology.

Although most studies have used 3.0 or 4.5g/day, supplementation of 1.5g/day can provide useful support for long term use. Because Cordyceps has been shown to increase levels of male and female sex hormones, it may not be appropriate for those suffering from hormone dependent cancers (prostate and breast) and its hypoglycemic properties mean that it should be used with caution by those taking insulin.

References: 1. Effect of Cs-4® (Cordyceps sinensis) on Exercise Performance in Healthy Older Subjects: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper C. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May; 16(5): 585-590. 2. Effect of medicinal plant extracts on forced swimming capacity in mice. Jung K, Kim IH, Han D. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004 Jul;93(1):75-81. 3. Medicinal value of the caterpillar fungi species of the genus Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes). A Review. Holliday J, Cleaver M. Int J Med Mushr, 2008;10(3):219- 234. 4. Hypoglycemic activity of polysaccharide, with antioxidation, isolated from cultured Cordyceps mycelia. Li SP, Zhang GH, Zeng Q, Huang ZG, Wang YT, Dong TT, Tsim KW. Phytomedicine. 2006 Jun;13(6):428-33. 5. Cordycepin Suppresses Expression of Diabetes Regulating Genes by Inhibition of Lipopolysaccharide-induced Inflammation in Macrophages. Shin S, Lee S, Kwon J, Moon S, Lee S, Lee CK, Cho K, Ha NJ, Kim K. Immune Netw. 2009 Jun;9(3):98-105. Medicinal Mushrooms A brief guide written by Martin Powell. 6. Effect of long-term administration of cordycepin from Cordyceps militaris on testicular function in middle-aged rats. Sohn SH et al. Planta Med. 2012 Oct;78(15):1620-5. 7. Improvement of sperm production in subfertile boars by Cordyceps militaris supplement. Lin WH et al. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(4):631-41. 8. Upregulation of Steroidogenic Enzymes and Ovarian 17β-Estradiol in Human Granulosa-Lutein Cells by Cordyceps sinensis Mycelium. Huang BM, Hsiao KY, Chuang PC, Wu MH, Pan HA, Tsai SJ. Biology of Reproduction May 1, 2004 vol. 70no. 5 1358-1364. 9. Inhibitive Effect of Cordyceps sinensis on Experimental Hepatic Fibrosis and its Possible Mechanism - Liu YK, Shen W. World J Gastroenterol. 2003 Mar; 9(3):529-33.

Cordyceps (Paecilomyces hepiali)

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