The Cordyceps sinensis
Chinese caterpillar mushroom – according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, this mushroom supports the kidneys. These organs store our entire physical and mental energy and are therefore considered the root of life. Cordyceps supplies strength, endurance and willpower.
Cordyceps sinensis is a rare, exceptionally valuable mushroom. It can be found in nature primarily on the Tibetan plateau at altitudes of 3000 to 5000 metres. Tibetan yak herders discovered very early on that ingesting the valuable mushroom not only gave their herds special fertility but also improves resistance and regeneration. Since then, Cordyceps sinensis is highly prized in Asia as a tonic for vital energy as well as a natural aphrodisiac.
Cordyceps sinensis grows wild on a type of caterpillar and its fruiting body grows out of it. The brown, thin and finger-shaped mushroom reaches a size of two to four centimetres.
Main areas of use in mycotherapy:
This medicinal mushroom is closely associated with the kidneys, not only the organs but their whole scope of functions in accordance with Traditional Chinese Medicine. This also includes the genital organs, bones, bone marrow and ears.
Cordyceps sinensis has a strengthening effect on the genital organs and the neurological system involved in procreation and sexual drive. The production of sex hormones is positively influenced. The mushroom can therefore be used for all problems pertaining to the genital organs.
Apart from sexual activity, it also raises general physical endurance through its beneficial effect on the respiratory organs and the heart.
Sports performance can be enhanced with this medicinal mushroom. After sport, Cordyceps has a regenerating effect, as the muscle tissue recovers quicker.
The general ability to perform and regenerate under other forms of strong continuous exertion or in convalescence can be improved by Cordyceps sinensis.
It is presumed that this medicinal mushroom supports fat oxidation and beta-oxidation while delaying glycogen usage during physical exertion.
Cordyceps sinensis regulates the immune system, especially the activity of the white blood cells, the macrophages and the natural killer cells. It also has an antibiotic effect.
In cases of kidney function disorders and nephritis, Cordyceps sinensis improves creatinine clearance. Deposits in the renal tubules in autoimmune diseases of the kidneys can be prevented by this mushroom. The release of hormones by the adrenal cortex is regulated, counteracting stress symptoms. As many illnesses can be caused by chronic stress, this mushroom has very versatile uses.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidneys not only harbour our physical but also our mental energy. Cordyceps sinensis can therefore be used very effectively against depression. Frequent side effects such as a lack of willpower and motivation, fear, anxiety and a feeling of emptiness result from a renal weakness. According to studies, it inhibits monoaminoxidase (MAO). In conventional medicine, MAO inhibitors are used to treat depression and other neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, anxiety and compulsive disorders.
The medicinal mushroom Cordyceps sinensis also counteracts cardiac irregularity, strengthens the heart and successfully reduces the lower elevated blood pressure value. The lungs can also be strengthened by this mushroom. There have also been positive experiences in cases of intermittent claudication, asthma and lung infections.
This medicinal mushroom can also achieve improvements to tinnitus. Like all adaptogens, it has an antioxidant effect and protects the liver: superoxide dismutase (SOD) and the glutathione peroxidase are activated by Cordyceps sinensis.
Effects proven by studies:
- the effect of cordycepin is comparable to that of antibiotics: the growth of Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium paraputrificum is prevented. There is no destruction of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, as when using tetracycline and chloramphenicol. This is important, because clostridia can favour the development of cancer
- the macrophages are activated. The entire immune system is activated through a stimulation of the Peyer plaques
- the activity of the natural killer cells is raised
- 1 hour after intake, there is a dose-dependent increase in corticosteroids that can last up to 24 hours
- liver metabolism is improved
- liver fibrosis caused by biliary stasis can be prevented
Main areas of use in mycotherapy:
Indications of medicinally interesting substances in types of Cordyceps are also provided, for example, by yaks. These furry cattle live on the Tibetan high plateaux. During the rutting season, they dig up the “Chinese caterpillar mushroom”, eat it and then really get it on. This and many further medicinal powers of this mushroom are documented in Chinese herb books up to 2000 years old. Apart from the aforementioned effects, Cordyceps serves especially to strengthen the vital energy Qi.
- Young-Joon Ahn, Suck-Joon Park, Sang-Gil Lee, Sang-Cheol Shin, Don-Ha Choi: “Cordycepin: Selective Growth Inhibitor Derived from Liquid Culture of Cordyceps militaris against Clostridium spp. J. Agric”;. Food Chem. 2000, 48, 2744-2748
- Jong-Ho Koh, Kwang-Won Yu, Hyung-Joo Suh, Yang-Moon Choi, Tae-Seok Ahn: “Activation of Macrophages and the Intestinal Immunsystem by an Orally Administered Decoction from Cultured Mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis.”; Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem., 66 (2), 407-411, 2002
- Xu Ren-He, Peng Xiang-E, Chen Guo-Zhen, Chen Guo-Lin: “Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on Natural Killer Activity and Colony Formation of B16 Melanoma”; Chinese Medical Journal, 105 (2):97-101, 1992
- Seu-Mei Wang, Li-Jen Lee, Wan-Wan Lin, Chun-Min Chang: “Effects of a Water-Soluble Extract of Cordyceps sinensis on Steroido-genesis and Capsular Morphology of Lipid Droplets in Cultured Rat Adrenocortical Cells.”; Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 69: 483-489 (1998)
- Noboru Manabe, Miki Sugimoto, …: “Effects of the Mycelial Extract of Cultured Cordyceps sinensis on In Vivo Hepatic Energy Meta-bolism in the Mouse”; Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 70, 85-88 (1996)
- Ji-Xing Nan, Eun-Jeon Park, …: “Antifibrotic Effect of Extracellular Biopolymer from Submerged Mycelial Cultures of Cordyceps militaris on Liver Fibrosis Induced by Bile Duct Ligation and Scission in Rats.”; Arch Pharm Res Vol 24, No 4, 327-332, 2001
- Prof. Dr. med. Ivo Bianchi: “Moderne Mykotherapie”; Hinckel Druck, 2008
- Hobbs, C.: “Medicinal Mushrooms”, Botanica Press, 1995
Note: the described effects are based on taking medicinal mushroom powder made from the whole mushroom. Please consult your therapist before use.