If you’re looking for the best cordyceps supplements to buy this year, then you’ve come to the right place.
You can also get more info by jumping to our Cordyceps Supplements Guide.
Top 10 Cordyceps Supplements
|#1||Host Defense Cordyceps||More Info|
|#2||Aloha Medicinals Pure Cordyceps||More Info|
|#3||Real Herbs Cordyceps||More Info|
|#4||Solaray Cordyceps||More Info|
|#5||Oregon’s Wild Harvest Cordyceps||More Info|
|#6||MRM Cordyceps CS-4||More Info|
|#7||Mushroom Science Cordyceps Cs-4||More Info|
|#8||Paradise Herbs Tibetan Cordyceps||More Info|
|#9||Pure Essence Labs HealthGuard Cordyceps||More Info|
|#10||Perfect Company Cordyceps||More Info|
Cordyceps supplements achieved popularity recently, although in parts of Asia this dietary product derived from a fungus has played a celebrated role in folk medicine for centuries. Some people believe consuming Cordyceps offers a range of wellness benefits, especially for immune system, libido and lung and kidney functions. However, at this point, sweeping anecdotal health claims for this product remain largely unverified.
One indication of the potential importance of Cordyceps supplements: the price of Cordyceps sinensis, a strain cultivated in parts of Tibet and China skyrocketed by 900% during the decade between 1998 and 2008 alone. This supplement enjoys high demand, especially in certain Asian markets.
What is Cordyceps?
Although technically a fungus, most materials refer to Cordyceps as a mushroom. Well over 400 Cordyceps species exist. Most of them occur in Asia, particularly in forests and plateaus in Bhutan, Tibet, and parts of China.
In nature, these mushrooms occur in a variety of distinctive elongated shapes. For instance, some Cordyceps resemble French Fries in appearance, with long tapered forms. Botanists reportedly nicknamed Cordyceps the “caterpillar fungus” when they compared it to climbing caterpillars. A few species of Cordyceps fungus even grow on insects. Growers harvest most Cordyceps on a seasonal basis, between the months of April and August.
Cordyceps generates considerable interest among scientists because of its longstanding use in traditional herbal remedies. Researchers isolated a chemical compound called “cordycepin” from the C. militaris strain, and some initial studies indicate it may hold value as a cancer-fighting agent against skin and lung tumors. The investigation of Cordyceps remains ongoing.
Cordyceps contains Vitamin E and Vitamin K, plus essential amino acids and many sugars. It also includes many trace elements and Vitamins B1, B2 and B12.
Traditional herbalists in China collected wild Cordyceps. They also sometimes grew it using caterpillars as a substrate, a form still available today in many Asian marketplaces. Most manufacturers in Western nations cultivate the vast majority of Cordyceps sold in nutritional supplements by growing the fungus on soybeans for extraction under controlled laboratory conditions.
Benefits of Cordyceps Supplements
Although the potential uses of Cordyceps have generated interest among researchers, controlled studies remain limited in number. Consequently, the alleged benefits remain a matter of disagreement. Many anecdotal reports indicate Cordyceps may hold value.
Potential (but as yet unconfirmed) benefits of Cordyceps fall into five main areas: (1) strengthening the immune system, (2) reducing symptoms of aging, (3) supporting the libido, (4) enhancing athletic performance, (5) promoting better health (especially for lung and kidney related functions).
Some evidence suggests Cordyceps might offer immune-stimulating properties. One study found it assisted adults in reducing asthma symptoms, although another indicated this result did not occur reliably in children over the long term.
In China, herbalists often used Cordyceps in an effort to enhance longevity and promote a sense of wellness in the elderly. Dr. Weil on his website recommends the responsible use of Cordyceps supplements for two months in order to regain vitality.
In Asia, Cordyceps remains a popular treatment for male impotence. Anecdotal evidence suggest it renews sexual vigor in people with a low libido, for instance. (Perhaps for this reason, it apparently constituted a popular ingredient of aphrodisiac formulations in Tibet centuries ago.)
Considerable scientific debate surrounds the utility of Cordyceps in enhancing the performance of athletes. While the WebMD website indicates it evidently proves ineffective for this purpose, many athletes in the past have claimed to obtain benefits from taking this nutritional supplement. The coach of an acclaimed Chinese female track team reportedly attributed some of his team’s successes to taking Cordyceps supplements. Yet a study published in 2004 in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism disputed the effectiveness of Cordyceps.
Extensive unconfirmed anecdotal claims for benefits from the use of Cordyceps surround its use by people with a variety of disease conditions. Preliminary research suggests it may hold value for improving liver function in people diagnosed with Hepatitis B, and in reducing damage to the kidneys in elderly patients taking prescription amikracin. It has also reportedly assisted patients taking cyclosporine after kidney transplants. Although consuming Cordyceps for two years did not improve the survival rate of kidney transplant patients, according to one study this supplement did help reduce complications and infections. Anecdotal claims maintain it offers benefits for lung conditions such as bronchitis, coughing and certain respiratory problems.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Since some controlled studies suggest Cordyceps holds benefits for certain health conditions, it makes sense this dietary supplement might also offer significant potential side effects, too. Medical experts caution if it does upregulate the immune system, then it could cause potential problems for some people with auto-immune diseases, e.g. conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and lupus.
Cordyceps produces some blood thinning effects. The WebMD websites recommends discontinuing the use of this supplement at least two weeks prior to surgery since it may increase the risk of bleeding and slow blood clotting. For this reason, people with bleeding disorders should consult with a physician before taking Cordyceps. Dr. Weil cautions patients with blood cancers should not consume this supplement because it will ramp up the body’s production of certain types of progenitor red blood cells.
Since research remains ongoing into Cordyceps, experts recommend pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume this supplement due to the lack of information about its possible impacts. Diabetics should seek medical advice first also because this supplement will increase the levels of some important enzymes involved in glucose transport.
People taking prescription medications should also check with their physicians before consuming Cordyceps supplements. Studies indicate it interacts with certain prescription medications, including Cyclophosphamide and immunosuppressant medications. It potentially impacts prednisolone levels also.
How to Take Cordyceps Supplements
People around the world consume Cordyceps supplements in a variety of forms. As a mushroom, it remains available as a food, especially in marketplaces in parts of Asia. This fungi has not enjoyed widespread culinary use outside of medicinal soups, however, because of its small size, its expense and its texture.
Most Western supplements manufacturers offer this product in powdered form, capsules or liquid extracts for oral consumption. Consumers reportedly can also locate cordyceps tinctures, apparently for topical applications.
What to Look For in a Good Cordyceps Supplement
Customers enjoy a multitude of options for obtaining excellent Cordyceps supplement formulations. Choosing products from a company which emphasizes care in selecting this fungi and cultivating it under safe, hygienic conditions probably constitutes one of the most important aspects of a good Cordyceps formulation.
In that respect, some news reports have occurred about potentially serious problems with some Asian Cordyceps supplements utilizing wild mushrooms contaminated by heavy metals. The problem of environmental pollution in parts of China has posed a problem for some producers.
With elevated market prices for this supplement, problems have also arisen when some vendors insert small twigs or wires into the mushrooms to transport them; this practice increases the weight of the Cordyceps sold on a per gram basis. Yet it also sometimes inadvertently contaminates the supplement with lead or other metallic toxins.
Although not discussed widely in the literature, the use of caterpillars as a substrate for Cordyceps in some Asian markets may also hold perils from a safety standpoint. If the caterpillars themselves harbor insect parasites (or parasitic eggs), then potentially these pathogens might pass to unwary consumers via medicinal broths unless manufacturers exercise great care during Cordyceps production.
Most Western Cordyceps supplement manufacturers produce this product under controlled conditions from fungi grown on soybeans (not caterpillars). Plant-based manufacturing processes would seem preferable from the standpoint of avoiding any parasitic contaminants in the Cordyceps supplement formulation.