Cordyceps is a highly valued medicinal parasitic fungus that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Its Chinese name "Dong Chong Xia Cao" means "winter worm, summer grass".
The most well-known species of Cordyceps is the Cordyceps Sinensis, also know as the Chinese caterpillar fungus. In nature, it is found only at high altitudes within the Himalayan plateau. Because of the difficulties involved in its harvesting, Cordyceps has always been one of the most expensive medicines used by man. This high price made it accessible almost exclusively to members of the Emperor's court and Chinese nobility.
Traditional Uses of Cordyceps
In the Ming Dynasty, the emperor's court physicians studied the Cordyceps formula, and through their experience and wisdom, improved on its usage. Cordyceps then became a respected TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), available only for the imperial palace.
Cordyceps has been used to make Traditional Chinese Medication for the management of kidney health as well as to strengthen the lungs. The medicinal properties of Cordyceps makes it very helpful for relief of cough and other respiratory conditions.
Cordyceps in Modern Society
While a rarity in nature, modern technological advances in cultivation have made the prospect of affordable Cordyceps a reality. The first successful Cordyceps cultivation was achieved in 1972 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The cultivated Cordyceps was derived from a master strain of Cordyceps. Unlike the wild form, the cultivated Cordyceps is suitable for vegetarians.
Benefits of Cordyceps
- Support lung and respiratory system
- Treat chronic cough and dyspnea of deficiency type
- Increase energy and vitality
- Delay ageing process
- Boost immune system
Cordyceps boosts our energy levels by increasing body's production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), our body's source of energy. As we age or are under stress, our energy levels and focus can be compromised; this is why cordyceps are popular among older individuals, or those who needs an immune and energy boost.