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Cordyceps is known be anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and help protect the liver and kidneys. Read more below to find out about all of its health benefits. Also be sure to check out the SelfHacked Secrets ebook, in it we list our favorite substances and what specific health problems they can address. Download the first chapter for free here.

What are Cordyceps?

Cordyceps are medicinal mushrooms that have been known to take thousands of years to produce. Two main types used are Cordyceps sinesis and Cordyceps militaris (R).

Cordyceps has been found mainly in North America, Europe, and Asia (R).

In Cordyceps, there is a wide range of nutritionally important components. This includes various types of essential amino acids, vitamins like B1, B2, B12 and K, different kinds of carbohydrates and various medicinally important polysaccharides, proteins, sterols, nucleosides, and other trace elements (R).

The main constituent of the extract derived from this fungus comprises a novel bio-metabolite called as Cordycepin (3′deoxyadenosine) which has a very potent anti-cancer, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (RR).

It is a general booster for the nervous system, metabolism, and immunity (R).

Health Benefits of Cordyceps

1) Cordyceps Stop Inflammation

Cordyceps militaris inhibits oxidative damage and reduces inflammatory cytokine levels (R).

These mushrooms possess anti-inflammatory activities, and they are good at stopping pain as well (R).

The water extracts of Cordyceps have antioxidant activity in cell culture, so it is possible for the fungi to fight oxidative damage and protect the immune system in humans (R).

2) Cordyceps Helps Fight Cancer

Scientists isolated six compounds from the antitumor fraction of Cordyceps taii mycelia powder. The compounds have cytotoxic activities against cancer cells, and should be the main antitumor compounds of C. taii (R).

They also stop liver and breast cancer cells in both human patients and cell models (R).

C. militaris fruiting body also has tumor cell growth inhibitory activity in several human tumor cell lines (R).

3) Cordyceps Can Help Treat Diabetes

Cordyceps sinensis improves the activity and secretory function of insulin-secreting cells, suggesting an alternative approach to treating type 2 diabetes (R).

C. militaris has the ability to reduce blood glucose, decrease blood lipids, reduce kidney injury, and lower inflammatory factors. C. militaris fruit body extract, a safe pharmaceutical agent, has great potential as a new treatment for diabetic patients, especially those with kidney problems (R).

It also possesses a strong capability to lower glucose levels and is a more economical alternative for diabetes treatment (R).

4) Cordyceps Protects The Brain

Cordyceps alleviates short-term memory impairment. It showed therapeutic effects through inhibiting cerebral ischemia (that occurs when there isn’t enough blood flow to the brain to meet metabolic demand) -induced cell death in the brain (R).

C. sinesis extract lowered stress and reduced fatigue in mice. It also reduced depression symptoms (R, R).

5) Cordyceps Protect the Kidneys

Chinese medicine has traditionally used it to protect the kidneys from dysfunction (R).

C. sinensis is used as an antirejection agent in maintenance treatment for kidney transplantation recipients in China (R).


  • Altered levels of inflammatory cytokines including interleukins, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, intercellular adhesion molecule 1, vascular adhesion molecule 1, tumor necrosis factor-α, 6-keto-prostaglandin F1α, and nuclear transcriptional factor subunit NF-κB p65 reverted to normal levels upon treatment with CM (R).
  • The IC50 value of compound 2 against human gastric cancer cell line SGC-7901 was 5.99 μmol/L, which was less than the half value of cisplatin, and had lower cytotoxicity to normal cells in comparison with cisplatin (R).
  • With treatment by CS for 4 weeks, the elevated levels of both fasting blood glucose and fasting insulin in the rats with type 2 diabetes were significantly lower. The insulin sensitivity index is reversed (R).
  • It suppressed cerebral ischemia-induced cell proliferation in the hippocampal dentate gyrus due to the reduced apoptotic neuronal cell death (R).
  • When the HW fraction (150 mg/kg/d) was given to rats for 8 d including a 48 h stress period, it suppressed the weight changes of the adrenal gland, spleen, thymus, and thyroid (R).

Safety and Dosage

Long term consumption does not cause any toxic effects (R).

Cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding in people with bleeding disorders (R).

The effects of cordyceps depend on the age and health of the user. There is no dosage guideline available (R).

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