Use of cordyceps
Cordyceps sinensis (dong chong xia cao) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for at least 700 years. It is a parasitic fungus that preys on caterpillars in the wild, but is now cultivated on wood and soybeans for ease of harvesting. Cordyceps sinensis (dong chong xia cao) has several uses and is a good herb for general health.
Heart and lungs Cordyceps sinensis (dong chong xia cao) enhances respiratory and cardiac function. The herb is popular among athletes to increase stamina and lung capacity. A study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise Journal revealed that athletes taking 4.5 grams of cordyceps daily had double the oxygen intake of those in the placebo group. Cordyceps sinensis (dong chong xia cao) also lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol while elevating “good” HDL cholesterol. It works by stimulating macrophages, which can adhere to blood vessel walls, clearing them away to remove cholesterol blockages.
Immune System Cordyceps is beneficial for a suppressed immune system because it stimulates the production of immune cells used to resist viruses and bacteria. Its antioxidant properties block free radicals that cause cellular damage and aging, while its anti-inflammatory properties relieve pain.
Anti-cancer Cordyceps sinensis (dong chong xia cao) is a good herb for fighting cancer. Cordyceps can interfere with the division and replication of cancer cells, thus keeping cancer from metastasizing. By stimulating the immune system’s production of T-cells and macrophages, cordyceps also aids in killing cancer cells and can speed recovery.
Other uses Cordyceps is also useful for treating renal diseases, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and male impotence. Two compounds in cordyceps are responsible for the reversal of impotence and stimulating sexual desire–deoxyadenosine and cordycepic acid, also known as mannitol. Cordyceps also protects the kidney and liver from damage due to long-term medications and environmental toxins. For elderly patients, cordyceps can help with mental decline, lack of energy, aging and reduced appetite. Cordyceps is generally safe for everyone, with no side effects, though some people shouldn’t use the supplement without the guidance of a health practitioner, including those with asthma, compromised immune systems and breast cancer.