Cordyceps sinensis Cs-4 ( Dong Chong Xia Cao )
Probably the most unusual energizer ever to become popular in the US is Cordyceps. This is a peculiar fungus (Cordyceps sinensis) that grow on certain adult caterpillars native to the high mountains of China. The fruiting bodies of the fungus have long been used in that country to enhance endurance and speed recovery from exhaustion.
Now scientists have been able to grow these fungal cells in artificial cultures, and the harvested product is dried and sold as an adaptogen to enhance stamina, reduce symptoms of fatigue, and energize body systems. These effects are supported by a number of pharmacological and clinical studies carried out in China, but have not been studied in the West.
Cordyceps is among the safest medicinal foods. Research has shown that it may be useful in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, angina pectoris, liver disease and cancer. It is a building block for Gene repair in cell replication. It plays an important role in ATP, AMP (energy) metabolism.
Heart Disease. Various forms of heart disease have been treated with Cordyceps with good results. In one study, over 84 % of patients with cardiac arrhythmia improved following treatment with Cordyceps.
Cholesterol. Clinical studies have shown that Cordyceps can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol, and increase the amount HDL cholesterol in people of all ages. In one study, Cordyceps lowered total cholesterol levels by over 17 %.
Liver Disease. Studies have shown that Cordyceps can help treat some liver diseases. In one clinical trial, cirrhosis of the liver following hepatitis was treated with Cordyceps, which was found to improve symptoms and liver-cell structures dramatically.
Sexual Dysfunction in Men. Cordyceps has an ancient reputation as an effective treatment for male impotence. Its use for this purpose was better known among the royal families and the upper classes who could afford the mushroom.
Kidney Problems. The primary use of Cordyceps in tradition Chinese medicine is in the treatment of kidney disorders. Cordyceps improves kidney function, and in kidney transplant patients, Cordyceps was shown to return levels of infection-fighting T cells to normal.
Respiratory Functions. A preliminary study found that middle-aged and elderly patients who took Cordyceps for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease showed notable improvements.
Disorders of the Immune system. Cordyceps appears to be one of the most adaptive immunomodulators. The mushroom was found to quiet immune cells in patients with abnormally overactive immune systems, and to raise immune system functions in patients with low or compromised immunological activity.
Fatigue. There are many indications for the use of Cordyceps in the treatment of fatigue and weakness, an it is used by athletes and non athletes of all age groups.
Cancer. Significant improvements have been seen in patient with lung cancer who were treated with a combination of Cordyceps and chemotherapy.