Cordyceps sinensis is a strange-looking mushroom known by its nickname the "caterpillar fungus" because it grows from the dead caterpillars of the Thiradores moth. Cordyceps sinensis is especially popular in Tibet, where it is sold at a high price. This highly valued Cordyceps mushroom extract in Tibetan traditional medicine has led to much scientific research that soon encouraged people to take it for its health benefits.
In traditional Tibetan medicine, Cordyceps mushroom extracts are used as remedies against fatigue. They’re also used to boost the immune system.* However, medical research and experiments with mice are still being done to find out the fungus' specific benefits to the human body.
At present, Cordyceps sinensis shows evident immune support due to the species' polysaccharide content. Cordyceps sinensis may have less polysaccharides than other more recognizable mushrooms of its kind, but the polysaccharides it contains can effectively help protect people from infections. That may be because Cordyceps mushroom extract is also found to contain cordycepin, a substance with anti-inflammatory properties.*
Cordyceps is certainly one of the better-known mushrooms with medicinal uses. For instance, it has β-glucan properties that can contribute towards increased energy. β-glucans or beta-glucans are polysaccharides that can boost the immune system and regulate blood cholesterol. This keeps the body free from infections for as long as possible, giving it enough energy to last through the day. Not only will you enjoy increased endurance, you’ll also find yourself sleeping a lot better.
These substances are also found to have a hypoglycemic effect on the body, as seen from the results of experiments with mice. Therefore, apart from regulating cholesterol, the Cordyceps mushroom extract is also able, it appears, to regulate blood sugar. This is beneficial for people who are resistant to insulin. However, while the species is now being cultivated for these purposes, it has not yet been recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as a legitimate remedy for illnesses.
It is said that people may experience stress relief from taking Cordyceps mushroom extract. The β-glucan polysaccharides are found to regulate the body's hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis or HPA axis, which controls responses to stress. This can leave the person more relaxed and cheerful. For more information, see JCB.RUPress.org/content/41/2/510.full.pdf+html.
Health Benefits of the Cordyceps Mushroom Extract