Cordyceps: how zombie insects could become your wellness bestie
Updated: Feb 15
Known as Himilayan Gold and used for centuries in Chinese and Tibetan medicine, the origin story of Cordyceps sounds like something out of The Walking Dead.
Cordyceps grows like a parasite out of the brains of caterpillars and spiders. The fungus creates a network in the insect’s body, which eventually allows it to take control of the host. The zombie insect leaves the colony and becomes a vehicle for cordyceps to spread, and the hapless insect often ends up biting into a leaf, where it stays permanently. After that, the fungi master sends a stalk through the host’s head, which shoots out Cordyceps spores and the cycle continues.
Now, doesn’t that sound like something you’d like to sprinkle on your cereal?
Healthy Benefits of Cordyceps
Terrifying origin story aside, there’s a reason why Cordyceps has been used for so long as a health and wellness supplement. And it’s backed by science, too. Here are five ways Cordyceps can boost your wellness this summer (and beyond!)
Cordyceps can improve athletic performance
Thanks to high levels of beta-glucans, Cordyceps has been shown to improve oxygen uptake. And getting more oxygen is definitely a good thing when it comes to sport and exercise. Beta-glucans can also increase energy levels and reduce fatigue, not to mention reducing recovery time after strenuous activity!
Cordyceps can improve heart health
Since 2002, Cordyceps have been approved by the State Food and Drug Administration to treat arrhythmia. More human studies are needed, but there have been promising results showing that Cordyceps can be good for the heart.
Cordyceps can boost your libido
Our favourite zombie fungus has been shown to improve blood flow, endurance and energy — which means that it can definitely help support good sexual health. There’s scientific proof that it works in mice, so why not give it a go?
Cordyceps can reduce inflammation
Simply speaking, inflammation is your immune system’s response to something that doesn’t agree with it. It could be germs, a splinter, or a certain pollen. In those cases, inflammation can be a good thing — helping the body to maintain homeostasis. The problem is, inflammation can also cause chronic diseases, and too much inflammation can lead to diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Cordyceps has potential to help with inflammation in the body, as well as on the skin. Researchers believe it could have benefits as an anti-inflammatory supplement.
Cordyceps can help with anti-aging
Thanks to high levels of antioxidants, Cordyceps can help fight aging and cell damage by neutralising free radicals in the body. If you’re keen to take a sip from the fountain of youth, check out this post, which talks you through the ways that Shiitake and Reishi mushrooms can support a more youthful appearance.
Get your hands on Cordyceps
Touchwood Mushrooms stocks organic Cordyceps, which is perfect for sprinkling over your favourite breakfast cereal or stirring into a cuppa. As you know, we grow a lot of our own mushrooms, but this is one that we have to import. That’s because it’s impossible to grow in Australia thanks to the conditions, and also because importing the spawn is prohibited.
Grab some from our shop today!