Cordyceps: The Ancient Tonifying Herb

Cordyceps is one of the most sought-after medicinal fungi in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Owed to its scarcity and highly treasured properties for longevity, it was used exclusively in the Emperors’ palace in Ancient China.

Life cycle of cordyceps

Cordyceps is called “dong chong xia cao” in Chinese, which literally translates as “winter worm, summer grass”. The fungus first infects the larva of a caterpillar in the summer. It grows inside the caterpillar and eventually fills the cavity of its body, turning it into stiff “worm” in winter. A grass-like shoot erupts from the head of the fungus in the following summer.

Health benefits of cordyceps

Cordyceps is highly prized for its far-reaching tonifying health properties.

It has been historically used to restore strength and balance the body’s internal systems.

Athletic performance
Cordyceps is great for physical endurance and stamina. It is known to naturally boost the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which our body uses for energy. It is often used to fight fatigue and prevent weakness.

Vitality & anti-ageing
Renowned as a life-reinforcing tonic, cordyceps has long been used to balance the “Qi” – the vital life force. It is packed with antioxidants which help neutralise free radicals to slow the signs of ageing.

Respiratory health
For centuries, cordyceps has used to invigorate the lungs and improve respiratory function due to its ability enhances the oxygen utilisation efficacy. Additionally, it helps alleviate the symptoms of various respiratory ailments including asthma, chronic bronchitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Kidney health
This ancient Chinese fungus plays an important role in tonifying the kidneys. It is revered for its potential in improving kidney function and alleviating complications associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Immune defence
Rich in polysaccharides, cordyceps plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune response. Traditionally, it has been used to strengthen the body’s resilience against infections and diseases.

Sexual health
Often referred to as “Himalayan Viagra”, cordyceps is sought after for its promising aphrodisiac potential. It is effective in combating decreased sex drive and virility, along with improving fertility in men.

Wild vs. cultivated cordyceps

Thanks to modern biotechnological advances in cultivation, cordyceps is now affordably available for everyone.

Wild Cultivated
Limited availability More widely available
Quality may vary Quality is consistent & stable
Low levels of active constituents Higher levels of active constituents
Comprises dead caterpillars Caterpillar-free
Exposed to environmental toxins or heavy metals Free from environmental toxins or heavy metals