In this post, you will find the benefits of cordyceps, doses, the best cordyceps mushrooms on the market today based on quality, ratings, and product forms. Research supports that the cordyceps mushroom may help with many health conditions.
Cordyceps are a type of mushroom that grows in very extreme and unusual conditions in the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountains. Also known as caterpillar mushrooms, cordyceps mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Tibetan for thousands of years.
From enhancing energy, stamina, and endurance to improving sleeping patterns, cordyceps have been used traditionally for almost every aspect of health.
Could these very resilient and unusual mushrooms prove to be beneficial using modern medicinal approaches?
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Best Cordyceps Supplement Brands
The following brands meet all the criteria for quality cordyceps products: organic, full-spectrum, high potency, contain no fillers and undergo 3rd party testing. These are the same criteria I follow for the best vitamin brands.
Cordyceps powders are my preferred form of cordyceps because it is simply a dried form of cordyceps and I can add the amount I want without taking a pill.
Medicinal Foods Cordyceps Supplement checks all the boxes for quality and potency. It is organic, full-spectrum, and contains the highest amounts of cordycepin out there. This one is of the highest quality because it was chosen out of 400 strains of cordyceps to contain the most cordycepin. I use powdered cordyceps on a daily basis and can easily say my energy and focus are better. Sourced from Aloha Medicinals, which is a fully organic mushroom source. *the only bio-identical cordyceps supplement to the cordyceps grown in nature. Find it Here
Aloha Medicinals Cordyceps are high on the list of quality because they are grown at low temperatures to simulate natural growing conditions and they are also full-spectrum, 3rd party tested, and organic. Aloha contains both Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris. For capsule varieties, these are the most potent, with 525 mg per capsule and grown in the United States. Aloha Medicinals guarantees that you get the potency with over 300 mg of polysaccharides per capsule. Find on Amazon
Host Defense Cordyceps is the highest-rated capsule form of cordyceps supplement because it is high in quality and effectiveness. This company has been made famous by Paul Stamets and the label claims that these cordyceps help with sexual health and stamina. Containing cordyceps mycelium (not full-spectrum) of Cordyceps militaris. Because this product is so highly rated, it makes third in the rankings. Grown on a brown rice grain. Find on Amazon
Paradise Herbs Tibetan Cordyceps is a high-quality Cordyceps capsule. In other words, Paradise Herbs is organic and NSF certified and meets GMP requirements according to FDA standards. Paradise Herbs contains mycelia from Cs-4, which is a researched form of cordyceps. My only critique of this supplement is that it is a lower dose per capsule than most at 400 mg, but it gets high ratings. Find on Amazon
Wild Harvest cordyceps is from Oregon’s herbal supplement company. This quality cordyceps contains 1050 mg per serving of cordyceps. It is high quality because it is organic, receives 3rd party testing, is gluten-free, and contains no fillers. With a 30 day supply, this supplement meets all the quality checkmarks and gets positive reviews overall. Find on Amazon
Microingredients Organic Cordyceps powder is an economical way to get some cordyceps into your diet. It is USDA organic and filler-free. The only downside I can find to this supplement is that there is no 3rd party certification in place. Find on Amazon
Nutricost Organic Cordyceps Powder is 3rd party certified, organic, gluten-free, and contains Cordyceps Sinensis powder. The container is 100 Grams. However, this company doesn’t necessarily specialize in mushrooms and mushroom growing conditions, so I would choose mushroom-specific brands first. Find on Amazon
Fresh Nutrition Organic Cordyceps meet all the standards for quality, including organic, 3rd party certification, no fillers, and is gluten-free. The only downside I can find about this product is that the company is relatively new, so it doesn’t have a lot of ratings. The ratings it does have are good. Find on Amazon
Host Defense Cordyceps Extract is for people who prefer cordyceps tincture. Meets all but the full spectrum quality standards. For instance, this bottle contains 60 servings of cordyceps that are USDA tested, are organic, highly-rated, and gluten-free. In a base of alcohol and grown on brown rice medium. Find on Amazon
Didn’t Make the Cut
Many brands appear to be organic and high quality, but they have a few flaws. These companies I found include:
Real Mushrooms-organic, but the label states may contain stearic acid
Perfect Organic Cordyceps Sinensis-didn’t make the cut because there is no third-party testing and not many customer ratings.
Solaray Cordyceps Capsules are organic but contain fillers like magnesium stearate.
How to Use Cordyceps
You can find cordyceps products in three forms: powders, extracts, and capsules. Cordyceps powder is great because it is so easy to mix into your favorite beverages, such as coffee or tea. You can make cordyceps recipes by simply stirring in a half teaspoon into virtually anything you make.
If you want an easy way to get cordyceps into your diet, mix cordyceps into your food.
They are so mild-tasting, you will never know it’s there.
What are Cordyceps Mushrooms?
Not actually a true mushroom, cordyceps is an Ascomycetes fungus, but most people classify them as mushrooms.
There are hundreds of kinds of cordyceps in nature. Research has focused its attention on two types: Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris.
Interestingly, these little mushrooms are so sought after that it is virtually impossible to find them in natural form.
In 2016, wild cordyceps sold for $20,000 dollars per kilogram due to their high demand according to the BBC.
Luckily, mushroom growers have been able to learn precise methods for growing cordyceps in a culture so that we too can enjoy the benefits of cordyceps without breaking the bank.
What Do Cordyceps Mushrooms Do?
As a sought-after fungus, cordyceps has some very unique compounds that have active roles in the body.
Cordyceps contains the following beneficial compounds:
- D-mannitol (cordycepic acid)-may work as a diuretic and may reduce swelling
- cordycepin-is only found in cordyceps mushrooms and is linked to many health benefits of cordyceps.
- adenosine-our body makes adenosine to help provide energy and cordyceps naturally has adenosine
- vitamins-essential compounds that support vitality
- polysaccharides-active compounds found in mushrooms
- enzymes-facilitate reactions in the body
Review of Cordyceps Health Benefits
Research is emerging about the health benefits of cordyceps mushrooms so that we can feel confident about their use.
Keep in mind, the studies are of fairly short duration and pretty small, so any conclusions of health benefits are still preliminary. Still, cordyceps mushrooms are considered safe without any known toxicity.
Energy and stamina
When taking 3 grams of Cordyceps Sinensis per day for 6 weeks, elderly people had:
- increased oxygen uptake
- improved exercise performance
- reduced fatigue
Cordyceps boosts energy by increasing the compound in the body called ATP.
In a swimming test, cordyceps increased endurance between 30-75% in mice.
Tip: Many cordyceps reviews claim that cordyceps really help with energy and brain function. I agree with these reviews because I get similar benefits and don’t have the mid-day mental slump.
Numerous studies show that cordyceps mushrooms may help with kidney health, especially chronic kidney disease.
In these studies, cordyceps:
- Increased creatinine clearance
- Reduced serum creatinine
- Reduced protein in the urine
While all 22 studies of cordyceps are small, they all show kidney benefits. As a bonus, cordyceps did not have any negative side effects in these studies.
Cordyceps are used traditionally to help treat and prevent heart disease.
- Modern research shows that cordyceps may help reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and increase ATP.
- For these reasons, cordyceps may help improve heart health and is used in China for irregular heart rhythms.
Cordyceps have important antioxidants that also may help protect the heart.
Tip: while cordyceps are possibly good for the heart, more research is needed. They can be safely included as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Cordyceps have been used since around the 1600s in China for lung health.
In a review of 15 studies, cordyceps proved beneficial and safe for lung health in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- improved lung function (FEV1)
- increased exercise ability
- improved quality of life
Keep in mind that these studies were small and preliminary.
Cordyceps may help our immune systems too.
This is because they contain polysaccharides like beta-glucans that may help with innate immune function.
Beta-glucans in cordyceps may also reduce cancer risk.
Adrenal health and thyroid health
Mushrooms like cordyceps may help balance hormones in the body as well. They may do this by helping protect the gut lining according to early research.
Some research shows that cordyceps and other mushrooms may reduce thyroid antibodies and also may help with fertility.
By supporting energy or ATP, cordyceps may help support adrenal health and reduce fatigue.
Reduce cancer risk
Cordyceps supplements may reduce the growth and spread of cancer cells, but research is early.
The cancer types studied include liver cancer, skin cancer, colon cancer, and lung cancer.
Tip: mushrooms are generally healthy and may reduce cancer risk, so adding cordyceps into your diet is possibly helpful in reducing cancer risk too.
Rich in antioxidants, cordyceps mushrooms may help reduce diabetes symptoms.
Keep in mind, this research is still early, so we can’t make any big conclusions about cordyceps and diabetes yet.
Still, cordyceps is safe to include in a healthy diet and may reduce the harmful damages of diabetes in the body.
Choosing the Best Cordyceps
When looking for cordyceps mushrooms, quality matters. Here are the criteria that I recommend using so that you know you are getting the best possible cordyceps product.
- I recommend seeking out organic cordyceps so that you don’t have any added chemicals or harmful ingredients.
- When possible, choose full-spectrum cordyceps. This means that the cordyceps mushrooms supplements have all parts of the mushroom, including the mycelium, the fruiting body, primordia, and the spores. *Note: I found only 2 brands that meet this criterion and they are listed at the top.
- The best cordyceps won’t have any fillers or artificial ingredients, such as magnesium stearate or gluten.
- Choose products with independent testing of cordyceps assures potency of cordyceps, the safety of cordyceps, and consistency of quality, which is called 3rd party testing or GMP certification.
- Make sure that the type of mushroom brand you choose contains consistent amounts of the most active component so that you get the active ingredient called cordycepin.
Grown in the United States:
- Brands on the list below are both grown and harvested in the United States because the USDA has strict organic certifications.
Research studies typically use cordyceps doses between 1000 mg to 3000 mg, which is a pretty low dose. Cordyceps supplements contain varying amounts of mushroom.
If you are looking to feel more energy, I find that using 250 mg of cordyceps mushroom supplement per serving, or around ¼ tsp is a good starting point.
In conclusion, finding a high-quality cordyceps supplement is worth your time. Finding the best cordyceps supplement may reward you with many health benefits, such as energy, better, sleep, and better kidney, heart, and lung health. Make sure to choose high-quality cordyceps that are 3rd party tested, organic, free of fillers, gluten-free, and with high potency for the best effects.
This post is not meant as medical advice and is for informational purposes only. As with anything, make sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement. All rights reserved.