Cordyceps Mushroom Benefits: 10 Science-Backed Advantages

Cordyceps mushrooms, praised in Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 1500 years, have gained attention lately for their many health benefits in the West.

These fascinating fungi are parasites that target insect larvae, infiltrating their bodies and eventually replacing their tissues.

As the fungi take hold, they grow elongated, slender stems that protrude from the host’s body.

Among the approximately 600 worldwide species of Cordyceps, Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris are the most widely recognized for their therapeutic properties.

HBO’s popular show “The Last of Us” thrust this specific type of fungi, cordyceps, into the spotlight due to its connection to zombie lore.

However, in reality, Cordyceps are known for improving health rather than causing a zombie apocalypse.

This article explores 10 scientifically-backed benefits of Cordyceps mushroom, shedding light on its potential positive impacts on human health.

cordyceps sinensis mushrooms

10 Benefits of Cordyceps Mushroom

1. Boosting Immune Function

Cordyceps enhances the immune system, reducing the risk of infections and illnesses. By strengthening immune responses, it helps the body fight off pathogens effectively[1].

This boost in immunity can lead to fewer instances of colds, flu, and other common ailments. Additionally, cordyceps supports overall health by fortifying the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

Incorporating cordyceps into your wellness routine may provide added protection against various diseases and promote overall well-being.

2. Improving Athletic Performance

Cordyceps enhances exercise performance by increasing oxygen uptake and improving endurance. It aids in better utilization of oxygen during physical activity, leading to improved stamina and reduced fatigue[2].

Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often use cordyceps supplements to enhance their training routines and achieve peak performance levels[3].

This mushroom has been shown to increase ATP production, providing muscles with more energy for prolonged exertion.

Its adaptogenic properties help reduce fatigue and enhance recovery, enabling athletes to train harder and recover faster.

With its ability to improve oxygen delivery to muscles, cordyceps can help athletes push their limits and achieve better results in their workouts and competitions.

3. Supporting Respiratory Health

Cordyceps acts as a bronchodilator, making it beneficial for respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. It helps open up airways, making breathing easier and more efficient[4].

Studies suggest that cordyceps may enhance lung function by dilating the airways and improving oxygen utilization.

Moreover, its anti-inflammatory properties may alleviate symptoms associated with respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)[5].

Cordyceps extracts have shown promise in reducing inflammation in the airways, promoting bronchodilation, and enhancing overall respiratory function.

Research suggests that Cordyceps could be beneficial for individuals seeking to maintain optimal respiratory function, although further studies are needed to confirm their effects.

4. Increasing Energy Levels

Cordyceps boosts your energy and reduces fatigue, making it an ideal supplement for combating tiredness and increasing vitality.

By supporting mitochondrial function, cordyceps enhances cellular energy production, leading to sustained energy levels throughout the day[6].

This natural energy boost can improve your focus, productivity, and overall mental and physical performance. It helps combat fatigue and promotes sustained energy throughout the day.

Additionally, its adaptogenic properties aid in balancing stress hormones, further preventing energy dips.

Research also suggests that cordyceps may improve oxygen utilization, supporting your vitality and endurance.

Whether you’re tackling a busy day at work or engaging in strenuous physical activity, cordyceps can provide the extra energy you need to thrive.

5. Enhancing Libido

Cordyceps is a natural aphrodisiac that enhances sexual function in both men and women.

It increases libido and improves sexual performance, making it a popular choice for individuals looking to spice up their love lives.

By increasing blood flow to the genital area and balancing hormones, cordyceps can help address issues like erectile dysfunction and low libido.

Incorporating cordyceps into your daily routine can lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling sex life, boosting intimacy and overall relationship satisfaction.

6. Supporting Kidney Health

Cordyceps has renal protective effects and supports kidney function, particularly in individuals with kidney disease.

It helps maintain optimal kidney function by promoting detoxification and reducing inflammation in the kidneys.

By protecting against oxidative damage and improving blood flow to the kidneys, Cordyceps mushrooms support overall renal health and may help prevent kidney-related complications.

Research in animal suggests that Cordyceps may offer benefits such as reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the kidneys, contributing to improved renal health.

7. Balancing Blood Sugar Levels

Cordyceps helps regulate blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

By improving insulin sensitivity and enhancing glucose metabolism, cordyceps helps keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.

This can reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes, such as nerve damage, kidney disease, and cardiovascular problems.

Research indicates that Cordyceps could be beneficial for individuals managing diabetes or seeking to stabilize their blood sugar levels naturally.

8. Anti-inflammatory Properties

Cordyceps contains compounds with anti-inflammatory effects, which help reduce inflammation in the body and alleviate symptoms of inflammatory conditions.

By inhibiting inflammatory pathways and reducing the production of inflammatory molecules, cordyceps can help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with conditions like arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma.

Research indicates that Cordyceps decrease inflammatory markers in animals, yet their effects on inflammation in humans remain unclear.

9. Improving Liver Function

Hepatoprotective properties in cordyceps mushrooms can support liver health and aid in detoxification processes.

It helps protect liver cells from damage caused by toxins and free radicals, promoting optimal liver function.

By enhancing liver detoxification pathways and promoting the regeneration of liver tissue, cordyceps support overall liver health and may help prevent liver-related diseases.

Studies suggest that Cordyceps may support liver health, although further research is needed to fully understand their effects in humans.

10. Supporting Heart Health

Lastly, cordyceps helps lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease and improving overall cardiovascular health.

By inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and promoting the breakdown of fats, cordyceps helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the blood.

Additionally, its vasodilatory effects help relax blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing strain on the heart.

Cordyceps may support heart health by potentially preventing arrhythmias and reducing levels of triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Neuroprotective Potential of Cordyceps

Beyond its physical health benefits, Cordyceps also exhibits neuroprotective properties, which may contribute to brain health and cognitive function. Studies suggest they mitigate neuroinflammation and promote neurogenesis, potentially aiding in age-related cognitive decline and neurological disorders. Cordyceps may also balance mood by regulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. By tapping into Cordyceps’ neuroprotective potential, you can nurture a sharp mind.

Nutritional Facts of Cordyceps

While not a significant source of macronutrients, Cordyceps contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are particularly rich in polysaccharides, including beta-glucans, which support immune function and overall health. Additionally, they contain trace elements like zinc and selenium, known for their antioxidant properties. These mushrooms also provide essential amino acids necessary for protein synthesis. Although low in calories, Cordyceps pack a powerful nutritional punch, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet

Taking Cordyceps Supplements

Cordyceps supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, powders, and extracts. Choosing high-quality products from reputable sources is key to maximizing potential benefits.

Safety and Precautions

When considering Cordyceps supplements, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects, such as diarrhea, and interactions with medications. Pregnant or breastfeeding women and individuals with autoimmune diseases should exercise caution.


Dosage recommendations for Cordyceps supplements may vary depending on factors such as age, health status, and specific health goals. Consulting a healthcare provider is advisable to determine the appropriate dosage.

Final Thought

In conclusion, Cordyceps mushroom offers a plethora of health benefits, ranging from immune support to improved exercise performance and cognitive function. While existing research is promising, further studies are needed to fully understand the extent of Cordyceps’ effects on human health. As with any supplement, consulting a healthcare provider before incorporating Cordyceps into your regimen is recommended to ensure safety and efficacy.