The Impact of Cordyceps Mushrooms on Fertility - HONE
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The Impact of Cordyceps Mushrooms on Fertility

  • 15 min read

The Impact of Cordyceps Mushrooms on Fertility - HONE

Cordyceps is a remarkable medical fungus with a rich history in traditional medicine. It can increase energy, reduce inflammation, and boost the immune system, but today we’re looking into its promising effects on fertility in men and women. 

In men,cordyceps could enhance sperm quality, count, and motility. For women, cordyceps may support hormonal balance, menstrual regularity, and ovulation, thus optimizing the chances of conceiving.

Article jumplinks:

Understanding fertility

What is cordyceps?

Effects of cordyceps on male and female fertility

What are cordyceps benefits for women?

How can men benefit from cordyceps?

Can I take cordyceps every day?

When should I take cordyceps?

We’re taking a hard look at the benefits of cordyceps on fertility and reproductive function in men and women, and you don’t want to miss it. 

Have you tried cordyceps mushrooms before? Our mushroom matcha tea may be the perfect introduction to the therapeutic world of medicinal mushrooms. 

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Understanding Fertility 

Fertility is the natural ability of men and women to conceive and reproduce. It involves a complex combination of various physiological, hormonal, and environmental factors. In women, fertility is associated with the ability to release a mature egg from the ovaries (ovulation) and having a healthy reproductive system capable of supporting a pregnancy.Male fertility is linked to the production of healthy and motile sperm.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 26% of women aged 15 to 49 are unable to get pregnant or have difficulties conceiving. In women, a decline in fertility is observed after they reach their late 30s and 40s. Infertility affects both women and men equally. 

How Does Fertility Work?

Fertility involves multiple biological factors that must align for conception and pregnancy to be successful. It relies on some important aspects, like: 

  • Ovulation is the natural process by which the ovaries release eggs. 
  • Fertilization is when a sperm fertilizes an egg. If sexual intercourse occurs during ovulation (or the fertile window), sperm can travel to thefallopian tube, where fertilization takes place. 
  • The fertile window is the timeframe when pregnancy is most likely to occur. It typically includes the days leading up to and including ovulation.
  • Implantation is the attachment of the fertilized egg (zygote) to the uterine lining, which in normal circumstances leads to a successful pregnancy. 
  • Sperm production (spermatogenesis) is an important factor in fertility. Sperm is produced in the testicles. Sperm health, includingsperm motility (movement) and morphology (shape), is crucial for successful fertilization. 

What Affects Fertility?

There are certain factors that affect fertility.

  1. Fertility declines with age, particularly in women. This is because women are born with a finite number of eggs, so over time, their quality and quantity decrease. 
  2. Hormonal imbalance and conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can hinder ovulation and fertility. 
  3. Abnormalities in men's and women’sreproductive systemscan lead to decreased fertility. This can happen in women withfallopian tube blockages and in men who have sperm duct obstructions. 
  4. Medical conditions like endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and certain genetic disorders can hinder fertility. 
  5. Lifestyle choices like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, obesity, and high levels of stress can impact fertility in men and women. 

What Is Cordyceps?

Cordyceps militaris is a fungus that belongs to the genus Cordyceps. Due to its potential health benefits, this. Cordyceps mushroom has a long history of use in traditionalChinese medicine. A plethora of bioactive compounds help our bodies maintain homeostasis and respond to physical, emotional, and environmental stress. 

There are over 600 species of cordyceps, with Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis being two of the most common. Read our in-depth guide to Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis to learn all about them. 

Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms

Cordyceps has strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunomodulatory effects. Because of this, it can boost oxygen uptake in the blood, regulate blood sugar levels, and even have inhibitory effects on cancer cells. (Read up on the potent anticancer effects of cordyceps mushrooms.)

Here are some more phenomenal health benefits of Cordyceps militaris:

  1. Improve cardiovascular function and protect the heart.
  2. Promote respiratory health.
  3. Boost energy and improve athletic performance and endurance.
  4. Improve cognitive function.
  5. Improve gut health, regulate the gut flora, and reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.
  6. Lower depression.
  7. Improve skin health.

We think there’s no healthier way to reap the benefits of cordyceps mushrooms than with our refreshing cordyceps tea. In every cup of premium matcha green tea sourced from Japan and the very best organic cordyceps mushrooms from China, you’ll experience a fusion of invigorating energy, antioxidant-rich compounds, and potential benefits for overall well-being. 

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Effects of Cordyceps on Fertility in Men and Women

Preliminary findings suggest thatCordyceps militaris may have potential benefits for women and men seeking to optimize their fertility. Due to its potent antioxidant, adaptogenic, and hormone-regulating properties, cordyceps is extremely beneficial for women. While research on theeffects of cordyceps on femalereproductive healthis still in its early stages, there’s more evidence available on using cordycepsmushrooms for fertility in men. 

Let’s see how this wondrousfunctional mushroomcan help with male andfemale fertility

Cordyceps Helps WithHormonal Balance 

Intraditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps has been used to promotehormonal balancein men and women. Healthyhormone levelscan have positive outcomes for their overallreproductive healthand fertility. The bioactive compounds in Cordyceps militaris affect the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a network of glands and organs that produce and secrete hormones. Hormones act as chemical messengers and regulate important bodily functions in our body. The endocrine system plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis, growth, development, metabolism, reproduction, and response to stress.

Remember the potent adaptogenic properties of cordyceps? Cordyceps mushrooms not only regulate how our body adapts to stress but also greatly contribute tohormonal productionand regulation. By supportinghormonal balance and the endocrine system, adaptogenic cordyceps could potentially regulatetestosterone production and menstrual cycles. 

Japanese researchers investigated the effects of the cordycepsfruiting body on late onset hypogonadism (LOH) and benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) inmale mice. Late onset hypogonadism is a condition that is caused by a decline in androgens (a group of hormones that play a crucial role in the development and functioning of male characteristics), like testosterone. Benign prostate hyperplasia is an enlargement of the prostate gland that often leads to urinary issues or prostate cancer. 

According to a 2021 study, theCordyceps militaris (CM)fruiting body helped maintain normal levels of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the blood ofmale mice. Keeping testosterone levels in check also helps reduce the enlargement of the prostate. 

…CM increased the amount of testosterone and DHT in the culture media… Furthermore, the pattern of steroidogenic enzyme gene expression did not parallel the changes in testosterone and DHT levels in cultured cells. These findings suggest that CM increases androgen levels by suppressing androgen catabolism and/or enhancing the androgen secretory process in in vitro testicular cells.

The exact mechanisms by which cordyceps was able to regulatehormone levels and prostate health were not fully explored by this study, but the results are there:Cordyceps militaris can help regulate male hormones. These effects help keep men’sreproductive healthin check, which is a step in the right direction toimprove fertilityin men. 

Cordyceps Increases Testosterone Levels

Testosterone is the primary malesex hormone that helps regulate a plethora of vital processes in a man’s body, such as:

  • The development and maintenance of male reproductive organs
  • The development and maintenance of sexual characteristics
  • Muscle mass
  • Bone density
  • Production of sperm cells, including their quantity and quality
  • Sexual function
  • Fertility 

Some studies suggest that cordyceps mushrooms may contribute toincreased levelsof  testosterone. Oneanimal studyexplained thebeneficial effects of cordyceps supplementation ontestosterone levels. TheSprague-Dawley ratsin the study were given a supplement made from cordyceps mycelium. After six weeks, the animals showed an increase intestosterone production

Thisanimal studyalso found that rats supplemented with cordyceps showed an increased number of motile sperm cells. 

Importantly, percentages of motile sperm cells were also enhanced significantly (p < 0.05) paralleled the serum testosterone pattern from the supplement groups as compared to the control group. Taken together, these results indicate that supplementation with CM improves sperm quality and quantity in rats. (Chang, et. al.)

Motile sperm cells are characterized by their ability to move and swim through the female reproductive tract in order to reach and fertilize the egg. Motility is a defining factor in male fertility, as it determines the sperm's ability to successfully navigate, penetrate, and fertilize the egg.By increasing motility and boosting the quality and quantity of sperm, cordyceps may be a powerful weapon against infertility in men

Cordyceps Promotes Reproductive Development

One study looked into theeffects of cordyceps on the reproductive development of juvenilemale mice. The mice in the study were fed different cordyceps products for 28 days, and the results show that polysaccharide-rich extracts of Cordyceps militaris “exhibit strong androgen-like activities that can promote male reproductive development.” 

  • Mice that were fed polysaccharide-rich extracts, mycelia, and fermented cordyceps products improved testicular structure: they had a positive impact on testicular components responsible for sperm production.
  • Mice that were fed polysaccharide-rich extracts andfermented productsshowed an increase in the number of motile sperm. (Remember how vital this is for fertility?)
  • Cordyceps significantly promoted the production of testosterone. 
  • Interestingly, the juvenilemale micein the study also showed increased food intake, which means cordyceps has beneficial effects on how they metabolize energy and nutrients. 

We’re not surprised: cordyceps mushrooms are a terrific way to boost energy levels and promote a healthy metabolism. 

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Cordyceps

Cordyceps are known anti-inflammatory agents. They reduce inflammation and protect againstoxidative stress. This way, cordyceps may contribute to creating a more fertile environment. 

Oxidative stressis caused by an imbalance between the number of harmful free radicals and the antioxidants that neutralize them. Free radicals are extremely reactive and unstable molecules that cause oxidation in our cells and tissues. This imbalance can damage reproductive cells and potentially have a negative impact on fertility. 

The antioxidant compounds in cordyceps help neutralize free radicals and reduce oxidative damage in thereproductive system. By preventing cellular damage, cordyceps may help maintain the integrity and health of reproductive cells, including eggs and sperm.

Apart from potentially increasing the number of harmful free radicals, chronic inflammation in thereproductive systemcan lead tohormonal imbalances and hinder fertility. One study investigated the effects of Cordyceps militaris on inflammation and found that a bioactive compound called polysaccharides can significantly reduce inflammation in a formalin-induced pain response model. 

…the purified β-(1→3)-D-glucan, that seems to be the most potent anti-inflammatory compound present in the polysaccharide extracts of C. militaris. In vivo, β-(1→3)-D-glucan also inhibited significantly the inflammatory phase of formalin-induced nociceptive response… (Smiderle, et. al.)

The anti-inflammatory effects of polysaccharides may help reduce the production of inflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). By downregulating these inflammatory markers, particularlyE2 levels, cordyceps may help create a more favorable environment forreproductive health

These inflammatory markers play crucial roles in the body'simmune response and contribute to inflammatory processes. While they are essential for protectingimmune function, excessive amounts can lead to chronic inflammation and tissue damage. 

Regulating Immune Function in the Reproductive System

Speaking ofimmune function,one of the most important qualities of Cordyceps militaris is its ability to protect and boost our immune system. A well-balanced immune system is important for fertility. An overactiveimmune response or immune dysfunction can negatively impact reproductive processes like ovulation and menstruation in women andsperm production in men. 

Cordyceps' immune-modulating properties may help promote a balanced immune response in the reproductive system.

We've got a secret weapon to supercharge your immune system and boost your fertility game:  a cup of all-natural cordyceps matcha tea. Our organic cordyceps mushrooms will help you stay healthy and ready for baby-making adventures.

But wait, there's more! We've blended this potent cordyceps extract with the finest ceremonial matcha powder that will tantalize your taste buds and fuel your body with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals—all the good stuff to support yourreproductive health.

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Benefits of Cordyceps for Women

Cordyceps offers more than a few benefits for women's health and well-being. We’ve already established what this amazing functional mushroom can do for women in terms of fertility. Now, let’s see some other benefits of cordyceps for the ladies. 

  1. Women deal with tons of stress on a daily basis. The adaptogenic prowess of cordyceps helps women handle stress and anxiety like a boss. They support adrenal function and help keep those stress hormones in check. 
  2. Want to preserve your youthful glow? Turn to cordyceps. Packed with antioxidants, cordyceps help improve blood circulation, battle those pesky free radicals, and keep your complexion looking fresh and radiant. The antioxidants in cordyceps may help protect skin cells and reduce the signs of aging
  3. They may not magically shred those extra few pounds, but cordyceps mushrooms can support your weight loss journey when combined with a healthy diet and exercise. According to research, mushroom cordyceps may have some anti-obesity properties. It seems that cordyceps can aid weight loss by increasing the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a key component in energy production.
  4. As a powerful anticancer weapon, cordyceps may be able to help women fight ovarian cancerStudies have shown that cordyceps extracts can:
    1. Reduce ovarian cancer cell viability (inhibit the growth and survival of cancer cells)
    2. Promote cancer cell apoptosis (cell death)
    3. Inhibit ovarian cancer cell proliferation (growth and spread of cancer cells to healthy tissue)

…C. militaris alone was able to inhibit tumor growth, with a slowdown in tumor growth. The combination of carboplatin and C. militaris triggered a strong tumor growth inhibition with slowing of tumor growth and an apparent decrease in tumor weight. (Jo, et. al.)

  1. Cordyceps can also help fight breast cancer. It is rich in cordycepin, a bioactive compound with significant antitumor properties. According to a  2019 study, cordycepin can inhibit breast cancer cell proliferation and induce apoptosis. 

The C. militaris concentrate and cordycepin exhibited the ability to induce apoptotic cell death by increasing the cleavage of caspase-7 -8, and -9, increasing the Bax/Bcl-2 protein expression ratio, and decreasing the protein expression of XIAP in MCF-7 cells.

  1. Ladies, are you looking to spice things up in the bedroom? Cordyceps might just do the trick. These mushrooms have been used for ages to boost libido in men and women and enhance their sexual performance. They don’t call cordyceps the “Himalayan Viagra” for nothing

Cordyceps Benefits for Men

Cordyceps mushrooms offer several potential benefits for men. From boosting testosterone to fighting testicular cancer, here’s why men should start their day with cordyceps mushrooms:

  1. Increasing testosterone levels, which is vital for men’s overall health. 
  2. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help fight testicular cancer, prostate cancer, and other types of carcinomas that affect men.
  3. Increasedsexual function. Studies have shown that Himalayan Viagra can help men with erectile dysfunction. Moreover, cordyceps’ cardiovascular benefits help improve blood circulation, which is crucial for achieving and maintaining erections. 

…the levels of penile NOS, testicular SOD activities, testosterone, and sperm count were significantly increased, and testicular malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were significantly decreased in these treated diabetic rats… These results suggest that CCM exerts its aphrodisiac effect, possibly through activating testosterone production and suppressing oxidative stress to enhance erectile function in diabetic rats. (Pohsa, et. al.

  1. Cordyceps may help boost your athletic performance and physical endurance. We know not all men like to spend hours in the gym, but those that do will have a powerful ally that will help them crush their workouts and reach new levels of fitness.
  2. Speaking of crushing at the gym, what’s athletic performance without an athletic body? Cordyceps may help men (and women) build muscle mass and growth. Think about that the next time you sip on some boring herbal tea before workout. (Hint: don’t make herbal tea, make a packet of our delicious cordyceps tea with matcha.) 

Mushroom Matcha - 30 Serving Jar

Is It Safe to Take Cordyceps Every Day?

It’s perfectly safe to take cordyceps every day. The longer you take cordyceps mushrooms, the greater the impact they have on your health. Taking cordyceps for the first time might cause some mild digestive issues, like an upset stomach, diarrhea, or nausea, but these effects tend to subside quickly. You’ll prevent this by introducing the mushroom little by little every day until your body can adapt to it. 

Remember, consistency is key when reaping the long-term benefits of cordyceps mushrooms. If you plan to take cordyceps on a regular basis, stick to the recommended dosage of 1–3 grams of cordyceps powder. That’s about one packet of our cordyceps tea (3.5 g), which you can drink at once, or divide into two or even three equally tasty beverages. 

Mushroom Matcha Box - 10 Compostable Packets

Best Time to Take Cordyceps Mushrooms

You’ll experience an invigorating energy boost if you take your cordyceps supplement in the morning or early afternoon. Consuming cordyceps earlier in the day can enhance your energy levels and mental clarity without making you feel drowsy later in the day. 

Don’t forget that our tea also contains matcha, another energy-boosting compound that can bring your energy levels to new heights. Matcha gets its invigorating properties from caffeine, which makes drinking it too close to bedtime a bad idea. (Unless you’re pulling an all-nighter, in which case, knock yourself out.)

So, seize the morning or early afternoon to fuel your day with an invigorating cup of cordyceps matcha tea and experience sustained energy and mental focus throughout the day.

Mushroom Matcha - 30 Serving Jar

Cordyceps and Fertility FAQ

Does cordyceps increase fertility? 

Some studies suggest that cordyceps may have positive effects on fertility by supportinghormone health, improving sperm quality and motility in men, and regulating menstrual cycles in women. Cordyceps mushrooms have been traditionally used to support reproductive health,fertility, and libido

Who should avoid cordyceps? 

While cordyceps is generally considered safe for most people, individuals with autoimmune disorders, bleeding disorders, or those undergoing organ transplantation should consult with healthcare professionals before using cordyceps or any other supplements.

Does cordyceps increase progesterone? 

The specific effects of cordyceps on progesterone levels have not been extensively studied. While some studies suggest that cordyceps may support hormone balance, more research is needed to understand its direct impact on progesterone production.

What are the long-term benefits of cordyceps? 

The long-term benefits of cordyceps may include improved energy levels, enhanced immune function, hormonal balance support, and potential positive effects on fertility andreproductive functions

How does cordyceps make you feel? 

One of the key effects of cordyceps is boosting energy and promoting mood. Cordyceps contains adenosine, cordycepin, and beta-glucans, substances that help maintain healthy energy levels. Together, they help the body utilize oxygen in the most optimal way and promote circulation, which can further improve both physical and mental energy levels.

Cordyceps also has mood-enhancing properties. It can help alleviate symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression. The presence of cordycepin, which has been shown in animal studies to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant characteristics, is one possible reason for this effect.

What are the benefits of taking cordyceps daily? 

Taking cordyceps daily may potentially offer benefits such as improved energy, enhanced immune function, potential support for hormonal balance, and potential positive effects on fertility and reproductive health. However, individual results may vary, and it's advisable to consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Can cordyceps treat diabetes?

Cordyceps mushrooms have the capacity to reduceblood sugar levels in people suffering from diabetesResearch on Cordyceps militaris revealed itshypoglycemic activity might help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce the amount of “bad” fats in the blood. 

What are the best mushrooms for the immune system?

Adaptogenic mushrooms like cordyceps, turkey tail,lion’s mane, and reishi mushrooms are considered the healthiest choices for boosting and protecting your immune system. They enhance the production of red and white blood cells, which fight infections and maintain a healthy immune system. 

Doescordyceps contain caffeine?

Cordyceps mushrooms do not contain caffeine. They are known to boost energy levels and help your body use oxygen more efficiently, thus improving blood flow, but the stimulating effect of cordyceps does not come from caffeine. 

Our cordyceps tea with matcha, on the other hand, is rich in caffeine. Matcha is a natural caffeine source that boosts energy and can keep you awake. But don’t worry—despite caffeine, matcha will not make you jittery or anxiousL-theanine has got your back


Infertility | CDC. (2023, April 26). Infertility | CDC.,to%20term%20(impaired%20fecundity).

Kusama, K., Miyagawa, M., Ota, K., Kuwabara, N., Saeki, K., Ohnishi, Y., Kumaki, Y., Aizawa, T., Nakasone, T., Okamatsu, S., Miyaoka, H., & Tamura, K. (2020, December 26).Cordyceps militaris Fruit Body Extract Decreases Testosterone Catabolism and Testosterone-Stimulated Prostate Hypertrophy. MDPI.

Effect of Cordyceps militaris supplementation on sperm production, sperm motility and hormones in Sprague-Dawley rats - PubMed. (2008, January 1). PubMed.

Effects of Cordyceps militaris fermentation products on reproductive development in juvenile male mice - PubMed. (2022, August 12). PubMed.

Smiderle, F. R., Baggio, C. H., Borato, D. G., Santana-Filho, A. P., Sassaki, G. L., Iacomini, M., & L. D. Van Griensven, L. J. (2014, October 17).Anti-Inflammatory Properties of the Medicinal Mushroom Cordyceps militaris Might Be Related to Its Linear (1→3)-β-D-Glucan. PubMed Central (PMC).

Jang, D., Lee, E., Lee, S., Kwon, Y., Kang, K. S., Kim, C. E., & Kim, D. (2022, May 12).System-level investigation of anti-obesity effects and the potential pathways of Cordyceps militaris in ovariectomized rats - BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. BioMed Central.

Cordyceps militaris induces apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells through TNF-α/TNFR1-mediated inhibition of NF-κB phosphorylation - PubMed. (2020, January 13). PubMed.

Jo, E., Jang, H. J., Yang, K. E., Jang, M. S., Huh, Y. H., Yoo, H. S., Park, J., Jang, I. S., & Park, S. J. (2020, January). Cordyceps militaris Exerts Antitumor Effect on Carboplatin-Resistant Ovarian Cancer via Activation of ATF3/TP53 Signaling In Vitro and In Vivo.Natural Product Communications,15(1), 1934578X2090255.

The Inhibitory Effect of Cordycepin on the Proliferation of MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells, and its Mechanism: An Investigation Using Network Pharmacology-Based Analysis - PubMed. (2019, August 23). PubMed.

Pohsa, S., Hanchang, W., Singpoonga, N., Chaiprasart, P., & Taepavarapruk, P. (2020, November 13).Effects of Cultured Cordycep militaris on Sexual Performance and Erectile Function in Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Male Rats. PubMed Central (PMC).

Huang, H. S., Wu, H. Y., Chang, W. T., Lin, Y. E., Huang, Y. J., Lu, K. H., Lu, Y. S., Chen, M. H., & Sheen, L. Y. (2020, May 29).The Antidepressive and Anxiolytic Effects of Formula Consisted of Poria cocos and Cordyceps militaris Waster Medium Extract in Unpredictable Chronic Mild Stress Animal Model. PubMed Central (PMC).

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