Cordyceps mushrooms are health powerhouses, but is cordyceps safe? Don’t worry, it won’t turn you into a zombie.
But are there any other dangers to consuming cordyceps?
Taking cordyceps mushrooms comes with very mild side effects, so they're generally regarded as safe to consume. Let’s get into the safety of cordyceps and its potential health benefits, and you don’t want to miss it.
Try our cordyceps and matcha tea to experience the benefits of these powerful adaptogens.
What is Cordyceps?
Cordyceps militaris is a fungus of the genus Cordyceps, which includes around 600 mushroom species. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years due to its outstanding health benefits. Today, Cordyceps militaris is one of the most praised medicinal mushrooms.
Although Cordyceps fungi contain over 600 species, Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis are the most thoroughly explored species. Read our extensive comparison between C. militaris and C. sinensis to learn more about their differences and similarities.
The Cordyceps fungus has adaptogenic properties. This means that its chemical constituents assist our bodies in adapting to physical, emotional, and environmental stress. The variety of bioactive compounds and nutrients helps maintain homeostasis and improve health.
Vitamin E (tocopherols)
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B3 (niacin)
Bioactive compounds and nutrients in Cordyceps militaris. Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8622900/
How Long Does It Take to Feel the Effects of Cordyceps?
You may start to notice the short-term effects of a cordyceps supplement in as little as one week after regular ingestion. The longer you take cordyceps, the more pronounced its beneficial effects will become. If you’re taking cordyceps to boost your energy levels, you may feel the benefits after a few weeks to about a month.
This adaptogenic superfood is not a magical cure for all, and you won’t be able tofeelthe effects of cordyceps at work. Some people notice its effects after two weeks, while others might take longer. When you start to feel better physically and mentally, or when you notice an improvement in your sleep or concentration—congratulations!—you're riding the cordyceps train to vitality.
Is Cordyceps Safe to Consume?
There isno evidence to suggest that cordyceps is unsafe to consume. Evidence-based research and hundreds of years of traditional use have not reported any significant adverse effects.
What Are the Side Effects of Cordyceps?
As with any dietary supplement, each person may have different reactions to cordyceps. Some might feel no side effects, while others might experience mild symptoms of discomfort such as:
- Upset stomach
These side effects are typically mild and go away quickly.
The recommended daily dose of cordyceps is between 1 and 3 grams of cordyceps powder. If you’re taking cordyceps for the first time, start with a low amount and listen to your body. If you have any adverse reactions to it, discontinue use and consult a healthcare provider.
Who Should Avoid Taking Cordyceps?
You should avoid cordyceps in the weeks leading up to any surgeries and while you recover from the procedure. If you're breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, consult with your doctor before you take cordyceps.
If you are prone to allergies—especially to other fungi, yeast, or mold—be cautious when you first start taking cordyceps. Stop taking the fungus immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction and contact your healthcare provider.
Can I Take Cordyceps Every Day?
There’sno reason why you shouldn’t take a small amount of cordyceps every day. The best time to take cordyceps is in the morning or early afternoon. This way, you can reap all the invigorating benefits earlier in the day and have energy and focus to tackle any challenges that come your way.
It is important to source high-quality products, follow recommended dosages, and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any underlying medical conditions.
What Happens if I Take Too Much Cordyceps?
Cordyceps mushrooms have no serious side effects, even when taken at a higher dose. If you do happen to ingest too much of it, you may experience mild digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, or stomach discomfort. These effects should go away within a day or two.
Our mushroom tea also contains matcha. Matcha is another powerful adaptogen packed with soothing L-theanine and energizing caffeine. Caffeinated beverages generally make you feel brisk and awake, which is to say, avoid ingesting caffeine before bedtime.
Is Cordyceps Safe for Pets?
Cordyceps mushrooms are perfectly safe for humans. However, cordyceps hasn't been studied much in pets, so the research on its safety for animals is still in its infancy. Talk to your vet before giving your pet cordyceps mushrooms, and keep your cordyceps supplements in a safe place where your dog or cat can’t reach.
Benefits of Cordyceps Mushrooms
The Chinese have long believed that cordyceps can be used to treat a variety of ailments. In traditional medicine, cordyceps mushrooms are classified as a “tonic herb” because of their potential to strengthen and rejuvenate the body and mind.
Here’s the lowdown on how the powerful active compounds of Cordyceps militaris can boost your health. These are only some of the health benefits of cordyceps mushrooms.
- Cordyceps mushrooms may be great for your heart. They have cardioprotective properties and may reduce cholesterol levels, fight inflammation, and boost blood flow. Adenosine, a chemical found in Cordyceps militaris, has a vasodilatory effect: it helps relax and widen blood vessels, boost circulation, and lower blood pressure. Wang, et. al. suggest that “Cordyceps has a certain positive effect on the treatment of arrhythmia.”
- Do you want to boost your exercise performance? Cordyceps mushrooms may be of massive help. Cordyceps militaris has been shown to improve athletic performance by increasing oxygen uptake and promoting physical endurance. According to Hirsch, et. al., “acute supplementation with a cordyceps militaris containing mushroom blend may improve tolerance to high intensity exercise.”
- These medicinal mushrooms are considered an aphrodisiac in traditional Chinese medicine. Cordyceps may help boost libido and sexual function in both men and women.
- Cordyceps mushrooms may aid against lung cancer. It prevents cancer cells from growing, spreading, and infecting healthy cells in our body. Japanese researchers found that Cordyceps militaris suppresses the invasiveness of cancer cells. The mushroom can also help your body recover from stress after chemotherapy and relieve the common side effects of cancer treatment. Read more about the anti-cancer properties of cordyceps right here.
- It’s no secret that cordyceps mushrooms are packed with potent antioxidants. Cordyceps may be able to help in the battle against aging and boost overall health and longevity.
- One particularly important effect of cordyceps is to promote kidney health.Cordyceps may improve kidney function in people with chronic kidney diseases.
- Feeling nervous? Cordyceps mushrooms can help you relax. Cordyceps has anxiolytic properties and helps alleviate anxiety symptoms.
Hone Cordyceps Matcha Tea for Wellness and Vitality
Drinking cordyceps tea is the most traditional way to ingest this herbal medicine. And there’s no better way to reap the rewards of cordyceps mushrooms than with our cordyceps and matcha tea.
Our tea contains only the best of the best: premium matcha sourced from Japan and the highest quality cordyceps mushrooms from China. It's available in compostable tea packets or a 30-serving jar. Whisk with hot water and enjoy every sip of cordyceps goodness. Sip on it in the morning and get ready to take on the day.
Is cordyceps FDA approved?
Cordyceps is a dietary supplement that hasn't been cleared by the FDA to treat specific health conditions.
Cordyceps has been a part of traditional medicine in Asia for centuries. Research suggests that cordyceps has potential health benefits, particularly for alleviating anxiety and depression, increasing energy levels, and boosting the immune system. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized medical guidance before you start taking cordyceps mushrooms, especially if you have an underlying illness or are taking medication.
Does cordyceps work immediately?
Cordyceps does not have immediate effects on all people. Its effects may vary depending on the individual and their specific health condition. While some people may experience certain benefits relatively quickly, cordyceps may require consistent and prolonged use to feel the full effects of the mushrooms.
When should I take cordyceps?
You can take cordyceps mushrooms at any time of the day. However, we do recommend taking cordyceps in the morning or early afternoon to maximize its energizing effects. Some individuals prefer to take it before physical activity or exercise to enhance their exercise performance and boost stamina.
Also, cordyceps produces energizing effects on most people, so taking it later in the day or before bed may interfere with sleep.
Does cordyceps lower blood sugar levels?
Studies suggest the potential benefits of cordyceps in regulating blood sugar levels. A 2014 animal study revealed that “Cordyceps militaris extracts displayed a significant reduction in blood glucose levels by promoting glucose metabolism and strongly suppressed total cholesterol and triglycerides concentration in serum.”
These effects might be attributed to the bioactive compounds found in cordyceps, which may enhance insulin sensitivity and promote the uptake of glucose on a cellular level. The 2014 study also suggests that Cordyceps militaris might be used as a safe and effective herbal supplement for treating diabetes and related kidney problems.
Cordyceps militaris reduces blood glucose levels and shows antioxidant effects in [streptozotocin]-induced diabetic rats. In our present study, the hypoglycemic effects related to fasting blood glucose levels of Cordyceps militaris extracts were confirmed. Furthermore, the hypolipidemic, antioxidative, and antidiabetic nephropathic effects of Cordyceps militaris extracts were observed in diet-[streptozotocin]-induced diabetic rats.
Is cordyceps good for the heart?
Cordyceps seems to have a beneficial impact on heart health. Studies suggest that cordyceps reduces inflammation, improves blood circulation, and lowers the risk factors associated with heart disease. The bioactive compounds in cordyceps, along with its antioxidant properties, contribute to its potential cardioprotective effects.
Wang, et. al. suggest that “Cordyceps could increase the blood flow of the heart and brain, improve microcirculation, and stabilize blood pressure.” Regular consumption of cordyceps mushrooms may help reduce and regulate blood pressure.
Cordyceps may also have an antiplatelet effect. According to a 2019 research article, it acts as a blood thinner and can prevent blood clots with frequent use. Cordyceps may enhance the effects of anticoagulants, increasing the risk of bleeding or bruising in people on blood-thinning medication.
Can cordyceps treat autoimmune diseases?
Research suggests that cordyceps may have potential benefits for alleviating the symptoms of some autoimmune diseases. According to a chapter of a book,Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, “due to its inhibitory effect on the immune system, cordyceps can be used for treatment of autoimmune diseases and for immunosuppression after organ transplant.”
While more studies are needed to fully understand its effects, cordyceps has shown promising immunomodulatory properties that could help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation, which are key factors in autoimmune conditions.
Is cordyceps good for multiple sclerosis?
There is some evidence that suggests that cordyceps may have potential benefits for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Cordyceps exhibits anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties, which could potentially help modulate the immune response and reduce the progression of multiple sclerosis symptoms.
However, more comprehensive studies are needed to establish the efficacy and safety of cordyceps specifically for MS. It is important for individuals with MS to consult with their healthcare providers before considering cordyceps or any other supplements as part of their treatment plan.
Can cordyceps treat cancer?
Cordyceps mushrooms have a potent anti-tumor effect. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the mushroom shows potential for fighting breast cancer and has shown effectiveness in human clinical trials. A 2019 article shows that “the C. militaris concentrate and cordycepin exhibited the ability to induce apoptotic cell death,” which means that they induce the death of breast cancer cells.
Other research confirms the pro-apoptotic effect of cordyceps on tumor cells.
…dendritic cells fed with [ethanolic extracts of C. militaris]-treated breast cancer cells successfully stimulated tumor-specific T cell proliferation... In addition, [ethanolic extracts of C. militaris] also potentiated the cytotoxic activity of tumor-specific T cells. [Ethanolic extracts of C. militaris] can induce immunogenic and apoptotic cell death in breast cancer cells, and it is a good candidate for cancer immunotherapy… (Quan, et. al.)
Can I lose weight with cordyceps?
Cordyceps mushrooms have the potential to help you lose weight. Research suggests that they may have effects on metabolism and fatty acid utilization, which could potentially support weight loss efforts.
We found that cordycepin modifies the relative abundance of intestinal bacteria in high-fat-diet-induced obese rats... Our study suggests that cordycepin can reduce body weight and microbiome done by cordycepin seems be a result among its mechanisms of obesity reduction.
Cordyceps is not a magic wand for losing weight overnight. However, regular cordyceps supplementation may increase the chances of healthy weight loss and promote your metabolism and immune system.
Is cordyceps safe for people struggling with anxiety and depression?
People struggling with anxiety and depression may benefit from cordyceps. Some studies suggest that cordyceps may have antidepressant-like properties.
The [C. militairs water extract] has antidepressant-like effects, which may result from the regulation of the stress-related ROCK2/PTEN/Akt pathway. Therefore, the [C. militairs water extract] may be developed and used for the complementary treatment of depression. (Lin, et. al.)
Could cordyceps ever infect humans?
Cordyceps cannot infect humans. Cordyceps fungus primarily infects insects and other arthropods. While it can be fascinating to observe the unique growth patterns of cordyceps on insects, it does not pose any risk of infection or harm to humans. In fact, cordyceps mushrooms have been used for centuries in traditional medicine and as a dietary supplement due to their potent therapeutic potential.
Is cordyceps good for the libido?
Men and women can benefit from cordyceps mushrooms by improving sexual health and boosting libido. Cordyceps has been used in traditional medicine to help with sexual health and low sex drive, and improve erectile function, sperm count, and motility in men. They don’t call it “Himalayan Viagra” for nothing.
Should I get the Covid-19 vaccine if I am taking a cordyceps supplement?
Covid-19 vaccination is a personal choice. However, there is no research to suggest a cordyceps supplement may have a negative effect on Covid-19 vaccines and vice versa. It’s not a bad idea to consult your healthcare provider before taking cordyceps supplements—or any supplement, for that matter.
Wang, L., Sun, H., Yang, M., Xu, Y., Hou, L., Yu, H., Wang, X., Zhang, Z., & Han, J. (2022, August 19).Bidirectional regulatory effects of Cordyceps on arrhythmia: Clinical evaluations and network pharmacology. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.948173
Hirsch, K. R., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Roelofs, E. J., Trexler, E. T., & Mock, M. G. (2016, July 13).Cordyceps militaris improves tolerance to high intensity exercise after acute and chronic supplementation. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.1080/19390211.2016.1203386
Anticancer and antimetastatic effects of cordycepin, an active component of Cordyceps sinensis - PubMed. (2015, January 1). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jphs.2014.09.001
Dong, Y., Jing, T., Meng, Q., Liu, C., Hu, S., Ma, Y., Liu, Y., Lu, J., Cheng, Y., Wang, D., & Teng, L. (2014, March 11).Studies on the Antidiabetic Activities of Cordyceps militaris Extract in Diet-Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetic Sprague-Dawley Rats. PubMed Central (PMC). https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/160980
Choi, E., Oh, J., & Sung, G. (2021, January 1).Antithrombotic and Antiplatelet Effects of Cordyceps militaris | Semantic Scholar. | Semantic Scholar. https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Antithrombotic-and-Antiplatelet-Effects-of-Choi-Oh/28529462fffdcfe81338ff03d260dca38fa17c47
Lin, B. Q., & Li, S. P. (2011, January 1). Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug - Herbal Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf. Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug - Herbal Medicine - NCBI Bookshelf. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92758/
Cordyceps Is a Killer Fungi With Potential Health Benefits. (2023, March 10). Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/cordyceps-benefits/
Lee, D., Lee, W. Y., Jung, K., Kwon, Y. S., Kim, D., Hwang, G. S., Kim, C. E., Lee, S., & Kang, K. S. (2019, August 26).The Inhibitory Effect of Cordycepin on the Proliferation of MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells, and Its Mechanism: An Investigation Using Network Pharmacology-Based Analysis. MDPI. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9090414
Cordyceps militaris Induces Immunogenic Cell Death and Enhances Antitumor Immunogenic Response in Breast Cancer - PubMed. (2020, September 3). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9053274
Cordycepin reduces weight through regulating gut microbiota in high-fat diet-induced obese rats - PubMed. (2018, December 6). PubMed. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12944-018-0910-6
Antidepressant-like effects of water extract of Cordyceps militaris (Linn.) Link by modulation of ROCK2/PTEN/Akt signaling in an unpredictable chronic mild stress-induced animal model. (2021, May 8). ScienceDirect. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2021.114194
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