Cordyceps- A Wonder Herb

“Mushrooms remind us that we all have hidden depths waiting to be explored.” anonymous

What if I tell you that there is a mushroom which has numerous medicinal properties and provides us with energy, endurance, immunity and many other functional benefits? Of course, there will be a question in your mind about the name of this mushroom, so let me take you on an exciting journey about this magical mushroom where we will discover everything about it.

So, without making any more delay let’s begin our journey of a healthy life by revealing the name of this fantastic mushroom which is Cordyceps. 

Cordyceps is a fungus which is a one stop solution to many common diseases. Although there are more than 600 species of this mushroom, two of them (C.sinensis and militaris) have gained major attraction and popularity in traditional Asian medical practice. Among them, the wild variety Cordyceps sinensis, stands out among the medicinal cordyceps. It is a fascinating type of fungus and shows a unique life cycle and has a long history of being used as TRADITIONAL CHINESE MEDICINE (TCM) and in ASIA.  

Cordyceps are found in Himalayan regions in India, and have also been reported in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand in India and known with many names like “KEERA GHAS”, “HIMALAYAN VIAGRA” and “HIMALAYAN GOLD”. This fungus grows with the help of caterpillars, and due to its unique lifecycle Cordyceps sinensis can’t be commercially cultivated and therefore harvested from the wild.

Cordyceps sinensis mushroom is very rare and expensive as it involves a lot of hard work by the people of all age groups 15 to 65, to collect them from extreme heights in summer season. In fact, it is even more expensive than gold. Because of its high cost it becomes unapproachable for the market and meet the huge demand.

On the other hand, Cordyceps militaris, which is successfully cultivated commercially in the laboratory, in an artificial environment is a cheaper alternative for the same.

The most valuable, medicinally important compounds like Cordycepin, Adenosine and Beta-glucans besides other beneficial compounds are present in both the species and therefore have been mentioned in ancient healing textbooks. 

C.militaris can be cultivated artificially on vegetarian substrate with all important biomolecules even sometimes higher, compared to C.sinensis (also known as caterpillar fungus) being very expensive due to its wild collection.

Due to this reason, militaris makes it best candidate to be consumed as medicinal mushroom and nowadays it’s an important topic of interest for researchers and scientists.

Isn’t it very cool if we can explore the potential of this natural medicinal wonder herb and replace the synthetic ones… 


Many studies confirm the positive impacts of cordyceps mushroom in human health when taken as a supplement on a regular basis.

  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Immunity booster
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant property
  • Improves heart health
  • Maintain blood sugar level in diabetic patients 
  • Anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties
  • Effective in case of sexual dysfunction

It has to be noted that, there is not enough data about the safety of cordyceps use for pregnant and lactating women besides the autoimmune diseases, therefore more deep studies are awaited for the usage by them.

If you want to know how this fascinating mushroom grows and how it contributes to our nutrition and health?

Then keep an eye on our upcoming exciting blogs. 

Written by : Ms. Pragati Nayak (Pursuing M.Sc. Biotechnology) Student Trainee BETi


Kanitta Jiraungkoorskul and Wannee Jiraungkoorskul Review of Naturopathy of Medical Mushroom, Ophiocordyceps Sinensis, in Sexual Dysfunction – PMC ( Rev. 2016

Hardeep S. Tuli,1 Sardul S. Sandhu,2 and A. K. Sharma1 Pharmacological and therapeutic potential of Cordyceps with special reference to Cordycepin – PMC ( Biotech. 2014.

Bao-qin Lin and Shao-ping Li Cordyceps as an Herbal Drug – Herbal Medicine – NCBI Bookshelf ( IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors.

Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011.

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