A stronger immune system, more energy, improved endurance, and better stamina … one ingredient promises all of that. Whether it’s as an extract, a pill, or powdered into your coffee, the cordyceps fungus is promoted as a one-stop-shop to cure what ails you. Known as Himalayan Gold because it is often farmed in the Himalayan plateaus, cordyceps has long been used in ancient Chinese and Tibetan medicine for curing diarrhea, headache, cough, rheumatism, liver disease, kidney disease, and much more. But is it too good to be true?
What is Cordyceps?
As we discussed in a previous episode, the cordyceps fungus grows like a parasite out of the brains of insects and spiders. The fungus takes over the bodies and brains of its victims forcing their zombified bodies to permanently relocate to the trees and low-lying jungle plants where the conditions are ideal for the fungus to thrive.
There are around 400 different species of cordyceps and many different biologically active compounds, but those most commonly used in medicine tend to be cordyceps sinesis and cordyceps militaris. A jar of 90 capsules will run you around $20, but if you want your dose straight from the source, a single dried wild Himalyana cordyceps sinsensis can cost $10 or more.