Cordyceps is a type of fungus found in caterpillars in the high mountain region. These are a type of parasitic fungi, which attack their host and begin to grow. They develop into long, slim stems and grow attached alongside the body of their host.
Considering their role in treating certain health issues, cordyceps are popularly used in traditional medicine. It is therefore important to know about the health benefits and side effects of cordyceps.
While there are many species of cordyceps, only some of the specified species have earned repute for their health benefits, which is best known by the experts. Although more research is on its way,based on the current laboratory or animal studies and certain cases, some of the possible health benefits and side effects of cordyceps have been listed out. Let us look at these to gain more information about their uses and precautions that need to be taken while using them.
Here are the health benefits and side effects of cordyceps.
5 Health Benefits of Cordyceps
- Energy booster: Cordyceps can help increase the energy level of the body, enhance stamina and reduce fatigue.Due to the increased energy and stamina, it is also believed to boost the exercise performance level. This is one of the most popular health benefits of cordyceps.
- Improves cardiac function: Cordyceps are also believed to improve the strength of cardiac muscles, which further leads to an improvement in the cardiac function. This too is one of the noteworthy health benefits of cordyceps. It reduces arrythmia by increasing cardiac hypoxia tolerance and reducing the rate of oxygen consumption.
- Prevent cancer: Another promising health benefit of cordycepsis that it bears the potential of slowing down the activity of cancer cells. It inhibits the growth of certain types of human cancer cells, including those of lung, kidney, skin, liver, and colon. It also reverses the side effects of cancer therapies.
- Regulates renal function: Cordyceps help to reduce chronic kidney disease. One of the health benefits of cordycepsis that it can improve kidney function and reduce toxicity caused due to kidney damage.
- Improves liver function: Disease like liver fibrosis lead to toxins release in the body. Cordyceps fungus reduces the toxicity, which is an important health benefit.It enhances the anti-viral capabilities of the body and regulated the immune function. It is also found effective in preventing and treating hepatitis.
6 Side effects of Cordyceps
Consuming cordyceps is considered safe when taken orally and for short periods. However, they too may have some side effects, if consumed inappropriately.
Here are some of the commonest side effects of cordyceps.
- Gastric Upset:One of the important side effects of cordyceps includes gastric upset, which can present in the form of nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and an upset stomach.
- Hypoglycemic effects: It’s potential for lowering down the blood sugar level, make it contraindicated for people suffering from hypoglycemia. If taking insulin for diabetes it is important to make the dosage adjustment to avoid any unnecessary complication. Thus, while it helps to keep sugar levels low otherwise, for diabetics on medications and for people with hypoglycemia, this one of the side effects of cordyceps.
- Hormone effects: If suffering from any hormone-sensitive disease like prostate cancer, cordyceps should be avoided. cordyceps increase testosterone production which might not be good in the above condition.
- Bleeding disorders: Cordyceps slows down the clotting activity in blood. Therefore taking cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding in those suffering from bleeding disorders, yet another possible side effect of cordyceps.
- Bleeding after surgery: Cordyceps decreases the clotting activity of blood. The patient undergoing surgery should stop the intake of cordyceps, 2 weeks before surgery and should also avoid it 2 weeks after the surgery.
- Autoimmune disease: As cordyceps increases the immune function, it should not be consumed by the people suffering from autoimmune disorders – it can increase the symptoms of the disease and cause flare-ups.
Cordyceps is no doubt a natural product. But every type of product if serving a variety of benefits bears some side effects too. Now that you are aware of the health benefits and side effects of cordyceps, you can use them wisely. It is very important therefore to have a good knowledge of the proper dosage and the condition it is useful for. For safe and effective usage of cordyceps, it is best to consult an expert and also seek medical opinion for your condition.