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Cordyceps (Cordyceps militaris)

  • Mushroom for Respiratory Health
  • Mushroom for Kidney Health

Mushrooms are all around us, they are the true communicators in nature. Medicinal mushrooms have been used globally for thousands of years for their health benefits and can provide the missing link to support our health and well-being. Each medicinal mushroom has its own unique set of compounds to support health, let’s learn more about cordyceps:

Meet the Mushroom

Cordyceps’ benefits have been celebrated for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Naturally occurring cordyceps is difficult to obtain, expensive, and not widely used, so scientists figured out how to reproduce cordyceps on organic grains under nature-identical conditions, to provide an identical chemical profile to its wild form. 


Also known as the ‘emperor’s mushroom’, cordyceps has been long used in religious ceremonies and linked to longevity and immortality. The first people to discover cordyceps’ benefits initially observed animals eating the mushroom and growing strong in the process. Farmers and herders then began to use cordyceps to make tonics and teas to promote strength and vitality. It was traditionally used for respiratory health and has also been used to support kidney health, and to enhance libido and reproductive function.

Benefits: Why you should use it?

  • Kidney Health: Studies have highlighted improved kidney function in those with chronic renal failure, and protection from kidney damage. 
  • Respiratory Health: Traditionally used for respiratory ailments, research suggests cordyceps might help enhance lung function by increasing oxygen utilisation and improving respiratory capacity which may be beneficial for asthma and COPD.
  • Energy: Studies show increases in oxygen uptake, aerobic capacity, and resistance to fatigue. Cordyceps can naturally support energy levels. 
  • Fertility: Several studies have looked into the effects of cordyceps on libido and sexual health suggesting it may increase levels of male sex hormones, and improve sperm quality and quantity. 
  • Immunity: Research has shown an increase in the production of protective immune cells, and enhanced immune response. Cordyceps has also been shown to have powerful anti-viral effects; in particular the militaris species which is rich in cordycepin (1).

Key Actives

  • Cordycepin : Has a close similarity to adenosine so some enzymes can’t distinguish between the two. Adenosine is central to energy metabolism, it is needed to make ATP which is the body’s energy currency. Cordycepin is also a powerful anti-viral compound. 
  • Polysaccharides and Nucleosides: Pharmacological functions of cordyceps are primarily due to the bioactive polysaccharides, modified nucleosides, and cyclosporin-like metabolites it produces (2).
  • Antioxidants: Rich in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. 

Product Info

Our Organic Cordyceps is a 100% fruiting body extract of cordyceps militaris carefully cultivated in JiangSu and Fujian provinces under nature-identical conditions on organic rice to provide an equivalent profile to its wild cousins. 

It is hot water extracted (Up to 12:1 extract ratio) to release and concentrate its polysaccharides and cordycepin. It has a minimum of 30% beta glucans, and 0.2% cordycepin to support energy, respiratory health, and immunity. 

Our Pure Grade range of extracts are regarded as practitioner quality and contain the highest levels of active compounds. It is common for mushroom capsules and powders to use ‘drinks grade’ extracts that contain a high level of maltodextrin to help encapsulation, and to taste sweeter to the palate. Pure Grade is the hallmark of the highest quality mushroom supplements. 

How to use

Capsules: Adults take 2 capsules, 1-3 times a day with or without food, or try adding the powder from the capsules into a smoothie. 

Powder: Take 1g 1-4 times a day. Cordyceps has a mild nutty flavour. You can make a tasty tea using the powder, add it to your matcha, coffee, smoothies, and breakfast bowls. 


When is the best time to take it? : Cordyceps is best taken earlier in the day, or pre-workout for sustained energy. Regular consumption of cordyceps can help you take advantage of its health benefits.

Are there any side effects? : Cordyceps is generally well-tolerated, but some people may experience side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, dry mouth, or stomach discomfort.

Are there any interactions? : Cordyceps may interact with certain medications, including anticoagulants, immunosuppressants, and antidiabetic drugs. We would advise anyone on any medication, or those who are pregnant/breastfeeding to check with their healthcare practitioner.

Do you test the product? : Yes, it is third party tested, COA are available on request.

Is the cordyceps vegan? : The cordyceps is vegan. The majority of cordyceps is now grown on non-insect, grain based substrates which has improved quality control and affordability. HPLC analysis shows identical chemical profiles to wild cordyceps, and the two are interchangeable clinically.

Why do you source from China? : The use of medicinal mushrooms was a cornerstone in Traditional Chinese Medicine and this practice dates back thousands of years. No country has more extensive knowledge than China in the growing and extraction of mushrooms. China is also home to some of the vastest and most pristine forests in the world, which provide the ideal environment for mushrooms to grow. It is universally agreed, through ongoing DNA analysis, that China continue to grow the best quality mushrooms in the world.

What is the difference between cordyceps sinensis and militaris? : The main difference between sinensis and militaris species is in the concentrations of 2 compounds: adenosine and cordycepin. Studies have shown that cordyceps sinensis contains more adenosine than cordyceps militaris, but no cordycepin which the militaris contains.

What is the difference between this and the Cordyceps Perform product? : This is a pure grade product, it is an extract and is more therapeutic than the Cordyceps Perform. The militaris strain in this product is rich in cordycepin and is more geared towards respiratory and kidney health, with anti-viral and immune benefits.

Combine with

Cordyceps can be taken on its own or combined with other supplements and functional foods for synergistic effects. Combine with other adaptogens like ashwagandha to support the bodies stress response, or combine with beetroot, or caffeine for a pre-workout boost.

Fungi Fact

Cordyceps made headlines in 1993 after Chinese athletes smashed many track and field world records- claiming the secret to their enhanced performance was the cordyceps mushroom the team had been using.