So you’ve heard all about this magnificent mushroom called Cordyceps and a few of its wacky characteristics, like how it colonizes insects and grows out of their bodies or that ingesting these little orange mushrooms can support healthy energy.*  In this blog, you’ll learn more about Cordyceps and what makes it so dang cool — namely its compound, cordycepin. 

Cordyceps is an entomopathogenic fungus, meaning that it grows parasitically on different insects. At Mushroom Revival, we work with a locally growing strain called Cordyceps militaris that can be found fruiting out of a variety of insects in the wild. (We actually grow it in a lab, so that no insects are harmed for you to have your favorite Cordyceps products!)

A National Treasure, and So Much More

Cordyceps has been used for over 1,000 years in China, where it is recognized as a national treasure, and ingested as a precious and sacred tonic.* It is traditionally prepared in specialty recipes or as a tea, and used to support stamina and immunity.* Cordycepin is one of the hundreds of compounds found in Cordyceps, along with sterols, polysaccharides, and others.

Cordycepin is a compound found in Cordyceps and was named after the mushroom. Through scientific research, we are now able to identify and extract it, and it is being studied extensively for its health mechanisms.* Cordycepin is responsible for many of the supportive qualities of Cordyceps, including immune support and healthy energy.*

Cordycepin is chemically similar to adenosine, which is a neurotransmitter found in the cells in the body that regulate basic bodily functions, such as sleep cycle and energy levels.* Adenosine helps in cellular energy transfer by forming molecules like adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine diphosphate (ADP).* 

There are several other discoveries concerning Cordycepin. Recent research has shown that cordycepin plays a role in maintaining healthy cell turnover.* Cordycepin possesses antioxidant qualities, too.*

We love Cordyceps so much that it has become our signature mushroom — almost like our mascot! Looking to support healthy energy and a healthy stress response? Check out our Cordyceps tincture, made from certified organic and 100% mushroom fruit bodies!

Get the Most Cordycepin Out of Your Tea!

Our friend Reishi Strauss, graduate of Bastyr’s Herbal Sciences program, has been conducting tests with Mushroom Revival’s Cordyceps to find the best preparation methods to extract cordycepin. Her studies have found some really exciting results that have been consistent over the last two years of study (such as testing fresh versus dried material, water temperature, brew time, etc).

 The trick to getting the greatest impact from mushroom tea is proper brewing. Studies have concluded that the best way to get the most cordycepin is to brew the dried Cordyceps for 15 minutes, covered.* Longer steep times degraded the compounds while shorter times did not extract nearly enough. If tea is your preferred medium for getting those vital compounds, we recommend a 1/2 gram of 100% fruiting bodies per day. This amount will brew a potent 12 oz cup of tea, but you may be flexible with the volume of water and increase if desired.

Check out this podcast we recorded with Reishi Strauss to learn more about her research and the results!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


  3. Healing Mushrooms by Georges M. Halpen



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