Cordyceps include those wild fungi that grow out of wasps. Some cordy's have medicinal benefits.
Considered a type of natural “immuno-potentiating drug,” corycep supplements are now used to bring the immune system back to normal following life-threatening infections or illnesses. Cordyceps can help control autoimmune disorders, excessive inflammation and tissue damage while speeding up healing time. Additionally, research shows that cordyceps can act like mild stimulants or “adaptogen herbs,” fighting stress or fatigue and naturally increasing energy levels. Some of the most researched benefits of corceyps also include improving athletic performance, increasing immunity against viruses and even promoting longevity.
In addition to fighting cancer, cordyceps are used to help treat:
- respiratory infections like chronic bronchitis
- coughs, colds and the flu
- reproductive problems and sexual dysfunction
- kidney disorders
- bladder infections and urination problems
- hepatitis B
- low circulation and irregular heartbeats
- heart disease and high cholesterol
- liver disorders
- muscle weakness
- chronic fatigue syndrome and low energy
Growing Cordyceps sinensis requires some precision with respect to environment:
Place cereal grain, such as rye, in a dry plastic bag or glass jar. Make sure to sterilize with hot water or other method beforehand. While cordyceps sinensis grows on moth larva in the wild, it can also be grown in other hosts such as rye grain, millet or rice. Rye or millet produces a higher quality product than rice.
Additionally, in China or countries other than the United States, a high quality product can be obtained using silk worm residue from dead silk worms. While these are easy to obtain in China and Japan, they are regulated in the United States and most growers there use grains. Silk worm residue from dead silk worms produces a higher quality product than does use of grains.
Inoculate the substrate of rice, millet, rye or silk worm extract, with the cordyceps sinensis fungus. Temperature should be 68 to 74 degrees F. There should be diffuse light and atmospheric oxygen conditions comparable to sea level. Growth under these conditions should be for 28-30 days.
Move the fungus and substrate in its glass or plastic containers to a controlled environmental chamber with 50 percent oxygen, and 50 percent nitrogen, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The temperature should be thirty-seven degrees F with no light. The fungus should grow under those conditions for 15-20 weeks.
Harvest and process the mushrooms. The chemical composition of the cordyceps sinensis grown under these conditions will be almost identical to that in the wild. The mushrooms should be dried and can be sold as it is to consumers, or for processing into powder or liquid for use in the Chinese medicinal market.