Cordyceps is one of the most unique substances found in herbal medicine. It's actually a form of fungus which grows naturally on the backs of caterpillars found only in China, Nepal and Tibet. Synthetic versions of cordyceps have been manufactured in the West without the use of caterpillars.
Cordyceps has played a variety of roles in traditional Chinese medicine, where it has been used for approximately 1,500 years. Cordyceps fungus has been described as a very effective herb for treating circulatory, respiratory and immune problems, as well as sexual dysfunction. It was also classified as a general health tonic because of its capability to improve energy, stamina, appetite, endurance, and sleeping patterns. In tradition Chinese medicine cordyceps is used for the kidney and lungs meridians.
Cordyceps could be the next Ginseng due to its reported effects on increasing energy levels, sex drive and athletic performance. You may remember mention of cordyceps in the news a few years ago when several Chinese athletes came from out of nowhere to break world records in swimming and running. It turns out that the athletes were following a supplementation regimen that included cordyceps. Although the pharmacologically active components of cordyceps remain unknown, at least two chemical constituents; cordycepin (deoxyadenosine) and cordycepic acid (mannitol) have been identified and suggested as being the active compounds in improving lung function and increasing energy levels and sex drive.
Cordyceps relieves conditions that traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) associates with the kidneys, including high cholesterol and ringing in the ears. The herb is an aphrodisiac that has been used as a cure for impotence. It has also been used in cancer treatment. Cordyceps strengthens the immune system of people who have undergone radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgery, and helps to strengthen people who have had long-term illnesses or suffer from exhaustion. Cordyceps is known to boost energy levels and increase endurance in athletes.