Cordyceps mushrooms are extremely popular lately – just check all of the popular adaptogen and pre-workouts on the market. They’re known for their wide variety of health benefits so it’s no wonder that supplements made from Cordyceps are in such high demand!
However, due to the availability of a wide range of products, most users end up with supplements that are not effective. To ensure that you don’t go down the same road, we’ve gone ahead and reviewed the best Cordyceps supplements.
Before taking a look at the products, however, we believe it’s essential to understand why Cordyceps mushrooms have captured the health-conscious population’s attention. That’s why we’ll first take a look at the many benefits of taking Cordyceps supplements.
Benefits Of Cordyceps
Cordyceps is a kind of fungus that grows on insect larvae. Characterized by slender and long stems, these mushrooms have been used in ancient Chinese medicine for treating a wide variety of conditions, ranging from anxiety to physical tiredness.
Cordyceps mushrooms can be divided into more than 600 species, of which Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis possess significant medical properties. Each of these varieties of the mushroom contains several components, such as Beta-Glucans and Cordycepin, which help treat and alleviate a variety of conditions.
1. Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Cordyceps has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Excessive inflammation can lead to many severe conditions, including cancer and heart disease. Cordyceps supplements can act as a protective shield against such diseases.
It also helps to suppress inflammation-inducing proteins in the body, which allow the inflammation to reduce on a cellular level. This may help alleviate symptoms of conditions such as asthma. Apart from the above, it can also be used topically to reduce skin inflammation.
2. Improves Heart Health
As already mentioned, Cordyceps has been proven beneficial in improving heart health. Chinese medicine approves the use of this mushroom in the treatment of cardiac arrhythmia, a heart condition in which the organ suffers from irregular beats.
Another way in which it can be beneficial is by reducing heart damage caused as a result of chronic kidney disease. Cordyceps is also thought to increase the levels of good cholesterol, while reducing bad cholesterol.
The beneficial properties of the mushroom are usually attributed to its high Adenosine content. Due to its heart-protective effects, Adenosine is considered extremely helpful in maintaining cardiac health.
3. Helps To Control Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is known as the silent killer, as it can slowly damage other essential organs, such as the kidneys. Millions of people all over the world suffer from this disease due to a lack of insulin function.
Interestingly, studies have suggested that Cordyceps may be beneficial in controlling this as well. Cordyceps extracts help mimic the function of insulin; this enables the mushroom to control blood sugar levels effectively.
4. Protects Against Tumor Formation
Recent laboratory tests have shown that Cordyceps can help control the growth of cancerous tumors. The fungus has exhibited positive results against many varieties of cancer, such as lung cancer, lymphoma, and melanoma.
What’s more, it’s also thought to be effective in reversing the harmful effects of cancer treatments. As a result, it can potentially reverse conditions such as leukopenia, and similar side-effects of chemotherapy.
5. Rich Source Of Antioxidants
Cordyceps mushroom is a rich source of antioxidants, which makes it useful against oxidative stress. Due to this property, the mushroom exhibits anti-aging effects on users. Plus, it’s also beneficial in reducing fatigue and boosting overall strength and stamina.
Further, this mushroom has been used for centuries as a treatment for enhancing sex drive. Regular consumption of Cordyceps can help to improve your sex-life and give you more energy to perform.
With so many benefits under its belt, it’s no wonder that it has been gaining popularity steadily in recent times. But you need to be careful and go with only the best quality Cordyceps supplements on the market today.
To help you do just that, here’s a handy guide to understand what you need to look for when buying Cordyceps supplements.
Cordyceps Supplement Buying Guide
1. Sinensis Vs. Militaris: What’s In Your Supplement?
Cordyceps has a large number of species, each of which attacks only one particular insect species and grows by consuming it. When it comes to the making of supplements, two variants of the mushroom stand out: Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris.
Naturally, the question arises: which one is better? To answer that question, we have to delve deep into the origins of each. We’ll also take a look at the beneficial components that each contains.
Cordyceps sinensis (also called Ophiocordyceps sinensis) refers to the wild variety of the fungus that grows at high elevations. Sinensis grows by parasitizing the larvae of Ghost Moths, and contains two parts: the endosclerotium and stroma.
Due to its wild origin, Sinensis is extremely costly; in fact, it can very well be counted among the most expensive mushrooms in the world. Another reason for the rather high price of the fungus is that there’s no known method to cultivate this mushroom in controlled environments.
To overcome this difficulty, research has uncovered a different species, namely Cordyceps Militaris, that can be commercially cultivated. As a result, the cost of developing real Cordyceps extract has been brought down to a large extent.
Chemical analyses of these two varieties have revealed that Sinensis and Militaris both have similar bioactive compounds. The difference, however, lies in the levels of these beneficial components that each can deliver.
Both these varieties are rich sources of Adenosine, Cordycepin, and Beta-Glucans, along with other essential vitamins and amino acids. However, research has suggested that Militaris contains much higher Adenosine and Cordycepin levels than Sinensis.
Since Sinensis is more expensive and not as well-researched as the commercially cultivated Milatris, it’s best to opt for the latter. This ensures that the product you’re going for is possibly more beneficial as well as affordable.
2. Mycelium Vs. Whole Fruiting Bodies: Which Is Better?
After checking whether you’re being sold Sinensis or Militaris, it’s also essential to check whether the product contains whole fruiting bodies or mycelium. This is an important distinction that must be understood.
Whole fruiting bodies refers to the mushroom’s actual fruit, which contains all the beneficial components such as Beta-Glucans. Mushroom extracts prepared from this part deliver the best results.
Sadly, most products available in the market use myceliated grain to prepare the extract. This is simply the mushroom root network grown on grain and contains little to no beneficial components.
Since the grain cannot be separated from the mycelium, myceliated grain (also called mycelium-on-grain or MOG) is high in Alpha-Glucans, which aren’t beneficial polysaccharides.
This is why the number of polysaccharides, which includes both Alpha and Beta-Glucans, should never be used to judge the quality of mushroom supplements. It’s best to focus on getting the whole fruiting body instead, which guarantees the maximum Beta-Glucans content.
3. Extraction Process: Which Gets You The Most Benefits?
The next factor that you need to be careful about when selecting Cordyceps supplements is the extraction process. Generally, mushroom extracts can be prepared using hot water extraction, or a water-alcohol dual extraction.
In the case of Cordyceps supplements, we recommend going for a product that uses the hot water extraction process. The reason for this being that the major beneficial component of this mushroom, Beta-Glucans, is best extracted using the hot water extraction method.
4. Check For The Beta-Glucans Content
Finally, when selecting your supplement of choice, be sure to check for its Beta-Glucans content. Why is this essential? Let’s perform a check of the current supplement situation to understand it better.
Mushroom supplements most often advertise the polysaccharide content. But as we’ve already mentioned, not all polysaccharides are created equal, and the content levels your supplement indicates may very well be the Alpha-Glucans level.
However, it’s the Beta-Glucans which are responsible for the significant beneficial effects of Cordyceps supplements. This is the component that helps to boost energy, improve health, and also work to enhance your immune system function.
So, the next time you’re going for a Cordyceps supplement, make it a point to check out the Beta-Glucans content. Also, keep the other points mentioned on top of mind, and you’ll be well on your way to selecting the best supplement there is.
Now that we’re up to speed with what you need to be aware of when choosing Cordyceps supplements, let’s take a look at the best ones on the market.
The 5 Best Cordyceps Supplements
The Real Mushrooms brand needs no introduction among mushroom enthusiasts. One of the leading Cordyceps supplement manufacturers, it sources their products from Nammex, the world leader in genuine mushroom products. Naturally, Cordyceps-M carries with it all the benefits that the brand offers, and then some.
Why Do We Recommend It?
The very first reason which attracted us to this product was that it’s made from pure Cordyceps Militaris extracted using a hot-water extraction process. As a result, it contains high amounts of Beta-Glucans, Triterpenes, and Cordycepin.
We also like how it uses only the best quality Militaris and is made from only whole fruiting bodies. This ensures that you get nutrients equivalent to ten grams of pure mushroom with every two capsules, and don’t have to worry about any starch fillers that you’d find in supplements derived from mycelium on grain.
Add to that the fact that every unit is manufactured in the USA at NSF and SQF-certified facilities, and in line with cGMP practices. Plus, the products are 100% organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free, making them one of the best Cordyceps supplements out there.
Next up on our list is the HERO2 Cordyceps extract from Freshcap Mushrooms, another well-known brand in the mushroom industry. 100% natural, organic, and non-GMO, this product is made from handpicked Cordyceps Militaris mushrooms in environments that mimic nature.
Why Do We Recommend It?
Manufactured using only whole fruiting bodies, this product doesn’t include any MOG. Plus, it uses the hot water extraction process to extract the maximum amount of Beta-Glucans. All of this translates to a supplement that is effective in several ways.
We were impressed to find that it contains more than 25% Beta-Glucans, proving that this product is conscious of the bioactive compounds found within the fruiting bodies of the mushrooms. What’s more, even the capsule shells are made from pullulan, a vegetable-derived substance that’s easily soluble in water.
Dosage is typically two capsules daily, which is enough to get you through the day. And in case you don’t feel satisfied with the product, the company promises (and delivers) a full refund, no questions asked.
HPD Rx Cordyceps-M capsules guarantee the benefits of organically grown Cordyceps Militaris. Formulated by medical doctors, this product guarantees freedom from fatigue and speeds up recovery from injuries. Plus, it’s backed by solid research, which makes it one of the better Cordyceps supplements you can get.
Why Do We Recommend It?
Our first reason for recommending this product is that it’s made from whole fruiting body mushrooms and doesn’t contain any grains, additives, or fillers. Also, the powder used in the capsules is extracted using only hot water extraction, which guarantees significant beta-glucans content.
As a result, this product contains one of the highest levels of Cordyceps available per serving. At 2,250mg per serving, it delivers the most potent dose of the mushroom in comparison to other supplements.
What’s more, the product has been tested to contain the highest levels of Beta-Glucans, Hericenones, and other nutrients. Just three capsules are equivalent to consuming almost twenty grams of pure mushroom, which gives you all the benefits associated with Cordyceps.
The next item we have for you is also from Freshcap Mushrooms and is a potent blend of six powerful mushrooms in powder form. Entirely organic and non-GMO, this product has been certified to be Gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly. But that’s not all that it has to offer!
Why Do We Recommend It?
This potent blend of six different mushrooms all extracted from whole fruiting bodies offers the benefits of consuming cordyceps combined with other medicinal mushrooms.
Apart from cordyceps for endurance, the mix also contains Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Maitake, along with Turkey Tail and Chaga. The combination of Maitake, Turkey Tail, and Reishi helps boost the immune system and protects it from diseases.
The Chaga extract helps supply the body with all the energy needed to perform at peak levels and removes harmful toxins from the bloodstream. What’s more, the Lion’s Mane in the mix enhances mental clarity and focus, thus providing complete physical and psychological protection.
Since the product is available in powder form, it can easily be mixed in food and beverages such as tea and coffee. And if you’re not satisfied, there’s the complete money-back guarantee. This is a great product if you’re looking for the benefits of cordyceps but want to accompany it with other health benefits as well.
Finally, we cannot help but mention the Mushroom Elixir from Four Sigmatic, a brand that’s made waves around the world with its mushroom products. Made with 1,500mg of organic Cordyceps, together with 200 mg of Schisandra berries, this Mushroom Elixir can very well be the one Cordyceps supplement you were waiting for.
Why Do We Recommend It?
First and foremost, it’s made entirely from whole fruiting bodies and doesn’t contain any mycelium or starch fillers. We also like how the company uses hot water extraction to extract the largest possible amount of Beta-Glucans.
The product is entirely free from stimulants such as caffeine. Plus, it tastes just like tea and can be consumed with coconut milk, almond cream, and even raw dairy. So, you don’t have to worry about the bitter, mushroomy taste.
In addition to Cordyceps, the mixture contains Organic Schisandra, which is well known for its potent antioxidant properties. Along with that, the mixture contains rose hips, which are a great source of vitamin C.
And if that wasn’t enough, this blend also contains mint leaves, which help to balance out the bitter taste of cordyceps. Overall, this is the perfect blend of flavor and health for the discerning mushroom supplement buyer.
Want to learn more about Four Sigmatic? Take a look at our four sigmatic review and find out why we love this brand.
With that, we come to an end of our reviews of the best Cordyceps supplement in the market. However, before we leave, we’d like to encourage you to exercise caution when buying Cordyceps supplements.
To cut costs and boost profits, most supplement manufacturers resort to using MOG for preparing the products. While this does bring down the cost of production, it also means that the product’s beneficial effects decline.
That’s why, when buying Cordyceps supplements, it’s best to stick to our recommendations. Also, keep the points of the buyers’ guide in mind, as it will help you settle on the right product that’s ideal for you.