What it is
A fungus grown on larvae, cordyceps has been used in traditional Tibetan and Chinese medicine for hundreds of years as a general health tonic and for strengthening the immune system.
A variety of compounds in cordyceps (including cordycepin and polysaccharides) show promise in improving immune function, preventing tumor growth, lowering blood sugar, and easing inflammation.
Chinese researchers recently investigated the effects of cordyceps in a group of 60 adults with moderate persistent asthma. All of the asthmatics used standard asthma medications, such as corticosteroids and beta-agonists, but half also took cordyceps capsules daily. After two months, the cordyceps group experienced less airway inflammation. Researchers also noted that cordyceps appeared to reverse the undesirable airway changes that can occur in difficult asthma cases.
How to take it*
Adults may take 2-5 grams of cordyceps daily, in divided doses.
Cordyceps has a long history of use with no safety concerns.
*Talk with your health care provider before starting any supplement regimen.