The strange looking Cordyceps Mushroom Sinensis are quite the site, and wild is quite rare these days because of such a high demand and many benefits.
Yet these mushrooms have always been very highly regarded, it has also been the most expensive herbal raw material in the world. Used for millennia in China and Tibet and now available from Medicinal Foods.
Originally, this fungus only grew on insects and larva at high elevations in the Himalayas around Tibet and Nepal and in small border sections of India and China.
The high altitude makes its collection difficult, and this rarity has limited its use by the general public.
Yes, it used to be reserved just for Kings and Queens and the great demand and the limited supply act to drive the price up, sometimes to as much as $35,000 a pound!
But now it is grown on substrates at low temps and low O2 environments to simulate the Tibetan Highlands.
The scarcity and high price lead many people to try to cultivate them like a normal farm product. But unlike the common button mushroom that we find on pizzas worldwide, this one proved to be extremely difficult to grow.
It was not until 1972 that the first successful Cordyceps Cultivation was achieved.
The first cultures were isolated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in that year. These strains were not isolated from Tibet, where most of the top quality comes from, but rather they were isolated from specimens found in Qinghai province in Central China.
Originally three different strains were isolated. The first three strains, named CS-1, CS-2 and CS-3, did not have the fast growth characteristics that make commercial cultivation practical.
It was the fourth culture that had been isolated by this institute, named CS-4, that was hardy and fast growing. So this CS-4 strain was chosen for commercial production.
Cordycepin inhibits RNA polymerase III, an enzyme essential to viral replication and cellular transformation. And since most viruses use an enzyme similar to RNA polymerase III, this action may explain why Cordyceps is a broad-spectrum antiviral.
Cordyceps has been successfully used to treat kidney failure, lung cancer, liver cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis B. In addition, it's been shown effective in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer patients.
In Chinese traditional medicine Cordyceps have been used for over 2,000 years as a tonic to increase energy and endurance during prolonged physical activity such as hiking in high altitudes.
According to these ancient beliefs, only the fittest people were capable of collecting wild Cordyceps which made them strong but also left them vulnerable in their struggle against nature. This may be why traditionally they were eaten raw with rice wine in order to keep all the nutrients intact.
Today Cordyceps are harvested commercially and nowadays they don't need to be eaten raw since most modern consumers eat them in pill form.
But authenticity is important so you should only consider buying organic supplements made with 100% pure Cordyceps Mushroom Sinensis powder or extracts that have been independently verified for quality, purity and safety.
Different strains in mushrooms are like different breeds in dogs. Chihuahuas and Golden Retrievers and Great Danes are all dogs, but they are all quite different in terms of size and personality.
They are not alike at all. Or consider apples, different strains like the Red Delicious, or the green Granny Smith apples, or the Yellow Delicious apples are all apples, but they taste quite different, and they have different sugar content and even different textures and uses.
Or as a scientist would say, they all have a different “Analytical Profile”. Not all Cordy's are the same, just like not all apples or all dogs are the same.
Cordyceps Superfood: Wild or Cultivated? You Decide.
You probably could get a good deal from a seller at Yak square in Gyegu Town, the biggest market in Yushu. Or you could poach along with other Tibetans from May to July in Bhutan's Jigme Dorji National Park. However the eager over-harvesting is having its impact on the environment and species.
Wild can cost from $2000 - $3000 per kilo! Although the mushroom myceliates the caterpillar, leaving only a pleasant mushroom taste when used in cooking, mycologists have concern about mold and bacteria contamination from imported Chinese varieties.
There are many different types and our strain was chosen out of 400 strains because it is the highest in Cordyceptin, one is of the reasons it can increase ATP production by up top 35% and INCREASE OXYGENATION in the body.
Our strain is highest in Polysaccharide count as well as Beta-Glucans and Cordyceptin. The yield results in less than 5% substrate and is grown at low temperature and oxygen levels to simulate the Tibetan Highlands.
But more about our mushrooms: ours are always full spectrum and hot steam activated. Just take 1/4 to 1/2 tsp in the morning because it’s such a powerful performance enhancer that it may keep you up at night!
Nobody else grows these mushrooms at the state-of the art facilities than the growers we have partnered with. The lab controls the temperatures to near freezing levels to bring out more oxygenation with increased cordyceptin levels
Also great to use as a lung and adrenal tonic when you are healthy...