27/08/2014 by

Commonly known as “caterpillar fungus”, or Dong chong xia cao in Chinese, Cordyceps (scientific name) is a wild fungus that grows high in the mountains and has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal herb.  Its main benefits are to build up Qi in the lungs and strengthen yin-yang energy in the kidneys. When the energy in the lungs and kidneys is strong, the whole immune system is naturally enhanced.  Modern scientific research has demonstrated that Cordyceps can improve lung, spleen and kidney function, boost the immune system, slow the aging process, protect the heart muscle, and hinder the growth of cancer cells.


So now you may be wondering: When, how and in what circumstances should Cordyceps be used?


  1. For any condition related to:


  • A depressed immune system – whether it be ME, diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer, chronic psoriasis or eczema, an overactive bladder, impotence, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, kidney failure, etc.


  • Debilitation (lowered Qi) of the lungs – such as in chronic bronchitis, chronic coughing, asthma, hay fever, etc.


I treated two cases in the second category several years ago when I worked in Chelsea, London.  Both patients had been told by doctors that their immune systems were compromised and they were looking for ways to strengthen it.  I advised them to try a course of Cordyceps capsules (Cordyceps Sinesis extract, 300 mg per capsule, from China; two capsules to be taken three times daily).  Both patients told me their “asthma was gone”, one of them three months later, the other five months later, after a regular course of Cordyceps. They no longer had any cough, phlegm or shortness of breath even in winter, whereas previously they were sometimes short of breath even in summer.


  1. How should you take it?


Cordyceps in capsule form is definitely the easiest form to take, and the most popular.  Take according to instructions


However, it can still be taken in the traditional way, by cooking it in a soup, or on its own as other herbs are prepared, then consumed.  Or it can be added to wine and left to macerate for awhile, and the wine then enjoyed!


  1. What sort of health conditions is Cordyceps used for?


It is widely used by people with chronic health problems related to immunodeficiency, such as chronic fatigue, susceptibility to frequent colds or flu or other infections, or strongly allergic reactions.

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