Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis) is a black, blade-shaped mushroom. In the past, cordyceps is harvested from remote, high-altitude regions on the Chinese-Tibetan border, but it is now often hydroponically grown. To prepare the extract, the mature fruiting body is removed, concentrated and then dried. Cordyceps has traditionally been one of the most valued Chinese medicinal herbs for use as energy and immune support.
Cordyceps sinensis may aid in preventing kidney impairment in patients with stable angina pectoris.1 Cordyceps may also improve exercise performance and overall health in the older adults.2 Cordyceps may play a role in reducing complications in kidney (renal) transplant patients.3 It has been suggested in a preclinical study that Cordyceps may prevent osteoporosis by reducing bone turnover and increasing osteocalcin levels.4
Zhao K, Li Y, Zhang H. Role of dongchongxiacao (Cordyceps) in prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy in patients with stable angina pectoris. J Tradit Chin Med. 2013 Jun;33(3):283-6. PubMed PMID: 24024319.
Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2010 May;16(5):585-90. PubMed PMID: 20804368
Ding C, Tian PX, Xue W, Ding X, Yan H, Pan X, Feng X, Xiang H, Hou J, Tian X. Efficacy of Cordyceps sinensis in long term treatment of renal transplant patients. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2011 Jan 1;3:301-7. PubMed PMID: 21196310.
Qi W, Yan YB, Lei W, Wu ZX, Zhang Y, Liu D, Shi L, Cao PC, Liu N. Prevention of disuse osteoporosis in rats by Cordyceps sinensis extract. Osteoporos Int. 2012 Sep;23(9):2347-57. PubMed PMID: 22159671.