- Hi, I'm Sage. Welcome back to the Addictive Wellness channel. Today, we're going to be talking about an herb that I have been wanting to make a video about for quite a long time. This is not an herb in the sense that it comes from a plant, as many people associate the term herb. But it doesn't come from an animal either. This is actually coming from a fungi, and it's one of the most powerful herbs in the world. If I was to pick a top three or four herbs that I would recommend to somebody not knowing anything about their particular health situation, but just something that almost anybody can really benefit from, this would be one of them.
Today, we are talking about cordyceps. Now, cordyceps is more than just one thing. It's a genus of fungi that consists of more than 400 different species. Now most of what we're going to talk about today is a specific species, specific variety, called cordyceps sinensis CS-4. Now this is of course, I mean it has been consumed going back thousands of years in China. It grows in the wild. Now this is different than how it grows in, when cultivated, but in the wild, it grows on the bodies of insects. It takes over their body, and this is a part of its life cycle, it takes over their body, controls their muscles, and then, keep in mind, it does not have this effect on humans, insects only.
The spores land on the insect, it takes over their body, controls their muscles, makes them climb up to the highest point in the local environment, then kills them and grows out of its head and shoots spores off to infect as many others in the, in the local environment as possible. Now you can imagine that going through nature and finding these cordyceps and collecting them is a very laborious, tedious process, and for that reason, cordyceps is the most expensive herb in the world. You want to buy a kilo of wild cordyceps, it's going to cost you about $20,000. Doesn't come cheap. So up until just a couple decades ago, wild cordyceps was the only way you could get it, and therefore it was reserved really just for very, very wealthy people, and it was a prized herb amongst royalty in China.
Nowadays though, fortunately, we live in such an amazing and just wonderful time, that cordyceps can be grown in a cultivated manner. The way cordyceps sinensis CS-4 is most often grown is that it is cultivated, and, and, it's cultivated by the way of fermentation, and so this allows a lot of cordyceps to be grown, and, in a much more cost effective way than crawling through the jungle or over grasses and looking around where there may be one cordyceps here and one little cordyceps there. So, we live in an amazing time to be able to have access to cordyceps and have it be relatively affordable. Now, what does cordyceps do? Why is it in such high demand? It's an incredible herb amongst people who are athletes or just enjoy being physically active, and like to have energy and like to have mental clarity and mental focus, both energy on a physical and a mental level. It works in a number of ways.
One, it has a compound in it, the one of the main compounds in cordyceps is called cordycepin, is one of the main active compounds. And it, essentially, is very, very similar to ATP, adenosine triphosphate. This is the compound produced by your mitochondria, the power plants in your cells, so this is pure cellular energy. Cordycepin acts very similar to it, and ends up increasing ATP levels in the body, so when you have more energy for all the cells in your body, basically, not only are you going to feel more energy, but everything in your body in terms of healing and detoxification, so many things, it's all going to start working better when you have more cellular energy. Everything just functions better. And then, it also is found to change the way the body uses oxygen. It improves the oxygen utilization, especially if you're doing exercise. So, there's a funny story, because back in the, going from the early 90s all the way up to the early 2000s, there was a group of female Chinese athletes, they were mostly runners, and they were highly suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs because they were just demolishing the competition, and they were tested and their test came back clean, and eventually it came out that these ladies were just using cordyceps, and it's amazing, but it makes sense once you look at the science of what cordyceps is actually doing.
Not only does it change the way the body is using oxygen, but it's also creating an increase in VO2 max levels. So, there was a study done where people, adults consumed three grams a day over a six-week period, and this led to a 7% increase in VO2 max, which is quite significant. And then there have been a number of studies done on humans for various purposes, but you always find more studies done on animals because they're less expensive to do, right? And of course these don't always convert to the same results in humans, but it's a great way to look and get an idea of what these herbs could be doing, that we will likely see in 20 or 30 years, replicated in human studies, but it's a way to be on the cutting edge and start getting the benefits without having to wait 20 or 30 years to find out that it was true after all. Now of course you want to take it and see if these things kind of turn out to be true in your own life, see if you do have more energy and more endurance and maybe some more mental energy as well, but it's always a functional thing I think to look at the animal studies and see what kind of results are coming out.
So, animal studies, what've they found? Well, they've shown improved memory, improved sexual function, they took diabetic mice and they found that they were able to decrease their blood sugar, and also decrease LDL and triglycerides in mice, so cordyceps also shows promise as a very beneficial cardiovascular herb, so that's also really great. So we talked about energy, we talked about endurance, all this physical stuff, but, we haven't yet talked about one of the other really interesting aspects of cordyceps, which is its immunological activity. Now cordyceps along with a lot of these other fungi that we talk about, things like reishi, chaga, maitake, shiitake, even things like agaricus coming out of Brazil, these fungi all have these long chain sugars called beta-glucan polysaccharides, which effectively act as an operating system upgrade for the immunity, so there's a lot of fantastic research done on cordyceps in many different areas of immunological function and dealing with various diseases.
Of course we're very careful, saying that these were done in studies, and we're not making these specific claims about any of our products, but it's fascinating to go out there and look at the science and get an idea of what could be possible.
So, I know I personally love cordyceps. I feel it gives me a great boost in energy and endurance and, especially when I'm, if I'm going hiking or going surfing, I just kind of feel I don't run out of energy as quickly, I just, normally where I would be paddling and paddling, paddling, eventually okay, I got to take a break and chill out in the water for a bit and then I'll keep paddling to get further, I, that, that break doesn't really feel necessary anymore, I can just keep going and digging away, and the, the fatigue doesn't really kick in, the muscles don't burn the same way, you just, you kind of feel you have this deeper breathing, it's this, traditionally in China it's a, it's a lung herb, it works on the lung meridian and the lung organ system, so it is traditionally used in that way too, this is not, it's, we're seeing in science now, but this is not new if you ask practitioners of Chinese medicine and Daoist tonic herbalists.
And, in China it's also regarded as a Jing tonic. This Jing, you can watch our video that we made about the three treasures, and your Jing is your core kidney adrenal energy, it's like your energy savings account, it's your reserves that you're tapping into if you are burning the candle at both ends, living excessively and not living in balance with nature, and cordyceps is one of the amazing herbs for helping to replenish that. It's balanced in terms of having both Yin Jing and Yang Jing. And so it's an incredible herb for building that core vitality.
So, we covered a lot of things about cordyceps that make it such an incredible herb, and I am curious to know if, if you tried it or if something you're curious to try, what your experience has been with it, leave a comment below, let us know, and I look forward to reading them and hope to see you guys again soon. Have a beautiful day, and see you next time.