Cordyceps is a legendary natural medicine found in parts of Asia, which folklore claims is neither plant nor animal, and which is worth far more than its weight in gold. This narrative may sound like science fiction, but it is now shown to be science fact. Amazingly, the myths about this mushroom pale in comparison to the reality.
It does qualify as both plant and animal because it is a mushroom that grows out of the head of a mummified caterpillar, which is then collected by Tribesmen in the remote Himalayas. It is then sold in markets around the world for as much as $75,000 per kilo. This remarkable mushroom first caught the attention of researchers in the 1990’s when they heard the news about the performances of the Chinese Women’s Track and Field team at the Chinese National Games in 1993.
A Powerful Natural Performance Enhancer
In this competition, the women broke 9 world records by substantial margins. At first, governing sports authorities suspected that a performance-enhancing drug had been used and they stripped the women of their medals. However, when their coach came forward with the real story, their success was credited to Cordyceps and subsequent testing proved the women were indeed drug-free (Digby, Ernst, and Mukharji, 2010)
Researchers worldwide were fascinated by the possibility of locating such a powerful natural performance enhancer. Then, they found that there was already considerable research from China showing that Cordyceps increases ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) at the cellular level, and increases oxygen utilization by the body, resulting in an increase of useful energy of about 30%.
This seemed to solve the controversy over the record-breaking athletes. Thinking there was something more to be learned about this rare botanical medicine, researchers from Aloha Medicinals mounted an expedition to Tibet to study this unusual creature in its native habitat.
Traditional Uses of Cordyceps
What they found was an amazing resource for well-being. Unfortunately, it’s also a victim of its own popularity, an economic powerhouse being driven to extinction in the middle of political upheaval. The harvesting of this product has accounted for more than 50% of the Tibetan economy for many years, but lately it has become harder and harder to find due to over-harvesting and political oppression (Malone, 2014).
The Tibetan nomads rely on the once-a-year harvest of Cordyceps to maintain their subsistence living, while the Chinese are striving to “modernize” their new territory of Tibet. Once the source of prosperity, this medicinal mushroom is now causing deadly turf wars.
Medicinal Potential of Cordyceps
Cordyceps has always been rare due to its remote habitat and the high demand for its medicinal properties. It has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese and Tibetan Medicine for:
- Liver and kidney function
- Respiratory problems
- Weakness or fatigue
- Combating colds and flu or a cough and phlegm
- Shortness of breath
- Bronchial discomfort
- And for overall rejuvenation
(Panda and Swain, 2011)
Cultivation of Medicinal Cordyceps
In times past, only the royalty of China could afford to use Cordyceps. Now, with increasing interest from the rest of the world, over-harvesting of the wild stocks and subsequent shortage of wild specimens, many companies are starting to cultivate this product, bringing its price within reach of the average man or woman. While many have tried to cultivate it, few have succeeded in replicating the potency of the wild collected varieties. Only one company in America, Aloha Medicinals, has succeeded in growing Cordyceps under a controlled environment located at high altitude. This also allows us to maintain optimal temperature for maximum growth and nutrient development. Growing Cordyceps indoor in a controlled environment is a major reason that the species continues to exist. Harvesting wild Cordyceps is not sustainable because so many factors cannot be controlled. Without indoor harvesting, we would see many mushrooms species go extinct.
Their unique and patented process results in cultivated Cordyceps which are actually more potent and much more consistent than the wild collected variety, at only a fraction of the price of wild Cordyceps. There are many reasons besides price one may wish to avoid wild Cordyceps. The issue of counterfeiting has become a serious matter for consumers, and contamination is also a grave concern. The interesting part about the way that Aloha Medicinals grows its Cordyceps is that they do so in a completely vegetarian way, without using a caterpillar. Because Aloha Medicinals is passionate about sharing the benefits of Cordyceps with others and because they have perfected the product, they strive to offer fair and competitive pricing on the best Cordyceps that can be found.
Controversial Quality Standards
The practice of adulteration had traditionally involved a small bit of twig inserted into the caterpillars to improve appearance and increase their weight. This may have been a relatively harmless practice if the object inserted was from a nontoxic source. But, modern collectors have found that more weight can be added if lead wire is used instead of twigs. Effectively turning a healthful product into a risky proposition.
There have been numerous reports recently of lead poisoning from the consumption of wild Cordyceps. As prices climb, inventive sellers have also begun to make fake imitations out of painted bread dough and other materials. This has led many consumers to lose faith in the wild collected variety.
Substitute for Wild Varieties
Many companies now produce artificially cultivated Cordyceps products, but there is wide variation in quality. With new advances in biotechnology, this is rapidly changing. Aloha Medicinals grows Cordyceps in a laboratory environment exactly replicating the natural growth conditions of the wild. That is, the high-altitude air composition and the low temperatures found on the high Himalayan plateau.
The low-temperature hypoxia cultivation process produces Cordyceps which duplicates, and even surpasses, the analytical profile of the active ingredients of wild Cordyceps. This makes Aloha Medicinals’ Cordyceps the number one preferred substitute for the much higher priced wild varieties. These unique cultivation protocols, coupled with the development of new strains and hybridization, are resulting in Cordyceps of
unprecedented quality and consistency.
In order to reduce the deceptive practices in trade and ensure authenticity and quality, Aloha Medicinals has also developed exacting standards for testing the quality of their product. These analytical methods have become the gold standard by which all Cordyceps is graded around the world today. Aloha Medicinals has become the world’s foremost supplier because of its quality control, potency, and consistency. Our high altitude, temperature control, and unique growing bags allow us to offer you the best medicinal mushrooms products available anywhere.
In addition, Aloha Medicinals offers Full Spectrum Mycoproducts, meaning that we extract only the most potent materials from the most effective parts of the mushrooms during the stages of its life cycle. While many other companies offer medicinal mushrooms supplements, you may not be consuming compounds that contain the most effective properties.
Pure Cordyceps™ By Aloha Medicinals
An analysis done by independent laboratories comparing wild Cordyceps and cultivated Cordyceps revealed that Aloha Medicinals’ laboratory-grown Cordyceps not only matched the chemical analysis of wild Cordyceps, but actually far exceeded the potency of its active ingredients! Aloha Medicinals’ innovative solutions to the high price and uncertain quality of this traditionally revered medicine have produced a body of research and resulting products that are pioneering the fusion of ancient knowledge and 21st-century cutting-edge technology.
Aloha Medicinals has standardized the patented cultivation methods and the testing procedures for purity, efficacy and strain validity. Therefore, the quality of their Pure Cordyceps™ can be relied upon. Only controlled environment cultivation techniques can produce the targeted medicinally active compounds to meet the specific needs required for different applications
Companies such as Aloha Medicinals are using modern technology to ensure the best properties of medicinal mushrooms are available at reasonable prices today and for future generations to come. A winning combination for a sustainable future.
Ready to experience the health benefits of Cordyceps for yourself? Aloha Medicinals produces the Most Potent Cordyceps available, so try some today!
Digby, Anne. Ernst, Waltraud. Mukharji, Projit. Crossing Colonial Historiographies: Histories of Colonial and Indigenous Medicines in Transnational Perspective. Newcastle, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
Malone, Casey. Meet the Fantastic Fungus That Fuels Tibet’s Economy. The Seattle Globalist. 2014.
Panda, Ashok. Swain, Kailash. Traditional uses and medicinal potential of Cordyceps sinensis. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine. 2011.