Traditional Chinese medicine makes good use of cordyceps. It is composed of a fungus
that thrives on caterpillar larvae. Both are held in the product, and both are consumed.
Laboratory studies reveal that cordyceps can incite immune cells, but it is unknown if
this effect happens in humans. Animal studies recommend that cordyceps stimulate
progesterone generation and reduce kidney toxicity from incompatible medications, but
whether this would occur in humans is unknown. Researches in kidney transplant
patients suggest cordyceps can enhance kidney function, but a more profound study is
Cordyceps also has blood-thinning properties and may contribute to reducing blood
The scientific name of cordyceps is Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Cordyceps sinensis,
It is commonly called-
● Vegetable caterpillar
● Chinese caterpillar fungus
● Dong chong xia cao
● Hsia ts’ao tung ch’ung
● Yarsha gumba
Cordyceps incorporates the fungus that develops on the larvae of the caterpillar named
Hepialus armoricanus Oberthur. Both are enclosed in the product, and both are utilized.
Cordyceps is used for an ample range of infirmities, including fatigue, sexual
dysfunction, coughs, and an adaptogen or immune stimulant. In vitro and animal studies
point to antitumor effects, radioprotective effects, antiplatelet effects, and
antidiabetic effects. In addition, cordyceps enhance the recovery of mice with
taxol-induced leukopenia and increase cisplatin’s cytotoxicity in non-small cell lung
Cordyceps may increase the unfavorable effects of antidiabetic or
anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs. Animal studies explained the proliferation of progenitor
red blood cells with cordyceps. Therefore, it should not be accepted by those with
myelogenous type cancers. Cordyceps also incited testosterone production in mice.
Having similar effects in humans is yet to be known.
MECHANISM OF ACTION
Studies carried out in laboratories show that cordyceps stimulate T helper cells,
lengthens lymphocyte survival, intensifies TNF-alpha and interleukin 1 production, and
increases the activity of natural killer cells. Amplified generation of erythroid
progenitor cells in murine bone marrow and improved progesterone production in
animal cells have also been demonstrated. Additional experiments propose that
cordyceps may hinder tumor cells by downregulating MHC class II antigen expression. Anecdotal data suggest reducing cyclosporin and aminoglycoside-induced renal
toxicity, although the mechanism of action is unknown. Cordycepin, an effective
ingredient in cordyceps, restrains collagen-induced platelet aggregation by dropping
calcium ion and thromboxane A2 activities.
The notable rise of public interest is seen in complementary and alternative medicine
worldwide because of their significant cancer prevention and treatment role. Cordycepin
is one of the most well-known and essential types of complementary and alternative
remedies. Cordycepin has been extensively used as one compound for antitumor,
which has been found to exercise anti-angiogenic effects, anti-metastatic effects,
antiproliferative effects, and induce apoptosis. However, the mechanism of its antitumor
activity remains undiscovered.
Cordycepin was initially attained from the fermented broth of the medicinal mushroom
Cordyceps militaris, which is the fungus that breeds parasitically on lepidopteron larvae
and insect pupae.
Cordycepin has numerous biological and pharmacological responses in immunological,
hepatic, renal, cardiovascular systems and an anti-cancer agent.
Cordycepin can help to cause cancer cell apoptosis in caspase-dependent pathways.
Cordycepin induces the apoptosis of human renal cancer cells by triggering the MKK7-
JNK signaling pathway through repression of anti-apoptotic protein cellular caspase 8
(FLICE)-like inhibitory protein (c-FLIP) expression and the sequential activation of the
Reports confirmed that cordycepin also induced cancer cell apoptosis in caspase-
independent pathways. Cordycepin confined cell mitosis and EGFR signaling in
one murine oral tumor mouse model.
Cordycepin includes mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis in the gastric cancer cell (SGC-
7901 cells) with regulating extrinsic mitochondrial pathways by inhibition of A3
adenosine receptor (A3AR) and drive activation of death receptor DR3, which support
the activation of PI3K/Akt protein expression as well as the collapse of mitochondrial
membrane potential (MMP). It also encourages radio-sensitivity in human uterine
cervical cancer cells.
Cordycepin restrained the movement and attack of human oral squamous cell
carcinoma (OSCC) cells. An in vivo study also demonstrated anti-metastatic
properties of cordycepin in mouse models where cordycepin inhibited B16 mouse
melanoma liver metastasis.
CORDYCEPS MILITARIS AGAINST HUMAN COLORECTAL CANCER
Cordyceps militaris has an ancient use as a traditional medicine in Asian countries.
According to the reports, various types of Cordyceps extract have multiple
pharmacological activities, including anti-cancer effects. The research was carried out to
understand better the inhibitory result of Cordyceps militaris ethanol extract on a human
colorectal cancer-derived cell line, RKO.
RKO cells were responsive to the ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris (CME), and the
way of Cordyceps militaris significantly delayed the growth of RKO cells-derived
Ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris was deeply cytotoxic to human colorectal
carcinoma RKO cells and inhibited tumor growth in a xenograft model. The
antitumor influence of Cordyceps militaris was correlated with an induction of cell cycle
arrest and mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
Ethanol extract of Cordyceps militaris hindered the growth of human colorectal
carcinoma RKO cells and the in vivo growth of tumors in xenograft mice. The
inhibitory outcome on human colorectal carcinoma cells was profoundly related to cell
cycle arrest and p53-dependent, mitochondrial-mediated apoptosis.
● To incite the immune system.
Laboratory examinations tell that cordyceps stimulate the immune system, but it is
unknown whether this effect occurs in humans.
● To treat kidney failure.
Some studies explain that cordyceps may help better renal function, but further studies
● May Boost Exercise Performance.
Cordyceps are believed to strengthen the body’s production of the molecule adenosine
triphosphate (ATP), essential for giving energy to the muscles.
This energy may advance the way your body utilizes oxygen, especially while
● Anti-aging Properties.
The venerable have traditionally used Cordyceps to decrease exhaustion and boost
strength and sex drive.
Researchers think their antioxidant content may reveal their anti-aging potential.
● Antitumor Effects.
Cordyceps’ potential to check the growth of tumors has created vital concern in recent
Researchers conclude the fungi may depict antitumor effects in many ways.
Test-tube studies have shown inhibitory effects on many sorts of human cancer cells,
including lung cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer, and liver cancers.
Investigations on mice have also revealed that Cordyceps has antitumor effects on
lymphoma, melanoma, and lung cancer.
Cordyceps may also reverse the side effects (like leukopenia) linked with many kinds of
Leukopenia is a state in which the number of white blood cells (leukocytes) contracts,
reduces the body’s defenses, and increases infection risk. It should not be confused
with leukemia, which is a type of cancer.
A study experimented with the effects of Cordyceps on mice that acquired leukopenia
after radiation and treatments with Taxol, a standard chemotherapy drug. To much
surprise, Cordyceps inverted the leukopenia. These results suggest the fungi may assist
in reducing the complications connected with some cancer treatments.
However, these studies were carried out on animals and not humans.
The effects of Cordyceps on leukopenia and tumor growth in humans remains unclear,
so health professionals can’t currently conclude.
● May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes.
Cordyceps carry a particular kind of sugar that may ease diabetes.
Studies in diabetic mice have shown that cordyceps lower blood sugar levels.
Shreds of evidence suggesting that cordyceps protect against kidney disease, a
common complication of diabetes, are also present.
● May Help Fight Inflammation.
Cordyceps is also believed to combat inflammation in the body.
NOT TO TAKE IF
● Undergoing a surgical procedure: A case report of extreme bleeding from a
dental extraction was associated with taking cordyceps.
● Having a myelogenous type of cancer such as AML or CML: Laboratory
researches explains that cordyceps can boost the number of red blood cell
precursor cells. These cells originate from the same cell lines that cause
● Taking insulin or other blood-glucose-lowering medications: Laboratory
researchers recommend cordyceps may increase the effects of these medicines.
● Taking a drug that has blood-thinning activity: Cordyceps may prolong the
- Hypoglycemics / Insulin: Lab studies report that cordyceps may have additional
hypoglycemic effects. However, clinical importance has yet to be learned.
- Anticoagulants / Antiplatelets: Lab studies report that cordyceps hinders
platelet aggregation and may augment the effects of these drugs. There is also a
case report of unnecessary bleeding from a dental procedure associated with