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Cordyceps sinensis indications and contra-indications

Cordyceps sinensis, also called the imperial mushroom in traditional Chinese medicine grows in the Himalayan high mountains and other mountain ranges in China and Tibet. The mushroom has a strengthening and uplifting effect on our bodies and minds.

Cordyceps promotes cellular energy production, oxygen utilization, and stimulates circulation and blood flow in all organ systems. This helps explain why Cordyceps increases performance and mental clarity. In addition, Cordyceps supports the neuroendocrine system and the immune system, and cordyceps may have antidepressant effects. In China, Cordyceps enjoys great fame as an aphrodisiac or potency enhancer.


  • general improvement of physical and mental condition (tonic, adaptogen)
  • inhibition of aging
  • weak immune system
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • hypertriglyceridemia
  • hypertension
  • diabetes mellitus
  • metabolic syndrome
  • fatigue
  • weakness and exhaustion
  • chronic stress
  • decreased libido
  • depression
  • respiratory diseases (including asthma)
  • liver diseases (including chronic hepatitis B, liver cirrhosis)
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • thrombosis (prevention)
  • infectious diseases
  • kidney diseases
  • chronic inflammatory diseases
  • after chemotherapy or radiation
  • recovery after illness
  • reduced fertility

Cordyceps capsules

Traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine and Cordyceps have gone hand-in-hand for thousands of years. Here in the West, this unique mushroom is widely used by top athletes because of its…


Contraindications of Cordyceps Sinensis

  • Acute and chronic myeloid leukemia (cordyceps stimulates proliferation of precursor blood cells)
  • Anti-hormone therapy (see interactions)
  • Hypersensitivity to cordyceps
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding (insufficient data on safety)

Suggestions for use

  • General advisory dosage: 1.5-3 grams/day
  • Therapeutic dosage: 3-9 grams/day


  • Cordyceps possibly counteracts amikacin (an aminoglycoside) induced kidney damage.
  • Cordyceps possibly counteracts cyclosporine-induced kidney damage in people who have received a new kidney.
  • In theory, cordyceps may decrease the immunosuppressive effect of cyclophosphamide, corticosteroids, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, and other immunosuppressants.
  • Cordyceps inhibits platelet aggregation and may enhance the action of regular blood thinners.
  • Cordyceps has vasodilatory effects and may enhance the action of regular antihypertensive drugs.
  • Since Cordyceps has a relaxing effect on (the smooth muscle tissue of) the airways, it may enhance the effect of asthma medication.
  • Cordyceps has hypoglycemic activity and may reduce the need for insulin and oral antidiabetics in diabetics.
  • Cordyceps may lower side effects of chemotherapy and has anti-cancer activity itself. Supplementation only in consultation with the treating physician. However, when using anti-hormone therapy, cordyceps is not recommended, as cordyceps has hormone-stimulating effects.


Cordyceps has extremely low toxicity; in animal studies, no mortality occurred at an oral dose of 80 grams/kilogram of body weight. Mild abdominal discomfort (e.g. diarrhea) may occur after use of (high doses of) Cordyceps. This is harmless and usually transient. 


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