As we age, change is inevitable. We look at ourselves in the mirror and trace the passage of time – often, we see our aging parents looking back at us.
The aging process is characterized by the following:
????Mitochondrial dysfunction – reduced energy production
????Accumulation of damaged proteins impacting brain function
????Aberration in cell-to-cell communication
????Inflammation and metabolic dysfunction leading to chronic illness
Fortunately, the herbalist and health-conscious can draw from a treasure chest of natural solutions to support healthy aging. Brightly pigmented berries and vegetables, frequent exercise, minimizing refined carbohydrates – these top my list of to-do’s every day.
I also consume Reishi and Lion’s Mane mushrooms for targeted support of my brain and immune system.
Recently, Cordyceps, a lesser-known fungus, has grabbed my attention. Used throughout Asia for centuries as a tonic for improving stamina and strength, this mushroom has been difficult to find in the United States until recently. Its orange, “cheeto-like” fruiting body is mesmerizing and speaks to its power as a superfood.
Cordycepin is the biologically active component of Cordyceps. Studied as a potential cancer treatment, cordycepin has anti-tumor properties, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, improves liver and kidney function in animals, increases energy output by cells, reduces inflammation, and boosts immunity by increasing antibody production.
Cordyceps is a potent anti-inflammatory. One study found that cordyceps had anti-inflammatory effects on rats with liver inflammation. The researchers found that the active compounds in cordyceps could reduce inflammation in the liver, which may help prevent or improve certain liver diseases such as hepatitis and cirrhosis. Cordyceps suppress the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines.
Oxidative stress occurs when the body’s natural antioxidant systems cannot deal with the number of free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause damage, which can lead to serious health problems like heart disease and cancer. Cordyceps inhibits lipid peroxidation and scavenges free radicals, protecting against oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
In vivo studies demonstrate that cordycepin has anti-tumor activity against sarcoma and melanoma in mice and leukemia in humans (Kong et al., 2015).
Cordyceps is a mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.
Other health benefits include support for:
Are you interested in learning more about Cordyceps? ???????? I am! That’s why I’ve invited William Padilla-Brown to teach a live, interactive, online workshop, Unlocking the Power of Cordyceps: How to Grow, Harvest, and Utilize this Superfood, Saturday, February 18, 2023.
To learn more about why I chose William to teach this workshop, watch this video.