Cordyceps Chinese medicine benefits help to support a variety of immunomodulatory and antioxidant needs.
October 12, 2021

The Historical Use of Cordyceps in Traditional Chinese Medicine


Used for its energy-supporting benefits, the cordyceps mushroom species has been providing a variety of advantages for centuries. Making their first appearance as early as 1757 AD, traditional cordyceps Chinese medicine uses were first known for their immune-modulating benefits. Over many years, however, Chinese studies have supported the concept that cordyceps and its other species and strains offer countless benefits to help increase energy, stamina, and much more. From supporting immune health to increasing vitality and endurance, cordyceps has a longstanding historical presence that we discuss below. 

The History and Evolution of Cordyceps Use

Cordyceps Sinensis, found primarily at high altitudes on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau in south-western China is one of the most valued Chinese medicinal herbs. Historically, cordyceps were predominantly used in Traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine to improve energy and sleep patterns and increase appetite and stamina. The cordyceps mushroom constitutes one of the largest genus containing approximately 500 species and varieties known to contain many bioactive compounds and carbohydrates beneficial to health and wellness. Cordyceps is also known to have remarkable clinical health effects. Cordyceps has been found to support kidney function, heart health, energy, anti-aging, brain health, and has many immunomodulatory and antioxidant benefits.

  • Kidney Function: Studies have shown that upon taking cordyceps, participants’ kidney function vastly improved due to the antioxidant and immunostimulant properties. Cordyceps can help with blood circulation as well.
  • Heart Health: A study conducted to test the Chinese hypothesis showed that cordyceps significantly reduced the regulating levels of metabolic dysfunction to support heart health. 
  • Anti-Aging: Findings suggest that Cordyceps Sinesis extract can help to support brain health and improve memory. This powerful mushroom extract can increase antioxidants to help increase energy and combat fatigue that may occur as you get older. 

Gaining Popularity

Cordyceps gained popularity after the 1993 Chinese National Games when a group of female athletes broke nine world records. Upon winning, the group of women stated they were taking cordyceps regularly. This sparked interest in the energy-increasing capabilities of the mushroom. Recent literature also confirms that cordyceps enhances cellular energy in the form of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate). Upon breaking down the compounds of phosphates from ATP, energy is released which is further used by the cell. 

Of the species, Cordyceps Sinensis and Cordyceps Militaris have gained the most traction as the main substitutes of the natural species as commercial products, approved by the State Food and Drug Administration of China since 2002. Today, functional mushrooms such as cordyceps are used in a wide variety of healthcare and pharmaceutical products and have a projected growth of 8.04% from 2020 to 2025. Mushrooms such as reishi and cordyceps are expected to experience high demand due to their impressive capabilities. 

Energy-Increasing Compounds: Cordyceps Uses Today

While Cordyceps has been known to help support kidney health and possesses many other beneficial factors, modernly, cordyceps is used to help support energy levels. Whether you are an athlete or just busy with your day-to-day life, an extra boost of energy can always help. 

A study conducted in 2010 examined the effect of Cs-4 on exercise performance in healthy elderly subjects aged 50-75 years old. Some subjects were given placebos and others, Cs-4. The subjects were instructed to take the dose three times a day for 12 weeks. The elderly patients receiving Cs-4 had an increase in the metabolic threshold of 10.5% which increased exercise performance and contributed to better health. The subjects who were taking the placebo saw no increase. This study helps support that cordyceps can be a beneficial, natural product for many ages. 

Cordyceps is a natural option for athletes to increase endurance and oxygen capacity. And, according to recent findings, cordycepin, a bioactive metabolite of Cordyceps Militaris has been proven to have extraordinary clinical health effects on cardiovascular and respiratory health. 

Quality Cordyceps Mushroom Products

The many benefits of cordyceps mushrooms can provide many a natural way to support a healthy lifestyle. And when produced in a convenient and accessible form such as a powder or capsule, the recommended dosage of cordyceps can be implemented into an everyday routine. 

At Om Mushroom, our cordyceps supplements are developed from mushrooms grown indoors in a controlled environment and can help support vitality, endurance, increase energy, cardiac function, and respiratory health. Our certified, organic mushroom powder blends can be incorporated into a morning cup of coffee, smoothies, or any meal to help support better health and wellness in a convenient and efficient manner. Simply add two teaspoons a day to gradually see the beneficial effects. If you are looking for a quicker alternative, our cordyceps capsules provide the energy you need to power through a workout or a fully packed day. Whether you believe in cordyceps for its Traditional Chinese Medicine uses or heard about this mushroom from a recent article, Cordyceps has evolved tremendously into a must-try product.


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Functional mushroom products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Health & Immunity Superfoods

Adaptogenic mushroom products are easy to incorporate for everyday wellness. Om Mushrooms stand out from the rest because we develop, grow, and prepare all of our products on-site. And we use and love our products too!

Shop Now About Om

You Ask, We Answer

Here’s everything you want to know about functional mushrooms. Get your FREE copy of Your Simple Guide to Functional Mushrooms.