Fungi Ally travels to Shanghai with the desire to add new cordyceps mushroom strains to our mushroom family. Check out the video and learn more about this amazing mushroom
On our first day in Shanghai we found cordyceps mushroom dried in a small traditional Chinese medicine shop. The shop had both wild cordyceps and some that were cultivated.
In a fresh produce market we were able to find fresh cordyceps. We got 2 or 3 ounces for about $2. My overall goal in finding these mushrooms fresh was to take cultures of them for cloning. That way we could grow our own cordyceps mushrooms at home.
On day three we met with our friend who took us for a tour around the city. We ended up at a wet market where we found another strain of fresh cordyceps mushroom.
Back at the Fungi Ally lab, we were able to successfully grow both cordyceps strains from China
Within a month after the trip we were able to successfully grow out both strains in petri plates. Both cordycep mushroom strains have shown very healthy mycelial growth. In the video we show the petri plates of the second generation of cordyceps mushroom that we cloned. You can see the beautiful deep orange concentric rings of the mycelium, signaling its healthiness.
We are now growing these two strains we got from Shanhai with four other cordycep strains in a trial to compare yields and quickness of growth. We are very excited to see the results, and we have a lot of hope that these new strains will lead to some high-quality cordyceps mushrooms.
Interesting facts and the health benefits of cordyceps mushroom
A study entitled “Traditional uses and medicinal potential of Cordyceps sinensis of Sikkim” shares some interesting information on cordyceps. According to the introduction, “Traditional healers in Sikkim recommend the fungus/mushroom Cordyceps sinensis for “all illnesses” as a tonic, because they claim that it improves energy, appetite, stamina, libido, endurance, and sleeping patterns.”
The discussion section of the study discussed some of the the mushrooms history in the northern India and China areas.
“Initially local herders observed that yak, goat, sheep, etc. consuming C. Sinensis during their grazing in the forest became very strong and stout. This observation paved the way for the discovery of its medicinal value. Thereafter, local people and herders used the fungus powder with jaggery to increase milk production, and improve reproductive capacity and vitality of their cattle. Then its relevant medicinal properties were explored, collecting only the aerial part (fruiting body/stroma), which they dried in sunlight as primary processing. Then they themselves consumed it and became convinced of its medicinal effects in enhancing vigor and vitality. They further claimed that it has aphrodisiac effects, and hence they used to give it as a gift to relatives and friends from Gangtok and adjoining areas.”
The study shares a lot more information on the constituents of the cordyceps mushroom, as well as evidence and specifics on methods of study. There is also this really great table showcases a number of the pharmacological functions of the cordyceps mushroom. I’ll let you check all of that stuff out for yourself if you’d like, and I’ll leave you with the study’s conclusion:
“The folk healers of Sikkim use C. Sinensis to cure 21 ailments including cancer, asthma, TB, diabetics, cough and cold, erectile dysfunction in males and female BHP, hepatitis, etc. Many studies in vitro and in vivo support C. Sinensis having diverse biological activities and pharmacological potential [Table 3]. Its effects on renal and hepatic function and immunomodulatory-related antitumor activities are most promising and deserve further attention.”
Of course, like most mushrooms and other healthful plants, there is more research needed on the cordyceps mushroom, particularly with human testing. But if you believe the words of folk healers and the studies that currently exist, then clearly the cordyceps mushroom has some wonderful properties.
We will have cordyceps mushroom products available for you in the future so stay tuned!
Resource for this article: “Traditional uses and medicinal potential of Cordyceps sinensis of Sikkim”