Cordyceps mycelial biomass with reishi hot-water extract and reishi ethanolic extract.
Available in the following options:
- 60 x 500mg vegetarian capsules
Both Reishi and Cordyceps are well known for their hepatoprotective properties and for their ability to support lung function.
The triterpenoid Ganoderic and Lucidenic acids in Reishi also have proven anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties.
In addition this complex provides all-round support for energy and immune function and as such is an excellent supplement for those with hectic and lifestyles.
What is Reishi?
Until 1971, when reishi was first cultivated successfully, this precious fungus was extremely rare. In nature, it grows in densely wooded mountains which are dark and humid, but is found on average growing on the trunks of only two or three out of every ten thousand dead plum, guercus serrata or pasonia trees. Due to its extreme rarity it was said that when one discovered reishi, it had to be kept a secret even from one's closest relatives.
Reishi in traditional Chinese Medicine
In the earliest Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia (the Shen-nong Ben-cao Jing/Shen- Nong's Herbal Classic), which was composed around 200 AD, the first six herbs listed in the "superior" class of medicines are all varieties of Ling Zhi (Ganoderma/Reishi). In terms of traditional Chinese medicine, Ling Zhi tonifies qi, nourishes blood and yin, strengthens the Spleen and promotes qi and body fluids, calms the spirit (shen) and strengthens the Stomach. It is mildly bitter, neutral, balanced, mildly warm and enters the Kidney and Spleen channels. It is used traditionally to treat cough and asthma due to weakness of the body, especially in the elderly and young children, and to treat lack of appetite, insomnia and dizziness due to deficiency.
Traditionally Ling Zhi is associated with longevity, health and recuperation, wisdom and happiness.
Research on Reishi
Japanese, Korean and Chinese studies report that reishi has anti-tumour and immune stimulating properties, can help reduce side effects from radio- and chemo- therapy and significantly improve the quality of life in patients with advanced cancer. A survey conducted over 14 years among Japanese mushroom workers in the Nagano Prefecture suggested people who consumed a regular diet of edible medicinal mushrooms suffered a lower death rate (1 in 1000) from cancer compared to others who did not eat mushrooms (1 in 600). Interestingly Reishi produces compounds that are cytotoxic to cancer cells whilst at the same time activating immune response.
In vitro studies indicate that certain extracts of Reishi may function as an immuno restorer in mild to moderately immuno suppressed individuals. The effect may be mediated through changes T cell phenotypes or through enhancement of T cell function.
Resihi extract has been shown to protect DNA from damage by free radicals and radiation.
Reishi has been shown in clinical research to reduce and stabilise blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels; and promote blood circulation and inhibit platelet aggregation.
Reishi has been shown to have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine effects. It is rare that anti-inflammatory agents also function as immune stimulators instead of, more usually, suppressing immune function.
Reishi is used by Himalayan guides to counter high altitude sickness.
What is cordyceps?
In its wild form, cordyceps is both a fungus and the carcass of the rare Tibetan caterpillar from which it grows and is extremely expensive ($10 per gram). Nowadays cheaper commercial cordyceps is grown on soybeans or other mediums.
Cordyceps in traditional Chinese medicine
Dong Chong Xia Cao (Cordyceps Sinensis) is sweet and warm and enters the Lung and Kidney channels. Its actions are to strengthen the Kidneys and tonify yang (for the treatment of impotence, and weak and sore lower back and legs) and to tonify Kidney yang, nourish Lung yin, transform phlegm and stop bleeding for the treatment of chronic cough, deficiency wheezing and consumptive cough with blood-streaked sputum. It us considered a very safe substance which can be taken over a prolonged period.
Research on cordyceps
Mice fed cordyceps and subjected to an extreme low oxygen environment, were able to utilise oxygen more efficiently (30-50% increase), better tolerate acidosis and hypoxia (lack of oxygen) and live 2-3 times longer than a control group.
In Chinese studies on elderly patients with fatigue, cordyceps-treated patients reported significant improvements in their level of fatigue, ability to tolerate cold temperatures, memory and cognitive capacity and sex drive. Patients with respiratory diseases also reported feeling physically stronger. Overall, the efficacy rate for cordyceps in alleviating fatigue in elderly subjects was 80-90%. In addition to its effects on energy levels – possibly due to the adenosine content of cordyceps, the mushroom extract can also induce sex steroid-like effects (in mice) – which may account for the increased libido reported by elderly subjects in several studies.
A recent small study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting (1999), showed that a cordyceps-based supplement significantly increased maximal oxygen uptake and anaerobic threshold.
Studies carried out at Beijing Medical University of China and in Japan have shown a 64% success rate among men suffering from impotence, vs. 24% in the placebo group.