Medicinal Mushrooms


Cordyceps sinensis is a fungus used in ancient China to hasten recovery from exhaustion. It is a rejuvenating herb to support the immune system … dating back to 1700 B.C.!  The wild Cordyceps is a black-shaped fungus found in the highlands of China, Tibet and Nepal. The fungus is attached to the outer skin of caterpillars that eat moth larvae underneath the grass. Once harvested, it is eaten as a whole food in soups and cooked with meats or taken as a supplement.


Nutritional Value

Nutritional constituents of Cordyceps include proteins/amino acids (all the essential amino acids), peptides, polyamines, 11 nucleosides, bioactive steroids, B1, B2, B12, Vitamin E, K & D, Iron, Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium and Trace Minerals.


Symptom Support

Cordyceps has the potential to support all organs (especially the kidney and lung meridians) and may improve the following list of symptoms (all recorded for hundreds of years): Respiratory Issues (Bronchitis, Cough, Congestion/Phlegm, Asthma) - Allergies - Fatigue - Low Endurance - Discomfort under the Right Ribs (Liver) - Low Libido/Impotence - Erectile Dysfunction - Vaginal Dryness - Prone to Infections/Low Immune Function - Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) - Urinary Issues (UTIs, Kidney Stones, Nighttime Urination) - Anemia - Lower Back Pain - Irregular Menstruation - Night Sweats - Brain Fatigue/Weakness - Poor Short or Long Term Memory - Difficult Focus/Attention - Intolerance to Cold - Cold Hands and Feet - Poor Physical Exercise Performance (Weak, Tired, Short of Breath) - Neuropathies - Eye Problems - Muscle Pain - Joint Pain - Wrinkles - Bruising - Dizziness - Constipation (1 or less Bowel Movements/day) - Anxiety - Depression - Anger/Irritability - Sleep Issues - Diabetes Side Effects - Opium Dependence (and an antidote for opium poisoning)

*A Note on Heart Health … human trials on subjects with heart failure have noted a general improvement in shortness of breath and fatigue over a control group managed on allopathic pharmaceuticals.  Cardiac output, stroke volume, heart beat rate and rhythm, and ultrasound findings improved in the group receiving Cordyceps extract over that of the control group.


Harvesting vs. Commercial Cultivation of Cordyceps

Wild Cordyceps has limited availability and is difficult to harvest. So, beginning in the early 1980’s, Cordyceps was commercially cultivated from the mycelium which can be grown on a solid food base of sterilized grain, rice or soy OR cultivated in submerged culture (liquid fermentation) and then is ingested as a water extract or cooked with food. The commercially cultivated forms of Cordyceps have been shown to have the same effects on energy, vitality and other health benefits as the wild form of Cordyceps. Its pharmacological actions include anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, anti-apoptosis and immunomodulatory.


Clinical Observations from My Recent Clients Experiences

Preliminary results from observing clients using 2500 mg of Cordyceps (often even less) have been positive. I have included myself in these results as well as 10 other current clients. Cordyceps is now in my weekly regimen of SuperFood/WholeFood supplements with the greatest personal benefits being increased energy, improved lung function, excellent brain function - concentration, focus, memory and recall - warmer body temperature and improved sleep.

Observations from this small group include: improved lung function especially in relation to exercise, increased energy, increased libido, improved libido, decreased anxiety/feeling overwhelmed, patience vs. frustration, balanced moods, improved brain function with results seen within an hour of ingestion - focus, attention, short term memory, recall and mental endurance - better tolerance to cold with increased body temperature, slightly decreased muscle and joint pain and improved sleep. A few mild side effects were noted: stomach cramps, dry mouth, constipation, and headache. All not known if caused by Cordyceps and all resolved upon decreasing the dosage or discontinuing the product.



“Between the overwhelming pressures and responsibilities related to my job, family, housework and the onset of the holiday season, I was skeptical that taking Cordyceps would produce noticeable results. I was surprised to feel a difference after just three days of taking Cordyceps as directed by Dr. Kristina. My motivation and energy levels are up, I have a more positive attitude and the feelings of being overwhelmed have subsided which has given me the push I need to confidently (and enjoyably) take on each day. My patience level with my kids has reached an all-time high and I’ve even found a renewed interest in the bedroom, with the energy level to perform. I went from waking up multiple times each night, to sleeping through most nights. I awoke each morning, usually before the alarm went off, refreshed and ready to start the day. Overall, Cordyceps has aided in my motivation, my confidence and my patience levels. This has helped tremendously with lowering my anxieties and boosting my energy, allowing me to accomplish more and worry less on a daily basis. One week after stopping the Cordyceps … fatigue, poor sleep, lack of motivation and my lack of patience resumed. My anxieties also returned, but were not as bad. This process has opened my eyes to my need for improved nutrition, a cleanse and the desire I have for ingesting medicinal plants and mushrooms for the benefit of my daily health and wellness.

- Female, age 34


How to Take Cordyceps

Cordyceps sinensis (cultivated commercially on soy) from Nature’s Sunshine is 500 mg per capsule. The therapeutic dose for 10 days is 2500 mg or 2.5 g or 2 capsules with breakfast, 2 capsules with lunch and 1 capsule with dinner. If you are concerned about the dinner dose affecting your sleep, then take the 1 capsule in the afternoon after lunch. Studies have been conducted using much higher dosages than this with no reportable serious side effects. Mild side effects are rare but could include mild stomach discomfort, dry mouth, skin rashes, drowsiness, nausea and diarrhea. Again, these are rare and are resolved quickly once discontinuing the product or decreasing the dosage.

Please contact me ( or or 716-353-0786) if you are interested in participating in my ongoing 10-Day Clinical Observation Study. This study will include one bottle of Cordyceps and a free analysis of your most current blood work in exchange for a before and after physical assessment and questionnaire.  

By Dr. Kristina Barlow

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