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What Our Team Discovered About Cordyceps For Anxiety
Aug 07, 23
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Author: Sony Sherpa

What Our Team Discovered About Cordyceps For Anxiety

  • by Sony Sherpa

    Medically reviewed by

    Sony Sherpa

    Dr. Sony Sherpa is a board-certified Clinical Doctor and dedicated advocate for holistic medicine, specializing in functional mushrooms. Her blend of medical expertise and passion for alternative wellness lends authenticity to her role as a contributor for Natures Rise.

  • |
  • 7 min read
What Our Team Discovered About Cordyceps For Anxiety

"Stressed out" appears to be an increasingly common sentiment these days. You may have anxiety if you experience dread and fear, even when no obvious source of stress exists. Anxiety, if left untreated, begets greater anxiety. As a result of its effect on the autonomic nervous system, anxiety may increase your risk of chronic health disorders. Numerous techniques and approaches are available to assist, and research indicates that adaptogens, such as functional mushrooms, can play an important role.

Mushrooms have always been valued for their culinary worth, but medicinal mushrooms have grown in popularity in the health and wellness industry in recent years. Medicinal mushrooms, which are most typically ingested in powder or capsule form, are becoming an increasingly popular way to promote health, including anxiety and stress reduction.

First things first: can cordyceps cause anxiety?

While existing research results seem promising, more research is needed to understand Cordyceps' effects properly and if cordyceps mushrooms cause anxiety. However, the current opinion is that these mushrooms do not cause anxiety; Cordyceps helps with anxiety.

Below we explore the benefits of Cordyceps for anxiety.

Understanding Anxiety And Its Impact

Understanding Anxiety And Its Impact

Anxiety is a state of uneasiness that can be minor to severe. Anyone can have anxiety at some point in their lives. For example, you may be apprehensive and scared of taking an exam, a medical test, or a job interview.

On the other hand, anxiety disorders involve frequent episodes of acute anxiety, fear, or terror that peak within minutes (panic attacks). Some people struggle to keep their worries under control. Their worry is continuous and frequently interferes with their daily life.

Although conventional anxiety treatments can help with recovery, they are associated with a myriad of potential side effects. These include central nervous system (CNS) depression, causing dizziness, fatigue and depression. Other adverse reactions are sleep disturbances, aggression, increased blood pressure, headaches, and memory impairments. In addition, some individuals living with anxiety may find that these therapies don’t work as well as they’d like.

Many patients in moderate mental distress, which frequently involves anxiety, seek therapeutic help from complementary and alternative medicine approaches such as mushroom supplements.

Unveiling Cordyceps: Nature's Hidden Gem

Unveiling Cordyceps: Nature's Hidden Gem

Cordyceps is a parasitic fungus genus with approximately 700 species, the most studied of which are Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris. The mushroom is a dry complex comprising the fruiting body of Cordyceps and the larva corpses of the insects parasitized by the fungus. For ages, the remains of insects and fungi have been hand-collected, dried, and employed in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The caterpillar fungus is mainly found at high elevations in Nepal's Dolpo mountains and the Qinghai Tibetan plateau. Thus, using Cordyceps as traditional medicine appears to have begun in Tibet and Nepal.

Cordyceps mushroom has traditionally been used to boost energy, stamina, and endurance and treat exhaustion, kidney disease, sickness, and poor sex drive—which you might think would be counterproductive for anxiety. On the other hand, Cordyceps has been linked to reduced anxiety and sadness due to its anti-inflammatory and adaptogenic properties.

Cordyceps is an adaptogen, which means it can help your body adapt to mental or physical stress. It stimulates your adrenal glands and aids in regulating your nervous system, which becomes overstimulated when you are under chronic stress.

Next, we explore the basis behind Cordyceps anxiety benefits.

Cordyceps As An Anxiety Aid

Cordyceps As An Anxiety Aid

By stimulating the adrenal glands and modifying the neurological system, Cordyceps improves adaptation and resistance to tiredness, stress, and anxiety. This fungal extract offers rejuvenating and toning characteristics in addition to adaptogenic properties. There have been improvements in heart and respiratory function.

Cordyceps is a profound energy awakener because it can replenish energy after effort, exhaustion, and stress. The mushroom's(1) ability to increase the synthesis of the chemical Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP, is one of its most prominent features.

ATP is our body's principal energy source, which we need to fuel our muscles and keep us running all day. Recent studies(2) have also connected high cellular energy and ATP levels to stress and anxiety management, so it's no surprise that Cordyceps can help induce antidepressant effects. Its slow-burning energy can help offset fatigue (a common symptom of sadness), improve cognition, and stimulate libido — a win-win situation!

Reduced anxiety and stress are associated with a healthy inflammatory response. According to preliminary human and animal research, the Himalayan mushroom promotes a healthy inflammatory response.

Other animal research suggests that Cordyceps may affect the brain's stress-related neuronal circuits. According to a 2021 study(3), rats administered Cordyceps did not demonstrate aberrant behavior following stress exposure. According to another study(4), Cordyceps may impact important protein targets and signaling cascades. The researchers hypothesized that these targets and the mechanisms that regulate them could increase mood stability.

Integrating Cordyceps Into Your Lifestyle

Integrating Cordyceps Into Your Lifestyle

Now that you know the link between Cordyceps and anxiety, we’ll tell you how to incorporate the mushroom into your wellness routine. It is available as supplements, extracts, and teas. You can select the form based on your preference.

The recommended Cordyceps mushroom dosage is typically 2000 mg. However, consulting a healthcare professional before adding cordyceps to a treatment plan is a good idea. You can use the mushroom alongside other anxiety-relieving techniques for maximum benefits.

FAQs About Cordyceps For Anxiety

How Long Does It Typically Take To See Results When Using Cordyceps For Anxiety Relief?

Unlike conventional therapy for anxiety relief that begins working immediately, Cordyceps mushrooms need time. Like several herbal supplements, Cordyceps mushrooms must build up in your system, which can take about two weeks.  

Can Cordyceps Be Used By Everyone, Including Pregnant Or Breastfeeding Individuals, Or Those With Certain Medical Conditions?

Although Cordyceps is safe for most people, insufficient evidence suggests its safety in pregnant and breastfeeding women. People with bleeding disorders and those on blood thinners should also avoid the mushroom.

Can Cordyceps Be Addictive, And Is There A Risk Of Dependency With Prolonged Use?

Cordyceps do not contain addictive substances. So, there is no risk of dependency with prolonged use.

Key Takeaways

Cordyceps is a must-have if you want to try some adaptogenic mushrooms to help balance your anxiety or tension levels. The benefits of Cordyceps for anxiety have been proven scientifically, and this potent medicinal fungus can relieve tension while keeping your mind and body at rest.

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  1. Enhancement of ATP generation capacity, antioxidant activity and immunomodulatory activities by Chinese Yang and Yin tonifying herbs, (1) 
  2. Determinants of fatigue and stress, (2) 
  3. Antidepressant-like effects of water extract of Cordyceps militaris (Linn.) Link by modulation of ROCK2/PTEN/Akt signaling in an unpredictable chronic mild stress-induced animal model, (3)
  4. Exploring the mechanisms of action of Cordyceps sinensis for the treatment of depression using network pharmacology and molecular docking, (4)

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