This rare fungus thrives at the high altitudes of the Himalayan mountain range and Tibetan plateau. Cordyceps is unique among medicinal mushrooms: it grows from within a caterpillar host. Today, in order to meet increasing demands, cordyceps is grown in climate-controlled greenhouses within a grain-based substrate and yields the same profile of beneficial compounds as those grown in the wild.
New Roots Herbal’s Cordyceps (Ophiocordyceps sinensis) is a hot water–extracted medicinal mushroom formula standardized to contain 30% polysaccharides (500 mg per capsule). Hot-water extraction is critical in obtaining a high-quality and effective mushroom product, and is the traditional Asian method of extraction. The mycelium contains polysaccharides which are bound by indigestible cell wall comprised of chitin; chitin must be dissolved through hot water in order to gently release the medicinal components. Conversely, grinding the mycelium or the mushroom may cause damage to the long-chain polysaccharides and fails to remove the indigestible chitin (fibre), limiting the amount of therapeutic constituents that can be fit per capsule. Standardization ensures that the final product contains a consistent amount of polysaccharides to allow delivery of a therapeutic dose.
Cordyceps is renowned in traditional Chinese medicine for its antiaging properties. Its therapeutic applications include adrenal fatigue, strength, stamina, and libido enhancement. Its “superginseng” status in China also includes benefits for respiratory and renal (kidney) performance.