Cordyceps Dangers | What You Need to Know

Cordyceps Dangers | What You Need to Know

Scientific studies of cordyceps militaris, as well as anecdotal reports, have both extolled the mushrooms many benefits. But, is there a risk in taking Cordyceps?

While cordyceps is usually safe for most people, there are a few things to consider when taking this adaptogenic mushroom. Keep reading to learn about the potential risks of taking cordyceps mushrooms.

What are Cordyceps Mushrooms?

Cordyceps is a medicinal mushroom that is found more often than not in the tropical forests of Asia. It has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, and is still one of the most highly valued medicinal mushrooms. The species of Cordyceps that have had the most extensive study benefits are the cordyceps militaris and the cordyceps sinensis, though there are more than 600 species of the medicinal mushroom. Due to its parasitic lifestyle (Codyceps feeds on larvae of caterpillars and other insects), many people call Cordyceps the caterpillar mushroom, or zombie fungus.

Cordyceps seems to be beneficial for just about every organ in the human body. It improves energy and athletic performance in healthy adults, and studies show it may even protect against some forms of cancer, lower cholesterol, combat inflammation, and offer anti-aging benefits.

Cordyceps Dangers

Cordyceps mushrooms have been used for centuries and are still widely regarded as safe and beneficial to consume. However, the effects of these mushrooms can interact with certain medications and illnesses, and there’s a lack of clinical studies that examine these side effects. Some of the common side effects of cordyceps include:

  • slow blood clotting
  • increased risk of bleeding during and after surgery
  • increased symptoms of autoimmune diseases that slow blood clotting (such as hemophilia)
  • allergic reactions

Is Cordyceps Safe for Humans?

Cordyceps mushrooms are usually safe for healthy people. However, this mushroom may have an antiplatelet effect, since it acts like a blood thinner and may prevent blood clots if used frequently. If you are taking medication to reduce bleeding or bruises, cordyceps may increase your risk for bleeding. Cordyceps mushrooms also have an inhibiting effect on blood sugar levels.

Who Should Not Take Cordyceps Mushroom?

Since water extracts from this mushroom are shown to have hypoglycemic effects, you need to exercise caution when taking this if you are taking any antihyperglycemic medications (which are often used for treating diabetes). If you are taking blood thinners or medication for diabetes, speak with your health care provider before taking a supplement with cordyceps. Also, because cordyceps has an antiplatelet effect, you should avoid this mushroom if you are having surgery imminently.

You should avoid getting any type of cordyceps for weeks before any procedure, as well as during recovery after your surgery. If you are susceptible to allergies – particularly allergies to other fungi, yeast, or molds, take caution when starting cordyceps. Stop taking the fungus right away if you see any signs of allergic reactions, and talk to your health care provider.

When is the Best Time of Day to Take Cordyceps?

It is best to consume the cordyceps mushroom either in the morning or in the early afternoon. That way, you can reap the benefits of memory enhancement all day long. Taking cordyceps at night can leave you feeling anxious and can lead to a sleeping disorder.

Can You Take Too Much Cordyceps Mushroom?

There are no severe side effects from taking high doses of cordyceps. You might have minor digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea, or discomfort in your stomach, but these side effects should go away in one or two days.

Is Cordyceps Mushroom Safe Long Term?

Yes, you can take cordyceps for as long as you like. By taking cordyceps for the long haul, you will reap the benefits that the mushroom provides to your kidneys (cordyceps sinensis may prove to be quite helpful to patients who have had a kidney transplant) and you will also benefit from its anti-cancer properties.

Is Cordyceps Safe for Pets?

Although the fungus Cordyceps is safe for humans, little is known about the study subject as far as pets are concerned. So, store cordyceps fungus products safely where it is difficult for your dogs or cats to access.

About the author

Bruce Wilson

I've studied Mycology and Forest Pathology and love creating content to help other learn more about my passion. Follow along as I continue to explore the amazing world of functional fungi!

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