Cordyceps - the miracle mushroom
Only found at altitudes above 12,000 feet above sea level in remote areas of SouthWest China and Nepal, Cordyceps is one of the most valuable herbs in traditional Chinese medicine.
Cordyceps contains a compound named cordycepin which has demonstrated increased endurance, resistance to fatigue, and substantial improvement in oxygen utilization.
It is believed to make the ATP energy production cycle more efficient, circulating more bioavailable cellular energy in the body.
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People in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil prefer Yerba Mate to coffee because to the powerful yet not over-stimulating energizing effect.
Cordyceps delivers powerful endurance boosting effects. Doses of 150-300 mg per kg of bodyweight of cordyceps given orally to rats increased the time it took for rats to become fatigued during a swimming test by 12.5%.
These findings are supported by human experiments that showed Cordyceps increased lactic acid threshold by an average of 10.5% - thus enabling the exerciser to increase the intensity and duration of exercise. Researchers concluded that supplementing with cordyceps “improves exercise performance and might contribute to wellness in healthy older subjects.”
A 2007 study in Hong Kong that examined traditional Chinese Herbs found that cordyceps does indeed increase ATP production. As they noted, “enhancing mitochondrial ATP generation preserves mitochondrial structural and functional integrity, thus retarding the aging process.”
Aside from boosting exercise capacity, the high beta-glucan content of cordyceps helps it reduce fatigue, boost immune system function, increase antioxidant activity, and may even increase testosterone and libido in men.
In a small pilot study, cordyceps was also shown to help support optimal glucose metabolism.
Finally, cordyceps has been shown to “significantly attenuate the liver and heart injuries in Chronic Kidney Disease rats.” The same mechanisms of action - reversing elevated levels of inflammatory markers - “can also be used to elucidate the mechanisms of action of other traditional Chinese medicines.”
Yerba Mate, the dried leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, contain several health promoting compounds, including saponins, polyphenols, and xanthines (caffeine and theobromine). These have been shown to increase metabolism, exhibit antioxidant properties, and support regular functioning of the body’s cells and tissues. Yerba Mate also contains 7 of the 9 essential amino acids.
Theobromine is a phytochemical antioxidant (also found in real chocolate) that has been shown to boost nitric oxide and dilate blood vessels throughout the body and in the respiratory system. . It has a slight stimulatory effect, about 1/10 the power of caffeine.
Together, the combination of caffeine and theobromine can provide enhanced alertness, boost mental performance, and improve sports performance by up to 5%.
There are numerous anti-obesity benefits of Yerba Mate including reduced blood sugar levels, increased feelings of satiety, modulates leptin levels, and decreases adipogenesis (creation of fat cells).
In fact, in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled human study, oral supplementation of Yerba Mate decreased body fat mass and percent body fat.
A 2004 study concluded that the antioxidant powers of Yerba Mate are slightly higher than those of Green Tea.
Yerba Mate has also been shown in several studies to reduce advanced glycation end-products or AGEs. These has serious anti-aging and longevity promise.
Thousand of years ago high in the mountains of Tibet, herdsmen noticed that when their herbs ate ‘caterpillar fungus’ they were much more energetic and could travel longer distances. Cordyceps mushrooms contain adenosine and cordycepin which may help increase oxygen utilization, aerobic capacity, and cellular energy.
Yerba Mate is best known as the plant that makes the stimulating South American drink that energizes the body and mind. Yerba Mate leaves are a natural source of theobromine, caffeic acid, saponins, and caffeine.
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