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The cordyceps mushroom has been popular in Asia for its healing effects, but how it exactly benefits our health is not as well known.
Most recently, Korean scientists discovered how it could prevent diseases like flu or rhinitis.
Our Lee Unshin explains further.
It may look like a coral reef at first glance, but it’s a special type of mushroom that grows in insects.
From ancient times, the cordyceps has been used in herbal medicines.
And now, thanks to a team of Korean researchers, how exactly the fungus helps strengthen the immune system has been discovered for the first time.
“The natural death of cells, known as apoptosis, is considered the most crucial part of an immunocyte. The cordyceps stimulates the immunocyte’s activity and encourages apoptosis.”
The research team divided flu virus-infected mice into two groups, and provided one group with the cordyceps extract and the other with just plain water.
After 13 days, the entire group that drank the extract survived, while more than half of the group that drank only water, didn’t.
The researchers discovered that cordycepin, an antibiotic substance found in the cordyceps mushroom,… kills off virus-infected cells.
On top of that, the amount of natural “killer cells” increased by over four times when the cordyceps extract was consumed.
Human clinical trials with the mushroom produced similar results.
Early results indicate that consuming one-point-five grams of cordyceps powder daily for three months could protect a person from chronic rhinitis and the common cold, without any side effects.
“We’re planning to do additional research to find out more about the substance in the cordyceps that is medicinal and will try to intensify it.”
With further research, expectations are high that additional benefits could eventually be discovered and various pharmaceutical products, including herbal remedies, could one day become available.
Lee Un-shin, Arirang News.
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