Cordyceps The Amazing Fungus That Inspired A Classic Game

lastofus1

 

Cordyceps Doesn’t Just Make Real Life Zombies!

 

Twenty years after a fungal pandemic radically transformed known civilization, infected humans run amuck and survivors kill one another for sustenance and weapons – literally whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a salty survivor, is hired to smuggle a fourteen-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a rough military quarantine, but what begins as a simple job quickly turns into a brutal journey across the country.”

 

This is the back story to a game now being hailed as a classic on the PlayStation where real life fungal feats of nature are being adapted to create what has been called a classic Zombie game by more than a few reviewers.

 

“This game is the best game I ever played in my life. There’s nothing wrong about it, the story is great!!! Characters facial expressions looks very realistic, gets attach to the characters. The gameplay is great and also very long. Easily top 5 games maybe even top 3. The graphics are amazing! Storyline, the gameplay, the characters…….”

 

“There’s no denying it: The Last of Us hits almost every nail on the head. Its storytelling, its gameplay, its characters, and their journey in this bleak but almost sadly beautiful world that saw the downfall of the human civilization doesn’t ever really try to shortcut its way to genuine emotions, opting, on the contrary, for the hard but humanely faithful path……..”

Reviews From Metacritic.

 

So sounds great right? Yes is does and well done to all you PlayStation 3 owners who get to play it and to all you Xbox owners out there it is time to start playing you violins as you will not I repeat NOT be seeing it come to the Xbox which is a shame but hey you can always console (get it?) your selves Xbox owners by looking forward to the great new innovations currently being made for the Xbox one. All of which I am sure won’t make you feel like Bill Gates has just asked you to sell your soul to the devil himself for the measly price of £429.

Any way I have gone off on a tangent what I wanted to talk about was how I hope this new game will give some well needed attention to what really is an amazing fungus and despite the games storyline really is not here to harm us. I say us cus if you happen to be an insect or spider then you may be in for a bad time of it.

This you can see in the video below narrated by Sir David Attenborough who I must point out can by his voice alone make a zebra being mauled by a hungry pride of lions or as in the video below of an ant being turned into a real life Zombie seem as relaxing as long soak in the bath with Radox bubble bath and scented candles.

 

 

As you can see from the video if you haven’t fallen into a deep sleep after listening to David it all looks a bit grim and horrific on the old Cordyceps front but do not worry I am hear to show you that these fungal Zombie makers are inadvertent little do gooders for me you and the rest of human kind. For not only can they rewire a ants brain to climb upwards they can also make our human body healthier and boost our physical endurance.

These health benefits can be achieved by taking a daily supplement and from my own experience of taking the herb for a many years you get no or very little side effects from Cordyceps. This is often not the case when taking modern pharmaceutical drugs.

The health benefits I have noticed are of more energy and a general feeling of vibrancy which I think is a good word to describe the effects. Below I have written some more of the health modulating capabilities of Cordyceps and some source material to back up these claims.

I hope you have found this post of interest and can now see that not only is Cordyceps a good place to gain inspiration for Zombie themed games and a nice way to wipe out us pesky humans in a future fungal based Armageddon, but also a wonderful and magical herb that can do so many good things to us as humans who are still luckily enough to have survived this long on earth, despite all that we seem to do to hinder our own cause.

 

Stay healthy!  Neal :)

 

Cordyceps Improves the Respiratory Function

Several scientific studies have demonstrated the benefits of Cordyceps sinensis in alleviating the symptoms of several respiratory illnesses including chronic bronchitis and asthma (Reference 2, Chapter “Effects on the Respiratory System”, pages 429-432). In a double blind, placebo controlled study with 30 elderly volunteers Cordyceps significantly improved the maximum amount of oxygen these people were able to assimilate (Reference 4).

Cordyceps increases cellular Oxygen Absorption by up to 40%

(Lou Y, Liao X, Lu Y. Cardiovascular pharmacological studies of ethanol extracts of Cordyceps mycelia and Cordyceps fermentation solution. Chinese Traditional and Herbal Drugs 1986;17(5):17-21,209-213) Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases improvement of 40% after Cordyceps supplement. (Wang WQ. J. Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5 (supp;):24)

Cordyceps Improves the Functioning of the Heart

Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of Cordyceps sinensis on heart rhythm disturbances, such as cardiac arrhythmias and chronic heart failure (Reference 2, Chapter “Effects on the Cardiovascular System”, pages 436 – 441).

An even more vigorous study was conducted using “in vivo” mouse model induced acute Pulmonary Edema (Pneumonia) which causes systemic lack of oxygen, acidic body, and death. Research results show that animals taking Cordyceps had a significantly greater survival rate of 20% mortality vs. 80% mortality in 30 minutes. This is a startling 400% improvement. (From Wan F, Zhang S. Clinical observations of fermented Cordyceps sinensis (Cs-4) in antitussive, expectorant, and antathematic effects. Collection on the Basic Medicinal and Clinical Studies of Submerged Culture Cordyceps sinensis. Beijing, Nanchang, China:Jiangxi TCM/IMM, 1985:35-39)

Cordyceps Helps Maintain Cholesterol

Four excellent studies have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis helps to lower total cholesterol by 10 to 21% and triglycerides by 9 to 26%. At the same time it helps to increase HDL-cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) by 27 to 30% (Reference 1, Chapter “Effects on blood lipid metabolism and arteriosclerosis”, pages 299 – 301).

Liver Protection

Improves Liver Functions, helps with Hepatitis and Cirrhosis Sub chronic and chronic hepatitis on related liver diseases are more prevalent than most people think. Liver is the living filter of the human body, cleaning the blood and all other fluids of impurities. There is no way for you to survive, much less feel healthy, without a functioning liver.

Research clinical trials on 33 patients with Hepatitis “B” and on another 8 patients with cirrhosis taking Cordyceps supplement showed 71.9% improvement on “Thymol Turbidity Test” and 78.6% improvement in” SGPT Test” both of these are enzyme test showing improving functions of the liver. (Zhou LT, Yang YZ, Xu YM, Zhu QY, Zhu YR, Ge XY, Gao JD. Short term curative effect of cultured Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc. Mycelia in chronic hepatitis B. China J Chinese Materia Medica 1990;15(1):53-55)

Chronic kidney diseases improvement

(3) Chronic kidney diseases improvement of 51% after only one month with Cordyceps supplement.(Jiang JC, Gao YF. J Administration Traditional Chinese Med 1995;5(suppl):23-24)

Cordyceps Reduces Tumor Size in Cancer Patients

Several clinical studies have been conducted in China and Japan with cancer patients (References 1 and 2). The studies were done with CSE (Cordyceps sinensis mycelium) using a therapeutic dose of 6 grams per day (= 4 capsules twice daily). In one study with 50 lung cancer patients administered CSE in conjunction with chemotherapy, tumors reduced in size in 46% of patients. A study in cancer patients with various types of tumors found CSE (6 g/day for over 2 months) improved subjective symptoms in the majority of patients. White blood cell counts were maintained and tumor size was significantly reduced in about half of the patients. Researchers in Japan reported that CSE enhances the general reactivity of the immune system in individuals with cancer. To discover this, they subcutaneously injected mice with cancerous (lymphoma) cells and then orally administered CSE. This lead to a reduction of tumor size and prolongation of the host survival time. CSE also improved the antibody responses.

Immune System

Increases NK cell activity, makes more MUSCLE – Increases Power, builds better/younger cells.

Recharge the Protective Army of NK cells – Your body’s ability to fight infections and tumors depends on the availability of Natural Killer (NK) Cells. These are essential first lines of defense for our body’s protection mechanisms commonly known as the Immune System.

Several scientific studies of Cordyceps have especially focused on Natural Killer (NK) cells and Cordyceps effect on them and cancer formation. One such in-vitro study demonstrated Cordyceps adding significant enhancement of NK cell activity in normal individuals as well as leukemia stricken individuals. (Liu C, Lu S, Ji MR, Xie Y. effects of Cordyceps sinensis on in-vitro natural killer cells.

Chinese J Integrated Traditional Western Med (Chung-Kuo Chung His I Chieh Ho Tsa Chih) 1992;12(5):267-269) showed that natural Cordyceps enhanced the NK cell activity of normal patients by 74% and increased the NK activity of leukemia patients by 400% and similar improvements of NK cell activities was found in big melanoma cancer (Xu RH, Peng XE, Chen GZ, Chen GL. Effects of Cordyceps sinensis on natural killer activity and colony formation of B16 melanoma. Chinese Med J 1992;105(2):97-101)

Improvements in the Immune System

The improvements in the Immune System were so impressive that Dr. Zhu at the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 1998 stated: “Because of the above profound influence on immune functions, natural Cordyceps products have been used in many clinical conditions in patients with altered immune functions.”

Anti-aging

The First Anti-Aging Supplement Known to Mankind
It’s An Anti-Aging Fighter with clinical research proof in controlled studies which showed that elderly patients suffering from fatigue and some senility related symptoms reported. (1) Improvements in the reduction of fatigue 92%, of feeling cold 89%, in dizziness 83%, after taking Cordyceps for 30 days. Patients with respiratory/breathing problems felt physically stronger and some were able to jog for 600 ft. (Cao A, Wen Y. J Applied Traditional Chinese Med 1993;1:32-33)

Cordyceps Protects against Free Radical Damage

Several studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis protects against the damages caused by free radicals, and as such has powerful antioxidant properties (Reference 1, Chapter “Äntisenescence and Oxygen-Free Radical Scavenging Activity”)

Cordyceps Reduces Fatigue

Several studies with animals have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis increases the cellular energy production and oxygen supply. A double blind, placebo controlled investigation showed a marked reduction in fatigue in elderly patients when they were given three grams of Cordyceps daily. In another study, Cordyceps sinensis improved shortness of breath and reduced fatigue in patients suffering from chronic heart failure (Reference 1, Chapter “Improvement of physical performance and quality of life”, pages 293 – 295).

Cordyceps Helps Discomforts from Tired Legs

Several studies have shown that Cordyceps sinensis improves the flow of blood in the body by relaxing the smooth muscles of the blood vessels allowing them to expand. Cordyceps also improves the functioning of the heart and lungs (see above). Cordyceps therefore prevents or reduces the contraction of blood vessels which interferes with the flow of blood vessels in the legs, the main cause of tired legs (Reference 2, Chapter “Effect on the Cardiovascular System”, pages 436 – 441).

Cordyceps Improves Stamina and Athletic Performance

Several studies with animals have shown that Cordyceps sinensis increases the cellular energy production and oxygen uptake ( Reference 1, Chapter “Improvement of physical performance and quality of life”, pages 293 – 295). A study with mice demonstrated their improved swimming capabilities after six weeks of Cordyceps supplementation compared with a control group (Reference 3, page 260).

Cordyceps radically increases cellular energy

Cellular energy, which is also known scientifically as the ATP/IP ratio. Cordyceps has been clinically proven to increase cellular Bio-Energy by as much as 55% (Reported XU C.F et al in ZHU J-S, Halpern GM, Jones K. The Scientific rediscovery of a precious ancient Chinese herbal regimen: Cordyceps sinensis: Part I. J Alt Comp Med 1998;4(3):289-303.)

Cordyceps Combats Sexual Dysfunction

Three separate Chinese double blind and placebo-controlled studies with over 200 men with “reduced libido and other sexual problems” showed remarkably similar results. On average, 64% of the Cordyceps-users reported significant improvement at the conclusion of the experimental period compared with 24% of the placebo group. In another double blind, placebo controlled study conducted with 21 elderly women with similar complaints, 90% reported improvements of their condition following the use of Cordyceps, compared with none in the control group (Reference 1).

Hormones – Adrenal Thymus, Mitochondrial energy.

Dramatic Natural Improvements are seen in endocrine hormone levels, in fertility, and in Sexual Libido for men and women.

Sexual Function

Improves Libido and Quality of Life in Men & Women, Fights infertility, Increases Sperm Count, Increases Sperm Survival.

 

Sources And Acknowledgements

(1) Research on animal studies shows cordyceps increases natural sex hormones(Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Chinese Traditional Patented Med 1988;9:29-31)

(2) Prevention and improvement of adrenal glands and thymus hormones, and infertile sperm count improve by 300% after cordyceps supplement.(Huang Y, Lu J, Zhu B, Wen Q, Jia F, Zeng S, Chen T, Li Y, Xheng G, Yi Z.. Zhongchengyao Yanjiu 1987;(10):24-25)

(3) Human clinical studies involving both men and women of 189 patients with decreased libido and desire showed improvement of symptoms and desire of 66% (Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Chinese Traditional Patented Med 1988;9:29-31) and

(4) Another double blind study by the Institute of Materia Medica in Beijing, China showed a woman improvement of libido and desire at 86%. (JIA-SHI ZHU, M.D., Ph.D. The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, Vol.4, Number 3, 1998, pp.289-303)

(5) The most dramatic physical proof came from Fertility Study (Guo YZ. J Modern Diagnostics Therapeutics 1986;(1):60-65) involving a clinical research of 22 males showed that cordyceps supplement increased clear evidence of 33% increase in sperm count, decreased 29% incidence of sperm malformations, and a 79% increase in survival rate after 8 weeks of cordyceps supplement.

Acknowledgement

Much of what is known about Cordyceps sinensis we owe to the research of Dr. Georges Halpern, a physician and professor emeritus with the University of Hong Kong, and author of several books about Cordyceps. His interest and commitment have resulted in making available to the Western world the many research studies conducted by Chinese scientists published in various Chinese scientific journals. These investigations with Cordyceps sinensis have been summarized in the following scientific articles:

1. Zhu, J.S., Halpern, G.M., and Jones, K. (1998): The Scientific Rediscovery of an Ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine: Cordyceps sinensis. Part I. Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine 4(3), pp 289-303.

2. Zhu, J.S., Halpern, G.M., and Jones, K. (1998): The Scientific Rediscovery of a Precious Ancient Chinese Herbal Regimen: Cordyceps sinensis. Part II. Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine 4(4), pp 429-457.

3. Mizuno T. (1999): Medicinal effects and utilization of Cordyceps (Fr.) Link (Ascomycetes) and Isaria Fr. (Mitosporic Fungi) Chinese Caterpillar Fungi, “Tochukaso” (Review). International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms 1 (3), pp 251-261.

4. Xiao Y., Huang X.Z., Chen G.,Wang M.B., Zhu J.S., Cooper C.B.: Increased Aerobic Capacity in Healthy Elderly Humans given fermented Cordyceps Cs-4: a Placebo controlled Trial. Ann. Meeting American College of Sports Medicine, Seattle, WA, June 3-5, 1999.

 

Article Written By Neal@Vitalherbs.co.uk

 

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