Cordyceps Sinensis and its Effect on the Respiratory System

The lungs are an essential respiratory organ in humans.  The anatomy of the lungs includes the method in which air passes through the mouth to the alveoli.  As air progresses through the mouth or the nasal passages,  it journeys through the oropharynx, nasopharynx, the larynx, the trachea and bronchi and bronchioles until it reaches the alveoli.  In the alveoli, the gas exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen takes place.

Located near the backbone on either side of the heart, the main function of the lungs is to transport oxygen.  These spongy organs have a huge reserve volume as compared to the oxygen exchange requirements the body.  Smokers often find they can indulge in this habit for years without having a noticeable decrease in lung capacity while moving slowly or standing still.  However, over time the alveoli become destroyed, leading to a condition called emphysema, whose main symptom is extreme shortness of breath.

The lungs are very moist in nature, making them a hospitable place for bacteria to grow.  Several respiratory illnesses are caused by bacterial or viral infections of the lungs.  Inflammation of the lungs themselves is called pneumonia while inflammation of the pleura surrounding the lungs is known as pleurisy.

Asthma is a condition that is caused by the bronchi becoming inflamed and causing spasms.  Symptoms include shortness of breath and wheezing.  Some triggers of asthma include air pollution, allergies and viral infections.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a phrase heard commonly today and refers to damage in the lungs resulting in difficulty blowing air out.  This condition also causes shortness of breath and is predominantly caused by smoking.

When Cordyceps sinensis was used in field tests on mice in extremely high elevations, it was found the mice receiving Cordyceps lived up to three times longer than the mice who did not receive Cordycep treatments.    The research showed the test mice were able to better tolerate lack of oxygen and acidosis.  While Cordyceps has long been used to treat altitude sickness, this test was thought to prove the fungi’s ability to sustain and renew respiratory function.

As a natural medicine used to treat respiratory illnesses, Cordyceps sinensis has been shown to make a radical difference in patients with such problems as excessive phlegm, asthma, pneumonia and chronic bronchitis.  Cordyceps alleviates such conditions because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which tend to enhance the utilization of oxygen efficacy and relax the bronchial walls, allowing an individual to breathe with less stress and discomfort.

Cordyceps Sinensis is also known to inhibit contractions of the trachea, allowing the lungs to have increased airflow.  One study of asthma patients showed Cordyceps had an efficacy rate of 81.3%  in just five days of use while typical antihistamine usage had an efficacy rate of just 61% with symptoms subsiding in nine days.

Cordyceps sinensis has also proven highly effective for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD and asthma sufferers are subject to allergic reactions which cause swelling in the bronchial pathways.  The anti-inflammatory agents in Cordyceps reduce the swelling and allow for increased airflow.


  1. This is my first time taking Cordyceps and, after taking it I feel shortness of breadth. Wonder if I’m allergic to it.

    • You can be allergic. If symptoms persist I recommend you to stop.

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