Anti-inflammatory Benefits Of Cordyceps: Can The Mushroom Prevent Inflammation?

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

Cordyceps mushrooms are commonly recognized as one of the healthiest mushrooms available. The two most common mushroom species, Cordyceps militaris and Cordyceps sinensis, have been utilized in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Although research is only now beginning to investigate their numerous benefits, these fungi have tremendous potential for inflammation prevention.

Research shows that Cordyceps mushrooms help prevent and treat inflammation. Here are the scientific studies on the anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps. 

Understanding Inflammation

Inflammation is the immune system’s response to a perceived threat or danger. While it has protective benefits, unfortunately, it can spiral out of control and lead to chronic health problems.

When the body detects a threat, it releases specific cells and compounds into the bloodstream. These risks might be from outside invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, or they can be physical injuries, such as a splinter, wound, or burn.

Redness, swelling, pain, warmth on touch, and loss of function are the five most typical symptoms of inflammation. Bacteria or viruses in the body are the most common cause of inflammation. In addition, autoimmune diseases, like lupus, can cause the body to attack its healthy tissue, resulting in inflammation. Allergies and chemical exposure can also cause inflammation.

Short-term inflammation is good. The chronic kind is the most detrimental. In an ideal world, the body will initiate an inflammatory reaction in response to a problem, neutralize the threat, and then return to normal.

However, many people experience persistent inflammation not in response to a specific threat but as an ongoing process.  Many people nowadays have chronic inflammation, whether it manifests fully as one of the many diagnosable autoimmune disorders or in a milder form. The immune system can release inflammatory cells in response to a poor diet, stress, pollutants, or other causes.

cordyceps for anti inflammation

Cordyceps And Inflammation: What Do We Know?

Human and animal studies indicate that this medicinal fungus has tremendous anti-inflammatory potential. Cordyceps militaris appears to have anti-inflammatory properties by blocking numerous pro-inflammatory proteins in the body that increase inflammatory processes.

Cordycepin, a bioactive molecule found in Cordyceps mushrooms, appears promising for preventing inflammation. Cordyceps mushrooms may help asthma patients since they appear to have immunomodulatory effects and reduce airway inflammation in mice.

According to experts, Cordyceps may benefit kidney transplant patients by lowering the risk of postoperative inflammation. However, more studies on humans are needed to examine the underlying mechanisms of cordyceps mushrooms and their anti-inflammatory benefits.

Given that there are no adverse effects from taking Cordyceps mushrooms, including them as a complementary and alternative medicine for inflammation prevention and therapy may make sense.

The Anti-Inflammatory Compounds Of Cordyceps Mushroom

Cordyceps is believed to help the body combat inflammation. For decades, these mushrooms, along with other therapeutic mushrooms, have been utilized in herbal medicine for their anti-inflammatory effects.

Although scientists are only beginning to investigate the therapeutic mushroom’s possible anti-inflammatory effects, the research ascribes these advantages to two essential mushroom chemicals and the mycelia.

Here are some ways the mushroom compound can help tackle inflammation.

1. Cordycepin Inhibits Inflammation

Cordycepin has remarkable pharmacological actions in the prevention of inflammation. A 2020 study, for example, looked at the impact of cordycepin, extracted from cultured mycelia of cordyceps, on inflammation. The findings reveal that cordycepin-containing ethanol extracts block mechanisms that induce inflammation in chronic disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis, and asthma.

Another study published in Pharmacognosy Magazine investigated the molecular processes of cordycepin isolated from cultivated Cordyceps mycelia on inflammation. This compound’s alcoholic extract appears to block the formation of nitric oxide and protein kinases, which play important roles in inflammation.

The compound’s intriguing pharmacological potential demands more investigation into the impact of cordyceps mushrooms on inflammation.

2. Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Cordyceps Polysaccharides

A human cell study published in 2014 investigated the anti-inflammatory potential of polysaccharides derived from Cordyceps militaris. The human monocytic cell line was treated with these novel polysaccharides isolated from the mushroom using water extraction.

According to the results, Cordyceps militaris may have anti-inflammatory properties by suppressing pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, TNF-, and COX-2. These cytokines play an important role in mediating inflammatory responses in the body. Cordyceps may be able to prevent chronic inflammation by decreasing its effects.

3. Cordyceps mycelia suppresses inflammatory proteins

A 2015 study looked into the anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps mycelium. The mushroom’s involvement in the anti-inflammation cascade was noticed here.

The findings show that Cordyceps mycelium inhibits the generation and expression of pro-inflammatory proteins via compounds that may affect inflammation.

These findings show that the fungus has anti-inflammatory effects and could be used as an anti-inflammatory dietary supplement or medicine.

Cordyceps Lowers Inflammation Following Kidney Transplant

Chronic inflammatory reactions are common following kidney transplant surgery. A meta-analysis published in 2017 looked at the effects of Cordyceps sinensis on kidney transplant recipients.

Cordyceps inhibited inflammation and enhanced kidney function after transplantation when paired with immunosuppressive medication (the most commonly used therapy for inflammation prevention).

Cordyceps Can Help Relieve Asthma-Related Inflammation

According to an older animal study, the anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps mushrooms appear to prevent asthma-related airway inflammation. In experimental mice, Cordyceps militaris appears to serve as an immunomodulatory agent and to influence lung inflammation.

This mouse model study yielded promising results, but further human research is needed to understand the anti-inflammatory biological activity of Cordyceps mushrooms fully. Still, if you have asthma, using this natural substance in addition to established treatment approaches is a good idea.

High quality Cordyceps supplements 

If you are considering taking Cordyceps to improve the inflammation associated with arthritis, it is important that you choose the high quality Cordyceps supplements products from reputable producers that have a proven history and experience in treating inflammation:

FAQs About Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Cordyceps

How Long Does It Take Cordyceps To Work?

The short-term effects of Cordyceps might be felt in as little as one week. Users should feel more energized and focused when they start taking this mushroom. However, individuals must take Cordyceps supplements daily for at least a few months to get long-term results.

Does Cordyceps Interact With Any Medications?

While Cordyceps mushroom is typically safe for most people, this fungus may increase the risk of bleeding in people using anti-clotting medicine. As a result, individuals on blood thinners or who have coagulation issues should avoid Cordyceps. Furthermore, avoid using Cordyceps supplements if surgery is planned in the near future.

Will Cordyceps Keep You Awake?

Yes, this medicinal mushroom provides energy boosts and could help in alertness. It should, however, not interfere with sleep.

Key Takeaways

Anti-inflammatory Cordyceps mushroom benefits are notable due to its bioactive compound, cordycepin. Multiple human and animal studies have shown that the functional mushroom can help fight inflammation in the body by interfering with the mechanisms involved. People suffering from a chronic inflammatory condition should speak with a healthcare provider to include this mushroom in their anti-inflammatory regimen.



  • Dr. Sony Sherpa has a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the Guangzhou Medical University and has been studying medicinal mushrooms for more than 7 years. Her knowledge of medicinal mushrooms is backed by a master's degree in Holistic Medicine and contributes to many health articles around the health benefits of medicinal mushrooms.

World Mushroom Society is a collective of fungi enthusiasts and health advocates, sharing information, research, studies, and identifying top producers of high quality medicinal mushroom supplements.


The information on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information found here is not meant as a substitute for, or alternative to, information from your doctor for ongoing medical treatment you currently receive. If unsure, please consult with your doctor before using medicinal mushrooms. Any content related to cancer should not be considered as prescriptive medical advice and should not be a substitute for any cancer treatment, unless advised by your doctor first. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by TGA and FDA-approved research. If you are pregnant or on prescription drugs that thin the blood, consult with your medical professional before using medicinal mushrooms.
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