Guide To Cordyceps Extracts

Last Updated on August 4, 2022

What is Cordyceps Extract?

Cordyceps extract supplements are highly potent natural nootropics that is commonly used to boost the immune system, improve physical performance, and even function as an aphrodisiac. It is commonly created from the fruiting bodies of the Cordyceps mushroom. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of species of Cordyceps mushrooms, this product can only be created from two of them: 

  1. Cordyceps militaris (Scarlet Caterpillar Club) 
    1. Grows in forests across Europe, the USA, and Mexico
  2. Ophiocordyceps sinensis (The Caterpillar Fungus). 
    1. Grows in very specific places in Tibet, Nepal, and India that must be higher than 10,000 feet

Both of the fungi belong to the entomopathogenic fungi classification group, which indicates they engage in colonizing and parasitizing insects. In natural settings, they thrive in the form of a mycelium that spreads into insect colonies, and when the conditions are right, they aim to complete their life cycle by producing fruiting bodies, which are finger-like mushrooms that often grow straight out of the colonized insects’ heads.

cordyceps extract
Image source: Real Mushrooms

Extraction Method for Cordyceps

Cordyceps extract is created in one or two phases, known as extractions. The extraction procedure is carried out with the use of water and alcohol solvents are typically employed in mushroom extraction. The active chemicals in the Cordyceps can be extracted using either water or alcohol, or a dual extraction method that uses both solvents.

Types of Cordyceps used in Extracts

Commercial Cordyceps extract products are made out of either Cordyceps militaris fruiting bodies, or Ophiocordyceps sinensis via a unique liquid mycelium fermentation process called CS-4.

1. Ophiocordyceps Cordyceps sinensis CS-4 extract

Cordyceps sinensis (now known officially as Ophiocordyceps sinensis),  is the original mushroom that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuryies. However, this is very rare and expensive and grows out of wild caterpillars in the mountains of China. Instead, a variation is created which is called CS-4.

Cs-4 (which stands for Cordyceps sinensis 4) is a strain of Cordyceps that is cultivated in liquid fermentation. It is an anamorph: a vegetative or “asexual” form of the mushroom that doesn’t generate spores. It is only capable of producing liquid mycelium.

2. Cordyceps militaris extract

C.militaris is the second main strain of Cordyceps mushroom. This bright orange variety of Cordyceps which is sometimes called the “cordyceps flower” is easier to cultivate on a large scale. 

This variety of Cordyceps is cultivated on a highly nutritious substrate, in climate-controlled grow rooms indoors. This has resulted in the availability of Cordyceps fruiting bodies in reliable quantities. 

Although research on C. militaris has even demonstrated that the medicinal properties are similar to C. sinensis., as compared to CS-4, C. contains 90 times more Cordycepin in militaris extracts.

Cordyceps mushroom extract is a very versatile nutritional supplement. A gluten-free, organic, non-GMO product is popular for its health advantages, metabolic, and immunostimulatory qualities. 

Benefits of Cordyceps Extracts

Consumers use these products as a nutritional supplement or as a medicament, because of their properties for improving endurance and performance, as well as, for their aphrodisiac and curative properties.

The health benefits of Cordyceps Extract are the following: 

Cordyceps Extract Types

1. Cordyceps extract powder

Do not confuse Cordyceps Extract Powder with Cordyceps Dried Mushroom Powder. The difference between Cordyceps extract and dry mushroom powder is the potency of Cordyceps extract. The dried mushroom powder is made by drying and crushing the mushroom’s fruiting bodies. Cordyceps extract, on the other hand, is made with a water and alcohol extraction process to isolate and extract only the mushroom’s medicinal components, such as Adenosine and Cordycepin.

Despite the fact that both versions of the product are easy to use at home, the mushroom extract is preferable for ingesting because of its smaller doses, increased bioavailability, longer shelf life, and ability to mix well with a number of medicinal supplements.

2. Cordyceps extract tinctures

Cordyceps can also be extracted and produced into a tincture. A Cordyceps tincture commonly has 20% alcohol and can be taken in the form of drops on the tongue, or mixed with a beverage.

cordyceps tincture

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the correct dosage of Cordyceps extracts?

Depending on which type of extract form you are using,, the maximum Cordyceps Extract per day is 1-2 drops of tincture or one teaspoon of extract powder, which is approximately 1.5 to 2.5 grams of Cordyceps mushroom extract. Regarding overdosing, although there are several scientific types of research that have tested the dose for maximum uptake of Cordyceps Extract per day, the results showed that there is no indication of overdose of any kind when using Cordyceps products. 

How long does it take for Cordyceps extract to work?

After consuming the Cordyceps mushroom extract, the results can usually be felt within 30 minutes to 1 hour.. Improved blood circulation, stamina, and libido, as well as reduced weariness and insomnia, are some of the first noticeable health effects.

How do I choose a high quality Cordyceps extract product?

When looking for the best Cordyceps extracts supplements, we recommend seeking products that are organic, extracted from Cordycep militaris fruiting bodies, specify the beta-glucan content on the label, and are third party lab verified.

How much Cordyceps Extract should I add to my coffee?

If you combine Cordyceps Extract with coffee, it is advised to mix your coffee with 1g to 2g of Cordyceps.

What is the best way to consume Cordyceps extract?

Cordyceps Extract can be used in a number of ways, depending on your preferences. The Extract can be blended with warm water, added to a variety of beverages (cold drink, hot drink, tea, or coffee), or even added to your breakfast or lunch while cooking. If it is infused in a cold drink, hot drink, tea, or coffee, the dose should be consumed quickly.

When is the best time to take Cordyceps extract?

The best time of the day to take Cordyceps Extract is in the morning with meals or with morning drinks. Please keep in mind that taking Cordyceps Extract before or after training is also highly recommended for increased energy and athletic performance, as well as for post-workout recovery.

Does Cordyceps extract expire?

To maintain the shelf life, the extract must be maintained at room temperature away from light and heat, so a kitchen cabinet away from the oven and refrigerator could be appropriate. Because of the high volatility of the solvents used, the extract must be maintained in an airtight container. The storage of Cordyceps extract will give a long shelf life if the above-mentioned risks are considered. Cordyceps mushroom extract has a two-year shelf life.


  • Mario Petkovski is an Agronomist, Digital Agriculture Specialist, Author and Contributo. He is currently growing and scaling his own medicinal mushroom company in Kumanovo, Macedonia. His credentials include: Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena – Biochemistry Escola Superior de Educação de Coimbra – Biochemistry and Animal production Goce Delcev University of Štip – Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc), Phytopathology

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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