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Cordyceps- Great for motivation

cordyceps

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#1 Guardian4981

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:19 AM


Hi all,

I have suffered from dysthymia most of my life, I believe I have low dopamine levels. The only supplement that seems to give me benefit without any noticeably material sides thus far after 4 days is cordyceps. I feel very good on this stuff so far.

Stuff I have tried...
Forskolin- Helped energy, seemed to lower blood sugar too much, had massive food cravings and would pig out.
P-5-P- Enhanced sleep, helped motivation years ago but recently did not seem to do so (maybe my dopamine levels got progressively worse) I still take this for its anti AGEs benefits.
St Johns- Made me feel suicidal after a couple weeks, also caused horrible eye twitches,
Choline- Absolute awful headaches even that even pain meds can't stop, only time and stopping the choline.
Sam-E- Every time I take it I feel something different, sometimes it does give me a big motivation boost, other times it gives me a headache. I think perhaps it enhances whatever direction your neurotransmitters are going at that given point in time.
Uridine- Probably the strongest serotonin effect of any supplement i have tried so much so that I had pins and needles working out from seemingly constricted blood vessels from the extra serotonin (and probably low dopamine).
Fish Oil- Seemed to increase nasal congestion which I am prone to, seemed to help me relax but did not help motivation much.
Rhodiola- This one has been a while I may try a good brand again, it caused me to feel good for a week then awful after that.
Gynostemma- This did cause slight increase in motivation, but very little overall effect.
Tyrosine- Works for a day, then headaches and lethargy
Siberian Ginseng- Caused what felt like drop in blood sugar
Panx Ginseng- Made me cold for some reason
American Ginseng- Increased hunger and headache
B12- Seems to cause lethargy
TMG- Seemed to improve body composition and workouts, but no mental benefit
Pcynogenol- Didn't feel much other then decline in hunger
Tumeric- Game me a headache and zapped libido
Cocoa- Gave me a high then hours later felt super depressed
Ashwaghanda- Made me real lazy and depressed
Green tea- Supplement gave me headache and feeling more depressed, drinking the green tea seems to give me a mild lift though
Catuaba Bark- Did not notice much good or bad
Dear Antler- Oddly seemed to boost my self esteem, not much motivation benefit though. Perhaps helps serotonin a bit?
NADH- Increased irritability
PQQ- Increased restlessness
Hops- Helps sleep, though I have no issue sleeping (thanks to low dopamine I actually oversleep).
Mucana Pruiens- Somehow after a day or two makes me feel more lethargic, slight nausea
T3/T4 thyroid glandular combo- Actually decreased motivation, I have read thyroid levels have an inverse dopamine relationship. Dopamine also lowers TSH. I have a theory that many people who are subclinical hypothyroid are actually low dopamine, may explain why many do not feel much better even on thyroid meds.

Supplements in the pipeline to try include magnolia bark and chinese skullcap.

I hope the cordyceps continues to work for me. Just about anything i have used which boosts dopamine seems to have the side effects of headaches and occasionally increased depression.The cordyceps even seem to help recovery from drinking, last night I had half a dozen drinks which for me would give me a hangover. But today I literally feel like I didn't drink at all!

If the cordyceps work with more chronic use, I may experiment stacking it with something such as uridine or gynostemma.

Also, cordyceps may be useful for autoimmune disorders, as contrary to popular belief and most of its cousins, cordyceps may actually supress the immune system. I often think my immune system is on the overactive side in that I have not been sick in about 5 years!

Edited by Guardian4981, 24 March 2014 - 02:20 AM.

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#2 Adaptogen

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:27 AM

What source/dosage do you use for cordyceps?
I went through a lb of bulk, steam activated cordyceps and felt nothing. I'm currently using a 50:1 extract, that seems to be slightly stimulating..but i still can't say i notice too much.

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#3 Guardian4981

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 02:57 AM

Right now I am using Planetary Herbals Corydceps Power which is actually a combo of herbs but the cordyceps is the main ingredient. I am only taking 1 a day right when I wake up. Mine has .1% adenosine, which is supposed to have some good benefits.

I have read Mushsoom science is the best brand I may try that next.

If you don't mind me asking what is/are you issue(s)?

Are you taking a quality B vitamin and such? I take country lifes advanced B which is the best there is I think.

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#4 Godof Smallthings

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:08 AM

What source/dosage do you use for cordyceps?
I went through a lb of bulk, steam activated cordyceps and felt nothing. I'm currently using a 50:1 extract, that seems to be slightly stimulating..but i still can't say i notice too much.


I am currently on Fungi Perfecti cordyceps and unfortunately feel nothing, too. I had high hopes for it, Stamets seems like he knows what he is talking about, but if there is no effect, there is no effect...
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#5 Guardian4981

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 03:24 AM

But what are you guys taking it for? I am assuming if you came to my thread you suffer from low motivation too, but just thought I'd ask anyways.

Alot of anecdotal evidence suggests cordyceps seems to increase energy, libido, and endurance.

I am no expert, but I do try to research and understand. I think dopamine has a couple layers. I think there is production, receptors, and degradation. I think my issue may be degration which is why some things like mucanna made me feel worse.

#6 Adaptogen

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:22 AM

i've been taking it with hopes of seeing improvements in energy, exercise performance, motivation, and overall sense of well-being. it is possible that the type of extract plays a large role in the efficacy. i've only used hot water extractions, although i believe this is what is traditionally used in chinese medicine.

still, i've expected to feel at least something from supplementing. there are a number of animal studies that show promising benefits, but it's hard to tell how much of this will translate into human results, particularly in regards to younger and healthy individuals.

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/20804368 - cs-4 improves exercise performance in older subjects
http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/15118196 - cs-4 does not improve endurance exercise performance in cyclists
http://www.kristinda...pr_clinical.pdf - in this trial, the effects are "significant" but negligible...increased overall maximal oxygen consumption by 5.5 percent, work output on bicycle increased by 2.8 percent, and time to complete 1-mile walk reduced by 20 seconds


#7 Godof Smallthings

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 05:05 AM

Increased motivation is definitely an area I'm trying to improve. I know from experience that aerobic exercise helps there, but as I've been stuck with a flu/cold for several weeks now, I can't use that route, so I'm trying other things.

Edited by Godof Smallthings, 24 March 2014 - 05:05 AM.


#8 Guardian4981

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 12:59 PM

If I were you guys I would try mucana and choline not at the same time (if you haven't already).

Some people do really well on mucanna, and choline is supposed to help with receptor density and perhaps even number.

Realize the reason for hot water extraction with medicinal mushrooms is that it helps extract the most polysacarides, which for most medicinal mushrooms is the primary benefit. However cordyceps benefit isn't from polysacarides, if that's ones goal they should take reishi or blazeii. So perhaps a different extraction is better with cordyceps.

I'm not sure what the planetary herbals extraction process is.

Also, unlike most mushrooms, I think cordyceps should be taken just prior to a meal. The reason is cordyceps seems to have a blood sugar lowering effect. I find supplementing with selenium and eating before a meal helps with this. If one takes it on an empty stomach this could perhaps influence how well it does or doesn't impact the dopamine system.

#9 Guardian4981

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:20 PM

One other supplement I used which I forgot to mention was kidney glandular. This stuff seemed to actually help dopamine alot somehow (that isn't what I originally even took it for).

But the sides were to harsh, namely it caused chest tightness and a feeling like it was harder to breath.

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#10 GoingPrimal

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:15 AM

I've been a fan of cordyceps for a while now, but it really depends on the dosage and source, IME. I've had really good effects from taking about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of cordyceps powder from mountain rose herbs, simmering in water for about 10 minutes, straining and consuming - a much larger dose than most pills. Great for energy, an awesome pre-workout, and it does increase motivation, though not as well as deer antler IMO. Though I have to say, the deer antler I use I picked up while in New Zealand, which is the top exporting country for deer antler products, and they do it right. The pills I have are pure deer antler tips, and the tips are where all the goodies are located. One pill is honestly is too strong and stimulating most of the time.

I haven't had much success with cordyceps pills, I almost always need to make a decoction or alcoholic tincture to really feel it. Mushroom Harvest has a good hot water extracted product, I think a pound is only $30. The shop I work at just started carrying Jing Herbs brand of Chinese herbs, and they make a product called Total Athlete with cordyceps as the main ingredient, also has deer antler and some other herbs. I'm on my last day of a snowboarding trip in Utah and I have to say, Total Athlete seemed to help quite a bit with energy and delaying fatigue, without being too stimulating. I'm a big fan of Chinese and Ayruvedic herbs, so had to give my two cents ;)

#11 Adaptogen

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 01:23 AM

i went through a whole lb of the mushroom harvest stuff and never felt anything. dosages ranging from 2 to 15 grams.
I am currently using a 50:1 hot water extract i bought off ebay. I take a gram at a time, which should be the equivalent of 50 grams cordyceps.

I can't say I feel anything from this either, but I take it before the gym either way. Cordyceps is certainly interesting, but I just don't seem to feel much (or anything) from it. Whereas something like rhodiola, I always feel...or eleuthero, which i sometimes feel.

Next I am looking into a quality standardized ginseng extract. I have a feeling that this will be much more stimulating and effective for anhedonia...finding a good, cost effective source is the hard part.

#12 Godof Smallthings

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 06:13 AM

I think I am going to take my cordyceps, lion's mane and reishi capsules and let them soak in 95% alcohol for a couple of weeks, and then see if that tincture packs a better punch than the caps and tablets.

It doesn't look like the tablets or capsules are doing much at all.

#13 NeuroNootropic

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 06:40 AM

Guardian4981, are you still taking Cordyceps and if so does it still increase your motivation? Have you noticed any other benefits or side effects so far?



#14 ron45

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 01:56 AM

Take a look at this document. In the same way the best rhodiola comes from russia  because of the growing conditions. Cordyceps is the same. Aloha medicinals grows organic cordyceps in Nevada. Their flame to fame is theirs is a perfect DNA match of the Tibetan strain. Because they grow it in a low temp low oxygen environment. If that's not enough, the full spectrum powder is 100 bux for 22. Lbs. They have lion's main also same price. One difference is you can see john Holiday talking about cordyceps in a vid and debunking the idea that we are going to become elite athletes if we use his products. That could happen if one was in that kind of training program. But according to him you have to be making those kind of demands of your body to benefit from the enhanced mitochondria function. He explained that in everyday life we don't approach the threshold where we need the extra mitochondrial function. I'm paraphrasing here the vid is only about 12 or so.

 

 

 

Attached File  CS_Spec_Sheet.pdf   882.36KB   8 downloads 

 

I had been taking the 50 to one from on line. Nothing. I haven't yet dug into my first kilo far enough to know whats up with this brand. My one complaint, and it's a tiny one is that he uses the redneck pronunciation of the word nuclear. He says nook ya ler

must be from hanging around the submarine guys. His company supplies pharmaceutical grade broad spectrum and high potency injectable extracts to 700 medical facilities world wide. But just us here in the us. AINT FREEDUM GRAND.

 

Ron

 

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#15 calm--

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 10:00 AM

First day trying cordyceps, I took 2 caps Now Cordyceps 750 mg after breakfast. I'm being speedy, slightly irritabie and anxious for about 1-2 hours. After that negative side effects has passed though, I can certainly notice a nice motivation boost. Anyone experience this negative side-effects as well?

 

Guardian4981, you still take it and notice benefits?



#16 AlexCanada

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 11:32 AM

Does cordyceps help sense of reward? or strictly motivation? Any suggestions for reward?

 

I have problems on both fronts.  Rhodiola helps for motivation but saps any enjoyment out of anything at times plus causes some irritability. Ironically evening doses sometimes improve mood rather than worsening. 



#17 Guardian4981

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 12:48 PM

I take cordyceps once or twice a week only now.  When I was taking it daily it caused my hematocrit and red blood cell count to exceed healthy ranges.  If you dig in the literature cordyceps is believed to increase red blood cell count, my blood tests proved it does it least for me.  Another issue with cordyceps is I believe it lowers blood sugar, I tend to struggle with low blood sugar at time so any supplement that does so tends to give me some issues.

 

Also as an FYI, cordyceps makes a wonderful anti hangover pre caution if taking before drinking.  I believe this may be cause from its influence on SOD.

 

I have another thread in this section about 5-mthf, which for me seems to have a positive influence on mood



#18 Aurel

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 12:21 AM

If you talk to Chinese then they will tell you that reishi, cordy etc. are very expensive mushrooms. I always wondered if our cheap generics can compete with the nature grown mushrooms. Can we create a collection of working brands (don't mind the price)?


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#19 Real Mushrooms

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Posted 03 November 2015 - 11:09 PM

As for all mushroom products, source matters.

 

Here is an article I wrote on our Facebook page that explains how Cordyceps is different from every other mushroom.

 

 

In the marketplace today, the majority of supplements that use Cordyceps, in the form of Cordyceps sinensis are not genuine sinensis. Not only that, these supplements do not contain actual fruiting bodies (mushrooms). The issue is that commercial cultivation has not developed because no one has been able to produce a fruiting body from a C. sinensis mycelium culture. 

In addition to it not being cultivatable, wild C. sinensis (see photo) are the most expensive mushrooms in the world. Bulk prices in China are around $25,000 per kilogram. With a price tag this high there is no way authentic, wild C. sinensis fruiting bodies would end up in any affordable supplement. Despite this, the bulk of Cordyceps supplements usually show a photo of the Caterpillar mushroom (see photo) with their products even though their products do not contain them.

So what options are there for C. sinensis supplements? Mycelium.

Mycelium is the vegetative body of a fungal organism and is somewhat similar to the root system of plants. It is the stage in the fungal life-cycle that gathers nutrients which enable the production of a mushroom. Many so-called mushroom products today, including Cordyceps, are made from the mycelium and not the mushroom. With C. sinensis there are two options available.

If the product is mycelium made in China, it is likely Cordyceps Cs-4, a strain of C. sinensis made by liquid fermentation. The mycelium is produced in a liquid medium and after 3-10 days of growth, the liquid is drained off and you’re left with a tofu-like mycelial mass. This 100% mycelium material is dried, powdered and then used for supplements. Cs-4 has generated a significant body of research. If you search pubmed for “Cs-4” or “cordymax” or “Paecilomyces hepiali”, you will find hundreds of papers.

If a C. sinensis mycelium product is made in the USA, it is produced using sterile grain as the growing medium (substrate). The mycelium is grown out on the grain and when ready for harvest, the mycelium and grain substrate are dried together and then powdered for use in supplements. The issue here is that the grain ends up in the final product, which becomes a mixture of mycelium and grain. 

Tests have shown that due to Cordyceps mycelium being very slow growing, the starch content of mycelium on grain can be upwards of 65% due to the residual grain and the mycelium content being very low. For reference, pure mushroom products typically have less than 5% starch. High starch content can easily be confirmed at home by doing an iodine starch test (search youtube). Not only is there a high starch content and low mycelium content, there is almost no research based on cordyceps mycelium grown on grain. 

To summarize, the only options for Cordyceps sinensis supplements: pure mycelium Cs-4 (lots of research) or the very starch-laden mycelium on grain (almost no research). Cordyceps sinensis fruiting bodies, the caterpillar fungus (see photo), are simply not a possible product offering.

 

tl;dr. Cs-4 is pure mycelium from China with a lot of research on it. Anything from USA is mycelium on grain which is very high in starch (http://www.nammex.co...inal-mushrooms/) and has no research on it. Cordyceps sinensis fruiting bodies are not possible in affordable supplements so do not believe you're getting the caterpillar mushroom. 


Edited by Real Mushrooms, 03 November 2015 - 11:28 PM.

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#20 maxwatt

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 01:35 AM

I have an offer for cordyceps gathered growing on caterpillars at altitude in Peru.  They claim it is equivalent to the Chinese product.  Still insanely expensive, at $8000 a kilo for grade A+.  There are less expensive grades, Grade B is 2500, as with broken caterpillars and fungus, or pieces of same, each of several grades less, but still pricey.  Powder at $1500/kilo.  Do you have information on the quality of the Peruvian source?  Message me for the link.

 

I can buy a single caterpillar with the fruiting body of the mushroom for around $150 in the local Chinatown. 



#21 Adaptogen

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 11:17 AM

I have an offer for cordyceps gathered growing on caterpillars at altitude in Peru.  They claim it is equivalent to the Chinese product.  Still insanely expensive, at $8000 a kilo for grade A+.  There are less expensive grades, Grade B is 2500, as with broken caterpillars and fungus, or pieces of same, each of several grades less, but still pricey.  Powder at $1500/kilo.  Do you have information on the quality of the Peruvian source?  Message me for the link.

 

I can buy a single caterpillar with the fruiting body of the mushroom for around $150 in the local Chinatown. 

Is there any reason to believe that the wild cordyceps with the caterpillar attatched should be any more beneficial than cultivated cordyceps?  I recall coming across some studies using wild tibetan cordyceps as their benchmark for potency, with several of the cultivated cordyceps samples surpassing the percentage of adenosine and cordycepin.

It seems like nowadays since high quality cultivated cordyceps is so easy to come by, wild cordyceps is more of a souvenire than functional food.


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#22 Real Mushrooms

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 04:02 PM

It seems like nowadays since high quality cultivated cordyceps is so easy to come by, wild cordyceps is more of a souvenire than functional food.

 

There is no cultivated Cordyceps sinensis fruiting bodies. See my post above. 



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#23 Real Mushrooms

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 04:04 PM

Do you have information on the quality of the Peruvian source?

 

I don't. Is that sinensis or a different strain? 



#24 Adaptogen

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 08:36 AM

 

It seems like nowadays since high quality cultivated cordyceps is so easy to come by, wild cordyceps is more of a souvenire than functional food.

 

There is no cultivated Cordyceps sinensis fruiting bodies. See my post above. 

 

 

 

Interesting.

but is the chemical composition of the fruiting bodies really that different than that of a mycelial extract?

Cordyceps militaris fruiting bodies seem to be pretty readily available and have a fair amount of research behind them, so militaris fruiting bodies + sinensis mycelium extract should make for a full spectrum of polysaccharides, as well as a decent percentage of cordycepin, since cordycepin is the constituent that seems to be lacking in cultivated sinensis.



#25 Real Mushrooms

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 04:58 PM

 

but is the chemical composition of the fruiting bodies really that different than that of a mycelial extract?

 

I'm not sure but I know that militaris fruiting bodies have much higher amounts (~3x) of beta-glucans compared with Cs-4 so I would assume a sinensis fruiting body would be higher as well. Also remember that mycelium on grain wouldn't be comparable with a fruiting body due to the residual grain.

 

 

 

Cordyceps militaris fruiting bodies seem to be pretty readily available and have a fair amount of research behind them, so militaris fruiting bodies + sinensis mycelium extract should make for a full spectrum of polysaccharides, as well as a decent percentage of cordycepin, since cordycepin is the constituent that seems to be lacking in cultivated sinensis.

 

We use Cordyceps militaris for our Cordyceps product so we're able to have one of the only pure fruiting body products for Cordyceps. >25% beta-glucans. <3% starch. >0.3% cordycepin. Note that cordycepin in militaris fruiting bodies is around 100x higher than sinensis fruiting bodies. Militaris and cordycepin both have a lot of research on them.


#26 Adaptogen

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 09:25 AM

 
We use Cordyceps militaris for our Cordyceps product so we're able to have one of the only pure fruiting body products for Cordyceps. >25% beta-glucans. <3% starch. >0.3% cordycepin. Note that cordycepin in militaris fruiting bodies is around 100x higher than sinensis fruiting bodies. Militaris and cordycepin both have a lot of research on them.

 

 

While I appreciate that your company carefully sources and tests their product, at $1/g for chinese cordyceps militaris, your products are pretty much highway robbery. i'd rather take my chances with one of the chinese companies producing the mushrooms themselves, and get it for around $55/kg, including shipping.


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#27 Real Mushrooms

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 07:06 PM

We're competitively priced with the products we offer. If you're comfortable sourcing directly from China, properly vetting suppliers and running your own independent tests, definitely do it.



#28 tronatula2

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Posted 16 September 2016 - 03:57 PM

Hi Guardian4981, I took 3 tablets Planetary Herbals, Cordyceps Power CS-4 today, after 2 hours, I took Digit Span test and my score went form 16 to 18. Impressive.

 

I wonder are you still taking Cordyceps, if not, which substance help you with motivation?



#29 AlexCanada

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 11:39 PM

I been getting very severe dry skin on my face from even 25mg of Cordyceps powder. Though perhaps it's concentrated in a way that it's higher than 25mg.   White flakiness on my skin. And very very dry to the touch. Very distinct.  Could this be part of a die off reaction?  


Edited by AlexCanada, 23 September 2016 - 11:40 PM.


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#30 Vlad

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Posted 07 June 2017 - 09:15 AM

I have been using Oriveda's Cordyceps SM for some time now and this is one I really feel. It has over 1% of Cordycepin and also lists good numbers for adenosine, uridine and polyphenols. I don't see the point in taking Cordyceps for immune support so the low level of beta-glucan is no issue for me (there are much cheaper mushroom extracts with high levels of beta-glucan available for that).

 

I don't see the point in taking unspecified quality products just because they are low-priced. You are almost certain to be ripped off. First of all, it is not possible to have a very pure mushroom product for little money: processing and controlled cultivation cannot be done cheap, including in China. Most products, both the good and the bad are produced in China anyway. Second, if you need to consume 5 grams or more a day to feel 'something' you probably end up paying much more than if you would have bought a high potency product right away.

 

US products are all poor quality in my experience, most of them are rich in starch and low on active compounds. Recent research has confirmed this with hard facts. They're also usually not extracted. Paul Stamets is selling his supplements mainly because of his reputation as a mycologist in the media I think. Because objectively speaking Host Defense products are poor - unspecified quality, not extracted ('heat-treated' is just a marketing statement if it is not-backed up with facts).

 

I like to see good specs and documentation backing up those specs. I base my purchase decisions on that. 


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