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Cordyceps for Respiratory Health

Article at a Glance:

  • Bioactive compounds in Cordyceps mushrooms have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-modulating properties.
  • Cordyceps has been used for hundreds of years to manage and treat respiratory conditions in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
  • Supplementing with Cordyceps may support lung function and respiratory health by improving oxygen uptake and delivery, inhibiting disease-causing inflammation, and maintaining healthy airways.

Some benefits of the Cordyceps mushroom are better energy and boosted athletic performance, equating to serious gains in exercise and sports. Researchers have found that supplementing with Cordyceps can increase endurance and stamina during high-intensity exercise.[1]

This powerhouse mushroom benefits breathing and how the body uses oxygen during exercise. In this article, we'll explore how Cordyceps support lung function and the health of your respiratory system.

The Importance of Respiratory Health

The act of breathing is a mostly unconscious process. We don't have to think or make a choice to keep taking in oxygen, so we may not always give a lot of thought to the health or functioning of our lungs and respiratory system.

The respiratory system is more than just your lungs; it includes the nose, mouth, windpipe, trachea, and bronchial tubes. The respiratory system's primary function is to provide oxygen to the body and excrete waste as carbon dioxide. Still, it also gives you the ability to smell and speak.

Oxygen is essential for life, and we couldn't survive without our respiratory system. Every part of your body requires a continuous supply of oxygen to function. Your body also needs oxygen to create cellular energy, known as ATP or adenosine triphosphate.

Cordyceps and Respiratory Health

Cordyceps is a functional mushroom used for hundreds of years in China to manage the symptoms of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis. Researchers have attributed anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-modulating properties to the bioactive compounds found in the Cordyceps mushroom.[3][4]

Numerous studies have evaluated the effect of Cordyceps supplementation on lung function in athletes and individuals diagnosed with respiratory disorders. Cordyceps benefits respiratory health by improving oxygen uptake and delivery, decreasing inflammation, and maintaining healthy airways.

Improves Oxygen Utilization

Exercise-based research shows that taking Cordyceps effectively increases the amount of oxygen a person can use during exercise, also called the VO2 max. More oxygen improves stamina, endurance, and athletic performance during high-intensity and aerobic exercise.[2][3]

Cordyceps also helps dilate blood vessels, which increases blood flow and helps deliver oxygen-rich blood to your tissues.[2]

Decreases Inflammation

Respiratory conditions, such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), are characterized by inflammation that damages the lungs and bronchi, resulting in decreased lung function. Researchers have evaluated how the anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps can be used to manage these conditions.

In both animal and human subjects with COPD, regular supplementation of Cordyceps supported decreased levels of inflammatory compounds, less thickening of airways, and improved lung function.[4][5]

Similar results were observed in a study with subjects diagnosed with asthma. Cordyceps supplementation positively affected inflammatory markers, increased air volume, and reported days free from asthma symptoms than the placebo group.[6]

The anti-inflammatory properties of Cordyceps may also be beneficial for managing respiratory allergies. Some test-tube studies have found Cordyceps block the formation and activation of key inflammatory compounds that trigger allergic symptoms.[7]

Supports Healthy Airways

Scientists have hypothesized that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Cordyceps may play an important role in maintaining the airways' structural integrity and preventing lung disease development.

The quality of the air you breathe and exposure to pollutants and cigarette smoke can trigger inflammation, damage the respiratory system, and increase the risk of lung disease.[8]

Researchers examined the effect of cigarette smoke and Cordyceps on cultured bronchial cells. When exposed to cigarette smoke, the cells begin to deteriorate in a process known as senescence. Treatment with Cordyceps following exposure to cigarette smoke stops the cellular signaling that leads to aging and loss of function.[8]

Taking Cordyceps for Respiratory Health

Whether your goal is better oxygen usage during intense workouts or everyday support for the health of your respiratory system, a Cordyceps supplement may be right for you.

Our Cordyceps gummies are mango and pineapple flavored and contain the equivalent of 500 milligrams of Cordyceps mushroom per gummy, making it a delicious and easy way to care for your respiratory system.


  1. Kusama K, Miyagawa M, Ota K, et al. Nutrients. 2020;13(1):50. Published 2020 Dec 26. doi:10.3390/nu13010050.
  2. Hirsch KR, Smith-Ryan AE, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Mock MG. J Diet Suppl. 2017;14(1):42-53. doi:10.1080/19390211.2016.1203386.
  3. Hirsch KR, Mock MG, Roelofs EJ, Trexler ET, Smith-Ryan AE. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12(Suppl 1):P45. Published 2015 Sep 21. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P45.
  4. Yu X, Mao Y, Shergis JL, et al. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2019;2019:4903671. Published 2019 Apr 3. doi:10.1155/2019/4903671.
  5. Yang L, Jiao X, Wu J, et al. Exp Ther Med. 2018;15(3):2731-2738. doi:10.3892/etm.2018.5777
  6. Wang N, Li J, Huang X, Chen W, Chen Y. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:6134593. doi:10.1155/2016/6134593.
  7. Yoou MS, Jin MH, Lee SY, et al. Biol Pharm Bull. 2016;39(1):90-96. doi:10.1248/bpb.b15-00631.
  8. Liu A, Wu J, Li A, et al. Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2016;11:1721-1731. Published 2016 Jul 28. doi:10.2147/COPD.S107396.