Every part of the world has its own expensive delicacies that command astronomical prices. In Italy you have truffle, in Iran you have saffron, and high up in the Tibetan mountains, you have cordyceps adaptogen (or cordyceps sinensis) - a fungus that is worth its weight in gold.
In Chinese, cordyceps adaptogen is called dong chong xia cao, which literally translates to “winter worm summer grass”. Often classed as a fungus, it’s name suggests otherwise - so which is it? A fungus or an insect?
In reality, cordyceps is a hybrid. It starts off as a fungal spore and lands on moth caterpillars. From there the spore grows and festers, killing off its host. The caterpillar burrows underground and dies, but the fungus continues to grow and absorbing the surrounding nutrients.
Its benefits were first discovered more than 5000 years ago when people observed animals eating it started to grow stronger. Farmers then started to grind the cordyceps into powder form to be used in teas and its reputation as a superfood was born.
Go to any old school pharmacy in China or Hong Kong and you will surely find cordyceps, which is widely used in traditional Chinese medicine for its longevity and pro-vitality benefits among many others which include:
- Improving immune function
- Promoting longevity
- Improving stamina and athletic performance
- Promoting healthy blood sugar levels
- Promoting liver function and detoxification
Cordyceps is also a known adaptogen supplement. As the name suggests, adaptogens are a class of botanicals that help your body adapt to stress and maintain stable physiological processes. What this means is that when you’re feeling fine, you won’t feel any different, but when you start to feel stressed, tired or fatigued, the adaptogen will help bring you back to your normal baseline again.
Adaptogens are great for people who want to feel calm, energized and stress-free throughout the day without the ‘stimmy’ effect of stimulants, like caffeine do to your body. It’s no wonder adaptogens are widely used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. You may have heard of them, like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Ginseng to name a few.
In fact, at VitaMonk, we’re huge evangelists of adaptogens because they tick the boxes we think all good dietary supplements should tick:
- Safe with little side effects
- Scientifically-backed health benefits
- And natural
So much so that we’ve created an adaptogen stack, called AdaptoTrax™. It contains the best mix of adaptogens to help you feel calm, energetic and stress-free:
- Holy Basil
- Schizandra Berry
- Siberian Ginseng
- Panax Ginseng
- Bacopa Monnieri
We’ve designed this adaptogen formula with the busy working professional in mind. It seems like our lives are filled with stressors from everyday life: work demands, lack of sleep, and a modern diet which is slowly deteriorating our health.
Getting a much needed boost of energy usually comes in the form of a cup of coffee or tea, but even caffeine is a stressor to your body. That’s why we’re proud to introduce our adaptogen stack, which we believe is a healthy way for you to get a boost of energy and help fight stress.