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Cordyceps is a fungus that lives on certain caterpillars in the high mountain regions of China. Most cordyceps supplements are made in a lab.

Cordyceps might improve immunity by stimulating cells and specific chemicals in the immune system. It might also help fight cancer cells and shrink tumor size, particularly with lung or skin cancers. Natural cordyceps is hard to get and might be expensive.

People most commonly use cordyceps for athletic performance, kidney disorders, liver problems, and sexual problems, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

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When taken by mouth: Cordyceps is possibly safe for most people when taken in doses of 3-6 grams daily for up to 1 year. It might cause mild side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, and stomach discomfort.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if cordyceps is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding or what the side effects might be. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: When taken by mouth, cordyceps might cause the immune system to become more active. This could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using cordyceps.

Surgery: When taken by mouth, cordyceps might increase the risk of bleeding during surgery. Stop taking cordyceps 2 weeks before surgery.

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) is used to decrease the immune system. Cordyceps seems to increase the immune system. Taking cordyceps along with cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar) might decrease the effectiveness of cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, Neosar).

Medications that decrease the immune system (Immunosuppressants)

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Cordyceps might increase the immune system. By increasing the immune system, cordyceps might decrease the effectiveness of medications that decrease the immune system.

Some medications that decrease the immune system include azathioprine (Imuran), basiliximab (Simulect), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), daclizumab (Zenapax), muromonab-CD3 (OKT3, Orthoclone OKT3), mycophenolate (CellCept), tacrolimus (FK506, Prograf), sirolimus (Rapamune), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), corticosteroids (glucocorticoids), and others.

Prednisolone

Interaction Rating=Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Prednisolone is sometimes used to decrease the immune system. Taking cordyceps might make prednisolone less effective for decreasing the immune system.

Herbs and supplements that might slow blood clotting: Cordyceps might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. Taking it with other supplements with similar effects might increase the risk of bleeding in some people. Examples of supplements with this effect include garlic, ginger, ginkgo, nattokinase, and Panax ginseng.

There are no known interactions with foods.

Cordyceps has most often been used by adults in doses of 3-6 grams by mouth daily for up to 1 year. Most cordyceps supplements are made in a lab. Natural cordyceps is hard to get and might be expensive. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what dose might be best for a specific condition.

Caterpillar Fungus, Caterpillar Mushroom, Cs-4, Champignon Chenille, Chinese Caterpillar Fungus, Cordyceps sinensis, Dong Chong Xia Cao, Dong Chong Zia Cao, Hsia Ts'Ao Tung Ch'Ung, Jinshuibao Jiaonang, Jinshuibao Pian, Ophiocordyceps sinensis, Tochukaso, Vegetable Caterpillar.

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