How does Cordyceps help reverse sexual dysfunction?
Cordyceps' unique and bioactive pharmacological profile has been studied to restore a number of functions that impact sexual health, including: balancing communication pathways between the brain and the body, mediating inflammation, minimizing oxidative stress, and improving energy production, energy balance, and metabolism. Cordyceps is also studied to optimize adrenal function to balance stress hormones that compete with sex hormones for resources.
Are there clinical studies to support Cordyceps' sexual health benefits?
Wan et al. reported that when a C. sinensis supplement was given to 189 men and women, libido increased and symptoms and desire improved by 66%. Dong and Yao reported that a C. sinensis supplement led to an 86% improvement in libido and desire in women. Guo reported that when C. sinensis supplement was administered to 22 males for 8 weeks, it increased sperm count by 33%, decreased sperm malformations by 29%, and increased sperm survival rate by 79%. Huang et al. reported that C. sinensis dietary supplementation can lead to improvements in adrenal glands and thymus hormones, as well as a 300% improvement in infertile sperm count.
Here's the thing: your sex drive will naturally fluctuate over the years — and that's OK! But stress, trauma, depression, toxins, and injury can speed this up.
Unfortunately, current libido and fertility treatment options aren't great.
They are inaccessibly priced and come with a host of side effects. And, because they don't target issues at the source, you have to use them every single time you want to have sex.
Let's do some quick math:
While research findings vary, most studies show that the average North American adult has sex 50 to 70 times per year, which is about once to twice a week. If Viagra costs an average of about $70 per pill, and the cost for the generic version, Sildenafil, can start at about $8.50 a pill, the price of sex for a male can cost anywhere between $425 – $4,900 per year — or more.
Women have even fewer options, despite the fact that 43% of women experience sexual dysfunction compared to 31% of men.
Options aren't just scarce — no pharmaceutical has yet been approved for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction. They're also invasive. Doctors have no protocol other than hormone replacement.
Fortunately, recent discoveries have identified natural therapeutics, like Psilocybin mushrooms and Cordyceps, that work synergistically to reverse the causes of female sexual dysfunction — including those with psychological roots such as trauma and depression — and mitigate menopausal symptoms.
This article describes how Cordyceps modulates six pathways that can lead to sexual dysfunction. Just one of these extracts — taken alone — reduced sexual dysfunction for over 86% of the women enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study in just 40 days!
Note: Not coincidentally, and despite the differing needs of our beautifully unique and distinct physiologies, the affected pathways and root causes leading to female and male sexual dysfunction are relatively similar. However, due to the complexity of female sexuality, we are dedicating a section to acknowledge the.
How female sexual dysfunction develops.
Female sexual dysfunction can be difficult to diagnose due to the complexities of the female sexual response. It manifests as one or more of a set of symptoms that can come and go: reduction of sex drive, aversion to sex, lack of arousal, vaginal dryness, pain during sex, and inability to feel pleasure or reach orgasm.
Symptoms of female sexual dysfunction may be triggered by physiological changes, especially those that affect the reproductive system such as premenstrual syndrome, pregnancy, postpartum, or menopause.
Physiologically, female sexual dysfunction is often the result of reduced levels of estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, serotonin, antioxidants, and nitric oxide; or increased levels of cortisol, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and monoamine oxidase.
In the brain, increased levels of monoamine oxidase destroy dopamine levels, your pleasure and reward chemical.
Menopausal transition is considered the most difficult time to remain sexually healthy and can be a frequent cause of reduced sexual interest or desire in women. Menopause involves symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, fatigue, anxiety, and memory loss — but the accompanying depression, vaginal dryness, and loss of libido can be elements of female sexual dysfunction.
Up until a decade ago, conventional medicine erroneously treated menopausal symptoms with synthetic hormones such as conjugated equine estrogen plus medroxyprogesterone acetate. This changed with the publication of a landmark 2002 study called the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), which concluded that the benefits of treatment did not outweigh the 26% increased risk of breast cancer, the 29% increased risk of heart disease, and the 41% higher risk of stroke.
For these reasons, mainstream physicians have been virtually helpless in the face of increasing numbers of women afflicted by sexual dysfunction, menopause, or both — until now.
Cordyceps: A multi-dimensional sex mushroom.
Traditionally known as "Himalayan Viagra," Cordyceps has long been used in Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for improving libido in both men and women. Researchers searching for non-pharmaceutical options to the complexity of sexual dysfunction began investigating these claims, discovering that specific botanical extracts are effective at addressing the multiple underlying causes of a number of dysfunctions, including sexual dysfunction.
Cordyceps' pharmacological profile is particularly unique and bioactive.
Clinical studies performed on the Cs-4® Cordyceps extract — used in our Energy Stack and Immune Stack — demonstrate its ability to modulate various physiological pathways that impact both male and female sexual dysfunction, including:
- Modulateing the hypothalamus-pituitary (HPA) axis, balancing levels of estrogen and testosterone as required.
- Optimizing adrenal function, promoting the downstream flow of sex hormones.
- Supporting mitochondrial function by increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, and with it, energy levels and sexual desire.
- Boosting antioxidant action, inhibiting the destruction of nitric oxide to help improve both male and female erections and allowing normal vaginal lubrication and sexual function.
- Moderating inflammation by controlling levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus blocking their dampening effect on sexual desire and activity.
In one double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers gave the Cs-4® Cordyceps extract to 40 elderly patients suffering from sexual dysfunction. Over 86% of the women in the Cs-4® group significantly improved both hyposexuality signs and symptoms — in just 40 days.
In a similar study of 189 subjects with decreased sex drive, this time including both women and men, improved symptoms were noted in over 66% of participants — again, in just 40 days.
Targeting sexual health issues at their source.
Studies indicate that Cordyceps can modulate most of the pathways involved in sexual dysfunction:
Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis
Cordyceps helps rebalance your HPA Axis, a system made up of interconnected regions that regulates your stress response, hormonal balance, and is crucial to proper sexual libido and function.
Your hypothalamus secretes chemical messengers that regulate your pituitary gland, which in turn secretes adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) to help regulate the adrenal cortex. This modulates the production of key sex hormones in either ovaries or testes.
Disturbances in these hormones are a common cause of sexual dysfunction. For example, continued stress triggers increased cortisol, competing with sex hormones for chemical resources and signalling to the body that it's in survival mode, and therefore too stressed to have sex.
Cordyceps are also studied to support healthy adrenal function and reduce adrenal fatigue. Adrenal glands produce important hormones that include estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, pregnenolone, aldosterone, DHEA, and adrenal androgens.
Decreased levels of adrenal androgens or other hormones can deplete downstream sex hormones, which in turn decreases libido and desire. In women, this also exacerbates menopausal transition.
Mitochondria use adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to store, carry, and utilize energy. The biochemical reactions involved in muscle contractions depend on sufficient levels of ATP. Diminished levels of ATP can cause a form of immunological non-responsiveness sometimes associated with diminished interest in sex.
Cordyceps is studied to improve mitochondrial health by promoting ATP production protecting it from the excessive production of free radicals that come with stress, both psychological and physiological.
Oxidative stress is the leading cause of accelerated aging and degenerative disease. Your body has natural redox strategies in place to maintain a healthy antioxidant balance, but aging, physical stress, and psychological stress can lead to aggressive free radical generation. Oxidative stress follows, damaging tissue, cells, and DNA. It touches every system in your body, affecting mood, brain, hormones, skin, gut, and immunity. In the long term, oxidative stress leads to chronic degenerative disease.
Antioxidant deficiency and oxidative stress can also trigger sexual dysfunction.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a chemical messenger that dilates blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more quickly to various parts of the body, including the genital area. Nitric oxide is required for smooth muscle relaxation, proper strong erections, vaginal function, and for the production of vaginal fluid.
Nitric oxide levels naturally decline with age, but if your body's antioxidant function is compromised, free radicals can inhibit sexual function by completely depleting nitric oxide levels or limiting its activity.
Antidepressants known as SSRIs, or selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can also interfere with nitric oxide synthesis, thus lowering nitric oxide production and blocking sexual arousal. SSRIs can also produce sexual anhedonia, the absence of any feeling of pleasure from sex, or even from orgasm.
Inflammation is linked to female sexual dysfunction. High levels of proinflammatory cytokines can inhibit sexual desire, attraction, and activity.
Menopause involves a dramatic drop in estrogen along with serotonin levels, increasing the risk of depression and sexual dysfunction.
Often causing discomfort in itself, it also triggers sexual dysfunction in many women, inhibiting libido, reducing vaginal blood flow, and causing vulvovaginal atrophy. This deterioration of urogenital tissue often causes vaginal dryness, irritation, itching, dyspareunia (pain during intercourse), vaginal bleeding with sex, and urinary infections.
Cordyceps' potent antioxidant activities mitigate the effects of menopause on your physiology. It also supports healthy adrenal function to mitigate the effects of menopause on your mood, libido, and energy levels.
While the mainstream medical establishment offers no effective treatment targeting the multiple underlying mechanisms behind these conditions, studies increasingly indicate ways we can now safely reverse sexual dysfunction to improve libido, desire, and fertility in men and women, as well as improve menopausal symptoms.
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