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Chinese Caterpillar Fungus
Medicinal Group Yang-tonifying medicinal

Composite consisting of the stroma of fungus, Cordyceps sinensis (BerK.) Sacc. (Fam. Hypocreaceae), parasitized on the larva of some species of insects (Fam. Hepialidae), and the dead caterpillar

Nature and Flavors sweet; neutral
Meridian Affinity Lung, Kidney

To tonify the kidney and replenish lung, arrests bleeding and resolve phlegm



Part used



Deficiency of kidney essence, impotence and seminal emission, aching pain of lower back and knees, chonic cough and dyspnea of deficiency pattern, cough caused by consumptive disease, hemoptysis

Research Findings

  • Cordycepin, an active component of water extracts of Cordyceps sinensis, might be a candidate anticancer and antimetastatic agent.[1]
  • Prophylactic treatment with Dongchongxiacao (Cordyceps) in stable angina pectoris patients who undergo coronary angiography or coronary intervention could prevent contrast-induced renal impairment.[2]
  • Cordyceps militaris is safe and effective for enhancing cell-mediated immunity of healthy male adults.[3]
  • Cordyceps treatment may protect against contrast-induced nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes and renal insufficiency undergoing coronary angiography, with intensive Cordyceps therapy being more effective.[4]
  • This beneficial effect of Rhodiola crenulata and Cordyceps sinensis treatment may result from better maintenance of parasympathetic (PNS) activity and accelerated physiological adaptations during high altitude training.[5]
  • Supplementation with Cordyceps sinensis improves exercise performance and might contribute to wellness in healthy older subjects.[6]
  • The combined therapy with hypha cordyceps and ginkgo leaf tablet could effectively improve micro-inflammation reaction exists popularly in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis.[7]
  • Bailing Capsule (BLC, a dry powder preparation of Cordyceps sinensis mycelia) could effectively protect liver and kidney, stimulate hemopoietic function, improve hypoproteinemia, as well as reduce the incidence of infection and the dosage of cyclosporine A and tacrolimus used, etc.[8]
  • The use of Cordyceps sinensis may allow decreased dosages and concentrations of cyclosporine causing fewer side effects without an increased risk of acute rejection. In addition, Cordyceps sinensis  with reduced dose cyclosporine may decrease proteinuria and retard chronic allograft nephropathy progression. [9]
  • The chemical constituents of cordyceps species include anti-tumour, anti-metastatic, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal, antimicrobial, hypolipidaemic, hypoglycaemic, anti-ageing, neuroprotective and renoprotective effects. [10]
  • Cordyceps and artemisinin could prevent the recurrence of lupus nephritis and protect kidney function. [11]
  • Bailing capsule (a dry powder preparation of Cordyceps sinensis mycelia) could effectively prevent the reject response after renal transplantation, protect renal and liver function, stimulate hemopoietic function, improve hypoproteinemia and hyperlipidemia, reduce the infection, etc.[12]
  • Cordyceps capsule can reduce the serum markers of airway inflammation, which suggests this therapy bares the anti-inflammation effects probably through regulating the balance of TH1/TH2, inhibiting the activity of adherence molecule and reducing IgE production.[13]
  • Cordyceps sinensis exerted a protective effect on aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity in the old patients.[14]


No Data.



  1. Nakamura K, Shinozuka K, Yoshikawa N. (2015). Anticancer and antimetastatic effects of cordycepin, an active component of Cordyceps sinensis. J Pharmacol Sci. , 127(1):53-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jphs.2014.09.001. Epub 2014 Oct 2.
  2. Zhao K, Li Y, Zhang H. (2013). Role of dongchongxiacao (Cordyceps) in prevention of contrast-induced nephropathy in patients with stable angina pectoris. J Tradit Chin Med. , 33(3):283-6.
  3. Kang HJ, Baik HW, Kim SJ, Lee SG, Ahn HY, Park JS, Park SJ, Jang EJ, Park SW, Choi JY, Sung JH, Lee SM. (2015). Cordyceps militaris Enhances Cell-Mediated Immunity in Healthy Korean Men. J Med Food. , 18(10):1164-72. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.3350. Epub 2015 Aug 18.
  4. Kai Z, Yongjian L, Sheng G, Yu L. (2015). Effect of Dongchongxiacao (Cordyceps) therapy on contrast-induced nephropathy in patients with type 2 diabetes and renal insufficiency undergoing coronary angiography. J Tradit Chin Med. , 35(4):422-7.
  5. Chen CY, Hou CW, Bernard JR, Chen CC, Hung TC, Cheng LL, Liao YH, Kuo CH. (2014). Rhodiola crenulata- and Cordyceps sinensis-based supplement boosts aerobic exercise performance after short-term high altitude training. High Alt Med Biol. , 15(3):371-9. doi: 10.1089/ham.2013.1114.
  6. Chen S, Li Z, Krochmal R, Abrazado M, Kim W, Cooper CB. (2010). Effect of Cs-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) on exercise performance in healthy older subjects: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. , 16(5):585-90. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0226.
  7. Huang JC, Li JH, Liu TX. ( 2008). Effect of combined therapy with hypha Cordyceps and ginkgo leaf tablet on micro-inflammation in patients undergoing maintenance hemodialysis. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 28(6):502-4.
  8. Ding CG, Tian PX, Jin ZK. (2009). Clinical application and exploration on mechanism of action of Cordyceps sinensis mycelia preparation for renal transplantation recipients. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 29(11):975-8.
  9. Li Y, Xue WJ, Tian PX, Ding XM, Yan H, Pan XM, Feng XS. (2009). Clinical application of Cordyceps sinensis on immunosuppressive therapy in renal transplantation. Transplant Proc. , 41(5):1565-9. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.02.085.
  10. Ng TB, Wang HX. (2005). Pharmacological actions of Cordyceps, a prized folk medicine. J Pharm Pharmacol. , 57(12):1509-19.
  11. Lu, L. (2002). Study on effect of Cordyceps sinensis and artemisinin in preventing recurrence of lupus nephritis. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 22(3):169-71.
  12. Sun M, Yang YR, Lu YP, Gao R, Wang L, Wang J, Tang K. ( 2004). Clinical study on application of bailing capsule after renal transplantation. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 24(9):808-10.
  13. Wang NQ, Jiang LD, Zhang XM, Li ZX. (2007). Effect of dongchong xiacao capsule on airway inflammation of asthmatic patients. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. , 32(15):1566-8.
  14. Bao ZD, Wu ZG, Zheng F. (1994). Amelioration of aminoglycoside nephrotoxicity by Cordyceps sinensis in old patients. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 14(5):271-3, 259.

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