Cordyceps: What You Need To Know
5 min

Cordyceps: What You Need To Know

5 min

With the rise of The Last of Us, cordyceps has never been more popular. But what exactly are these zombie fungi? Do they really cause disturbing effects? Fortunately for humans, not. But they do have some interesting benefits and uses for us, and some sinister mechanisms in nature, all of which we explore here.

Cordyceps are a group of fascinating fungi used for centuries for their perceived benefits and, more recently, as an ingredient in many health supplements. The popularity of cordyceps has risen due to the HBO hit series The Last Of Us—based on the same-titled PlayStation game from 2013. Before this, it was also gaining steady popularity due to its wide range of potential benefits. We dive deeper into the facts about cordyceps. But what exactly is cordyceps? Is it safe to take? Where can you buy them? And how do they relate to the hit HBO series The Last Of Us? In this blog post, we'll explore these questions and uncover the properties of cordyceps and their connection with ants. Read on to learn more about these unique organisms!

The Last Of Us HBO Series and Its Connection to Cordyceps 

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The Last Of Us HBO series is a critically acclaimed television show based on the popular video game. It follows two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they journey across a post-apocalyptic United States in search of safety. Along their journey, they encounter many dangers, including hostile humans and infected creatures known as "clickers".

The Last Of Us HBO series is an adaptation of the 2013 video game developed by Naughty Dog for PlayStation. It stars Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey as Joel and Ellie respectively. The show has received critical acclaim for its story, characters, visuals, music score, action sequences and overall production values

How The Last Of Us HBO Series Connects to the Fungus Ophiocordypitaceae (Cordyceps): Many things that make The Last Of Us stand out as a show; from its star cast to its bleak setting. However, cordyceps plays an important role in making the series unique. In the plot, the fungi have changed, allowing them to infect and take over human brains. The result is people transforming into violent clicker monsters similar to those seen in zombie films. However, unlike traditional zombies, clickers are portrayed as more dangerous due to their heightened aggression levels compared to traditional zombies.

By introducing this element into its narrative structure, viewers are given a disturbing insight into how fungi like Cordyceps can affect the insect world and how some brutal elements of nature are not as far-fetched as they sound. Plus, it makes for high-entertaining viewing.

What is Cordyceps?

What Is Cordyceps?

Cordyceps is a genus of fungi belonging to the family Ophiocordycipitaceae. It is found in many parts of the world, including Asia, Europe, and North America. The most common species are Cordyceps sinensis and Cordyceps militaris. These fungi have a long history of human consumption across the globe.

Description of Cordyceps:

Cordyceps are parasitic fungi that grow on caterpillars or other insects living underground. They form long slender stems with yellow-brown heads that contain spores which can be collected and dried for use as medicinal supplements or food ingredients. The fungus has a sweet taste with earthy notes and a slight bitterness when consumed raw. When cooked, it takes on an even sweeter flavour reminiscent of honeycomb candy or caramelized sugar.

Types of Cordyceps:

There are several different types of cordyceps mushrooms available commercially today, including wild-harvested varieties from China, such as CS-4 (Cordyceps sinensis) and CM-2 (Cordyceps militaris). There are also cultivated varieties grown in laboratories using artificial substrates such as rice flour or sawdust. Lab-grown cordyceps are usually supplemented with vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc., which provide more consistent results than wild-harvested products. However, lab-grown cordyceps may lack some nutritional value due to their processing methods.

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Is Cordyceps Dangerous?

Is Cordyceps Dangerous?

Cordyceps is a type of mushroom that has been used throughout human history. It is widely available as a supplement and not considered dangerous. However, as with any supplement, it's essential to be aware of potential side effects and safety considerations.

Additionally, cordyceps can interact with other supplements, such as ginkgo biloba, so it is important to check first. Next, let's explore where you can buy cordyceps.

Properties of Cordyceps

Properties Of Cordyceps

Cordyceps contains several active compounds, including polysaccharides, proteins, and other bioactive molecules. The nutritional profile of Cordyceps includes vitamins A, B1-B6, C and E, as well as minerals such as calcium, magnesium and zinc.

The active compounds found in different types of Cordyceps vary depending on the species. Some common ones include cordycepin (3’-deoxyadenosine), adenosine monophosphate (AMP), ergosterol peroxide (EPO) and mannitol. These compounds can have various effects on the body.

Different types of Cordyceps can be used for different purposes due to their varying levels of active compounds. For example, some varieties are better suited for use in supplements, while others may be more effective when taken orally or applied topically. As a side note, many people also enjoy cooking with cordyceps. Some varieties of the mushroom possess unique flavours or aromas that enhance the taste of dishes prepared with them.

Overall, cordyceps is a highly nutritional fungus with many active compounds and various uses. It is also interestingly connected to ants, which we will explore in the next section.

Ants and Cordyceps

Ants And Cordyceps

The relationship between ants and the fungus Ophiocordypitaceae (Cordyceps) is somewhat unsettling and likely a core inspiration for the hit The Last Of Us series. Cordyceps are parasitic fungi that can infect insects, including ants. The fungus takes over the ant's body and eventually kills it, but not before releasing spores into the environment to spread further infection.

How ants are affected by this fungus depends on which species of Cordyceps they come in contact with. Some species will cause paralysis or disorientation in their hosts. In contrast, others may cause behavioural changes, such as making them climb to the top of plants where they can spread spores from a higher vantage point. In some cases, infected ants have even been observed to bite other members of their colony to spread the infection further.

Ants play an important role in spreading these fungi throughout nature due to their social behaviour and tendency to travel long distances looking for food sources. As they move from place to place, they carry spores with them which can then be passed onto other unsuspecting insects when they come into contact. This helps ensure that new colonies become infected as well, thus allowing the infection cycle to continue indefinitely until all available resources have been exhausted or destroyed by the fungus.

Ants and Cordyceps have a unique relationship, with the fungus taking control of the ant's body to spread its spores. This connection is further explored in the The Last Of Us HBO series, a fictional story in which cordyceps has evolved to infect humans as well.

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Where to Buy Cordyceps?

Where To Buy Cordyceps?

Cordyceps is available in a range of convenient, safe and easy-to-take supplements, often in tincture or capsule form. Here are some options.

Cordyceps Mushroom Tincture: This is for those wanting a concentrated cordyceps experience. Containing Cordyceps militaris and vitamins B3 and B6, it's a fast and convenient way to get this fungus into your system.

Power 5 Mushroom tincture: Why settle for just cordyceps when you can combine it with the power of four other well-known and sought-after mushrooms. This supplement combines Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, Turkey TailReishi, and Chaga for a well-rounded experience.

Cordyceps Mushroom Capsules: For those who don't like the taste of tinctures, these capsules offer a convenient way to ingest a set and measured amount of Cordyceps militaris without taste. Ideal for on-the-go.

FAQs in Relation to Cordyceps

✅ What does cordyceps do for you?
Cordyceps is a mushroom that has been used throughout human history. It contains compounds such as polysaccharides, cordycepin, and adenosine which have various effects on the body.
😊 How does cordyceps make you feel?
Many people report feeling more alert and energized after taking cordyceps supplements, as well as an overall sense of wellbeing. Additionally, some users claim to experience enhanced mental clarity when using this supplement. However, this is all anecdotal and can vary user to user.
🍄 Is cordyceps a drug?
No, cordyceps is not a drug. It is an edible fungus that has been used for centuries. Cordyceps has recently become popular as a dietary supplement due to interest in potential effects, culinary flavour, and mention in the hit TV series The Last Of Us.
🧌 Will cordyceps turn me into a The Last of Us creature?
While the cordyceps fungus is a source of chaos and tragedy in The Last of Us series, the real deal doesn't have the same impact! In fact, instead of turning you into a zombie-like creature, cordyceps will expose you to a wealth of wellness benefits. Much better!

Conclusion: Cordyceps—A Friend of Humanity, an Enemy of Ants

Conclusion: Cordyceps—A Friend Of Humanity, An Enemy Of Ants

Cordyceps is a fascinating fungus with many properties and uses. Additionally, understanding the relationship between ants and cordyceps, as well as how The Last of Us HBO series ties into this topic, can provide an interesting perspective on the subject. Ultimately, by learning more about what cordyceps is and its various applications, you will be able to make informed decisions regarding its use in your life.

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