Authentic Strain of Cordyceps sinensis

In order to satisfy the increased demand for Cordyceps sinensis, the mushroom has been overharvested within the last few years. In response to the high demand and in an attempt to protect the species and its environment, the Chinese government now requires proper licensing to harvest and export the mushroom as an economic product. While these conservation efforts aim at ensuring the sustainability of this precious species of medicinal mushroom, they have also caused the wild grown mushrooms to soar to unaffordable prices. Our main goal at Primordia is to make these prized mushrooms affordable to the general public. We have been able to reproduce the biological cycles of Cordyceps and have continued to explore the intricate conditions needed for the proper growth of these unique mushrooms. Our mastery of these conditions has led to our harvesting of Cordyceps under carefully controlled criteria, resulting in extracts that prove to be more potent than the wild form found in nature.

A precious herbal adaptogen, Cordyceps contains many active ingredients, including ribonucleosides, mannitol, sterols, organic acids, polysaccharides, proteins, polyamines, amino acids, dismutase, dipeptides, vitamins, and a variety of trace elements. Most companies use the presence of cordycepin and cordycepic acid as indicators of authentic Cordyceps. However, what is unknown to most users is that true Cordyceps sinensis does not contain cordycepin, which is only another name for 3-deoxy-adenosine, a fairly common compound. Cordycepic acid, on the other hand, is simply another name for D-mannitol, an inexpensive food additive that is readily available. This misconception leads many users to believe that high amounts of cordycepin and cordycepic acid present in Cordyceps sinensis are indicators of authentic and high-quality Cordyceps products.

Many companies also use the abundance of polysaccharides as an indicator of the potency and quality of their Cordyceps products with some companies even claiming that their products contain over 50% in polysaccharide content. However, this is not possible as the wild-type Cordyceps species is only composed of at most 4% in total polysaccharide content. Compared to the exaggerated marketing claims of other health supplement companies, our extracts contain a total amount of 3.8% in polysaccharide content, which is comparable to the amount found in the wild species.

We do not believe that the efficacy of Cordyceps can be explained solely by a few isolated components. Instead, we view its efficacy as the totality of environmental and intrinsic conditions underlying the growth and harvest of this precious mushroom. This is necessarily a wholistic view that we believe will be vindicated when proper research is conducted in the future.

While most products in the marketplace use misleading indicators to authenticate their products, we have used rDNA sequence alignment to confirm the authenticity of our specimen. We have compared the rDNA sequences of our own strain of Cordyceps, namely Hirsutella sinensis, with the sequence of the wild-type strain grown in Tibet obtained from NCBI’s global genomic database GenBank to ensure that our strain is the authentic wild-type strain. As shown in the figure below, the rDNA sequence alignment reveals a 99.645% similarity between the two rDNA sequences. For comparison, the rDNA sequence alignment between the wild-type strain and a well-known brand of Cordyceps extract in the market shows only an 82.791% similarity.

In addition, we have used Reverse-Phase High Performance Liquid Chromatography (RP-HPLC)—a chromatographic technique used for chemical fingerprints—to ensure the authenticity of our fermented Cordyceps product. In fact, the chromatograph below shows that the genetic fingerprint of our strain is almost identical to the fingerprint of the wild-type strain found in the natural grasslands of Tibet. These results confirm that our mycelia culture is, in fact, the authentic species of Cordyceps, in marked contrast to the authenticity of Cordyceps products that are currently found in marketplace today.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.