Cordyceps Press Release - August 10, 2004

For the first time ever, Cordyceps has been cultivated in the laboratory that exceeds the potency of wild collected Cordyceps  by more than 5 times the potency! Analysis of Wild Collected Cordyceps and Aloha Medicinals Lab-Cultivated Cordyceps reveals startling news!

Analysis of Wild Collected Cordyceps and Cultivated Cordyceps reveals startling news! For the first time ever, Cordyceps has been cultivated in the laboratory which not only matches the chemical analysis of wild Cordyceps, but actually exceeds the potency by a factor of 5!

Analytical testing recently completed by the chemists at Integrated Biomolecule Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, has revealed some very startling news; the cultivated Cordyceps produced by Aloha Medicinals has more than four times the nucleoside content, and nearly five times more of the total active ingredients than the wild collected variety!

cordyceps comparison chart

Cordyceps sinensis, a medicinal mushroom with amazing potential, is a native of the high Himalayas, and has been known and used in China for nearly two thousand years. Since the natural range of this mushroom consists of only a small area in the high mountains of Tibet and Nepal, its price in world commerce has always been among the very highest of any raw medicinal feedstock. Current prices at the wholesale level in China are in excess of $5000 per kilogram, and going higher all the time. Nearly three years ago Nepal restricted the harvest of wild Cordyceps, and since that time there has been a general shortage in markets throughout the world.

The scientists at Aloha Medicinals, a Hawaii based health supplement manufacturer, recognized the potential of such a unique commodity, and started researching new ways of cultivating Cordyceps about five years ago. They had the idea that by duplicating the conditions found in nature they might be able to grow Cordyceps with properties similar to the wild collected varieties. Since the native environment consists of high altitude, cold temperatures and thin air, they started experimenting with growing Cordyceps in specially designed refrigerated containers, in a very low oxygen environment. This is exactly the opposite of the way in which all other mushrooms are grown. Warm-and-wet is the usual rule for mushroom cultivation. While other experimenters are growing their Cordyceps in only four or five days, Aloha Medicinals takes nearly six months to grow out a batch. But it appears that the time and effort spent is well worth while.

It is now official! The cultivated Cordyceps sinensis produced by Aloha Medicinals at their Santa Cruz, California facility has been independently analyzed as being more potent than the best grade of wild-collected Cordyceps, and is now known to be the most potent cultivated Cordyceps in the world!

The chemical testing, which was done by the country's leading Biomolecule assay lab, was conducted utilizing the very latest in analytical methods. High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/MS) was used, which is the same method used for the detection of drugs in urine specimens. Able to detect compounds down to a level of a few parts-per-billion, this is the most sensitive and the most accurate method of analytical analysis available today.

"We would have been happy to see levels of even half of what is found in the wild Cordyceps", says Dr. John Holliday, Chief Scientific Officer of Aloha Medicinals. "But what we found were active ingredient levels about 5 times higher than the best wild collected samples we tested. We compared our cold-grown Cordyceps against fifteen other samples, including the highest quality wild collected Cordyceps and all of the other cultivated varieties from both North America and the Orient, as well as the leading pharmaceutical grades from China." Doctor Holliday explained that there are prescription Cordyceps medicines available in the pharmacies of China, typified by a drug known as "Jin Shui Bao." Doctor Holliday actually studied in China with the company that produces Jin Shui Bao. That is where he obtained his original starting material to cultivate Cordyceps in America. He still regularly performs work for the Government of China on the subject of Cordyceps cultivation. Aloha Medicinals is the largest producer of Cordyceps in North America, and presently the only American cultivator supplying Cordyceps to China.

The active ingredients in Cordyceps have been identified as Hydroxyethyl Adenosine Analogs, commonly called HEAA. This group of closely related compounds (analogs) has major anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. One of these analogs is used in the USA as a primary drug in the fight against AIDS. This is a drug named Didanosine, one of the compounds which is found in Cordyceps. Other compounds tested for were Cordycepin, Adenosine and Hydroxyethyladenosine. All of these compounds were present in the Aloha Medicinals samples. They were present in quantities more than FOUR TIMES GREATER than in any of the other samples.

"Most of the cultivated samples which we tested showed no active ingredients whatsoever." Says Doctor Holliday. "The liquid cultured material from China did better than the American samples, which were all grown on a substrate of brown rice. Those samples all had so much residual rice left in the final product, that they analyzed as primarily rice starch." Aloha Medicinals uses no rice in their cultivation techniques. "We use a blend of ingredients which we specially developed in order to maximize the bioactive compounds produced by the Cordyceps. We start with organically grown millet and sorghum grain and then we add several other components to bring the substrate up to the exact nutritional requirements of the Cordyceps. About 22-24 weeks after the growth cycle is started the Cordyceps is ready to harvest. At that time there is only about 2-3% of the original grain remaining. In our final product, there is virtually no residual grain or other substrate. Only 100% pure Cordyceps. That is one of the reasons our Cordyceps analyzes out at such higher quality than any of the others. Even in the wild collected variety there is some caterpillar remains and soil residue. Ours is just Pure Cordyceps."

The details of Doctor Holliday's work on this revolutionary new method of Medicinal Mushroom Cultivation was published in peer review journals this year. "With any luck, we will be able to project our cultivation methods across many different types of medicinal mushrooms, and produce other medicinal compounds at prices far below what they are available for today." For now, we say Well Done, Doctor Holliday. Cordyceps of superior quality is now available at a price even the common man can afford. No longer is this a medicine reserved just for the Emperor's Court, as in days of old. For the first time, the common man can benefit from this ancient and traditional medicine. Keep up the good work!