Exploring Libido-Boosting Functional Mushrooms

Intimate Wellness with Mushrooms: Fungi and Sexual Health

Sexual problems, such as lack of libido, are becoming more common worldwide despite medical advancements targeting these issues and other methods of libido enhancement. Although many treatments exist, there are often many side effects or adverse events associated with them, and increasing costs often reduce patient compliance. Alternative approaches, or natural aphrodisiacs and intimacy supplements, are growing in popularity for a wide array of men sexual health and women sexual health conditions—lack of libido being one of them.

Not only do alternative approaches tend to improve sexual wellness, but they also provide many other beneficial outcomes for multiple bodily systems. Functional mushrooms, such as Cordyceps and Reishi, are one of many targets of current research for complementary and alternative treatment of sexual dysfunction. These medicinal mushrooms have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to naturally treat hyposexuality and boost libido. 


Reishi Benefits for Libido

Cordyceps Benefits for Libido


Mushroom Benefits for Libido: Boosting Libido Naturally

Numerous health conditions heighten the likelihood of an individual encountering sexual dysfunction, for instance, diabetes [1]. Within diabetic patients, oxidative stress can trigger testicular damage, leading to a reduction in sperm quality, testosterone levels, and sexual performance [1]. A study conducted on diabetic male rats explored the aphrodisiac properties of Cordyceps. Research suggests that the extract from this mushroom could enhance sperm parameters, serum testosterone levels, and sexual performance [1]. 

These improvements are attributed to Cordyceps' capacity to lower malondialdehyde levels and enhance the presence of antioxidants like glutathione [1]. Elevated malondialdehyde serves as an indicator of oxidative damage, signifying heightened oxidative stress. Thus, Cordyceps was able to reduce oxidative stress while also improving sexual health parameters significantly. 

As males age, there is often a decrease in sperm count and quality. This doesn't always show obvious signs, but it can make reproduction more difficult and may be a cause of infertility within a couple. Another clinical study involving Cordyceps mushroom extracts administered the fungi to 22 males for eight weeks. After this time, the subjects had 33% more sperm, 29% fewer sperm malformations, and a 79% increase in sperm survival rates [2]. 

An additional study administered Cordyceps to both males and females and found that it improved libido and sexual desire in the subjects by 66%. In a study where Cordyceps was only administered to females, it increased sexual desire by 86% [3,4]. While we often think of Cordyceps supplements as a natural exercise mimetic and energy level enhancer, it’s clear that Cordyceps and sexual energy may also go hand-in-hand.

In a clinical trial on Cordyceps sinensis for libido and Cordyceps health effects, an extract derived from the fruiting body of Cordyceps demonstrated its ability to alleviate the signs and symptoms of age-related male conditions, namely benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and late-onset hypogonadism (LOH) [5]. 

Both conditions have the potential to lead to a decrease in libido and sexual desire, among other urogenital symptoms. The study's findings suggest that Cordyceps for libido accomplishes this by inhibiting testosterone's breakdown or enhancing its secretion from testicular cells when depletion occurs, acting as a hormone balancer or normalizer [5].

Libido-Boosting Reishi: Sexual Health Benefits

Reishi benefits for intimacy may play a similar role with hormone balancing in both males and females. In a research investigation delving into the anti-androgenic properties of 20 mushroom species, Reishi mushrooms exhibited the most potent effect in suppressing testosterone [6]. This study revealed a significant reduction in 5-alpha reductase levels due to Reishi mushroom use, consequently preventing the transformation of testosterone into the more potent DHT. Elevated DHT levels constitute a risk factor for conditions like benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), acne, and hair loss [6]. 

Additionally, higher levels of DHT may have an impact on sexual function. While DHT itself does not directly influence sexual desire (libido), it does contribute to the development of sexual characteristics and the overall androgenic environment in the body. Disruptions in hormonal balance, including high DHT levels, could potentially lead to changes in sexual function and desire, and this is where the natural aphrodisiac Reishi may showcase its libido-boosting effects.

Shop Reishi

Cordyceps Benefits for Hormone Balance

Estradiol, arguably the most pivotal female sex hormone, serves not only as a prerequisite for reproductive and sexual functions but also assumes a vital role in the overall well-being of various organs and tissues within the female body. In multiple research investigations, Cordyceps has been observed to elevate estradiol levels by influencing the expression of StAR and aromatase, both essential for estradiol production [7]. 

Estradiol directly impacts the quality of female oocytes, commonly called "eggs," and thus substantially influences fertility [7]. Remarkably, even in studies involving menopausal women, Cordyceps has exhibited the capacity to regulate hypothalamic-pituitary function, leading to a hormonal equilibrium resembling that of non-menopausal individuals. Consequently, this may reduce associated symptoms and risks during menopause [8].

Shop Cordyceps

Reishi and Cordyceps: Natural Intimacy Boosters

The significance of sexual health is on par with the well-being of our other physiological systems. It's not just crucial for those desiring to start a family, but it also holds the potential to enhance several fundamental health markers. This includes reducing blood pressure, alleviating stress, improving heart health, promoting better sleep, and even bolstering our immune systems. 

The extracts derived from Cordyceps and Reishi might hold the solution to your existing sexual health queries or even serve as a straightforward preventive step to consider. While it’s impossible to know precisely what the best supplements for sexual health may be, trying either mushroom supplement to reclaim sexual health is not likely to do you any harm. Why not explore the functional fungi effects on desire as the first step in your search for sexual health supplements?

We hope you have found this article informative. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below!


Related Articles:

Cordyceps for Sexual Health

Men’s Health and Medicinal Mushrooms

Mush Love Valentine's Day: Power of Medicinal Mushrooms



[1] Nguyen TV, Chumnanpuen P, Parunyakul K, Srisuksai K, Fungfuang W. A study of the aphrodisiac properties of Cordyceps militaris in streptozotocin-induced diabetic male rats. Vet World. 2021 Feb;14(2):537-544. doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2021.537-544. Epub 2021 Feb 27. PMID: 33776321; PMCID: PMC7994127.

[2] Guo Y. Medicinal chemistry, pharmacology and clinical applications of fermented mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis and JinShuBao capsuleJ Mod Diag Ther. 1986;1:60–5.

[3] Wan F, Guo Y, Deng X. Sex hormone-like effects of Jin Shui Bao [Cs-4] capsule: Pharmacological and clinical studiesChinese Trad Patent Med. 1988;9:29–31.

[4] Dong CH, Yao YJ. In vitro evaluation of antioxidant activities of aqueous extracts from natural and cultured mycelia of Cordyceps sinensis. LWT-Food Sci Technol. 2008;41:669–77.

[5] Kusama K, Miyagawa M, Ota K, Kuwabara N, Saeki K, Ohnishi Y, Kumaki Y, Aizawa T, Nakasone T, Okamatsu S, Miyaoka H, Tamura K. Cordyceps militaris Fruit Body Extract Decreases Testosterone Catabolism and Testosterone-Stimulated Prostate Hypertrophy. Nutrients. 2020 Dec 26;13(1):50. doi: 10.3390/nu13010050. PMID: 33375244; PMCID: PMC7824671.

[6] Grant P, Ramasamy S. An update on plant derived anti-androgens. Int J Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Spring;10(2):497-502. doi: 10.5812/ijem.3644. Epub 2012 Apr 20. PMID: 23843810; PMCID: PMC3693613.

[7] Huang BM, Hsiao KY, Chuang PC, Wu MH, Pan HA, Tsai SJ. Upregulation of steroidogenic enzymes and ovarian 17beta-estradiol in human granulosa-lutein cells by Cordyceps sinensis mycelium. Biol Reprod. 2004 May;70(5):1358-64. doi: 10.1095/biolreprod.103.022855. Epub 2004 Jan 7. PMID: 14711788.

[8] Zhang DW, Wang ZL, Qi W, Zhao GY. The effects of Cordyceps sinensis phytoestrogen on estrogen deficiency-induced osteoporosis in ovariectomized rats. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Dec 13;14:484. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-484. PMID: 25496560; PMCID: PMC4302055.


Comments (0)

Leave a comment