Chaga vs Cordyceps: Benefits & Which is Best For You?

Chaga vs Cordyceps: Benefits & Which is Best For You? - Lucid™

Are you ready to embark on a fascinating journey into the world of functional mushrooms? In this showdown of 'Chaga vs Cordyceps,' we'll unravel the remarkable benefits of these natural powerhouses and help you decide which one suits your unique needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Chaga offers immune support and is your long-term health partner.
  • Cordyceps boosts energy and is perfect for those seeking vitality.
  • You can enjoy the benefits of both Chaga and Cordyceps by incorporating them into your daily routine.

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let's get acquainted with our contenders:

Chaga - The Immune Magician

Chaga, often referred to as the "King of Medicinal Mushrooms," is a dark, clunky growth found on birch trees. Chaga is a superfood mushroom due to its rich nutrient profile, but its benefits expand beyond improving your diet. A mature chaga specimen contains an array of antioxidants, polysaccharides, beta-glucans, and phenols, all of which play a role in chaga's potential health-promoting properties. 

Chaga is commonly consumed in the form of tea or extract, though mushroom supplements in the form of capsules and powders are becoming more popular.

Not all chaga supplements are made equal, but when a high quality form of chaga is used, the benefits may include:

  • Immune system support: Chaga is packed with antioxidants, including betulinic acid, which helps fortify your immune system by enhancing its ability to ward off infections and illnesses.
  • Inflammation reduction: Thanks to its antioxidant boost, it's also your ally against inflammation, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and arthritis.
  • Antioxidant protection: Chaga is rich in antioxidants that combat the damaging effects of free radicals, helping to maintain overall health and well-being.
  • Anti-cancer properties: Chaga has been studied for its potential anti-cancer properties, with research suggesting it may inhibit the growth of cancer cells and reduce the risk of cancer development.
  • Digestion support: Chaga can aid in digestion, promoting a healthy gut by supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Skin Health: Chaga promotes healthy skin, offering a radiant and youthful glow by helping to combat skin aging and maintain skin's natural vitality.

Cordyceps - The Energy Booster

Cordyceps, on the other hand, is like nature's energy shot–and one of the most prolific nootropic and adaptogenic mushrooms in the wellness world. It was initially discovered by Tibetan herdsmen as a solution for reversing the effects of oxygen deprivation caused by working at such high altitudes. Cordyceps, however, actually refers to an entire genus of mushrooms containing over 600 species.

When used in therapeutic context, however, the term cordyceps usually refers to one of two primary species known for medical effects–Cordyceps sinensis, the strain found in the wild that costs up to 200,000 per kilogram and Cordyceps militaris, the synthesized version that’s usually used for supplements.

Cordyceps is known for its bio metabolite cordycepin. It was originally investigated for its antibiotic potential, but that research fell through to a much wider therapeutic potential. A review published in 2020 stated:

“Cordycepin is known for various nutraceutical and therapeutic potential, such as anti-diabetic, anti-hyperlipidemia, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antioxidant, anti-aging, anticancer, antiviral, hepato-protective, hypo-sexuality, cardiovascular diseases, antimalarial, anti-osteoporotic, anti-arthritic, cosmeceutical etc. which makes it a most valuable medicinal mushroom for helping in maintaining good health.”

This unique fungus is known for:

  • Boosting Energy: Cordyceps enhances your stamina and overall energy levels, making it popular among athletes.
  • Respiratory Health: It may help improve respiratory function and could be a breath of fresh air for those with lung issues.
  • Adaptogen Abilities: Cordyceps helps your body adapt to stress, maintaining your inner balance.
  • Lowering inflammation: Cordyceps is packed full of antioxidants that lower inflammation. It also helps to produce certain proteins responsible for calming inflammation levels, preventing many chronic illnesses.
  • Metabolism support: Some evidence suggests that cordyceps may help to regulate the metabolism and prevent blood sugar spikes while also helping to control cholesterol levels.
  • Hormone balance: Cordyceps is thought to help keep hormone systems in check. As an added bonus, it may help to boost testosterone and improve sex drive in men.


Chaga vs Cordyceps: Benefits and Research

Now that we've met our contenders let's look at the research backing them both


Medicinal mushroom research is limited, and many of today’s uses and proposed benefits are based on ancient knowledge surrounding Siberian and Traditional Chinese Medicine practices. Still, some modern research exists to help us understand the full potential of chaga mushrooms. Take a look:

Immune Balance

Chaga's impressive immune-modulating effects are supported by research. According to a 2005 study, it stimulates the production of beneficial cytokines, fortifying the immune system and improving the body's defense against viruses and bacteria. 

Simultaneously, it inhibits harmful cytokines, potentially curbing inflammation. A 2012 study reproduced these results when it found chaga to reduce gut inflammation by suppressing non-beneficial cytokines.

Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Power

Chaga has been highlighted by research for its rich antioxidant content, which positions it as a potential cancer-fighting agent. It combats free radical damage and reduces inflammation. One study found that in addition to providing anti-inflammatory effects, Chaga also helped fight off harmful bacteria.

Anti-Aging and Cellular Regeneration

Chaga guards against free radical-induced aging and may support tissue repair, aiding in recovery from damage caused by various external factors.

Cancer Potential

Though primarily studied in animals and test tubes, Chaga exhibits promise in the fight against cancer. Tumor reduction, the inhibition of cancer cell proliferation, and cancer cell destruction have been observed in various types of cancer, including colon, liver, lung, skin, and prostate. 

For instance, one animal study found that Chaga supplementation reduced tumor size by 60%. Another study found that Chaga tea could prevent and slow the proliferation of human colon cancer cells. While human evidence is limited, Chaga is regarded as a preventive supplement against certain cancer types.

Blood Sugar Regulation

According to animal trails, chaga’s may positively impact blood sugar. In fact, Chaga was found to potentially help manage blood sugar in mice with type two diabetes. One animal study attempted to quantify these effects, suggesting that regular Chaga supplementation reduced blood sugar by about 31% on average after three weeks. 

Human trials are necessary to understand how Chaga may work to help lower blood sugar in humans. However, it’s thought to augment the way that certain carbohydrates are digested to prevent them from turning into sugars.

Cardiovascular Health

According to a limited study, Chaga may help reduce bad cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides in mice. Another study observed similar results but also found that Chaga supplementation may help increase levels of good cholesterol in mice as well.


Just like for chaga, cordyceps research is limited–and most aims at looking at how chaga interacts with the body to boost performance. Here’s what we know:

Boosting Physical Performance and Endurance

Some evidence suggests that Cordyceps may help to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the body, which researchers believe may help to improve physical performance by improving oxygen flow in the body during physical activity. 

A 2004 study, for instance, tested the effects of a strain of Cordyceps called Cs-4, or cordyceps Sinensis, on exercise capacity in 30 healthy older adults. 7% of the Cordyceps group experienced increased fitness levels over just 6 weeks, while the placebo group experienced no change.

Some evidence also suggests that it may increase endurance, though more human trials are needed. In a 2016 study, mice were able to continue swimming significantly longer after taking cordyceps. A placebo-controlled study from 2006 confirmed similar results in humans while doing exhaustive running exercises.

Antioxidant (and Anti-Aging) Effects

In Chinese medicine, Cordyceps has been used for centuries to improve endurance and performance (including sexual performance) in elderly people. A 2016 study suggests that these popular anti-aging effects may be due to Cordyceps’ antioxidant properties. Various studies (2009, 2010, 2012) have found that Cordyceps help to boost antioxidant levels in aged mice, leading to various benefits, like improved sexual function and improved memory.

Balancing Blood Sugar

Various animal studies (2004, 2015, 2016) found Cordyceps capable of decreasing blood sugar levels by mimicking the actions of insulin. This is potentially due to a special carbohydrate found in the mushroom, though more trials are needed to fully understand Cordyceps potential for managing diabetes.

Decreasing Diabetic Risk of Kidney Disease.

In a 2014 review of 22 studies, researchers concluded that subjects who took cordyceps often experienced improved kidney function. However, the authors of this review pointed out that many of these studies used were flawed, so more conclusive evidence is needed to understand how effectively Cordyceps could be used in this aspect.

Improving Heart Health

Cordyceps is an approved treatment for heart arrhythmia in China, a condition characterized by an irregular heart beat, likely because it may increase adenosine, a naturally occurring compound that is also used in medications designed to treat arrhythmia. One animal study found that Cordyceps supplementation may also help to reduce the risk of heart damage caused by kidney disease, subsequently reducing the risk of heart failure.

Lowering Bad Cholesterol

Some evidence suggests that it could also benefit heart health in a less direct way–by helping to manage cholesterol. Some evidence suggests that Cordyceps may help to decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower triglyceride levels, both of which could also have a beneficial impact on heart health.

Decreasing Inflammation

In addition to having antioxidant properties that can help relieve inflammation, various studies (1996, 2002, 2003, 2015) have pointed out that Cordyceps may help to increase the production of proteins that help to regulate inflammation in the body, therefore helping to decrease inflammation levels. 

To learn more about these benefits, read “Cordyceps Benefits.”

Chaga vs. Cordyceps Taste, Use, and Dosage

When it comes to deciding between Chaga and Cordyceps, it's like choosing between a cozy fireplace and a jolt of caffeine. That seems straightforward enough, but there are also other differences to consider, like the best dosing method, flavor, dosage, and more.

Let's break it down:


  • Chaga, when brewed as tea, has a mild, earthy flavor that's easy to sip, offering a soothing and mellow experience.
  • In contrast, Cordyceps boasts a more robust, slightly nutty taste that may provide a subtle energizing kick to your palate.

Dosing Methods

  • Chaga is commonly consumed as a tea or through extracts. It's an excellent choice for those who prefer a beverage-based delivery method.
  • Cordyceps is often available in supplement form, making it convenient for those seeking a standardized dosage. It's also used in powdered form for adding to smoothies or recipes. Because the best time to take cordyceps is in the morning, adding it to food is a good call. 

    Or, grab a cup of cordyceps coffee or other cordyceps edibles and you’re off to a good start.

Dosage Amount

  • The ideal dosage of Chaga can vary based on factors such as individual tolerance and specific health goals. Typically, a daily dose of 500 to 1,500 milligrams of Chaga extract or 1-2 cups of Chaga tea is recommended. 

    Read “Chaga Dosage” to learn more.
  • Cordyceps supplements typically come in 500 to 1,000 milligram capsules, with a standard daily dosage ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 milligrams, depending on individual needs. 

    Read “Cordyceps Dosage” to learn more.


Both Chaga and Cordyceps are generally considered safe for most individuals when used as directed. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking medications. This step ensures safety and suitability based on your specific health profile.

To learn more, you may want to read:

Chaga vs Cordyceps: Which One Is Right For You?

Choosing between Chaga and Cordyceps isn't about picking sides; it's about knowing your own needs. Think of it like this: Chaga is your steady friend, always there when you need support, while Cordyceps is the energetic motivator, pushing you to seize the day.

If you're seeking a natural boost of energy, Cordyceps is your go-to choice.

For immune support and long-term health, Chaga has your back.

And why not have the best of both worlds? You can rotate between these fungi, enjoying their unique benefits. Or, stack them together for a unique wellness stack.

Remember, what matters most is that you're taking a step toward a healthier, more vibrant you.


In the grand 'Chaga vs. Cordyceps' battle, there's no single winner. It's all about what your body craves and how you want to enhance your well-being. Embrace the magic of both, and let these fabulous fungi become your allies on your journey to better health. 

So, what's your pick? Chaga, Cordyceps, or both? It's time to let nature's wonders work their magic in your life.

If you want to take full advantage of the "functional" side of functional mushrooms, consider a mushroom super-blend like our Lucid Coffee, Chai, or Matcha powders. It takes full advantage of the benefits of these superfood mushrooms by pairing Cordyceps,  Maitake, Tremella, and Lion's Mane, plus powerful nootropics, like BCAA's, L-Theanine, Alpha-GPC, and more. 


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