Aphrodisiacs and sexual potentiators have been all the rage since Viagra was introducedin 1998, and believers in natural remedies have been looking for herbal alternatives. Thetraditional Chinese 'herb' of choice for this purpose is called Cordyceps sinensis.
Naturally occurring only at high altitudes in Tibet and China, Cordyceps sinensishas none-the-less been collected as a medicinal mushroom since time immemorial. With ourmodern-day globalization of trade and information, this minute fungus from remote mountainareas of China is now miraculously becoming popular also in the West.
For nearly two millennia, Chinese doctors have dispensed Cordyceps extract forphysical stamina and sexual prowess. Preserved written records date back as far 200 A.D.,when it was described in the book "The Classic Herbal of the Divine Plowman.
In its natural environment, Cordyceps sinensis infects caterpillars and thensprouts out of their dead carcasses. While that certainly doesn't sound very appetizing,modern advances allow potent strains of Cordyceps sinensis to be grown on a ricemedium. Cordyceps extract produced in this way has been shown to contain the samemedicinal compounds as the wild harvested fungi, with the added advantage of being freefrom contamination by other species of fungi or bacteria.
A Chinese study on Cordyceps sinensis, predating the 1998 release of Viagra by 13years, found a 64% improvement in men with sexual dysfunction when they consumed 1 g of Cordycepsper day. 
Three possible factors may help explain why Cordyceps could have an effect onerectile dysfunction:
- At least three studies have demonstrated that Cordyceps sinensis helps improvephysical stamina and prowess in general. [2,3,4] In the early 1990's, nine Chinese womenbroke world records when the Chinese National Games were held. When interviewed abouttheir success, they unanimously gave credit to their use of Cordyceps extract.[5,6]
- Cordyceps sinensis helps dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow [7,8],which is certainly an important factor in erectile function.
- Thirdly and perhaps most important of all is that two studies have shown Cordycepssinensis to "significantly increase" the production of testosterone inmales. [9,10]
Note: Always consult a licensed health care provider before using any herb formedicinal purposes. This article is solely intended as a source of information and doesnot prescribe or advice the use of any substance mentioned herein.