(Excerpt from Essentialbird yahoo group)

As I have mentioned before, I am a member of a large yahoo group about alternative methods for healing cancer. I love this group because everyone on it is so motivated to find out the truth about natural healing modalities since most of the 5000 members are dealing with terminal diagnoses. One of my favorite members of that list is a holistic MD who has amazing ideas and works well outside the box. Today he posted some information about using Cordyceps sinensis, a medicinal Chinese fungus, for cases of renal failure. He said he has been having extremely good results with this herb. I have not come across anything too encouraging about renal failure treatments, so I was excited to see this post. Let’s all remember this herb if/when we find ourselves confronting renal disease or failure in one of our birds. It’s out there, and conventional medicine does not have good answers for this diagnosis.

Lainey Alexander

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, or by any veterinarian. All information, including any product or technique mentioned, is for educational purposes only. None of the information is intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume 4, Number 3, 1998, pp. 289–303 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The Scientific Rediscovery of an Ancient Chinese Herbal Medicine: Cordyceps sinensis
Part I JIA-SHI ZHU, M.D., Ph.D.,(1,2) GEORGES M. HALPERN, M.D., Ph.D., (3) and KENNETH JONES (4)
(1) Department of Pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California. (2) Zhi Dao Tower, 12th floor, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai, China. (3) Emeritus, University of California, Davis, California. (4) Armana Research, Inc., Gibsons, British Columbia, Canada.

This review presents Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.) Sacc., a fungus highly valued in China as a tonic food and herbal medicine. The extant records show the continued use of C. sinensis is now centuries old. The major chemical, pharmacological, and toxicological studies on C. sinensis and the various derived, cultured, fermented mycelial products currently in use are reviewed from the English and Chinese literature. Preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies and clinical blinded or open-label trials in to date over 2000 patients are reviewed. These studies show the main activities of the fungus in oxygen-free radical scavenging, antisenescence, endocrine, hypolipidemic, antiatherosclerotic, and sexual function-restorative activities. The safety of the fungus, its effects on the nervous system, glucose metabolism, the respiratory, hepatic, cardiovascular, and immune systems, immunologic disease, inflammatory conditions, cancer, and diseases of the kidney will be reviewed in the second part of this article to be published in the winter issue of this

Cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis [Berk.] Sacc.), also known as Chinese caterpillar fungus or “DongChongXiaCao” (summer-plant, winter-worm), is one of the most valued Chinese medicinal herbs (Figs. 1 and 2). It was initially recorded in Ben-Cao-Cong-Xin (New Compilation of Materia Medica) by Wu-Yiluo during the Qing Dynasty (1757 ao). According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), Cordyceps goes to the “Lung” meridian and the “Kidney” meridian (see below) and provides “lung protection,’ “kidney improvement,” and “Yin Yang
double invigoration.” Table 1. Medicinal Uses of Cordyceps
* Fatigue * Night Sweating * Male and Female Hyposexualities, including Impotence * Hyperglycemia * Hyperlipidemia * Asthenia after Severe Illness * Respiratory Diseases * Renal Disfunction and Renal Failure * Arrhythmias and other Heart Disease * Liver Disease

NOTE: See references in corresponding sections of review, parts 1 and 2.

Cordyceps is a unique black, blade- shaped fungus found primarily at high altitude on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. The fungus is parasitic, growing on and deriving nutrients from several species of caterpillar, although primarily that of the moth Hepialus armoricanus Oberthur, which lives 6 inches underground (Chen and Jin, 1992; Yin and Tang, 1995). In late autumn, chemicals on the skin of the caterpillars interact with the fungal spores and release the fungal mycelia, which then infect the caterpillar. By early summer of the following year, the fungal infestation has killed the caterpillar andthe fruiting body can be seen protruding from the caterpillar’s head.

This wild form, Cordyceps sinensis, is harvested, whereas the principal fungal mycelium of Cordyceps sinensis, known as Paecilomyces hepiali Chen, is cultivated aseptically (Yue et al., 1995). Because natural Cordyceps (wild Cordyceps sinensis) is rare, Chinese scientists have extsively examined its lite cycle with the
aim of developing a technique for isolating fermentable stratus of Cordyceps sinensis. At the Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, one result of this research has been the isolation of the strain Cs-4 from wild Cordyceps sinensis (Berk.)

Sacc. Cs-4 has been used to produce a fermented product of the mycelia of Paecilomyces hepiali Chen and contains pharmacologically active components similar to those of the natural Cordyceps. Since its successful isolation in 1982, the Cs4 fermentation product has been studied intensively in China. Industrial fermentation methodology (resulting m a commercial product, JinShuiBao capsule). Chemical composition, therapeutic functions, and toxicity have been thoroughly investigated, and basic research in animals has carried out. JinShuiBao capsule, the Cs-4 fermentation product, has received approval by the National New Drug Review and Approval committee of the Chinese Ministry. of Public Health, and has been used in clinics throughout China for the indications listed in Table 1.