Cordyceps is a genus of fungus that includes more than 500 described species. The name Cordyceps originates from the combination of two words: Kordyle, meaning “club” in Greek; and the stem ceps, meaning “head” in Latin. These fungi have a worldwide distribution and are prevalent in humid temperate and tropical forests, acting as endoparasites that infect insects, other arthropods, and even other fungi .
Mushrooms have been consumed as part of the human diet as a food source for many centuries , yet “mushroom nutraceuticals” are only a recent development . These products use mushroom-derived agents to promote health and wellness. Of these, the most extensively studied pharmacologically active components are polysaccharides and polysaccharide-protein complexes, triterpenes, lectins, and fungal immunomodulatory proteins .
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