The Chinese are especially known to use bird's nest & cordyceps as traditional medicine/health supplements. But, do you know what constitutes these two types of supplements and whether they are actually good for your health?
According to livescience.com, citing an article published in the October 2012 issue of the journal Food Research International, two Chinese researchers—Fucui Ma and Daicheng Liu of Shandong Normal University—found that there was still not much scientific research on the medicinal properties of bird's nest.
But the two researchers also found that the most abundant constituent of bird's nest is protein. Essential amino acids make up the building blocks of proteins. The researchers also found that bird's nest consists of 6 hormones, including estradiol and testosterone. Other elements that the researchers discovered in bird's nest include carbohydrates, ash and a small quantity of lipids.
Nevertheless, the researchers noted that the Chinese consider bird's nest to have a high medicinal and nutritional value since they have prepared bird's nest as soup in the last 1,200 years. The Chinese believe that bird's nest's medicinal and nutritional value range from anti-cancer properties and anti-aging to raising the libido and improving concentration.
The research also provided a caveat: Bird's nests are known to cause a life-threatening allergic reaction, which in medical term is known as anaphylaxis.
Moving on to cordyceps. According to organicfacts.net, cordyceps have a long list of health benefits, as listed below:
1) Relieves asthma and chronic bronchitis
2) Helps avert arrhythmia & heart disorders
3) Lowers the risk of cancer
4) Impedes respiratory distress & weakness
5) Detoxifies body & boosts kidney health
6) Regulates body's cholesterol levels
7) Cuts down on age spots & reinvigorates skin
8) Improves immune system & energy level
9) Helps to lessen sexual dysfunction
Just another caveat: Blood sugar levels can be lowered a bit with the intake of cordyceps, and this is important to know for diabetics. Cordyceps is a blood thinner. So, it should not be consume by people who are about to undergo surgery, or those suffering from bleeding disorders.
To sum up, while bird's nests medicinal and/or nutritional qualities are still being investigated, they have been used for more than a thousand years for such qualities that they possess. Cordyceps, on the other hand, have proven health benefits.