Cistanche deserticola: A Pharmacological Review of Cistanche Health Benefits

Cistanche deserticola - Health Benefits - Linden Botanicals

The many benefits of Cistanche deserticola include anti-aging, anti-fatigue, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunological, cardiovascular, and antioxidant properties.

Cistanche deserticola is commonly referred to as Cistanche tubulosa and desert ginseng. It is a parasitic plant that falls under the Orobanchaceae family. It grows in semi-arid and arid habitats such as Mongolia (pictured above).

For centuries, Traditional Chinese Medicine has recommended the herb for supporting the treatment of a wide variety of health conditions. Modern pharmacological research studies have also recommended consumption of Cistanche extract, as it contains anti-neurodegenerative, immunoregulatory, and hepatoprotective properties.

Some of the bioactive compounds contributing to the herbs medicinal value include:

  • PhGs
  • polysaccharides
  • iridoids
  • lignans

Cistanche deserticola tea is often used to help support the body’s immunity and regulate endocrines.

Cistanche deserticola Health Benefits


  1. It Contains Anti-Aging Properties

Aging is part of the normal human lifecycle, and it involves several degenerative changes in the organ and tissue functions. Although aging is inevitable, Traditional Chinese Medicine reveals that this herb contains oligosaccharides and PhGs that can increase cell regeneration and reduce free radicals. Glycosides may also play a significant role in delaying aging by preventing senile dementia through active anti-oxidation. In addition, it contains acteoside and echinacoside that have exhibited significant anti-aging properties.

  1. It Contains Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Apoptotic Properties

Cistanche deserticola has exhibited valuable anti-oxidative properties by scavenging free radicals. In vivo and in vitro studies reveal that the herb may help to clear all types of free radicals and improve antioxidant-related enzyme activities. It also may prevent the formation of brown fat, MDA, and lipid peroxide.

In addition, the herb’s bioactive compounds can help reduce the levels of active oxygen in the cells and inhibit the activity of caspase-3 and caspase-8. Inhibition of caspase-3 and caspase-8 limits the apoptosis of cerebellar granule neurons.

  1. Cistanche deserticola Provides Memory Support

Memory and learning are advanced roles of the human brain. Memory impairment can be expressed in different ways, such as:

  • attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • adolescent chorea
  • lobar atrophy disease
  • neurosis
  • dementia
  • senile cerebral arteriosclerosis

Scientists have linked memory impairment to impaired synaptic neurotransmission. PhGs in the herb may improve this neurotransmission hence providing learning and memory support. The herb also may enhance neuronal cell differentiation, presynaptic formation, and the outgrowth of neurites.

  1. It May Provide Support for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease 

Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 30 million people globally. Some of the causative factors of this condition include:

  • Aβ toxicity
  • Tau proteins
  • Free radical damage
  • Cholinergic neurons
  • Insulin

Cistanche deserticola has shown positive effects in supporting the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The bioactive compounds in the herb reduce lipid oxidation, lower the brain’s calcium content, inhibit brain cell apoptosis, weaken Bax expression, and enhance the expression of bc-l2.

  1. Cistanche deserticola Provides Immune Support

Studies show that the Cistanche activates lymphoid cells and provides support for the body’s immune system. It may also support immunity through activation of the phagocytic function of macrophages.

Try Cistanche Extract

Cistanche deserticola contains a wide range of medical properties. The uses of this tea have evolved over the years, resulting in the widespread demand for high-quality sources of the herb.

Linden Botanicals sells Cistanche extract in small 100 gram sizes as OOMPH energy support and in larger sizes of 200, 500, and 1,000 grams. It’s a customer favorite, and members of our team swear by it.

Read the FAQ Buy OOMPH Buy Cistanche

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