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Cistanche tubulosa 101

Cistanche tubulosa
Frequently Asked Questions

Curious about the anti-fatigue, anti-aging, antidepressant, neuroprotective, heart health, and digestive support properties of Cistanche tubulosa herbal extract? Check out these resources and scroll down to find answers to common questions.

“Methuselah’s Breakfast”

Do you sell Cistanche tubulosa?

We sell Cistanche tubulosa in a 100 gram size (50 servings) as OOMPH! Energy Support. We also sell Cistanche in larger 200 gram to 1,000 gram sizes. In addition, Cistanche is one of the healthy extracts in our CardiAce Heart Health Kits, GUTSY Digestive Health Support Kits, and BrainStorm Nootropic Brain Health Kits. You can check out these options by visiting our online store.

Are Cistanche and Rou Cong Rong the same thing?

Yes! Cistanche tubulosa is known as Rou Cong Rong, Desert Hyacinth, and Ginseng of the Desert. We call it Methuselah’s Breakfast.

Other less common names are Cistanche deserticola, Cistanches Caulis, Desert Hyacinth, Desert Living Cistanche, Desert-Broomrape, Deserticolae, Fleshy Stem of Broomrape, Ginseng of the Desert, Herba Cistanche, Herba Cistanches, and Suosuo Dayun.

What are the health benefits of Cistanche?

Cistanche tubulosa is a parasitic flower that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Native to Mongolia, it’s a nootropic and an adaptogen.

Cistanche was originally recorded in the Classic of Herbal Medicine, a well-known book on medicinal plants written between about 200 and 250 AD, as an herb that can regulate “five (viscera) strains and seven (overeating, anger, moisture, cold, worry, wind and rain, and fear) impairments.”

It’s thought to clear the mind. Therapeutic uses include enhancing cognitive abilities such as learning and memory. It has been traditionally valued for its anti-aging properties. It has also been used to improve stamina and aid healthy sexual performance. It is traditionally used to fight aging and increase longevity. It may help to improve brain health, reduce constipation, and improve sexual health by boosting testosterone.

In addition, it’s an extremely strong antioxidant. It is 15 times stronger than resveratrol and 5 times stronger than vitamin C. This powerful herb has no documented side effects when taken in responsible quantities. In addition, Cistanche is used to prevent fatigue and increase energy. It may improve memory power and increase immunity, and it shows promise for lowering blood pressure.

This study published in Frontiers in Pharmacology does a good job of summarizing the herb’s many health benefits.

So it provides support for a range of health issues?

Yes. The long list of Cistanche health benefits indicates that it interacts with the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, nervous, renal, and integumentary body systems. Today, it’s generally recognized that it provides support for issues with cardiovascular disease, immunity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, psychological stress, and neurocognition. There is good reason to believe that a lifestyle-based approach to optimal health will benefit from support with Cistanche as a health supplement.

Are its health benefits backed by science?

The short answer is “yes.”

Frontiers in Pharmacology calls Cistanche “One of the Best Pharmaceutical Gifts of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” highlighting its bio-activities, including anti-oxidation, neuroprotection, and anti-aging. Phytotherapy Research focuses on its anti-fatigue activity.

Frontiers in Pharmacology says: “Herba Cistanche has been commonly used traditionally for enhancing immunity, sexual health, antioxidation, and neuroprotection. Various Herba Cistanche products and its derivative are widely used in modern China. The uses of this drug have evolved over nearly 2,000 years, and the demand for Herba Cistanche has grown rapidly in recent years. … With further study, this important TCM is believed to have profound prospects.”

Does it have antidepressant properties?

recent study in Frontiers in Pharmacology suggests Cistanche tubulosa extract demonstrates antidepressant-like effects on chronic stress. The study addresses the health benefits of the extract, including its antidepressant-like effects through its ability to restore gut microbiota homeostasis.

In the study, a chronic unpredictable stress-induced depression model was established to explore the impact of Cistanche tubulosa extract on behavioral tests and gut microbiota composition. The study reviews both antidepressant drugs and natural antidepressant herbs and concludes that it “is a potential treatment for depressive symptoms by restoring homeostasis of gut microbiota for microbiota–gut–brain axis disorders, opening new avenues in the field of neuropsychopharmacology.”

Does it have anti-aging properties?

Remember Methuselah? The Bible says he lived until the ripe old age of 969, making him the longest-lived human. We like to call Cistanche Methuselah’s breakfast. Cistanche extracts are traditionally used to fight aging and increase longevity.

Can it increase energy?

Cistanche helps maintain healthy metabolic function. It is often used to prevent fatigue and increase energy.

So it can improve endurance?

Cistanche is considered to be a “yang invigorating” tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Yang tonics enhance mitochondrial functional and antioxidant capacity. Mitochondria play a crucial role in energy metabolism. Improving mitochondrial function is beneficial to anyone looking to improve endurance or reduce fatigue. Studies have demonstrated that the extract can reduce muscle damage and improve ATP (cellular energy) storage.

Does it support sexual health?

Cistanche is traditionally used to improve sexual health and stamina and aid sexual performance by possibly boosting testosterone.

What are its hepatoprotective properties?

Cistanche extract showed hepatoprotective effects against lipopolysaccharide and D-galactosamine. Liver anti-cytotoxicity is induced by acetylacteoside, tubuloside, and echinacoside.

Is it a nootropic that can help with aging, memory, focus, and overall brain health?

Cistanche extract is traditionally used to improve brain health, enhance practiced learning abilities, and sharpen the memory. Cistanche is also one of five nootropics extracts in our BrainStorm Nootropic Brain Health Kits

Can it provide support for the 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 tubulosa 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.

Can it help to lower blood pressure?

It has shown promising effects on lowering blood pressure.

Does it support bone health?

It is often used to prevent bone loss and strengthen bones.

How did you choose your Cistanche supplier?

For each of the products we sell, company owner Michael Van der Linden and members of our team do substantial research, visit the source, and meet with the collectors and processors personally. We back up our faith in our source and our processors with testing.

What does the plant look like?

Cistanche is an all flower-bearing holoparasitic plant from Mongolia that belongs to the Orobanchaceae family. It is unable to synthesize chlorophyll and obtains water and nutrients from its host plant. This widely distributed annual produces a dense pyramid spike of bright yellow flowers topped by maroon-tinted buds. The plant tolerates saline environments and is usually found in arid regions.

How do I consume Cistanche extract?

Add 1/2 teaspoon of extract to 8 oz of hot water or a cup of juice. Stir until dissolved. Drink 2 glasses a day. You can also mix 1/2 teaspoon with 1 teaspoon honey, add the mixture to warm water, and drink it as a tea.

In addition, Cistanche works great in an energy smoothie. Check out our favorite recipe!

What does Cistanche extract taste like?

Taste is subjective, but Cistanche can be described as mildly sweet slightly salty with an earthy aroma. 

Does Cistanche have caffeine?


What phytochemicals does it include?

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds produced by plants. They generally help plants thrive or thwart competitors, predators, or pathogens.

Its chemical constituents mainly consist of volatile oils, non-volatile phenylethanoid glycosides (PhGs), iridoids, lignans, alditols, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides.

Its phenylethanoid glycosides include bcistanoside A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H; cistantubloside A, B1, B2; cistansineside; decaffeoykacetoside; echinacoside; isoacetoside; acteoside; tubuloside A, B, C, D, E; lionoside; salsaside D, E, F.

Its alkaloids include betanine and N,N-dimethyl glycine.

Its lignans include pinoresinol, linriodendrin, and syringaresinol.

Its polysaccharides include cistan A, mannoglucan, glucans, SPA, CDA-1A, RG-1, and linear glucan.

What if I have more questions about Cistanche?

You can read more scientific studies about Cistanche by visiting the National Center for Biotechnology Information website. Also, feel free to reach out!