What is Cistanche used for? Key benefits include anti-aging, anti-fatigue, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, immunological, and antioxidant properties.
Many plants produce a variety of secondary metabolites derived biosynthetically from primary compounds. Recent clinical studies on the bioactive ingredients of Cistanche tubulosa have shown that the herb offers many health benefits, including antioxidant, immunological, cardiovascular, and central nervous system support. Its metabolites have the potential to help many people improve their quality of life.
Cistanche tubulosa Native Origin
Cistanche belongs to the Orobanchaceae parasitic family. It relies significantly on other host plants for survival. The herb often grows in sandy soils under arid or semi-arid conditions, including the Taklimakan desert in China (Xinjiang Uyghur region) and Mongolia. For more than 1,800 years, it has been used to support treatment for many health conditions.
Some of the common names of herb include:
- Rou Cong Rong
- Desert Hyacinth
- Yellow Broomrape
Cistanche contains a wide variety of bioactive metabolites that contribute to its medicinal value, including the following:
- Phenylethanoid glycosides such as 2-acetylacteoside, acteoside, cistantubuloside B, and cistanoside A
- Syringalide A 3-O-α-L-rhamnopyranoside
- campneoside I
- Iridoid glycosides
- Phenylethyl oligosaccharides
These bioactive ingredients produce pharmacological effects such as:
- Memory enhancement
- Anti-aging support
- Energy and anti-fatigue support
- Anti-inflammatory neuroprotection
- Anti-Parkinsonian support
- Reproductive benefits
- Hepatoprotective benefits
- Anti-diabetic benefits
- Antimicrobial benefits
What Is Cistanche Used For
Here, I’ll cover key Cistanche benefits adopted in modern pharmacology.
1. Anti-Aging Properties
Every living organism ages to complete its lifecycle. Human beings are no exception. Phenylethanoid glycosides and Oligosaccharides may delay aging by reducing free radicals. Other bioactive compounds that have exhibited anti-aging properties include acteoside and echinacoside.
2. Energy Support
It 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 it may reduce muscle damage and improve ATP (cellular energy) storage.
3. Antimicrobial Properties
Cistanche tubulosa has shown significant antibacterial and antifungal properties against Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis, and Salmonella entrica. These properties are linked to the bioactive compound Phenylethanoid glycosides.
4. Hepatoprotective Properties
Cistanche extract showed hepatoprotective effects against lipopolysaccharide and D-galactosamine. Liver anti-cytotoxicity is induced by acetylacteoside, tubuloside, and echinacoside.
5. Anti-Inflammatory Support
A macrophage culture system was observed in vivo to determine its anti-inflammatory benefits. Fucoidan, a key active ingredient, helps to blocks the infiltration of inflammatory cells.
6. Learning and Memory Support
Some of the symptoms of memory impairment include lobar atrophy disease, hyperactivity disorder, and attention disorder. Phenylethanoid glycosides in Cistanche support memory and learning by improving synaptic neurotransmission.
7. Support for Neurodegenerative Disorders and Diseases
Clinical studies reveal that common neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression may occur from the brain axis. Cistanche has been clinically proven to support treatment of kidney disorders, and scientists have been investigating the herb’s potential in treating neurodegenerative diseases and neuropsychiatric disorders. Chronic Unpredictable Stress (CUS) predisposes the body to various neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, depression, immune dysfunction, and dementia.
Try Cistanche Tea Today
Cistanche has gained popularity worldwide because of its medicinal benefits. Linden Botanicals sells Cistanche extract in small 100 gram (50-serving) sizes as OOMPH! energy support and in larger sizes of 200 to 1,000 grams. A tea made from the extract offers medicinal benefits and serves as a great alternative for people who do not prefer caffeinated tea. A good place to start is with our Cistanche FAQ.