Cistanche Deserticola is an herb from China used for health conditions and medical uses, does it have aphrodisiac benefits?
Herb health benefit and side effects
November 11 2016

The dried fleshy stems of Cistanche deserticola in known in China as Rou Congrong. In Japan, the species used is Cistanche salsa. It also grows in Mongolia. According to one Chinese researcher, “Rou Cong-rong” (Herba Cistanchis) is one of the commonly used medicinal herbs in Chinese traditional medicine. It is used to reinforce the vital function of kidney, especially that of the sexual organs and induce laxation, for the treatment of impotence, premature ejaculation in men, infertility, morbid leukorrhea, profuse metrorrhagia in women, and chronic constipation in the aged.” We are not aware of specific human studies regarding its role in erectile dysfunction as of 2017.

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What’s in the herb, what chemical are in it?
Several compounds have been isolated from Cistanche including cistanosides, beta-sitosterol, tubuloside, daucosterol, succinic acid, triacontanol, acteoside, betaine phenylethanoid glycosides, and polysaccharose.

What does the research say?
Studies in rodents show that administration or supplementation improves energy levels. Mice given cistanche are able to swim for longer periods. Many of the compounds found in it have antioxidant properties and protect the liver from toxins.

Aphrodisiac properties and benefits
Cistanche has been used in Chinese medicine for sexual enhancement. it can help improve erectile function, so can tribulus terrestris extract. Avena sativa is a mild aphrodisiac and not as potent as tribulus terrestris.

Can it be used with other aphrodisiac herbs?
It may be best not to use a full dosage of cistanches along with tongkat ali extract or other potent sexual improving herbs.

Side effects of cistanche, adverse effects
Increased body temperature has been noted. High doses could make vision slightly fuzzy in some people for a few hours

Cistanche study, anti-inflammatory
Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory activity caused by Cistanche deserticola in rodents.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2002.
In the present study, the rhizomes of Cistanche deserticola were extracted with 50% ethanol and isolated orderly by ethyl acetate, n-butanol and water. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of Cistanche deserticola extract and three layers were evaluated in several animal models. Cistanche deserticola extracts effectively inhibited writhing response induced by 1% acetic acid and biphasic licking responses caused by 1% formalin, and also reduced the edema induced by 1% carrageenan but not zymosan. Furthermore, the butanolic and aqueous layers of Cistanche deserticola extract not only reduced the pain induced by acetic acid and formalin, but also decreased the edema that induced by carrageenan. Effects of the butanolic layer of Cistanche deserticola extract are better than that of the aqueous layer. In addition, the effect of the butanolic layer extract was not abolished by naloxone. These results revealed that Cistanche deserticola has analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, and the butanolic and aqueous layers are mainly active constituents. Furthermore, the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of the butanolic layer of Cistanche deserticola extract were not related to opioid receptors and immune system.

Anti-oxidative action of the glycosides of Cistanche in the tissue of mice
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1998
To study the anti-oxidative action of Cistanche in the tissues of mice. Contents of superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA) and lipofuscin in the heart, liver, brain and kidney of mice were measured, using pyrogallic acid, thiobarbi turic acid (TBA) and fluorescent technique respectively. It was found that the Cistanche had a significantly higher SOD activity and lower MDA contents in brain and kidney than that in control group. GCS(250 mg/kg) enhanced SOD activity in the heart and liver, declined contents of MDA and lipofuscin in all tissues. The results suggest that Cistanche could increase the antioxidative action in vivo significantly and prevent lipoperoxidative damages in tissues.

Liver benefit
Hepatoprotective activity of phenylethanoids from Cistanche deserticola.
Planta Med. 1998.
Four phenylethanoids isolated from the stems of Cistanche deserticola, acteoside, 2′-acetylacteoside, isoacteoside and tubuloside B, significantly suppressed NADPH/CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation in rat liver microsomes. Acteoside further showed pronounced anti-hepatotoxic activity against CCl4 in vivo.

Cistanche supplement interactions and combination with other dietary supplements
Does cistanche interfere when drinking an ounce or two of acai juice or mangosteen juice?
We don’t see any problems with the combination.