Cistanche or rou cong rong is one of the safest traditional Chinese herbal remedies for impotence and infertility. Supplements made from the herb have few known side effects and no toxic side effects.

In fact, the American Herbal Products Association has labeled Cistanche a class one herb. That means it is completely safe when used appropriately. If you take a normal dosage of cistanche powder or tonic, you should experience no side effects. Yet like all medicines, cistanche can have both positive and negative side effects which are outlined below.

So What are the Positive Side Effects from Cistanche?

In traditional Chinese medicine, Cistanche is regarded as a yin or jing enhancer which means it increases the flow of blood to various parts of the body. Those parts include the genitals which is why it has traditionally been used to enhance sexual performance in China.

Scientific studies indicate that the traditional Chinese belief about Cistanche is true. It does increase the blood flow which can increase overall health, strength, and vitality.

Some of the positive side effects of Cistanche include the following:

  • Speeds up the healing process and aids in recovery from wounds and surgery by increasing levels of human growth hormone and nutrients flowing to tissue.
  • Improves mental functions including clarity and memory by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to brain cells. It might help reverse or at least delay the effects of age-related mental health problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Can ease lower back pain and knee pain by increasing the blood flow to those areas of the body.
  • Can improve the performance of the immune system and speed up recovery for infections.
  • Improve bowel movements and constipation by increasing the flow of blood to that area of the body.
  • Enhance sexual performance by increasing the blood flow to the genitals.
  • End or at least ease sexual dysfunction such as lack of erection and premature ejaculation.
  • Improve the function of the liver and kidney and enhance the body’s ability to cleanse itself of toxins.
  • It might be an effective treatment for anemia or low blood pressure.
  • Cistanche could be an effective treatment for fatigue or the effects of fatigue.


Potential Negative Side Effects of Cistanche

Even though it is regarded as an extremely safe herbal supplement, there are some potential negative side effects associated with cistanche. These side effects are limited and some of them are only potential.

Something that all cistanche users should be aware of is that studies into the effects of these herbs are limited. In particular, there has been little or no research into its reaction with drugs and with other supplements.

Despite the lack of research, some potential negative side effects from cistanche have been identified including these:

  • It could increase blood pressure and have adverse effects on those who have high blood pressure or are taking medication for it. If you have high blood pressure, you should definitely ask your doctor before taking cistanche.
  • Some doctors believe cistanche can make diarrhea and other stomach problems worse. That means you should stop taking it if you have such a problem.
  • It is possible that some people will be allergic to cistanche. It’s always a good idea to take a small dose of a supplement to see how you react to it before using it on a regular basis.
  • If you’re regularly taking other drugs or supplements, it might be a good to ask a doctor or a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine about potential reactions to cistanche.
  • There are studies that indicate cistanche might lower blood pressure in some individuals. It might raise it in others.


How to Safely and Effectively take Advantage of Cistanche

You can enhance both the safety and effectiveness of cistanche by taking a few common sense precautions. These steps include the following:

  • Buy pure cistanche powder, leaves, or capsules from a reputable supplier.
  • Make sure you are getting pure Chinese made cistanche. Cistanche is made from cistanche deserticola, a shrub that grows in Northern China and Mongolia.
  • Limit dosage to 10 to 20 grams of cistanche a day. That’s the recommended dosage from the American Herbal Products Association.
  • Try adding cistanche powder to foods like shakes, smoothies, juices or soups as a supplement. Supplements will be digested faster and have more effect if they are digested with food.
  • Discontinue cistanche use immediately if you have any serious reactions or health problems.
  • Try not to take cistanche on an empty stomach because that can lead to digestion problems.


The good news is that when used properly, cistanche is a potent supplement that can treat many problems. If you employ a little common sense and caution with its use, cistanche might be able to improve your life and enhance your performance. When used in combination with other traditional Chinese herbs, these effects can be enhanced.





1 comment

Ron Allen

Ron Allen

I have tried many herbs for endocrine Assistance & have positive effects in some, but Effects of Cistanche Disercola has been AMAZING. THE OTHER THAT i find bery Effective (but not close to Cisranche) i Tong Lat Ali/Long Jack.
Thank you for your Additional knowledge on a Wonderful HERB/FOOD.

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