One of the most interesting herbs I came across during my stay in China was Cistanche, also known as Rou Cong Rong. The earliest practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) adopted the yellow flower as an integral part of their practice.
Modern pharmacological studies have since demonstrated that Herba Cistanches possesses broad medicinal functions, especially for use in anti-senescence, antioxidant properties, neuroprotection, anti-inflammatory effects, hepatoprotection, immunomodulation, anti-neoplastic effects, anti-osteoporosis properties, and the promotion of bone formation.
Cistanche is also known to be the safest traditional Chinese herb for treating impotence and infertility. It directs blood flow to the pelvic and genital area, enhancing the strength of erections and enlarging the penis. Animal studies have suggested that Cistanche extracts may increase sperm count, improve sperm quality, and enhance sexual function. These effects may be attributed to the plant’s potential to modulate hormones, improve blood circulation, and provide antioxidant support.
The Yang energy of Cistanche can be harnessed for sexual vigor or channeled into any creative outlet.
A particular study found that Cistanche increased sperm count and sperm motility by up to 2.7-fold and 1.4-fold, respectively. When consumed, it directs blood flow to the brain, pelvic area, and genital areas, enhancing the strength of erections. Cistanche tea is often prescribed for impotence and memory loss in China.
Cistanche also helps increase energy levels and reduces muscle damage from accidents and aging. This makes it an excellent choice of herb for athletes. It also speeds up the healing process and aids in recovery from wounds and surgery by increasing levels of human growth hormone and nutrients flowing to the tissue.
The good thing is that Cistanche also works for women battling infertility. It increases hormonal function, improves blood circulation, and facilitates hormonal release in the uterus, while also thickening the uterine lining, making implantation easier. It also minimizes blood loss and provides nourishment during a woman’s period, supporting the release and effectiveness of progesterone.
Cistanche is also considered a Jing-enhancing substance in traditional Chinese medicine, meaning it improves fertility, delays aging, enhances cognition, and boosts the immune system.
Speaking of anti-aging, Cistanche is widely believed to counteract some effects of aging. Taking Cistanche regularly can increase your energy levels and even limit muscle damage from accidents and aging.
Within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Herbal Cistanche is applied as a tonic and/or included in formulas for chronic renal disease, impotence, female infertility, excessive vaginal discharge, heavy menstrual bleeding, and constipation in older individuals.
Cistanche improves mental functions, including clarity and memory, by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to brain cells. It might help reverse or delay the effects of age-related mental health problems such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.