Can Women Take Cistanche?

Can Women Take Cistanche? Explore Benefits Of Cistanche For Women

Cistanche is a traditional Chinese herb used for centuries to manage various health conditions. It is also known as Rou Cong Rong, desert ginseng, or desert broomrape. But can women take distance? And what are the benefits of Cistanche for women? This article will explore the scientific evidence and the traditional wisdom behind this powerful plant.


Can Women Take Cistanche?

Cistanche offers numerous benefits for women's health

Cistanche offers numerous benefits for women's health, including supporting bone health, addressing infertility, and mitigating postmenopausal symptoms.

Women can take Cistanche as a dietary supplement or an herbal supplement.

Cistanche is generally considered safe and well-tolerated by most people, with no severe side effects reported.

What Are the Benefits of Cistanche for Women?

Cistanche Benefits For Postmenopausal Osteoporosis (PMOP) Females

Cistanche Benefits For Postmenopausal Osteoporosis (PMOP) Females

Postmenopausal osteoporosis (PMOP) is a common condition that affects many women after menopause. It is characterized by a loss of bone density and strength, which increases the risk of fractures and other complications.

Cistanche may help prevent and minister PMOP by stimulating the formation of new bone cells and inhibiting the breakdown of old bone cells.

According to "Anti-osteoporosis effect of Cistanche deserticola Ma extract in ovariectomized rats." found that Cistanche extract improved bone mineral density, bone microstructure, and bone biomechanical properties in ovariectomized rats, a model of PMOP [1].

Another study about Cistanche deserticola improving ovariectomized-induced osteoporosis confirmed that Cistanche extract enhanced osteogenic differentiation and reduced osteoclastogenesis in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells [2].

Cistanche May Help With Female Infertility

Female infertility is a complex and multifactorial issue that affects many couples who wish to conceive.

It can be caused by various factors, such as hormonal imbalance, ovulation disorders, fallopian tube blockage, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Cistanche may improve reproductive function by regulating hormone levels, enhancing ovarian function, and promoting follicular development, offering hope for women struggling with infertility [3].

Cistanche Benefits for Females With Postmenopausal Syndrome

Cistanche Benefits For Females With Postmenopausal Syndrome

Postmenopausal syndrome is a term that refers to the various symptoms and discomforts that women may experience after menopause.

These may include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, vaginal dryness, urinary problems, and sexual dysfunction.

Fortunately, Cistanche offers potential relief. This herb contains phytoestrogens, compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.

By interacting with estrogen receptors, Cistanche may help balance hormonal levels, reducing symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings.

Additionally, its antioxidant properties can combat oxidative stress associated with menopause, supporting overall well-being.

Regular supplementation with Cistanche may offer women a natural approach to manage postmenopausal symptoms and improve their quality of life [4].

Cistanche May Support Bone Health In Women

Cistanche can support bone health in women by promoting bone formation and preventing bone resorption.

As mentioned earlier, Cistanche extract has been shown to improve bone density and strength in animal models of PMOP [5].

Moreover, Cistance extract may also protect against bone loss induced by glucocorticoids, a type of anti-inflammatory supplement that can cause osteoporosis as a side effect.

A study shows that Cistanche extract prevented glucocorticoid-induced bone loss and suppressed osteoclast activity in mice [6].

By addressing factors contributing to bone loss, such as hormonal changes and oxidative stress, Cistanche offers a natural way to support skeletal health in women of all ages.

Cistanche for Potential Anti-Aging Benefits

Cistanche for Potential Anti-Aging Benefits

According to a review article published in Aging and Disease, Cistanches help boost the immune system by increasing the number and effectiveness of specific immune cells like naive T cells and natural killer cells.

These cells are important for fighting infections and diseases, and their levels decrease as humans age. Additionally, Cistanches positively affect skin health and may help extend lifespan [9].

Moreover, Cistanches provide neuroprotection by preventing nerve cell death, reducing oxidative stress, and stopping the buildup of amyloid-beta, linked to conditions like Alzheimer's disease.

They also show promise in fighting cancer by promoting programmed cell death, blocking the growth of new blood vessels in tumors, and influencing the environment around tumors [9].

How Much Cistanche Should Women Take for Safety?

The optimal dosage may vary depending on the individual's age, weight, health status, and desired effects.

However, some general guidelines can be followed based on the available research and the traditional usage to gain Cistanche benefits for females optimally.

The recommended safe and reasonable dose of Cistanche for women is between 200 and 500 mg per day.

Therefore, the daily dose of Chinese Pharmacopeia stem is 6 to 10 grams, and it can be boiled in water for oral use [7].

What Women Should Be Aware of When Taking Cistanche?

What Women Should Be Aware of When Taking Cistanche?

While Cistanche is generally safe and well-tolerated by most women, there are some precautions and contraindications that women should be aware of when taking Cistanche.

Although Cistanche may cause mild digestive issues such as nausea and vomiting when taken in large doses, skin irritation and rash may occur if the herb is applied directly.

The safety of Cistanche during pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been adequately studied. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid Cistanche unless advised otherwise by a healthcare professional.


Does Cistanche Affect Hormones?

Cistanche exhibits mild estrogenic activity, which can influence hormone levels. It may help balance hormones in women, particularly during menopause or for women who have low estrogen levels, such as postmenopausal women [4].

Does Cistanche Increase Testosterone In Women?

Cistanche has been reported to have the ability to boost testosterone levels. It is believed to enhance cholesterol transport and the steroidogenesis process, which can lead to increased testosterone production [8]. However, more research is needed to fully understand the effects of Cistanche on testosterone levels in women.


Cistanche is a traditional Chinese herb that promises many benefits for women's health, from improved bone health to alleviating postmenopausal symptoms and anti-aging.

Through its ability to stimulate bone formation, regulate hormonal balance, and enhance fertility, Cistanche emerges as a valuable natural remedy. While generally safe, caution is advised regarding dosage, potential allergic reactions, and its effects during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

With further research, Cistanche can support women in managing various health concerns and improving overall well-being.


[1] Zhang, L., Yue, X.-X., Zhang, L., Zhao, J.-F., Chen, Y., Cao, Z., & Liu, Y. (2016). Anti-osteoporosis effect of Cistanche deserticola Ma extract in ovariectomized rats. Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 15(9), 1929–1929.
[2] Li, J., Zou, Z., Su, X., Xu, P., Du, H., Li, Y., Li, Z., Li, G., Lin, N., & Xu, Y. (2024). Cistanche deserticola improves ovariectomized-induced osteoporosis mainly by regulating lipid metabolism: Insights from serum metabolomics using UPLC/Q-TOF-MS. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 322, 117570–117570.
[3] Li, Z., Lin, H., Gu, L., Gao, J., & Tzeng, C.-M. (2016). Herba Cistanche (Rou Cong-Rong): One of the Best Pharmaceutical Gifts of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 7.
[4] Li, W.-L., Ding, J.-X., Liu, B.-M., Zhang, D.-L., Song, H., Sun, X.-M., Liu, G.-Y., Wang, J.-Y., & Ji, Y.-B. (2019). Phytochemical screening and estrogenic activity of total glycosides of Cistanche deserticola. Open Chemistry, 17(1), 279–287.
[5] Tian, S., Guo, L., Song, Y., Miao, J., Peng, M., Fang, X., Bai, M., & Miao, M. (2023). Transcriptomic analysis the mechanisms of anti-osteoporosis of desert-living Cistanche herb in ovariectomized rats of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Functional & Integrative Genomics, 23(3).
[6] Nan, Z., Zeng, K., Shi, S., Zhao, M., Jiang, Y., & Tu, P. (2013). Phenylethanoid glycosides with anti-inflammatory activities from the stems of Cistanche deserticola cultured in Tarim desert. Fitoterapia, 89, 167–174.
[7] Fu, Z., Fan, X., Wang, X., & Gao, X. (2018). Cistanches Herba: An overview of its chemistry, pharmacology, and pharmacokinetics property. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 219, 233–247.
[8] Wang, Q., Dong, J., Lu, W., He, H., Sun, X., Zhang, K., Song, Q., Jiang, Y., Wang, Y., Li, C., & Tu, P. (2020). Phenylethanol glycosides from Cistanche tubulosa improved reproductive dysfunction by regulating testicular steroids through CYP450-3β-HSD pathway. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 251, 112500–112500.
[9] Wang, N., Ji, S., Zhang, H., Mei, S., Qiao, L., & Jin, X. (2017). Herba Cistanches: Anti-aging. Aging and Disease, 8(6), 740–740.
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Ralph S. Albert, with over 10 years of expertise in nutrition and research, now heads the Research division at Vinatura Supplements. His dedication and extensive knowledge ensure top-quality articles on nutrition and health, collaborating with a skilled team. He has successfully completed The VINATURA Expertise Research Training Program, underscoring his commitment to Vinatura's mission. Ralph has also published numerous articles and conducted valuable research in the field, making him a trusted resource for individuals on their wellness journey.

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