Cistanche Sexual Benefits

Cistanche Sexual Benefits: Does Cistanche Increase Libido?

Herba Cistanche has been explored for its ability to improve sexual health. It shows positive effects on sex hormone levels and erectile function. So, can Cistanche increase sexual desire? Cistanche sexual benefits will be explored in this article, let's find out below.


Cistanche Sexual Benefits

Does Cistanche Increase Libido?

A recent investigation on Cistanche tubulosa found potential aphrodisiac effects. The ethanol extract of Cistanche tubulosa elevated sex hormone levels by stimulating testicular steroidogenic enzymes.

Acteoside, a constituent of Cistanche tubulosa, reduced the latent period of penis erection, increased germ cell count, and improved testes pathology. [1]

Therefore, Cistanche may increase libido.

Cistanche For ED - Erectile Dysfunction

cistanche benefits for libido

Cistanche extract demonstrated the ability to reduce erectile latency and extend erectile duration in castrated rats. 

A study reported that an extract from Herba Cistanche elevated sex hormone levels in rats.

Specifically, echinacoside, a component of Herba Cistanche, induced endothelium-dependent relaxation of aortic rings through the NO-cGMP pathway in rats. [2], [3]

However, further research is required to determine whether Herba Cistanche enhances erectile function through this pathway.

Research has shown that Herba Cistanche is used for a variety of health benefits, as a potential herbal aid in enhancing immunity, sexual health, antioxidants, and neuroprotection.

Cistanche For Premature Ejaculation

Cistanche may have effects on premature ejaculation

Cistanche also showed effects on premature ejaculation. Cistanche may help other herbs work by helping to regulate the neuroendocrine of the male reproductive system, thereby maintaining normal hormonal balance.

SS cream, a topical product, is formulated from extracts of nine natural ingredients, including ginseng radix alba, Angelicae Gigantis Radix, Cistanches Herba, Zanthoxylum fruits, Torilis semen, Asiasari radix, Caryophylli flos, Cinnamomi cortex, and Bufonis venenum. It is employed in the management of premature ejaculation.

It is derived from nine natural ingredients and is used to treat premature ejaculation.

Animal studies suggest it can delay sensory nerve signals, potentially extending the time between ejaculations. 

In a clinical trial, it significantly increased ejaculatory latency compared to a placebo, with mild local side effects reported. [4]

Cistanche And Fertility

cistanche and fertility

Herba Cistanche contains various beneficial compounds, including essential oils, PhGs, iridoids, lignans, and polysaccharides. These contribute to pharmacological activities, from brain function improvement to aphrodisiac effects. [5]

Cistanche tubulosa extract, rich in acteoside and echinacoside, enhances sex hormone levels, induces testicular steroidogenic enzymes, and positively influences male hormone production. [5]

In conclusion, the herb's extensive traditional use and increasing demand suggest potential modern applications for neurodegenerative diseases and reproductive health.

How Does Cistanche Impact Sexual Function And Libido?

The chemical components of Cistanche plants comprise volatile oils, phenylethanoid glycosides (PhGs), iridoids, lignans, alditols, oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides. [6]

Cistanche is rich in phenylethanoid glycoside (PhG), which is recognized as its primary active compound.

Research on the pharmacological effects of PhG indicates its diverse functions, including antioxidant properties, neuroprotective effects, immune system enhancement, promotion of sexual function, hepatoprotective benefits, and mitigation of stress-related radiation effects. [7]

Several Cistanche’s mechanisms stimulate sexual desire and performance:

Stimulates Sex Hormone Release

Substances such as PhGs (phytochemicals) activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, a complex network of glands that regulates the synthesis and secretion of sex hormones, including androgens and estrogens.

This activation increases the production of these hormones, which are crucial for sexual function and reproductive health. [7]

Increases Sperm Generation

Cistanche stimulates the production of spermatogonia, the early cells responsible for sperm development.

This improvement in testicular function ultimately leads to increased sperm quantity and motility, which is crucial for male fertility. [8]

Improves Blood Circulation

One of the benefits of Cistanche is its ability to expand blood vessels in the genital area.

By doing so, it enhances blood flow to the genital region, which can lead to heightened arousal, increased sensitivity, and improved sexual performance.

This improved blood circulation benefits intimate moments and contributes to overall sexual health. [9]

Raises vitality

Alleviates fatigue, reigniting enthusiasm and vigor for intimate moments. [10]

    Other Benefits Of Cistanche For Men's Health

    other benefits of cistanche for men
    • Immune Regulation: Cistanche may have immune-regulating effects, promoting lymphocyte proliferation and reinforcing the activity of macrophages.
    • Nervous System Protection: Cistanche may protect the nervous system by preventing apoptosis in nerve cells and inhibiting factors that cause inflammation. [11]
    • Antioxidant Properties: Cistanche is highlighted for its antioxidant properties, helping to reduce oxidative stress in various tissues. [12]
    • Anti-cancer Effects: Cistanche may exhibit anti-cancer effects by inhibiting tumor cell growth, inducing apoptosis, and improving survival rates in mouse models. [13]
    • Liver Protection: Cistanche has been demonstrated to protect the liver, preventing liver damage and reducing inflammation. [14]
    • Blood and Intestinal Health Support: Cistanche may positively impact blood and intestinal health, possibly related to the polysaccharides in Cistanche promoting the growth of beneficial flora. [15]
    • Preventing Osteoporosis: Cistanche has diverse pharmacological properties, including preventing osteoporosis, maintaining intestinal health, and protecting cardiovascular health. [16]
    • Cardiovascular Health Protection: Cistanche positively impacts the glutathione levels in the heart and may contribute to protecting cardiovascular health. [14]


    In summary, Cistanche sexual benefits have demonstrated potential as a natural remedy to improve sexual function and libido in men. Its various beneficial compounds contribute to pharmacological activities ranging from immunomodulation to promoting sexual function and reducing oxidative stress. However, additional research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and potential benefits for men's health.


    [1] 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.
    [2] Li, H., Jiang, H., & Liu, J. (2017). Traditional Chinese medical therapy for erectile dysfunction. Translational Andrology and Urology, 6(2), 192–198.
    [3] Kong, Z.-L., Johnson, A., Ko, F.-C., He, J.-L., & Cheng, S.-C. (2018). Effect of Cistanche Tubulosa Extracts on Male Reproductive Function in Streptozotocin–Nicotinamide-Induced Diabetic Rats. Nutrients, 10(10), 1562–1562.
    [4] El-Khatib, F. M., Yafi, N. R., & Yafi, F. A. (2019). Over-the-Counter Supplements and Men’s Health. Elsevier EBooks, 281–300.
    [5] 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.
    [6] Jiang, Y., & Tu, P.-F. (2009). Analysis of chemical constituents in Cistanche species. Journal of Chromatography A, 1216(11), 1970–1979.
    [7] Jiang, Y., & Tu, P.-F. (2009). Analysis of chemical constituents in Cistanche species. Journal of Chromatography A, 1216(11), 1970–1979.
    [8] Yan, F., Dou, X., Zhu, G., Xia, M., Liu, Y., Liu, X., Wu, G., Wang, H., Zhang, B., Shao, Q., & Wang, Y. (2021). Cistanoside of Cistanche Herba ameliorates hypoxia-induced male reproductive damage via suppression of oxidative stress. American Journal of Translational Research, 13(5), 4342–4359.
    [9] Yoshikawa, M., Matsuda, H., Morikawa, T., Xie, H., Nakamura, S., & Muraoka, O. (2006). Phenylethanoid oligoglycosides and acylated oligosugars with vasorelaxant activity from Cistanche tubulosa. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry, 14(22), 7468–7475.
    [10] G. Gemejiyeva, N. (2015). Life Characteristic of Сistanche Salsa (С.А. Мey.) G. Beck – Perspective Medicinal Plant of the South Peri–Balkhash Lake Saxaul Forests. American Journal of Environmental Protection, 4(3), 111.
    [11] Liao, Y., Wang, J., Guo, C., Bai, M., Ran, Z., Wen, L., Ju, B., Ding, Y., Hu, J., & Yang, J. (2023). Cistanche tubulosa alleviates ischemic stroke-induced blood-brain barrier damage by modulating microglia-mediated neuroinflammation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 309, 116269–116269.
    [12] Zhang, W., Huang, J., Wang, W., Li, Q., Chen, Y., Feng, W., Zheng, D., Zhao, T., Mao, G., & Yang, L. (2016). Extraction, purification, characterization and antioxidant activities of polysaccharides from Cistanche tubulosa. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 93, 448–458.
    [13] Maruyama, S., Akasaka, T., Yamada, K., & Tachibana, H. (n.d.). Bioactivity of High-molecular-weight Constituents of Cistanche tubulosa. Retrieved February 20, 2024, from
    [14] Zhou, S., Feng, D., Zhou, Y., Duan, H., Jiang, Y., & Yan, W. (2023). Analysis of the active ingredients and health applications of cistanche. Frontiers in Nutrition, 10.
    [15] Yin, H., Gao, X., Yang, H., Xu, Z., Wang, X., Wang, X., Gao, Y., Shi, Z., Chen, X., Cao, L., Zhang, C., Wang, Z., Hu, H., & Xiao, W. (2024). Total alditols from Cistanche deserticola attenuate functional constipation by regulating bile acid metabolism. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 320, 117420–117420.
    [16] Wang, F., Tu, P., Zeng, K., & Jiang, Y. (2021). Total glycosides and polysaccharides of Cistanche deserticola prevent osteoporosis by activating Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway in SAMP6 mice. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 271, 113899–113899.
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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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