Does Cistanche Cause Hair Loss

Does Cistanche Cause Hair Loss?

Cistanche is a kind of herb found primarily in deserts and grasslands, offering numerous health benefits ranging from improving memory and cardiovascular health and boosting the immune system to antioxidation.

However, many people wonder: Does Cistanche cause hair loss? The following article will provide a detailed answer for you.


Does Cistanche Cause Hair Loss?

cistanche does not cause hair loss

There is no direct evidence that Cistanche causes hair loss. On the contrary, it provides nutrients that help improve the scalp and prevent hair loss.

Studies have shown that supplementing with Cistanche tubulosa extract helps promote hair health in patients with mild to moderate hair loss.

After 18 weeks of study, results showed increased hair density and thickness while reducing conditions such as dandruff, scalp itchiness, and scalp inflammation in the treated individuals [1].

Does Cistanche Increase the DHT Level?

Cistanche does not increase DHT levels and does not cause hair loss.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is an androgen hormone produced from testosterone by the 5-alpha-reductase (5AR), playing a vital role in developing male sexual characteristics, especially hair and hair follicles.

DHT is associated with common hair loss in both men and women, as DHT can help shrink hair follicles, causing hair to grow slower and thinner.

There are cases where it's argued that Cistanche increases the testosterone levels in the body [7]. There's a direct correlation between testosterone levels and DHT levels [8], leading to hair loss when using Cistanche.

However, this conversion rate is negligible and not sufficient to shrink hair follicles, resulting in hair loss or thinning hair.

Cistanche does not increase DHT levels in the body. Conversely, it helps balance hormones, treats stress, protects health from within, supports hair growth stimulation, and improves various scalp conditions.

Currently, not many studies directly address the relationship between Cistanche and DHT; however, there is plenty of research on the potential to improve the hair density of this active substance.

A 2015 study indicated that Cistanche tubulosa can improve blood circulation by potentially lowering blood cholesterol levels, positively affecting hair growth, and treating dandruff and scalp inflammation [2][3].

Does Cistanche Help With Hair Growth and Thickness?

Numerous studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Cistanche in stimulating hair growth and thickness.

Cistanche tubulosa has been reported to produce TNF-alpha and IL-4, along with other crucial cytokines, necessary for the release of nitric oxide from inflamed cells while also exhibiting strong anti-inflammatory properties in animal tissues [2], thereby supporting the treatment of scalp dermatitis and fungal infections.

It also promotes healthy blood circulation, aiding hair development and maintaining good health.

Furthermore, using Cistanche tubulosa in combination with Laminaria Japonica (MK-R7) provides antioxidant and anticoagulant properties, effectively treating inflammatory diseases and ischemia and promoting hair growth by increasing scalp blood flow [2][3].

How to Use Cistanche to Improve Hair Loss

using cistanche to improve hair health

Use the correct dose and maintain the habit of using Cistanche to reduce hair loss
If you are curious about the exact answer, does Cistanche cause hair loss?

You might wonder how to maximize the benefits of Cistanche for scalp health. Below is a list of things to do to improve your hair loss situation:

Combining Cistanche tubulosa with Laminaria Japonica enhances hair growth effectiveness [2][3].

Dosage: Consume 2 tablets (400mg) of Cistanche tubulosa and 2 tablets (400mg) of Laminaria Japonica daily, after breakfast and dinner, continuously for 16 weeks [2].

Cistanche has been observed to have minimal toxicity signs and nearly negligible side effects [4].

High doses over extended periods should not be consumed. For someindividuals, this habit can cause nausea, indigestion, difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling.

Cistanche is effective for hair health and does not increase DHT levels as rumored. However, using Cistanche supplements will not immediately result in hair growth.

Instead, regular use of Cistanche in appropriate doses can support enhanced general health, nourish the kidneys, enrich the blood, lubricate the bowels [5], treat stress disorders, and effectively prevent aging [6],... Consequently, Cistanche also aids in hair growth by nurturing hair follicles from within.

What Else Causes Hair Loss?

Many factors lead to hair loss, including internal and external body agents. Typical internal agents include vitamin and mineral deficiencies (vitamin B, zinc), medical treatments (cancer drugs), aging, and heredity.

Hair loss can also occur due to stress, sleep deficiency, anemia, immune system disorders, or thyroid diseases.

Additionally, nutrition significantly affects hair thickness, so consuming a balanced diet and supplements (such as Cistanche) to bolster scalp health is essential.

Hair loss can also result from external factors, such as air pollution, environmental pollution, contaminated water sources, and UV damage to the scalp and hair follicles.

To address thinning hair or hair loss, seeking medical advice for timely and swift remediation is advisable. Natural therapies like scalp massages, aromatic steam, and specially formulated products are ways to mitigate hair loss.


Can Cistanche Be Used In the Long Term Without Any Issues?

Cistanche is a compound that doesn't cause side effects over a long period. However, adhering to the dosage and continuously using it for 3 - 4 months before taking a break is recommended to achieve the best effect. Also, remember to consult a doctor regarding your body's condition and tolerance to ensure safety.

Does Cistanche Have Any Adverse Effects?

Cistanche has been studied to be benign and does not cause any adverse effects in humans. However, suppose the body is incompatible with the compound's components or misused. In that case, Cistanche can cause nausea, hives, breathing difficulties, etc. Therefore, it's advisable to thoroughly review the ingredients and seek expert medical advice before usage.


The article above accurately answers the question of whether Cistanche causes hair loss.

Additionally, referring to the information provided helps determine this nutrient-rich dietary supplement's dosage, precautions, and consumption methods.

Hopefully, you have found valuable information to resolve your concerns.


[1] Ali Esmail Al-Snafi. (2020). Bioactive metabolites and pharmacology of Cistanche tubulosa- A review. ResearchGate; unknown.
[2] Seok, Joon, et al. “Efficacy of Cistanche Tubulosa and Laminaria Japonica Extracts (MK-R7) Supplement in Preventing Patterned Hair Loss and Promoting Scalp Health.” Clinical Nutrition Research, vol. 4, no. 2, 1 Jan. 2015, pp. 124–124,, Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
[3] Shin, Kyungha, et al. “Effectiveness of the Combinational Treatment ofLaminaria JaponicaandCistanche TubulosaExtracts in Hair Growth.” Laboratory Animal Research, vol. 31, no. 1, 1 Jan. 2015, pp. 24–24, Accessed 1 Apr. 2024.
[4] Gao, Yuqiu, et al. “Safety Assessment of Powdered Cistanche Deserticola Y. C. Ma by a 90-Day Feeding Test in Sprague-Dawley Rats.” Drug and Chemical Toxicology, vol. 40, no. 4, 28 Oct. 2016, pp. 383–389, Accessed 12 Dec. 2019.
[5] “Establishment and Application of a New Development Model of the Whole Industrial Chain of Cistanches Herba.”, Accessed 2 Apr. 2024.
[6] “Https://”, Accessed 2 Apr. 2024.
[7] Farthing, M. J., et al. “Relationship between Plasma Testosterone and Dihydrotestosterone Concentrations and Male Facial Hair Growth.” The British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 107, no. 5, 1 Nov. 1982, pp. 559–564,, Accessed 10 Sept. 2020.
[8] TAKAYASU, SUSUMU, and KENJI ADACHI. “The Conversion of Testosterone to 17β-Hydroxy-5α-Androstan-3-One (Dihydrotestosterone) by Human Hair Follicles.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 34, no. 6, June 1972, pp. 1098–1101, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.
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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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