Does Cistanche Increase Testosterone

Does Cistanche Increase Testosterone? Desert Plant For Men

Cistanche, a prominent figure in natural remedies, has long held esteem in traditional medicine. This desert plant is now under the spotlight for its potential influence on testosterone levels. This thorough investigation addresses a question resonating in health-conscious communities: Does Cistanche Increase Testosterone? Join us to explore the benefits of Cistanche for testosterone in particular and men's health overall.


Does Cistanche Increase Testosterone?

Not only do most contemporary studies support the effectiveness of Cistanche for testosterone, but user reports also confirm this claim. The efficacy of Cistanche on testosterone is believed to be attributed to Phenylethanoid glycosides, a vital component of this desert plant.

Thanks to the activities and properties of this compound, Cistanche is thought to enhance testosterone levels, leading to various benefits for men, including improved sexual function, muscle growth, physical endurance, mental well-being, and potential advantages for reproductive and sexual health issues in men.

Testosterone is a vital hormone in the male body, playing a crucial role in several core bodily functions. It contributes significantly to the development of male reproductive tissues, the promotion of secondary sexual characteristics, and the enhancement of muscle mass and bone density. Furthermore, it directly influences men's mood and quality of life.

the role of testosterone in men

The benefits of Cistanche for testosterone increasing can result in several advantages, such as:

  • Improved physical strength and endurance
  • Optimized athletic performance and overall fitness
  • Increased libido and improved sexual performance
  • Potential mitigation of erectile dysfunction
  • Boosted mood and cognitive function
  • Possible increase in sperm count and quality
  • Support for men facing fertility challenges
  • Benefits across physical, sexual, and mental aspects of men's health

Multiple studies provide evidence for the idea that Cistanche contributes to a rise in testosterone, resulting in the benefits mentioned above.

Now, let's explore how Cistanche facilitates the increase in testosterone levels in the body. We will delve into the synthesized scientific research below to determine if all studies align with Cistanche's exact mechanism of action.

How Does Cistanche Benefit for Testosterone?

A study conducted on mice observed that the group using Cistanche exhibited higher testosterone levels during high-intensity exercise compared to groups not using Cistanche.

Moreover, the study found that Cistanche increased testosterone and helped maintain a balanced ratio of testosterone to corticosterone in the serum, adapting to changes in testosterone levels.

These findings suggest that Cistanche may mitigate the impact of high-intensity exercise on serum testosterone and keep it within normal levels. For individuals engaging in regular high-intensity workouts, testosterone levels tend to decrease, leading to signs of fatigue [1].

Additionally, Cistanche has been shown to promote protein synthesis, inhibit amino acid degradation, and increase the storage of hemoglobin and glycogen in mice in this experiment [1]. All these activities effectively reduce muscle fatigue, enhance endurance and energy, and support body recovery.

In another study, the focus was on the increased concentration of sex hormones such as testosterone in experimental mice using Cistanche, attributing it to the regulation of steroidogenic enzymes in the testes [4].

Another study using Cistanche at doses of 0.4 and 0.8 g/kg found that both progesterone and testosterone concentrations in mice increased with Cistanche use at both doses [2].

Based on these results, the study concluded that the increase in sex hormone levels may be regulated by the production of testicular steroidogenic enzymes, such as those influenced by Cistanche [2].

Research by Qixin Wang and colleagues also supports the hypothesis that Phenylethanoid glycosides in Cistanche tubulosa increase testosterone through the regulation of testicular steroidogenesis.

This study identifies explicitly the pathway of action through CYP450-3B-HSD, a crucial enzyme in human physiology [3].

However, the study also indicates that a low dose (71 mg/kg) has no significant effect. In contrast, a dose of 145 mg/kg improves reproductive capacity and increases testosterone in a mice model [3]. Notably, the most effective amount is 298 mg/kg.

Meanwhile, a prior study, although supporting the notion that higher doses yield the highest efficacy, noted mild liver swelling when using a dose of 0.8g/kg [2].

Cistanche for testosterone increasing

Cistanche Dosage for Testosterone

The dosage of Cistanche for testosterone increasing needs to be directly addressed in the studies. However, based on a synthesis of studies, tested doses range from 0.1 to 0.8g/kg of Cistanche. It is important to note that these doses were assessed for efficacy in mice, making it challenging to determine the specific dosage for humans.

According to a study by author Ali Esmail Al-Snafi, the recommended daily dosage for Cistanche tubulosa extract is approximately 100 to 400 mg for humans.

It is advised to start with the minimum effective dose and gradually increase until physiological and mental well-being improvements are observed. Alternatively, you can use supplements from reputable suppliers and follow their usage guidelines for safety.

How Long Does It Take Cistanche to Increase Testosterone?

Studies involving humans often need to address the duration for Cistanche to take effect. Most of the available research has been conducted on mice. According to these mouse studies, an increase in testosterone was typically observed after a period ranging from 14 to 48 days of assessment.

Other Benefits of Cistanche for Male Health

While discussing how Cistanche benefits testosterone, we also need to mention the potential advantages of this herb for other aspects of male health.

Apart from increasing testosterone levels and supporting reproductive health, Cistanche may also have numerous other benefits for men's overall well-being.

These include:

  • Boosting energy levels and reducing fatigue
  • Enhancing cognitive function and concentration
  • Improving immune function and promoting overall health
  • Providing antioxidant support to protect against cellular damage
  • Supporting healthy aging and longevity

Furthermore, Cistanche has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat various ailments, including kidney dysfunction, infertility, and physical weakness. These additional benefits make Cistanche a promising herb for men's health.


In summary, Cistanche has shown potential for increasing testosterone levels. While more research is needed to confirm its efficacy and safety in humans, the current studies suggest that this herb may significantly benefit men's reproductive health and overall well-being. Lastly, the answer to the question "Does Cistanche increase testosterone?" also depends on individuals and how they take it. Depending on their body's physiology, it may have a different impact on each person.


Does Cistanche Increase Growth Hormone?

While some anecdotal sources claim that Cistanche may boost growth hormone, scientific studies to validate this are scarce. Therefore, it remains inconclusive whether Cistanche directly increases growth hormone levels [10].

Does Cistanche Have Side Effects?

Like all supplements, Cistanche can have side effects, though these are generally considered mild. Potential side effects include nausea, dizziness, and a soft laxative effect. [8]

Does Cistanche Affect Cholesterol?

Research indicates that Cistanche may have a positive effect on levels. It is suggested to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels. However, more comprehensive human studies are needed to validate these effects [9].


[1] ZHOU, H.-T. (2023). Effects of Herba Cistanches on testosterone content, substance metabolism and exercise capacity in rats after exercise training. Chinese Pharmaceutical Journal, 1035–1038.
[2] Cistanche tubulosa ethanol extract mediates rat sex hormone levels by induction of testicular steroidgenic enzymes. (2016). Pharmaceutical Biology.
[3] Wang, Q., Dong, J., Lü, 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.
[4] Jiang, Z., Wang, J., Li, X., & Zhang, X. (2016). Echinacoside and Cistanche tubulosa (Schenk) R. wight ameliorate bisphenol A-induced testicular and sperm damage in rats through gonad axis regulated steroidogenic enzymes. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 193, 321–328.
[5] Wang, D., Wang, H., & Gu, L. (2017). The Antidepressant and Cognitive Improvement Activities of the Traditional Chinese HerbCistanche. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2017, 1–9.
[6] Li, W., Chen, Q., Yang, B., Gao, S., & Zhang, J. (2013). Screening of Phytoestrogenic Effective Extracts and Dose of Cistanche deserticola. Chinese Herbal Medicines, 5(4), 292–296.
[7] Ali Esmail Al-Snafi. (2020). Bioactive metabolites and pharmacology of Cistanche tubulosa- A review. ResearchGate; unknown.
[8] Co., B.-T. (2022, March 22). Safety Of Water Extract Of Cistanche Tubulosa Stems As A Novel Food Pursuant To Regulation - Cistanche introduction column - News - Chengdu Wecistanche Bio-Tech Co., Ltd.; Chengdu Wecistanche Bio-Tech Co., Ltd.
[9] The American Journal of Chinese Medicine. (2022). The American Journal of Chinese Medicine.
‌[10] Wu, C.-J., Chien, M.-Y., Lin, N.-H., Lin, Y.-C., Chen, W., Chen, C.-H., & Jason. (2019). Echinacoside Isolated from Cistanche tubulosa Putatively Stimulates Growth Hormone Secretion via Activation of the Ghrelin Receptor. Molecules, 24(4), 720–720.
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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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