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Desert Cistanche Drops

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Item #: 040
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Desert Cistanche Drops

Cistanche, the King of Desert Herbs

Desert Cistanche Drops is a very potent Yang tonic preparation made from one of the world’s truly elite tonic herbs, Desert Cistanche. It has been used for centuries by men to enhance male sexual function and power, and many women consume it as well. Desert Cistanche Drops is made with large wild Cistanche (Rou Cong Rong in Chinese) from the desert of Western Mongolia and Inner Mongolia as it rises westward toward the Heaven Mountains of Central Asia. Genghis Khan consumed Desert Cistanche every day. This unrivaled tincture is rich and pleasant to the palette.

A young Cistanche plant breaks through the desert soil.


Traditionally in Chinese health philosophy, a range of functions including the sexual, renal, structural (skeletal), neurological, marrow-supporting and endocrine functions, and their related tissues, are known collectively as the “Kidney.” Desert Cistanche is a superior “Kidney tonic herb” that may be used by men or women, though it is most widely used by men to promote sexual power and virility. It is famously known as the “Stalk Enlarger.” It has gained the traditional reputation of strengthening male erections, intensifying orgasms in both men and women, and for enlarging the penis. Cistanche is also considered to be an excellent mood supporting herb. (No scientific-consensus substantiation is available yet for any of these traditional “benefits.” Cistanche is NOT an E D drug, and is not used to treat, cure or prevent any disease. It is a tonic herb, a kind of superfood that promotes optimal functioning of normal bodily functions.)

Cistanche is famous for being simultaneously powerful and gentle. It is both Yang and Yin. Its actions are profound and unmistakable, but its actions as a Yang tonic are said to be “calm and smooth,” meaning that it is not sudden or harsh.

Research on Desert Cistanche

A set of constituents known as PhGs (phenylethanoid glycosides) are the primary constituents of Cistanche for tonifying Kidney functions. These Cistanche glycosides are quite similar to those of Rehmannia, another well-known Kidney tonic herb. Rehmannia is considered to be a Yin Kidney tonic. In fact, three of the primary glycosides found in Cistanche are also found in Rehmannia, along with Rehmannia’s primary glycoside, catalpol. Rehmannia and Cistanche are both rich in sterols such as sitosterol. Thus, it seems that the “gentle” nature of Cistanche, generally considered a very potent Yang tonic, is due to having constituents that also nourish Yin.

Recently, there has been increasing scientific attention on Cistanche for its remarkable anti-aging, antioxidant and neuroprotective bioactivities. Pharmacological studies show that saponins called cistanocides, related to the ginsenosides of Ginseng and the astragalosides of Astragalus, are major active components of Cistanche. These cistanocides contribute to an energy tonifying, adaptogenic range of actions. Cistanche long ago earned the honorable title of “Ginseng of the Desert.”

Cistanche also contains a rich array of volatile oils, iridoids, lignans, alditols, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides that contribute to its many tonic functions.

Galactitol and the oligosaccharides moisten and nourish the colon and support normal healthy bowel functions. This is one of the primary functions of Desert Cistanche.

Cistanche polysaccharides and cistanocides are responsible for improving body immunity.

3 to 4 year old Cistanche ready for processing to make Desert Cistanche Drops


The Rich History of Cistanche

Shennong first described Cistanche 2,500 years ago
Shennong, one of the founders of Chinese culture and the author of the world’s first herbal text, had this to say about Cistanche:

“Cistanche has a salty taste. It mainly treats the five taxations and seven damages, supplements the center, eliminates cold and heat and pain in the penis, nourishes the five viscera, strengthens Yin, and boosts Jing and Qi. In females, it makes pregnancy possible and treats concretions and conglomerations. Protracted taking can make the body light.”


In fact, Cistanche is not really salty though it grows in alkaline soil; it is actually sweet and rich-tasting. It is not bitter, salty or pungent. To an herbalist’s palette it is quite delicious.

Cistanche has been used in traditional formulations as a tonic to restore and support Kidney functions and to tonify Jing, and thus to help restore and maintain youth and to prevent hasty degeneration with aging.

Shennong is one of the greatest herbal geniuses in the history of mankind. He developed the principle of three levels of health practice and of herbs, and virtually single-handedly launched Chinese herbalism. He described 360 herbs in his great herbal text, Shennong’s Pharmacopeia

Asian sex manuals always recommend Desert Cistanche as a long term tonic to build primal power and enhance endowment

Numerous classical Asian manuals on both herbalism and sexuality describe Cistanche in much detail. For instance, it was mentioned no less than one hundred times in The Essence of Medical Prescriptions (984 A.D.) in the sections on men’s health, sex, Yang tonics and physical empowerment. This is one of the most honored medical texts for Oriental medical practitioners still in existence. One of the sections focused entirely on the bedroom arts, and Cistanche was the primary herb used in numerous formulations for men. It was referred to routinely as the “stalk enlarger,” in reference to the “jade stalk” or penis.

The herb remains extremely popular in Asia. Products featuring Cistanche are found in all herb shops. Cistanche has a colorful reputation in China, since everyone knows what it does. Desert Cistanche Drops is made from large three-to-four year old Cistanche stalks collected in the wild Inner Mongolian desert. This product is NOT made with commercial grade Cistanche. It is made with grade A+ wild Cistanche stalks.

Cistanche — the Herb that Genghis Khan Consumed Every Day

The infamous Genghis Khan, who fathered literally hundreds of children in his lifetime and who has left the largest substantiated genetic trail of any single man in human history, consumed Desert Cistanche every day as a tonic. His Y-chromosome is today found in an estimated 16 million of his male–line progeny in a vast swath of Asia from Manchuria to Central Asia, and more recently throughout the world. That’s one of every 200 males on earth today. Cistanche grows wild in the regions that were first controlled by Genghis Khan (Inner Mongolia and Heaven Mountain). Wild Cistanche is collected in arid regions that are untouched by civilization.



More Research on Desert Cistanche

Cistanche may benefit learning and memory

A study entitled “Cistanche enhances learning and memory by inducing nerve growth factor” (published in The Journal Behavioral Brain Research, Jan 20, 2011) reports that Desert Cistanche extract increased nerve growth factor (NGF) induction in animal cells. NGF and NGF–like molecules have potent biological activities such as promoting neurite outgrowth, protecting neurons (preventing neuronal death), supporting synapse formation, and enhancing learning and memory functions. Cistanche extract significantly enhanced learning and memory in mice, and the memory improvement function was determined to be a result of up-regulation of the nerve growth factor. NGF has also been demonstrated to have an association with the feelings of romantic love through a pathway associated with dopamine.

Cistanche may have cardio-protective and respiratory benefits

In a study entitled “Herba Cistanche extract enhances mitochondrial glutathione status and respiration in rat hearts” (published in Pharmaceutical Biology, May 2010), Cistanche has been shown to enhance mitochondrial ATP generation. ATP is the “energy-rich molecule” at the root of all living vitality. Treatment with an alcohol extract of Cistanche enhanced mitochondrial glutathione status and increased mitochondrial membrane potential. Glutathione is one of the three primary innate antioxidants produced by humans to fight off free radicals. In addition, an increase in respiration was observed in mitochondria from Cistanche-treated rat hearts. The enhancement of mitochondrial glutathione status and functional ability may be related to cardioprotection afforded by Cistanche. (Desert Cistanche Drops is both an alcohol extract and a water extract so that all constituents are extracted.)

This is the analytical laboratory at the facility Dragon Herbs uses to produce Desert Cistanche Drops and most of our other “Drops.” The equipment is state of the art.

More research on the actions of Cistanche PhGs

In the review section of an article in the Journal of Food Analysis, it is stated that the major active components of Cistanche deserticola, PhGs, have been reported to have cardioactive, hepatocyte protective, antioxidant, antibacterial, and neuroprotective activities.

Here are some of the established functions of the main PhGs in Cistanche deserticola (Desert Cistanche) mentioned in the review:

  • Cistanoside A exhibits an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Cistanoside C possesses DNA-repair effects.
  • 2’-acetylacteoside exhibits antioxidant, DNA-repair and neuroprotective effects.
  • Isoacteoside possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vaso-relaxant activities.
  • Acteoside exhibits both estrogenic and anti-estrogenic effects, probably acting as a regulator. Acteoside also exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities.
  • Isocistanoside C has antioxidant activity.
  • Echinacoside exhibits anti-inflammatory effect and enhances wound healing.
  • Tubuloside B has a neuroprotective effect.

Ron and Yanlin Teeguarden inspect the production tanks at the production facility. The facility is extremely clean and modern.


Cistanche deserticola is not endangered but it is a “monitored botanical,” meaning that its collection and exportation in and out of China or region of growth as a raw material is strictly limited and governed by International CITES regulations. Although Cistanche is very popular in China and other Asian countries, and the superior grade Cistanche is coveted in the more affluent Chinese market, it is NOT over-collection that has caused any shortages of the herb. Cistanche is a parasitic herb that grows on another plant, a desert shrub called Saxaul. The stems and branches of Saxaul are heavily relied upon by natives of the desert as a superior fuel wood. As a result, Saxaul has been over-collected, restricting Cistanche availability. The government is trying to provide alternative forms of fuel to the natives of the regions where it grows to mitigate use of Saxaul and thus to allow the Cistanche population to expand again. Dragon Herbs complies with all CITES regulations and is committed to sustainable practices. Furthermore, Dragon Herbs limits the production of Desert Cistanche Drops to a relatively small quantity (far below potential demand), to protect sustainability of this great natural herb.

Production and potency

For Desert Cistanche, alcohol extraction is considered to be superior to simple water extraction, although both alcohol and water extraction have been traditionally practiced. Desert Cistanche Drops is fully extracted with BOTH alcohol and water to maximize extraction of ALL active constituents. The extract is concentrated to optimal potency in a GMP certified facility, meeting Ron Teeguarden’s strictest standards of excellence.

More images of the Dragon Drops production facility, one of Dragon Herbs four major production bases in China.

Our Unique Pricing for This Product

We are very fortunate to have a direct source for this wild Cistanche from the desert in the long shadow of Heaven Mountain, the growing base of Heaven Mountain Goji, and an ancient Di Tao (authentic) source of Desert Cistanche. There are no "middle men," and as a result we can pass the product on to our customers at a very low price. This same Desert Cistanche extract would be double the price at retail even in China, and even more in Korea or Japan. We are happy that we can be of service to you, our loyal customers, and to our dedicated collectors and suppliers. We are very blessed to have this extraordinary win-win situation.