The Amazing Benefits of Cistanche Tubulosa: An Innovative Nootropic

Updated May 24, 2024 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci
(Estimated reading time: 5 minutes)

The benefits of Cistanche tubulosa are undeniable, and its effects on the brain can be truly remarkable.

From increased memory to improved focus, this plant has been shown in studies to offer a wide range of cognitive benefits.

In this article, we will explore some of the most significant advantages that come from taking Cistanche tubulosa as a Nootropic.

So without further ado, let's just get straight into it, shall we?

First things first, what is Cistanche tubulosa?

Cistanche tubulosa is a parasitic plant that grows in the deserts of China, Mongolia, and Siberia.

It is an adaptogen due to its ability to increase resistance against stressors such as environmental factors or infections by fungi, bacteria, or viruses.

This herb has been used for centuries as both food and medicine throughout these regions.

Cistanche tubulosa extract (CTE) is a commonly utilized medicinal in the treatment of leucorrhea, profuse metrorrhagia, end-stage renal disease, constipation, impotence, and infertility.

Cistanche tubulosa is made up of chemical components that include:

  • Non-volatile phenylethanoid glycosides (PHGs)
  • Iridoids
  • Lignans
  • Volatile oils
  • Alditols
  • Oligosaccharides, and polysaccharides

Echinacoside, a component found in this herb, has been shown to protect damaged fibroblasts by lowering ROS levels.

ROS levels, which means Reactive Oxygen Species, are molecules that contain an unpaired electron in the outer shell.

These unpaired electrons make ROS highly unstable and reactive.

ROS damages cells via oxidative stress which leads to cell death, premature aging of tissues or organs, cancerous growths and even diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Cistanche tubulosa can be utilized to aid in the treatment of this condition.

It contains antioxidant, vasorelaxation, and anti-inflammatory properties in addition to neuroprotection and osteoporosis prevention.

Cistanche tubulosa extract works as an adaptogenic

Cistanche tubulosa extract also has an adaptogenic effect which increases the body's resistance to physical and mental stress.

Adaptogens work to counteract the effects of stress in the body.

Extreme stress can result in serious physical changes, such as damaging the neurological, endocrine, and immune systems.

Adaptogens have stimulant effects that help to offset the negative consequences of this.

Studies have shown that CTE improves the general condition of animals suffering from chronic fatigue, cold exposure, and aging by reducing oxidative damage in organs such as the liver, heart, and brain tissues.

CTE is also able to increase the lifespan of mammals, and it has been used to decrease fatigue in athletes.

What are the benefits?

When it comes to the benefits of Cistanche tubulosa, this herb's abilities to increase memory and focus are truly remarkable.

One particular study showed that a dose-dependent improvement in short-term working memory was noted after taking a Cistanche tubulosa extract.

Another study also concluded that there were significant improvements in attention, executive function, and processing speed in participants after taking Cistanche tubulosa extract.

An amazing benefit of this herb is its ability to improve memory recall which can be helpful for those suffering from Alzheimer's disease or other conditions that cause memory loss.

Cistanche tubulosa appears to exert positive effects on neuronal regeneration by promoting neurite growth in primary neurons.

A study conducted on mice showed that Cistanche tubulosa extract improved cognitive function and reduced neuronal damage following ischemic injury.

Cistanche has also been shown to enhance immune function and reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines.

What are the side effects?

People who take Cistanche tubulosa extract do not typically experience any side effects.

However, since this herb can have a stimulant effect in the body similar to caffeine, it may cause insomnia or restlessness for those who are sensitive to these types of herbs if taken too late in the day.

Cistanche has been shown to be safe even in high doses when used for short periods of time.

For those people who do experience insomnia from taking Cistanche tubulosa extract, they can take it earlier in the day as opposed to later.

What to look out for in a Cistanche tubulosa supplement?

Make sure that the product you buy is free from fillers, additives, and binders like magnesium stearate which has been shown to block nutrient absorption by the body.

Look for an organic Cistanche tubulosa supplement that uses minimal processing to retain the natural phytochemicals found in this herb.

Check for a standardized extract to ensure that you get the right dosage.

Also, check into whether or not your supplement uses alcohol in its extraction process as this can damage beneficial compounds found within Cistanche tubulosa.

What is the best dosage?

The recommended dose of Cistanche tubulosa extract is 200-400 mg taken once a day.

If you're just starting out with Cistanche tubulosa, it's best to start with a lower dose in order to gauge your tolerance.

I would even suggest going lower than 200 mg if you are sensitive to stimulants, splitting the dosage into two doses before gradually increasing it.

I would take 100 mg in the morning and then 100 mg at around noon.

You can always increase the dosage if needed later on by taking more than one pill per day.

What I like about Cistanche tubulosa extract

I have only experimented with Cistanche tubulosa extract for a very short period of time but I have already noticed its effects on my mood, focus, and cognition.

I take 200 mg once a day and first thing in the morning.

When I take Cistanche tubulosa, it has a great effect on my mood and I feel more in the zone throughout the day which makes me more productive at work.

Now keep in mind that I also take L-theanine and caffeine, so it's hard for me to say that Cistanche tubulosa has these effects on me by itself.

That being said, I have definitely noticed that when I go to make a mental note of something important during my day, I am able to recall it way more easily.

I can't say that I am experiencing any side effects with this herb but at the same time, my goal is not for Cistanche tubulosa extract to be a long-term supplement in my regimen.

My reason for experimenting with extracts of herbs like these is because they are very potent and can be effective for short periods of time.

I plan on cycling Cistanche tubulosa with other nootropics so that I can get the most out of them without building up a tolerance or experiencing side effects over an extended period of time.

If I find a 'magic combination/stack' I will make sure to keep you updated here.


What is Cistanche tubulosa good for?

Cistanche tubulosa has long been used for increasing immunity, sexual health, antioxidant activity, and neuroprotection.

What is Cistanche Tubulosa Extract (CTE)?

Cistanche tubulosa is a parasitic plant with the ability to improve memory, immunity, and sexual performance, as well as cure impotence and constipation.

Does Cistanche Tubulosa Extract increase testosterone?

Echinacoside from Cistanche tubulosa, and Cistanche tubulosa itself, have been found to substantially boost testosterone synthesis in studies, owing to increased expression of key steroidogenic enzymes.