Cistanche tubulosa Tonics and Elixirs
Ever since I first tried Cistanche tubulosa several years ago I have been hooked. While many Yang tonics can leave people feeling depleted over the long haul, further exacerbating an overstimulated, though burnt out, lifestyle, Cistanche seems to work deeper (but slower) and produces stronger and more dramatic benefits. At RAW Forest Foods, we usually only refer to Cistanche by its Latin botanical name (Cistanche tubulosa), in Mandarin it is known as Rou Cong Rong. Cong Rong literally translates into English as "Unhurried," which speaks to Cistanche's tonic effects. Today, most people--especially those that are suffering from chronic stimulation--can use a medicine which is "unhurried." Another popular name of Cistanche is "Desert Ginseng," because of its strong tonic and adaptogenic qualities and effects. To learn more about the benefits of Cistanche, please see our newly updated Cistanche tubulosa product page.
In Chinese medicine, unlike in Western herbal traditions, herbs are always used in combination with other herbs. Single herbs are rarely used. While it can be intimidating to concoct your own formulas at home, there is a lot of fun and benefit to be had with this kind of experimentation. I find that Cistanche lends itself particularly well to combinations and formulation, perhaps because it is already such a well balanced herb. Below, we will outline some easy home Cistanche combination and formulas and we will also provide you with some of the clinical and classic Cistanche combinations and formulas.
Easy Home Cistanche Combination and Formulas:
Cistanche tubulosa, Fo-Ti (Ho Shou Wu), and Goji Berry Formula
Ingredients: Cistanche, 1 gram powdered extract; He Shou Wu 1 gram powdered extract, and Goji Berry 10 grams dried berries or 1 gram of powdered extracts.
Directions: Combine powdered exacts and add to warm water, drinking as a tea. Or boil the whole herbs in water, reducing the liquid by 2/3rd, and drink it within one day.
Benefits: invigorating the kidney, strengthen Yang, replenish essence, and enrich blood.
Cistanche and Goji Berry Wine
Making herbs wines used to be a popular method for extracting, preserving, and using medicinal herbs in China, but because of the added work they have largely fallen off the radar of herbalists and other people. At RAW Forest Foods, we find them both beneficial and fun.
Ingredients: Cistanche tubulosa, 10 grams of powdered extract, Goji Berries 50 grams of dried berried or 5 grams of powdered extract, and wine, 17 ounces. Directions: Add powdered extracts to the wine. If using whole herbs or berried, wash the herbs and put them into the wine. Soak for 1 month, filter or strain, drinking the wine in one to two ounce servings.
Benefits: Tonify liver and kidney and nourish essence and blood.
Ingredients: Cistanche, 1 gram of extract and enough honey to combine well.
Directions: Add the powdered extract of Cistanche to the honey, combining it to make a past. Use a teaspoon at a time, after letting it sit for two weeks.
Benefits: relieve dry stool or constipation in the elderly.
Clinical and Classic Cistanche Combinations and Formulas:
Rou Cong Rong Wan
Recipe taken from the Yi Xin Fang (Prescriptions from the Heart of Medicine).
Combine Cistanche with Tu Si Zi (Cuscuta), Xu Duan (Japanese Teasel Root), Du Zhong (Eucommia Bark).
Benefits: treats weakness and sickly men, impotence, and incomplete urination and dribbling.
Jin Gang Wan
Recipe taken from the Zhang Shi Yi Tong (Comprehensive Medicine according to Master Zhang).
Combine Cistanche with Eucommia, Ba Ji Tian (Morinda Root), Zi He Che (Placenta Hominis).
Benefits: cures impotence caused by deficient kidney.
Ren Chang Wan
Recipe taken from Ji Sheng Fang (Life-saving prescriptions).
Cistanche is combines with Chen Xiang (Agarwood) and Ma Zi Ren (hemp seeds).
Benefits: relieve constipation caused by excessive sweating and loss of body fluid.
Ji Chuan Jian
Recipe taken from Jing Yue Quan Shu (Jingyue’s Complete Works).
Cistanche is combined with Dang Gui (Dong Quai), Niu Xi (Achyranthes), Ze Xie (Water Plantain Root).
Benefits: to cure weakness of kidney qi, constipation, abundant clear urine, soreness of waist, and chill in back.
Rou Cong Rong Wan
Recipe taken from Sheng Ji Zong Lu (Complete Record of Holy Benevolence).
Cistanche prepared with wine and made into pills.
Benefits: to treat asthenic diseases in lower energizer, abdominal pain, and no desire to eat or drink.
Rou Cong Rong Wan
Recipe taken from Tai Ping Sheng Hui Fang (Taiping Holy Prescriptions for Universal Relief).
Cistanche is combined with She Chuang Zi (Cnidium Seeds), Yuan Zhi (Senega Root), Wu Wei Zi (Fructus Schisandrae Chinensis), Fu Zi (Aconite).
Benefits: to heal asthenic disease, warm lower jiao, benefit essence, and relieve back and knee pain.
These combinations are provided here without us having used all of them (especially for the classic formulas), so do your own research before trying some of these more advanced formulas--because we cannot speak for the efficacy or safety of them.
For more information about Cistanche tubulosa, including information of the scientific research that has been done on it, please visit our product page for Cistanche tubulosa.