Cistanche salsa

Botanical Name:Cistanche salsa
Family: Orobanchaceae
Genus: Cistanche
Order: Lamiales
Species: Cistanche salsa

Common Name: Broomrape

Habitat : Grows in Samarian desert, Judean desert and Dead Sea valley, Negev hills and Eilat, Aravah, Valley

Description:

Cistanche is a worldwide genus of holoparasitic desert plants in the family Orobanchaceae. They lack chlorophyll and obtain nutrients and water from the host plants whose roots they parasitize…..CLICK  &  SEE  THE  PICTURES

Growing in arid climates, cistanche is a parasitic plant that connects to the conductive system of a host, extracting water and nutrients from the roots of the host plant. Cistanche is native to the Taklimakan desert region of in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region northwest China where it grows on host desert plants tamarix and haloxylon ammodendron.

Cistanche salsa is a parasite on the roots of Kalidium (CLIVK & SEE ) as well as on species of Halostachys, Halocnermum, or Salicornia. The stubby rhizome of Cistanche is attached to the fine roots of the host plants (CLICK & SEE). The stems of cistanche are sliced to produce the pharmacy materials (CLICK & SEE).

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Medicinal Uses:

Along with other members of the genus, Cistanche deserticola is the primary source of the Chinese herbal medicine cistanche (Chinese:, pinyin ròuc?ngróng). The main sources of cistanche are Cistanche salsa and Cistanche deserticola, although it may also be obtained from Cistanche tubulosa, Cistanche sinensis, and Cistanche ambigua. The drug, known in Chinese as suosuo dayun, is collected in spring before sprouting, by slicing the stems of the plant. Cistanche deserticola has been placed on CITES Appendix 2, a list of endangered species not banned from trade but requiring monitoring. With increased consumption of cistanche, the population of the species has decreased and its area of distribution has shrunk. Aside from over-collection or indiscriminate collection, an important factor in the diminished supply of cistanche is a loss of the saxaul host, Haloxylon ammodendron, which is widely used for firewood.

Cistanche has been used as a medicine for about 1800 years and is recorded in the Shennong Bencao Jing and Bencao Gangmu as a tonic. Most of the medicinal claims have never been evaluated through clinical testing, and those claims that have been examined under controlled medical study are not supported.
This herb has long been renowned in China as a potent sexual tonic for both men and women. Yang Kui-gei (Precious Concubine), the pampered and notoriously seductive consort to the elegant Tang dynasty emperor Ming Huang, is said to have used this herb daily as a sexual tonic.  Most women use it primarily to promote healthy ovulation and enhance fertility, while men enjoy it mainly to strengthen their sexual organs and increase sexual vitality.  It is particularly recommended as a cure and preventive for excess loss of semen due to involuntary ejaculation, a condition that Chinese physicians regard as a grave threat to male health and longevity.  Ancient Chinese almanacs sometimes refer to it as the Magic Medicine of Eternal Youth and Immortality.

The stems of cistanche are sliced to produce the pharmacy materials. Modern use of cistanche in Chinese herbalism is to treat yang deficiency that contributes to fertility problems (including impotence and female infertility) and reproductive system disorders such as profuse menstrual bleeding or leukorrhea. Additionally, it is used for coldness of the lower back and legs that leads to pain (e.g., lumbago) or weakness (e.g., muscle flaccidity). As a secondary property, cistanche is a mild laxative for dry stool.
The fleshy stem is prepared for medicine by cleaning it and then soaking it in wine, after which the central fingers are removed.  It is then salted and dried in the sun.

Cistanche is salty. 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 essence qi. In females, it makes pregnancy possible and treats concretions and conglomerations. Protracted taking may make the body light.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Cistanche_salsa
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_AB.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cistanche
http://www.wildflowers.co.il/english/plant.asp?ID=618

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/cistanche.htm

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