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The Cistanche species ("Rou Cong Rong" in Chinese) is an endangered wild species growing in arid or semi-arid areas. The dried fleshy stem of Cistanches has been used as a tonic in China for many years. Modern pharmacological studies have since demonstrated that Herba Cistanches possesses broad medicinal functions, especially for use in anti-senescence, anti-oxidation, neuroprotection, anti-inflammation, hepatoprotection, immunomodulation, anti-neoplastic, anti-osteoporosis and the promotion of bone formation. This review summarizes the up-to-date and comprehensive information on Herba Cistanches covering the aspects of the botany, traditional uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology, to lay ground for fully elucidating the potential mechanisms of Herba Cistanches' anti-aging effect and promote its clinical application as an anti-aging herbal medicine.
PMID: 29344414 [PubMed]