Cynomorium Songaricum herb review and research by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

April 5 2014

Cynomorium songaricum is known in China as Suo Yang. It grows at high altitude, mainly in Inner Mongolia and Tibet. In Saudi Arabia, it is called tarthuth. It even grows in parts of the Sahara desert. For a list of herbs used in Chinese medicine, see Chinese Herbs. Cynomorium songaricum is sometimes found in sexual enhancement herbal aphrodisiac blend products. Species of the genus Cynomorium, including C. songaricum and C. coccineum, have a long history of use in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as impotence, premature ejaculation, kidney-yang deficiency, spermatorrhea, colic, and stomach ulcers. In addition, these species are used in health foods, tea, and cosmetics.

Cynomorium songaricum side effects
Blurred vision is a potential side effect from high doses.

Research for menopause
In vitro estrogenic activities of Chinese medicinal plants traditionally used for the management of menopausal symptoms.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005.
The estrogenic activity of 70% EtOH extracts of 32 traditional Chinese medicinal plants, selected according to their reported efficacy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms, was assessed. Among them, 11 (34%) species proved to be active. Polygonum cuspidatum had the highest estrogenic relative potency, followed by Rheumpalmatum, Cassia obtusifolia, Polygonum multiflorum, Epimedium brevicornum, Psoralea corylifolia, Cynomorium songaricum, Belamcanda chinensis, Scutellaria baicalensis, Astragalus membranaceus and Pueraria lobata.

Cancer
Induction of apoptosis in HL-60 cells treated with medicinal herbs.
Am J Chin Med. 2003.
In order to develop a new apoptosis inducer, we screened 22 crude drugs for their apoptosis-inducing activity. It was found that Glycyrrhiza uralensis, Cynomorium songaricum, Eucommia ulmoides, Phellodendron amurense, Cinnamomum cassia and Paeonia lactiflora induced the death of HL-60 cells.

HIV
Inhibitory effects of constituents from Cynomorium songaricum and related triterpene derivatives on HIV-1 protease.
Chem Pharm Bull. 1999.
From CH2Cl2 and MeOH extracts of the stems of Cynomorium songaricum RUPR, ursolic acid and its hydrogen malonate were isolated as inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) protease. Amongst various synthesized dicarboxylic acid hemiesters of related triterpenes, inhibitory activity tended to increase in the order of oxalyl, malonyl, succinyl and glutaryl hemiesters, for triterpenes such as ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and betulinic acid. The most potent inhibition was observed for the glutaryl hemiesters. From the water extract of the stems of Cynomorium  songaricum, flavan-3-ol polymers, consisting of epicatechin as their extender flavan units, were also found to be potent inhibitory principles against HIV-1 protease.

What's in it?
Studies on chemical constituents and pharmacological effects of the stem of Cynomorium songaricum.
Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 1999.
In order to exploit the medicinal resources and provide a scientific evidence for the clinical use and quality of Cynomorium songaricum control, the chemical constituents and pharmacological effects of the stem of the plant were studied. Seven compounds were isolated from the stem of Cynomorium songaricum and identified as beta-sitosterol, palmitic acid, ursloic acid), daucosterol, catechin, naringenin-4'-O-pyranogluoside and succinicyacid.

Two stigmastenol compounds were isolated from the root of Cynomorium songaricum.

Triterpenes and steroidal compounds from cynomorium songaricum
Yao Xue Xue Bao. 1993.
From the whole parasitic plant of Cynomorium songaricum three ursane type triterpenes, three steroidal compounds, palmitic acid and sucrose were isolated. The triterpenes were identified as acetyl ursolic acid, ursolic acid and a new compound, ursa-12-ene-28-oic acid, 3 beta-propanedioic acid monoester. The steroidal compounds were identified as beta-sitosterol palmitate, beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol glucoside (daucosterol).

Questions on products, sexual effect
I take an herbal formula for sexual enhancement that has
cynomorium songaricum along with saw palmetto extract as a prostate health formula, curcumin extract and maca. I was thinking of adding eurycoma but I have heard that this herb is very potent. Also, would this herb interfere with a serrapeptase enzyme pill that I take as an anti-inflammatory?
   
Tongkat ali extract is a potent aphrodisiac, more potent than cynomorium songaricum. The enzyme has had very little research and it is difficult to know how it interacts with other supplements.

I have just received a product that contacts Cynomorium Sognaricum extract. I have not heard of this extract before. And it said it was safe if taken in selected dosages. I would like to know what the dosage would be. The product has it list at 100mg. And also what side effects may it cause.
   I have not seen adequate human trials to know the answers to these questions.