Cistus Tea: Health Benefits of Cistus Incanus (Rock Rose)

Cistus incanus tea / Cistus tea / Rock Rose tea (

Cistus incanus is known for helping the body deal with retro-viruses and ward off mosquitoes and ticks.

An Old Friend Is in the News Again

Have you heard about Cistus tea? The Cistus incanus plant was the European Plant of the Year in 1999. It made headlines for its many health benefits. In 2010, Cistus tea made news again, this time for reducing the likelihood that regular drinkers would be bitten by mosquitoes and ticks.

Cistus is making waves in the healthy tea circles again this year, this time for its benefits in helping the body deal with retro-viruses. You’ll want to learn more about this fantastic Mediterranean plant and the equally fantastic tea you can make from it. Below, I’ll share some information about where this plant is sourced and why it’s so amazing.

What Is Cistus Incanus?

Cistus Incanus is an evergreen dwarf shrub herb in the family Cistaceae. It’s native to the arid Mediterranean region. The plant reaches one to three feet in height. The grey-green leaves are ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, measuring 1/2 to 1 inch long. The branches and sometimes the leaves are hairy and sticky. The flowers have five petals, which are are pink to purple and bloom for only one day.

Cistus Incanus Key Characteristics

Plants growing in the Mediterranean ecosystems endure multiple stressors and harsh conditions, such as drought, high sun exposure, and high temperatures. Mediterranean plants produce high levels of polyphenols to protect them against these stressors. Cistus incanus has the highest polyphenol content of any plant in Europe.

Cistus has also developed a symbiotic relationship with a root fungi. The fungi complements the root system in its task of absorbing water and minerals from the soil, thus allowing the host plant to dwell on particularly poor soils. It also helps Cistus fight off other fungi.

Cistus incanus is a source of polyphenols, proanthocyanadins, bioflavonoids, catechins, gallic acid, rutin, and other beneficial bioactive compounds. It makes a a pleasant tasting loose tea with a mild, floral-like flavor.

Cistus Traditional Uses

The traditional use of Cistus reaches back millennia. The Book of Genesis references the resin of cistus plants. Ancient traditional uses include treating colds, coughs, menstrual problems, and rheumatism. Cistus was used in ancient Greece as a wound healer and as a beauty product. In Moroccan traditional medicine, Cistus tea has long been used to maintain a healthy mouth and throat. In traditional herbal medicine, the leaves of Cistus have also been used to treat skin and inflammatory diseases.

Cistus Incanus Therapeutic Uses

Recent scientific research has confirmed the validity of this traditional herbal knowledge. Studies have shown that Cistus leaf extracts have powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and biofilm-breaking qualities. Cistus has shown anti-fungal activity against Candida albicansCandida kruseiCandida glabrata, and Aspergillus fumigatus.

Drink Cistus tea daily (about 2 cups a day) for at least a week in order to realize its biting insect-repellent effects.

Cistus incanus herb is rich in bioflavonoids and polyphenols. Tea made from this herb ameliorates cold and flu symptoms in about 2 days after drinking the first cup.

In Europe, Cistus is widely used to fight germs, viruses, and fungi. It’s used externally to cleanse the skin and ameliorates eczema, acne, and psoriasis. You can create your very own herbal version of a powerful antidandruff shampoo by using a large batch of tea to wash your hair.

Cistus tea works well for oral cavity hygiene as well. You can use this tea as a mouthwash. The biofilm-busting activities of Cistus significantly reduce oral bacteria and leave your mouth feeling clean.

Interestingly, recent studies suggest that Cistus extract targets viral envelope proteins, preventing the primary attachment of the virus to host cells. This reduces the virulence and reproductive ability of the pathogen. Cistus may have even more verified uses in the future.

Where to Buy Cistus Tea

Not surprisingly, Cistus incanus tea has been the talk of the town. It may offer the outdoor protection from mosquitoes and ticks that many have been seeking. Some people have had trouble identifying a reputable, reliable source of the tea. Linden Botanicals currently has Cistus tea stock. Our Cistus is cut and prepared to ensure the highest quality and most available polyphenol content. Our Cistus tea offers more phytonutrients and potency than the whole leaf cuts many other suppliers sell.

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