There’s lots of debate about the best Cistus brewing method. Decide which method is right for you.
Cistus incanus Tea for Good Health
By now, you’re either a fan of Cistus incanus tea or you’ve at least heard of it and are curious about it. For one thing, regular Cistus tea drinkers may suffer fewer mosquito and tick bites (it’s a natural alternative to DEET). For another, it’s rich in bioflavonoids and polyphenols and may offer immune support and relief of cold and flu symptoms. Studies show it has powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and biofilm-breaking qualities.
According to the Public Library of Science Journal, it could serve as an alternative natural antibacterial and anti-biofilm component against oral infections. The tea also works well for oral cavity hygiene. We like to use it as a mouth rinse in place of fluoride mouthwash. Its biofilm-busting activities significantly reduce oral bacteria and leave your mouth feeling clean.
Its main active phytoconstituents are flavonoid phenolic compounds, including gallic acid, rutin, and other flavonol glycosides, including quercetin, kam-phe-rol, and mer-ris-i-tin. The diverse profile of phenolic substances provides strong antioxidant and other health benefits.
What Is the “Three-Brew” Cistus Brewing Method?
The traditional advice is to brew Cistus tea three times. Why? Tea-creaming. Tea cream is a precipitate observed in cooled tea. It’s sometimes seen as a rainbow film on the surface of the tea.
Almost any herbal tea is susceptible to tea-creaming. For Cistus, the tea cream precipitate has been found to contain important compounds like quercitrin and gallic acid. If these compounds are left behind in the tea cream, they don’t make it into your body when you drink the tea.
Is the Three-Brew Method Necessary?
The goal of any brew method is to capture the full health benefit of Cistus. It’s best to drink Cistus within 24-36 hours of brewing, so you should make one day’s worth at a time. The three-brew method is time consuming and complicated, especially when you’re doing it every day. Luckily, there’s an easier way.
I’m going to show you a way to prepare Cistus tea so the healthy phytochemicals stay in the tea during the first brew and avoid tea creaming. That way, you can get the optimal benefit in just one brew.
The amount of tea cream is usually a function of (1) temperature, (2) the ratio of water to tea leaves, and (3) the pH of the water. For Cistus, the mineral content of the water is more critical than the pH.
A groundbreaking 2013 study in Food Research International Journal considered the effects of temperature, brewing time, and water mineral level on the total phenolic content of Cistus herbal tea. The study investigated the effects of the mineral content of the water used. Higher mineral content in the water caused up to a 62% decrease in the flavonal glycosides, and some compounds like gallic acid were completely left behind in the tea cream.
The takeaway: Use mineral-free water to make your Cistus incanus tea.
What Is the “One-Brew” Cistus Brewing Method?
Many people like to drink Cistus tea each day. The labor-intensive three-brew method makes it difficult for some people to brew their daily tea. The good news? Cistus brewing doesn’t have to be time consuming.
Put 13 grams of Cistus (about 1/3 cup) in a large 1 liter or 1 quart French press. Boil 1 liter of water (filtered water with no mineral content if possible). Take the water off boil, then wait about 90 seconds. (Flavonoids and other phenolic compounds degrade rapidly at temperatures approaching boiling.)
Pour the water into the French press. The Cistus will float. Press the plunger a bit to submerge the Cistus. Let the tea steep for about 25 minutes. When all of the plant material has sunk to the bottom, press the plunger all the way down. This Cistus brewing method makes about 4 cups of tea. It’s a nice, uncaffeinated tea with a mild, floral flavor. Drink it throughout the day.
Side note: The bag our Cistus arrives in is resealable, waterproof, and light blocking. Store it on a cool shelf. Or you can store it in a covered container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. If you store it in the refrigerator, be sure to stir it before you drink it.
Strive for Health, Not Perfection
Perfection can be the enemy of the good if you want to optimize your health. Continued Cistus brewing is more helpful than brewing a single batch and giving up due to the time and energy the three-brew method takes. If the brewing process is too complicated, many people will simply stop brewing.
Don’t stress over the perfect brew. Relax and drink a good cup of Cistus incanus tea!