Cistus Tea: Health Benefits of Cistus Incanus Health Benefits

Cistus Tea: Health Benefits of Cistus Incanus (Rock Rose) - Linden Botanicals

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

Cistus Tea: An Old Friend Is in the News Again

Have you heard about Cistus tea? Cistus incanus 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 once again, 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 1-3 feet in height. The grey-green leaves are ovate-lanceolate to elliptic, measuring 1/2 inch to 1 inch long. The branches and sometimes the leaves are hairy and sticky. The flowers have five petals, 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 tea 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 Incanus 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 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 been used to treat skin and inflammatory diseases.

Cistus Tea 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.

Cistus incanus makes a great mosquito repellant and tick repellant. 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 may ameliorate cold and flu symptoms in about 2 days after drinking the first cup. (Read the Cistus FAQ.)

In addition, a 2021 study published in Cardiology Journal suggests that Cistus incanus decreases cardiovascular risk factors including oxidative stress and dyslipidemia. The study’s authors conclude that these cardiovascular benefits support the idea of consuming Cistus incanus tea on a daily basis as an effective dietary component to help decrease cardiovascular risk and prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disorders.

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

Cistus also works well for oral cavity hygiene. You can use it as a mouthwash. Its biofilm-busting activities 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.

Cistus incanus Antimicrobial Properties

According to the CDC, more than 2.8 million people in the U.S. face infections that are resistant to antibiotics, and more than 35,000 people die annually due to antibiotic-resistant infections. It is important for a collaborative approach across all public health sectors, including scientific research on herbs with antimicrobial properties, to help address this public threat.

Cistus incanus tea offers a range of bioactive compounds. Cistus incanus herbal tea with antimicrobial properties may provide valuable support, especially in combination with traditional medicine.

Cistus tea has a broad antimicrobial spectrum, being both anti-fungal and antibacterial. It also has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory agents. In particular, Cistus incanus has a high content and diverse profile of polyphenolic substances with strong antioxidant activity. Polyphenols may act as antioxidants through suppression of reactive oxygen species formation. Reactive oxygen species are involved in pathogenesis of diverse human diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases.

Where to Buy Cistus Tea

Not surprisingly, Cistus incanus tea has grown quite popular in some circles. High-quality, spring-harvested, Mediterranean Cistus is not only in high demand but also in short supply.

Cistus tea 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.

To learn more about Cistus incanus, including the science behind its potential health benefits, read the FAQ. Then start drinking your healthy, Mediterranean Cistus tea!

Read the Cistus FAQ  Buy Cistus Tea Now

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16 thoughts on “Cistus Tea: Health Benefits of Cistus Incanus Health Benefits”

    1. Hi Bonnie thanks for asking.
      Our Cistus grows in the mountains of Crete. There are no pesticides, fertilizers, or supplemental sources of water used in the production of the plants. The land that it grows on has not been previously used for industrial farming. Greece does not offer a certificate or organic designation for wild collected herbs. However, the growth, collection and processing of the Cistus that we offer all conform to the standards for what is generally understood as organic. Learn more about our Cistus incanus (cretius) here: httpss://

  1. Hello! I wanted to know if it can be taken as a tea daily for a prolonged period to time or it has to be taken for short periods? And what about children, can they trink it to benefit from it or is it unsuitable for them? Thnx a lot?

    1. Hi thanks for the questions.

      Cistus Tea is generally considered safe for children and adults. We base our suggested use amounts on a 150lb adult in average
      health. If the child weighs substantially less, consider reducing the amount used. If your child is under 5 years of age
      please check with your pediatrician.

      Used in moderation there should be no issue related to regular use. We have more information on our FAQ page and its links.

    1. Hi Renee, thanks for asking. There generally not known allergic reactions. If you have a history of reaction to any of the phytoconstituents of Cistus, please consult your physician prior to use.

  2. I have bone spurs which causes my ankle to ache, could this tea help reduce swelling and calm the ache?
    I don’t want to take any Advil, etc on a regular basis, would rather use a natural product. I would be buying the extract as it’s ready to go. Thank you, Leslie

    1. Hi Leslie, thanks for reaching out.

      You have asked whether Cistus tea might be helpful for the pain and swelling associated with bonespurs. For inflammation and mild analgesic support we suggest that you look at a combination of Paeonia lacitflora and Phyllanthus niruri. Both of these are available as extracts.

    1. Hi Dawn, great to hear that you are enjoying your Cistus. thanks for asking about a second brew.

      We do not recommend using a second or third brew independently. There is a brew method that involves multiple brews, but this method, called stepped brewing, combines the separate decoctions into a single batch for drinking.

      While your second brew will look and even taste potent, there will be a significant portion of phytochemicals that were fully extracted during the first brew. The subsequent brews will be lacking these constituents. That said, there is nothing wrong with enjoying the second brew for the pleasure of drinking it. It will not be harmful and while missing some consitituents, will still have some beneficial effect.

      In summary, as long as the second brew is not used as a replacement for a fresh brew, go for it.

  3. hello,
    due to cancer history, I have to avoid herbs that are phytoestrogens. does cistus contain plant oestrogen? Thank you

    1. Hi Lexi, thanks for asking. We are not aware of any phytoestrogens in Cistus incanus. However, please check with your integrative medical professional before starting any herbal supplement.

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