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Cistus creticus has the highest polyphenols concentration than any plant in Europe

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Άνθη αλαδανιάς, Σίσες Ρέθυμνο. 2019 © Μάγδα Τερζίδου

Cistus or labdanum or incanus or villosus named Cistus creticus has most of the therapeutic, medicinal and cosmetic properties of all the species that belong to the family of Cistus and is found […] in large quantities mainly in Crete [from which it took also its name creticus] but also in other parts of Greece, from the low seas up to 1000 meters altitude.

Cistus, the wild rose of the rocks, has the highest polyphenols concentration than any plant in Europe.

In Greece, the genus Cistus is native to 5 species. These are Cistus creticus (or incanus or villosus), Cistus parviflorus, Cistus monspeliensis, Cistus salviifolius and the rare Cistus laurifolius.

Cistus creticus mainly protects the heart, detoxifies and acts as an antiviral

  • Cistus is a powerful antioxidant (anti-viral), tonic and digestive reliever, expectorant, anti-arthritic, analgesic, anticonvulsant, expectorant, soothing herb and is used also since ancient times to heal insomnia, stomach & intestinal problems.
  • The flowers and leaves of cistus contain a balsamic resinous fragrance, the lavender. The resin contains organic compounds called lentil diterpenes, which according to studies have antimicrobial and cytostatic activity (that is, they prevent cell proliferation and eventually prevent the formation of tumors).

Cistus creticus plant, Sisses village, Rethymnon. 2019 Crete © Magda Terzidou


  • The leaves of cistus have the highest content of polyphenols than any other plant in Europe, with amazing properties for protection from free radical damage and high antioxidant activity. The Lefo Institute in Ahrensburg, Germany, has come to the following conclusions after trials and studies with Cistus creticus: Cistus is three times more antioxidant than green tea.
  • It protects the heart four times better than red wine and is more antioxidant twenty times than fresh lemon juice.
  • The herbal extract of cistus contains an extremely effective combination of antioxidants: a glass of concentrated tea has the same effect as a daily dose of Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid).
  • It detoxifies the body and eliminates toxic heavy metals derived from cigarette smoke, dental seals and environmental pollution, according to Professor Claus Peter Siegers.
  • It helps in many fungal infections. It fights many harmful microorganisms such as coliform and helicobacter and other inflammations as well as provides relief to the digestive system.
  • The most striking fact is that its extract has a very potent antiviral effect on avian and avian viruses (H1N1 & H7N7).
  • It reduces blood lipid oxidation, raises levels of “good” cholesterol, and reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol, which is responsible for the development of atherosclerotic plaques that cause coronary heart disease. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory action, it reduces the chance of blood clots.
  • It significantly reduces oxidative damage to tissues, which can enhance the human body’s resistance to cancer.

It is worth mentioning that experiments are being carried out on anti-tumor properties with active plant substances in the laboratory. It is a healthy herb that in the form of a drink offers the body its beneficial benefits. Use the green leaves of the lavender as it focuses on its beneficial effect.

Its benefits to the skin and its cosmetic action

Cistus creticus is particularly capable of destroying the free radicals that cause oxidation in the body and are a key factor in the premature aging of the skin.

Tests by Professor G. Wiese have shown that thanks to Cistus the appearance of the skin improved in 61 of 95 patients with neurodermatitis, which was previously treated with no success. The secret to these amazing effects of Cistus is bioflavinoids.

Its extract also has excellent performance in skin diseases, itching, allergies, irritated skin, hemorrhoids. Treats cuts, sores and acne, slows aging, stimulates and aids cracked skin as well as tightens skin pores.

The essential cistus oil and the floral water of Cistus are used in cosmetics, perfumery, confectionery, cooking, soap making. It is an essential ingredient in regenerating, anti-aging and anti-wrinkle face creams.

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article's photo: Cistus creticus flowers, Sisses village, Rethymnon. 2019 Crete © Magda Terzidou