Cistus incanus – healing herb for body, mind and soul
The wild Cistus grows spontaneously in the whole Mediterranean area and should not be mistaken with the decorative plants of the Cistus species. The thermophilic and helio-
philous shrub is drawn to the sea. It may reach a height of a metre and emits an aromatic-resinous scent. Essential oils are embedded in its grey haired leaves preventing them from dehydration.
With its five-petalled rosy blossoms Cistus incanus resembles a rosa canina. However, it belongs to the rock rose family.
In Greece, legend has it that once the gods
gathered on Mount Olympus in order to decide
which plants should be assigned certain healing
The Cistus (botanical name Cistus incanus, also
marketed as Cistus) was selected to heal the
wounds of warriors that were injured in the battle.
This was much to the dismay of the godesses. They were convinced that the herb with its tender rosy blossoms was much more suitable for beauty culture – in an interior as well as exterior context. As a result, the Cistus plant was allowed to do both: heal and beautify.
No doubt, the plant was highly coveted in the ancient world. Especially its resin, the so-termed labdanum, was renowned in the whole Mediterranean area for being both a cosmetic and a help with skin and hair issues. At the same time it was appreciated as a remedy for the then threatening plague and other diseases. Above all other things, however, Greek farmers and the monks of the famous monasteries of Mount Athos used the Cistus plant as a medicinal tea to fight various health issues. Learn more about the therapeutic benefit of the Cistus incanus here... 1 and 2
Now that its particular effective powers have been underlined by scientific research Cistus incanus becomes more and more popular, not only within Greece. Measurements taken at the Lefo institute at Ahrensburg have shown that Cistus plants that grew wildly or stem from controlled organic cultivation usually contain more active agents than plants that underwent conventional cultivation. Learn more... about ingredients and tea preparation in this university study.
Cistus incanus is characterized by a resinous harsh taste. Should that sensation be too harsh for your personal liking just mix it with sweettasting herbs to create new and attractive flavours.
Learn more about our Cistus incanus on the following pages.