(Cistus L.) The genus Cistus L. includes shrubs or subshrubs belonging to the family Cistaceae. Cistus originates from the Mediterranean region and West Asia.
It is also referred to as rockrose, or ‘grey cistus’ in Polish nomenclature.
Cistus is a small shrub with delicate flowers and a wonderful fragrance.
Cistus is an evergreen shrub that grows to 1 metre in height. When it blooms, it develops its delicate pink flowers with five petals, the beauty of which can be admired for only one day. Cistus, as its name suggests, has a pleasant, fresh, and resinous fragrance.
What secrets hide inside cistus?
Cistus is a rich source of polyphenols, that is, substances that neutralize free radicals (called antioxidants). Due to them, cistus protects cells from damage, and strengthens the body, thereby stimulating the proper functioning of the immune system. Polyphenols contained in the herb of cistus also promote many other processes in the body. They prevent inflammation, stimulate the metabolism, enhance blood vessels and energise. Apart from polyphenols, cistus also contains flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, catechins and many other valuable bioactive compounds.
Cistus, due to its long history of use, has attracted particular attention of many contemporary researchers, and it appeared in hundreds of scientific papers.
Cistus is particularly recommended as a means of increasing the body’s immunity and in states of poor health as a strengthening remedy. Due to the wealth of antioxidants that cistus contains, it effectively neutralises free radicals, slowing down the ageing processes in the body, and supports the cleansing of the body.
Cistus has also gained recognition in cosmetology – what can it do?
Extract of cistus exhibits astringent, anti-wrinkle, firming and tightening properties for the skin. Flavonoids and anthocyanins that cistus contains protect the body from free radicals and slow down cell damage processes, helping the skin retain its young appearance. Infusions of cistus are also used as skin cleansing agents and to alleviate eczema, acne and psoriasis. When used externally, they are also useful as an anti-dandruff remedy.
In legends, cistus is considered a gift from the gods.
It is said that ancient Greek gods and goddesses fought for the qualities that cistus should possess. The gods wanted it to help heal wounds incurred during battles, while the goddesses insisted that it should help preserve beauty. As a result of a compromise, cistus was given both wound-healing and beauty-preserving properties. It is not surprising, therefore, that it was given the name ‘Beautiful Healer’.