The New Miracle Tea: Cistus Incanus Even More Benefits Than Green Tea

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While in Europe this year I came across Cistus Incanus and what I will tell you about this amazing healing tea will blow you away!

I was sitting in a cafe with my relative who had been struggling with Lyme disease for over a year now.  I was hoping to hear some good news,  that’s when I heard Cistus Incanus flow off her tongue like some magical spell.

 “Cistus Incanus?  I have never heard of such a thing.”  She has been drinking Cistus tea for a few months now and told me she has finally been feeling good. For the first time she had been free of Lyme disease symptoms which were ruining her life.

I was very intrigued by this Cistus Incanus.  Being free of Lyme disease symptoms was quite a statement for her to make. During the rest of my trip Cistus incanus was showing up all over the place, I even noticed Cistus incanus tea at the local grocery store.  This is when I realized this is quite a popular tea in Europe and I’m craving to know more!

The Cistus Incanus Flower is beautiful magenta.

What is Cistus Incanus?

Cistus incanus is an evergreen shrub with grey-green leaves and beautiful pink-purple flowers that can be found growing mostly in the dry arid Mediterranean region.  Cistus incanus is a hybrid between Cistus albidus and Cistus crispus[1].  Cistus is also a genus of flowering plants in the rockrose family.

Plants growing in the Mediterranean-type ecosystems endure multiple stressors and harsh conditions– such as water deficiency, high solar irradiance, and high temperatures[2][3]. These Mediterranean plants have high levels of polyphenols to protect them against these stressors[4].  In return, it’s the  polyphenols in these resilient plants that contain the antioxidants that ultimately improve our health.         

It Has Been Used In Ancient Times For Medicinal Purposes

Cistus is not a new discovery, it is a plant which has a long tradition in the history of folk remedies and been used in ancient times for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes.  Some of the documented uses included – boosting the immune system, wound healing, mouthwash, and even as beautifying facial toner.

Cistus Incanus Has More Benefits Than Green Tea

Cistus incanus is known for it’s ridiculously high levels of antioxidants and polyphenolic compounds. Plant-derived polyphenols have been shown to be strong antioxidants with potential health benefits who have antiviral and antibacterial potential.  Through studies it has shown promising evidence against the influenza virus without exhibiting toxic effects.[5]

Significant results supporting the use of this plant were found in a clinical study consisting of 300 patients with upper respiratory infections. Part of the group was treated with Cistus incanus  and another group with green tea over a period of time. It was found that those patients treated with Cistus Incanus had significantly less respiratory infection symptoms than those patients treated with green tea.[6]

Another study which included 160 patients with the common cold found that symptoms also decreased significantly over the course of treatment with Cistus incanus, whereas treatment with placebo resulted in a less distinct decrease of symptoms.[7]



Benefits of Cistus Incanus

  • May help with symptoms of Lyme disease
  • Slows the aging process due to antioxidant activity
  • Helps with urinary tract infections
  • Antiviral activity against viruses that cause life-threatening diseases[8]
  • Inhibits HIV infections,  Ebola, and Marburg virus 8
  • Protects DNA[9]
  • Has antibacterial properties, prevents Streptococcus mutans[10]
  • Promotes dental health 10
  • Has antioxidant properties and eliminates free radicals[11]
  • Reduces the symptoms of the common cold and upper respiratory infections 7
  • Anti influenza virus activity 5
  • Antifungal properties[12]
  • Demonstrates potent anti-inflammatory activity[13]


What is the best Brand of Cistus Incanus to Buy?

I have had best results with the BioPure brand.  In a recent 2020 study published in the Journal of Frontiers in Medicine. The researchers used the BioPure brand of Cistus incanus and found it to be be highly active against Borrelia (14).

I like that the BioPure brand is organic and it is very potent so I know I am getting the real leaves.   This brand also has no additives of any kind, no animal products, no heavy metals, no pesticides, and no chemical preservatives.  Click on the link below to order this tea directly from Amazon.

Because the BioPure tincture is pricey since it is clinical study grade, here is another suggestion.


Is Rock Rose the Same as Cistus Incanus?

The name Cistus incanus and rock rose has been used interchangeably by other authors in a different sense, and there is still some confusion between them because there are so many similar species. Rock rose has also been used as a catch all phrase for the genus Cistus, but it doesn’t mean it’s the same species as Cistus incanus.

If you are purchasing this plant and you want to make sure you are getting this exact plant in order to get the true benefits. Look for Cistus incanus in the ingredients not just Cistus.  The Cistus incanus plant is also know as CYSTUS052.   If you are not sure, I provided a link below the my favorite cystus tea that has been giving me the best health results. If the one below is sold out, I am providing great Cistus brand.

Also check out the & Surprising Benefits of Ginger tea!

One Last Note

Although Cistus Incanus has been proven for it’s  health benefits, it is a powerful medicinal  herb!  I don’t recommend using any herb, spice, or supplement for long term use or in large quantities.  I drink Cistus Incanus tea for short periods of time and occasionally only.  Most importantly, before using any new herb you should always check with your primary care provider, pharmacist, and herbalist if it’s safe for you.

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read my affiliate policy.


[1] Guzmán, B. & Vargas, P. (2005), “Systematics, character evolution, and biogeography of Cistus L. (Cistaceae) based on ITS, trnL-trnF, and matK sequences”, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 37: 644–660, PMID 16055353, doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2005.04.026, p. 646

[2]  Energy dissipation in drought-avoiding and drought-tolerant tree species at midday during the Mediterranean summer.Martínez-Ferri E, Balaguer L, Valladares F, Chico JM, Manrique E Tree Physiol. 2000 Jan; 20(2):131-138.

[3] Di Ferdinando M., Brunetti C., Agati G., Tattini M. Multiple functions of polyphenols in plants inhabiting unfavorable Mediterranean areas. Environ. Exp. Bot. 2014;103:107–116. doi: 10.1016/j.envexpbot.2013.09.012.

[4] Energy dissipation and radical scavenging by the plant phenylpropanoid pathway. Grace SC, Logan BA Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2000 Oct 29; 355(1402):1499-510.

[5]  A polyphenol rich plant extract, CYSTUS052, exerts anti influenza virus activity in cell culture without toxic side effects or the tendency to induce viral resistance.  Christina Ehrhardt, Eike R. Hrincius, Virginia Korte, Igor Mazur, Karoline Droebner, Anne Poetter, Stephan Dreschers, Mirko Schmolke, Oliver Planz, Stephan Ludwig  Antiviral Res. 2007 Oct; 76(1): 38–47. Published online 2007 Jun 4. doi: 10.1016

[6] Effect of CYSTUS052 and green tea on subjective symptoms in patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. Ulrich Kalus, Holger Kiesewetter, Hartmut Radtke

[7] Cistus incanus (CYSTUS052) for treating patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical study.  Ulrich Kalus, Alexandre Grigorov, Oliver Kadecki, Jan-Peter Jansen, Holger Kiesewetter, Hartmut Radtke  Antiviral Res. 2009 Dec; 84(3): 267–271. Published online 2009 Oct 12. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.10.001

[8]  Rebensburg, Stephanie et al. “Potent in Vitro Antiviral Activity of Cistus Incanus Extract against HIV and Filoviruses Targets Viral Envelope Proteins.” Scientific Reports 6 (2016): 20394. PMC. Web. 25 Aug. 2017.

[9] Attaguile, G & Russo, A & Campisi, Agata & Savoca, F & Acquaviva, Rosaria & Ragusa, N & Vanella, Angelo. (2000). Antioxidant activity and protective effect on DNA cleavage of extracts from Cistus incanus L. and Cistus monspeliensis L. Cell biology and toxicology. 16. 83-90. 10.1023

[10] The Polyphenolic Composition of Cistus incanus Herbal Tea and Its Antibacterial and Anti-adherent Activity against Streptococcus mutans. Gesche Wittpahl, Isabelle Kölling-Speer, Sabine Basche, Eva Herrmann, Matthias Hannig, Karl Speer, Christian Hannig Planta Med. 2015 Dec; 81(18): 1727–1735. Published online 2015 Aug 20. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1557822        

[11] Gori, Antonella et al. “Characterisation and Antioxidant Activity of Crude Extract and Polyphenolic Rich Fractions from C. Incanus Leaves.” Ed. David Arráez-Román. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 17.8 (2016): 1344. PMC. Web. 25 Aug. 2017.

[12] Antibacterial and antifungal activities of Cistus incanus and C. monspeliensis leaf extracts.  H. Bouamama, J. Villard, A. Benharref, M. Jana Therapie. 1999 Nov-Dec; 54(6): 731–733.

[13] Mansoor KA, Matalka KZ, Qa’dan FS, Awad R, Schmidt M. Two new proanthocyanidin trimers isolated from Cistus incanus L. demonstrate potent anti-inflammatory activity and selectivity to cyclooxygenase isoenzymes inhibition. Nat Prod Res. 2016;30(17):1919-26.

14. Feng, J., Leone, J., Schweig, S., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity Against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. burgdorferi. Frontiers in medicine, 7, 6.

Blog Comments

Great post about cistus incanus!
The best quality you can find here:

Thank You!

Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blog thus i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my website!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

Loving the info on this site, you have done great job on the blog posts.

Thank you so much Kathey!

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From my experience I noticed that Cistus tea helps me recover from fever but I didn’t know it has so many other health benefits. Maybe it is time to start drinking it daily not just when I get sick.

P.S Very well researched article, I like the fact that you actually show all the references so one can go and look up more information. Keep up the good work and I’m signing up for your newsletter.

Thank you so much for your kind words about my article! I am happy to hear that Cistus has helped you recover from fever, I was not aware of this myself. I do drink Cistus when I am sick and I think it helps me a lot. A also drink it a few times a week on a regular basis. Good luck and stay well!

I’ve been researching cistus incanus both for use during colds and flus and for heart-healthiness. I have aFib, which I’m finding out is a bit of a moving target when it comes to management of it. I found this research article quite interesting: I’ve been looking for people like you and Lindsay Christenson( who have bona fide degrees in relevant fields who are writing informative, well researched articles. Thank you so much for your care in research and writing! Now, if only I could find a doctor or pharmacist who was willing to say it’s safe or not safe for me to drink this tea while taking the meds I need to take for my aFib! And the journey continues for me….

Hi Linda, Thank you so much for your great input! I also found the article you mentioned very interesting and encouraging. I really hope that they have more research on this herb in the new future, as it seems to be very promising so far. I hope you find a specialist soon that is knowledgeable enough to make recommendations for you. Wishing you all the best on your journey 🙂

Hi, thanks for your article. I don’t see any links to buy the tincture or tea. Would you please provide them? Thanks!

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