When we decided to start our own business by providing natural products from Greece to all over the world, we were in a dilemma of what products we should provide. Some weeks later, our decision was to invest on high quality products that are grown in Greece and on herbs that are unique. Some of them are, Greek Mountain Tea (Sideritis), Cretan Dittany, Mastic Gum of Chios Island, Saffron from Kozani and more. However, our big disadvantage was that these products are well known in Greece, but not in the rest of the world. So, patience and passion were needed…
Months later, after our shop was growing and more people preferred us as their supplier, we noticed that a not famous Mediterranean herb was sold pretty often. That herb is Rock Rose/Cistus (Cistus creticus). But does this make any sense?
Rock rose grows in dry areas around Mediterranean Sea and it is mostly consumed by Greeks. Although, this herb is used in perfumery and cosmetology for decades. The last years, rock rose is under scientific researches, which have shown that this herb is really beneficial, with numerous properties and effective results.
A natural treasure…
- Protects the Heart and Detoxifies
Today, after its extraordinary healing powers were verified by science, it is not only popular in Greece. The fact is: rock rose tea is three times as healthy as green tea and elderberry juice. It protects the heart four times better than red wine and it is an antioxidant twenty times stronger than freshly pressed lemon juice. This was the result of tests conducted by the Lefo Institute of Ahrensburg. In their study, the researchers compared several teas, juices and wines as to their ability to neutralise so-called free radicals such as environmental pollutants and harmful by-products of the metabolism. Well-known scavengers of free radicals are the vitamins E and C, beta-carotene and plant pigments (flavonoids). If the body has not enough of these antioxidants, the toxic substances can freely develop. They are responsible for premature ageing and a multitude of various diseases.
However, rock rose is able to do much more. Prof. Claus Peter Siegers of the University in Lubeck proves that rock rose detoxifies the body and eliminates toxic heavy metals deriving from the smoke of cigarettes, dental fillings and environmental pollution. In Sieger’s study, smokers drank only 50 millilitres of rock rose decoction twice a day. The rock rose concentrate is comparable to a strong extraction of tea (see information box below). After four weeks, at the end of the examination, the cadmium level in participants’ blood was significantly lower than before.
- Stronger than Vitamin E and C
The fact that rock rose is also beneficial for the immune system was discovered in laboratory tests by Dr. Vinzenz Nowak from Bad Iburg. Already a cup of tea a day is supposed to stimulate the immune system significantly (see box below). Further, Dr. Frank Petereit stated in his dissertation at the University of Munster that rock rose helps with a lot of fungal infections like the dangerous intestinal and vaginal mycosis, Candida albicans. Also, other harmful microorganisms such as coliform bacteria and helicobacter, the latter of which causes gastritis, are controlled by rock rose. That is very important for our time because stress and increasing strain through environmental pollutants destabilise the sensitive balance of useful bacteria in the intestine very fast. Symptoms are slow digestion, itching, weariness and lack of energy. Rock rose tea improves all this and supports a healthy bacterial flora. Petereit also discovered that rock rose relieves various forms of inflammations. If a litre of the tea is drunk, typical symptoms in the blood will significantly decrease. The effect in case of inflammations of the gums is obvious; just rinse out your mouth several times daily with the tea for several minutes and, additionally, drink two or three cups of it.
What is even more spectacular is that concentrated rock rose decoction has a very strong antiviral effect on influenza viruses and even on bird flu viruses (H7N7 was examined). This was discovered by biologists of the “Institut für Molekulare Virologie“ (”Institute of Molecular Virology”) in Münster. Professor Stefan Ludwig of the University Hospital in Münster points out that the best thing is that the tea does not damage the bodily cells affected by the virus. Contrary to treatments with antibiotics, the viruses do not develop any signs of resistance.
- Rock rose for Beauty
The scientists also followed up with the desire of the Olympic goddesses. The result: if someone dabs the skin with concentrated rock rose tea twice a day, they will have a significantly cleaner and healthier complexion even with acne and neurodermatitis just after four weeks.
Studies of the Professor Weiling’s Chemical Laboratory in Altenberge as well as a practical study by Dr. Reiner Wobling in Bad Rothenfelde confirmed this notion. Tests by Professor G. Wiese in Hamm verify that thanks to rock rose the appearance of the skin improved in 61 of 95 patients suffering from neurodermatitis, which was previously treated without success. Contrary to other therapies (drugs, treatments with light and acupuncture), 64 percent of the patients improved after being treated for four weeks. The secret of these astonishing versatile effects of the rock rose herb is the particularly high level of vitamin P. Certain tannic acid compounds are also involved, the so-called polyphenols.
Rock rose belongs to the group of plants with the highest level of these active agents. In lower concentrations, they are also found in other healthy foods like onions and red wine. These substances have a stronger antioxidant effect than the well-known vitamins E and C. The “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung” (“German Association for Nutrition”) emphasises: “Foods rich in polyphenols prevent the cells from unregulated reproduction, stabilise heart and circulation (red wine effect) and support the biological activity of vitamin C.”
Now, it makes sense that rock rose is one of our top-sellers!