Cistus incanus L. (Sin.: Cistus Creticus) is a shrub bearing pink flowers that fall under the family Cistaceae. It produces labdanum, a resin, from its flowers. The history of labdanum dates back to the Minoan civilization, the first European civilization, and Ancient Greece. The Minoans used it to make incense as well as therapeutic and cosmetic products.
Cistus, a type of shrub gaining popularity, is extensively cultivated in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions of Turkey.
The extract derived from the Cistus species is utilised in traditional medicine owing to its recently discovered antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic and antiulcerogenic properties.
The Cistus creticus is acknowledged for its ability to reinforce the immune system due to its potent anti-microbial properties and efficacy against colds. In vitro research carried out at an accredited German laboratory has demonstrated that formulations involving Cistus creticus can be more than 90% effective against enveloped viruses, subject to the duration of exposure. Additionally, laboratory studies have revealed its potency against HIV, Malburg, Ebola and Influenza A viruses, indicating its strong antiviral activity.
Cistus has been shown to regulate lipid levels and provide cardiovascular support according to various studies.
Additionally, it has demonstrated a positive impact on eczema and other skin conditions, while also effectively treating skin inflammation resulting from food allergies.
Cistus has proven to be effective against oral, pharyngeal, gastrointestinal, skin, and nail fungi, as well as micro-organisms that cause acne. Since 2010, the EFSA has recommended utilising spruce as a means of accessing natural antioxidants and boosting the immune system.