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Rockrose: The Medicinal Herb for Body, Mind and Soul Rockrose: The Medicinal Herb for Body, Mind and Soul published in the magazine "Paracelsus", 4/VI 2009 (page 48-51)

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Rockrose: The Medicinal Herb for Body, Mind and Soul

An inconspicuous, ancient Greek medicinal herb is popular again. Prepared as a tea, it is three times as healthy as green tea, protects cells from premature ageing, eliminates heavy metals from the body – and even helps in case of acne and neurodermatitis. Its name: “Cistus,” rockrose, or Rock Rose.

Von Ulrich Arndt

On Chalkidiki, peninsula, a legend is told that there was a council on top of Olympus where the gods determined which plants should assume a certain task of healing. The fathers of the gods assigned rockrose the task of healing warriors wounded in battle. That annoyed the goddesses, because they were certain that the herb with the delicate pink blossoms would be much more suitable for beauty care – internally and externally. The result was that rockrose was given both of these tasks, healing and beautifying. No question: in the ancient world the plant was very popular. Particularly its resin, the so-called labdanum, was renowned in the entire Mediterranean region as a cosmetic and aid for skin and hair problems. Furthermore, it was appreciated as a remedy for the pestilence of the time and other diseases. Mostly, however, the Greek farmers and monks of the famous abbeys of mount Athos used the rockrose herb as a medicinal tea for various disorders.

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: rockrose 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. They harm, for example, the walls of small blood vessels. As first aid, the body has to produce cholesterol to repair the holes – the cholesterol level rises dramatically. The fatal thing is that residue of the metabolism and minerals attach themselves to these spots quickly; the blood flow is inhibited – arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure and other cardio-vascular diseases are the result. The scientists of the Lefo Institute discovered that rockrose contains an exceptionally effective combination of antioxidants: already a jigger of the concentrated tea has the same effect as a daily dose of vitamin C (as ascorbic acid). In Chalkidiki people drink a lot of rockrose tea during the day. Maybe this is the reason why there are so many people over 100 years of age.

Rockrose - CystusHowever, rockrose is able to do much more. Prof. Claus Peter Siegers of the University in Lübeck proves that rockrose 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 rockrose decoction twice a day. The rockrose 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 participant’s blood was significantly lower than before. Therapists advise drinking a litre of rockrose tea a day during dental restauration..


Stronger than Vitamin E and C

The fact that rockrose 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 Münster that rockrose 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 rockrose. 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. Rockrose tea improves all this and supports a healthy bacterial flora. Petereit also discovered that rockrose 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 rockrose decoction has a very strong antiviral effect on influenza viruses and even on birdflu 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.

Rockrose for Beauty

The scientists also followed up with the desire of the Olympic goddesses. The result: if someone dabs the skin with concentrated rockrose 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 Weißling’s Chemical Laboratory in Altenberge as well as a practical study by Dr. Reiner Wöbling in Bad Rothenfelde confirmed this notion. Tests by Professor G. Wiese in Hamm verify that thanks to rockrose 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 rockrose herb is the particularly high level of vitamin P. Certain tannic acid compounds are also involved, the so-called polyphenols. Rockrose 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.”

Olympic Rockrose

The rockrose with its five floral leaves and pink blossoms resembles a wild dog rose. However, it belongs to the rockrose plants, and they do not all have the same effect. All research described previously was conducted with the products of Dr. Pandalis Naturprodukte (Natural Products by Dr. Pandalis) and refers to “Cystus incanus tauricus,” also called Cystus®. The rockrose plant grows in special places in the Mediterranean region; in Greece only in the soils of Chalkidiki, which are rich in magnesium. The bush likes warmth and light and grows to a height of a metre giving off an aromatically resinous odour. Plenty of oil, which partly evaporates in the heat, is stored in its longish leaves.
The essential oil thus extracted is appreciated in aroma therapy. It is presumed to be a remedy for those who suffer from coldness and feelings of internal numbness. Comparable to the Cistus bloom, which is lightly creased, something delicate and very beautiful seems to have dried up or been destroyed in these people – often in relation to un-mastered experiences and emotions. The oil can produce relief: just put three to five drops of rockrose oil into an aroma lamp and breathe away the negative experiences. If it is added to massage oils like jojoba, it can support certain forms of “un-damming” treatments such as lymphatic drainage. As such, the great variety of effects of Cistus is really “olympic”- a medicinal herb for body, mind and soul.

Skin care with Cistus
  • Washings: With itching, irritable skin, neurodermatitis and acne Cistus soothes very fast: dab the concentrated infusion (10g of tea in 200ml of water, cook for about 5 minutes) onto the skin with a sponge twice a day and allow it to dry. If required, every other time you can then apply the Cistus cream (a pure natural cosmetics, information about sources see above). In addition drink at least a glass of Cistus tea a day, best before breakfast in the morning. A skin cure should be carried out for at least 4 to 6 weeks. Also here the Cistus washings are supplemented by drinking tea (a litre daily like for detoxification). In addition you should drink 2 litres of still water low in mineral content.
  • Compresses: In folk medicine of Chalkidiki Cistus is also applied in poultices. For bacterial infections, haemorrhoids and allergies the herb is boiled in a little hot water, put into a mixer and made into a pulp. Apply it to the affected area and let it be absorbed for about 20 minutes. Then rinse off and optionally apply some Cistus cream.


Information / Literature:
Literatur: Günter Harnisch: „Cystus. Gesundheit und Schönheit aus der griechischen Wildpflanze", Turm Verlag, 24,80 Mark;
Infos: www.te-med.de, www.biomedicus.at/phyto/cystus.htm

Bildquellen: ©Naturprodukte Dr. Pandalis Gmbh

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