A wonderfully scented infusion, which fills the nostrils with aromas and, at the same time, also protects our cardiovascular system! We are talking about the tea obtained by infusing the leaves, flowers and finely cut twigs of the Cistus Incanus plant, also known as Zistrose. In fact, Cistus incanus tea helps reduce cholesterol and protect blood vessels, as emerges from a very recent scientific research published in the Cardiology Journal by a Polish team (Kuchta et al, Cardiol J, 2021).
The properties of Cistus incanus
Cistus incanus is a bush-shaped plant, with leaves that resemble those of sage due to its velvety appearance and with very showy pink or red flowers. This plant was already known to science for its high content in antioxidant substances of the polyphenol family, but also for the fact that it is rich in anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and antimicrobial substances. Thanks to these characteristics, Cistus incanus-based teas are very popular and used to treat various problems, such as fever, diarrhea and skin diseases. However, their action on the cardiovascular system had never been thoroughly investigated.
Cistus incanus reduces cholesterol and makes blood vessels elastic
The scientists of the study we are talking about today therefore thought of developing a research to understand the possible benefits of Cistus incanus tea on the heart and blood vessels. 24 volunteers were recruited, all in good health, non-smokers and generally sedentary. Study participants were asked to take cistus incanus tea three times a day every day for three months. The tea was prepared by boiling 250 ml of water. The water was then removed from the heat and 2 grams of dried plant were added, left to infuse for 3 minutes. The next two infusions of the day were prepared by reinfusing the plant used in the first infusion. At the beginning and at the end of the experiment, the volunteers underwent medical examinations and visits to assess the levels of antioxidants and cholesterol in the blood. What emerged was that cistus incanus tea, thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, was able to increase the HDL good cholesterol values and reduce the triglyceride values. Not only that, it was also observed that cistus incanus tea protected the bad LDL cholesterol from the risk of oxidation, in fact, in the blood samples taken from the volunteers, a reduction in the oxidation markers of these cholesterol particles was detected already after a month and a half of taking infusion. The fact is noteworthy since oxidized LDL plays an essential role in the onset and progression of atherosclerosis. In addition to this, the infusion also protected the endothelium, which is the lining of blood vessels and the heart, improving their functionality and elasticity. Finally, Cistus incanus polyphenols have been shown to reduce the risk of thrombus formation.
Conclusions, Cistus incanus is also antiviral
Nature always comes to our aid, giving us landscapes that make us distract from obsessive thoughts, offering us its precious fruits that fight cellular degeneration and inflammation or giving us plants such as Cistus incanus that protect the health of our heart. And if we add to this that the extracts of Cistus incanus have proved, in addition to being anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective, also antiviral (Rebensburg et al, Sci Rep, 2016), then we can well understand why drinking a cup of Cistus incanus tea is really a great choice for health! You can find the dried plant of Cistus incanus in the best-stocked health food stores and online.