Cistus Creticus characteristics
The leaves of the Cretan rockrose Cistus creticus exhibit the phenomenon of seasonal dimorphism, as an adjustment mechanism for acclimatization to the Mediterranean climate.
During summertime, when water is limited, brachyblasts are developed that have leaves five-times shorter than the ones in winter, with stomata located abaxially inside crypts (Aronne and Micco, 2001). During wintertime, the newly developed dolichoblasts are fourteen times longer, bearing a bigger number of leaves with stomata distributed across the lower surface.
In Cistus creticus subsp. creticus 92 terpenes (36 monoterpenes, 35 sesquiterpenes, and 21 diterpenes) and 12 phenylpropanoids-flavonoids have been reported.
Various preparations from Cistus species have traditionally been used as remedies in folk medicine around the Mediterranean basin, especially in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. The targeted conditions and diseases include anxiety, arthrosis, asthma, bronchosis, various types of cancer, bacterial and fungal infections, cardiopathies, catarrh, corn, diarrhea, duodenosis, dysendery, dyspnea, fracture, gastrosis, headache, hepatosis, hernia, hysteria, induration, infection, inflammation, insomnia, leukorrhea, myalgia, neuralgia, osteoarthritis, polyp, proctosis, rhinosis, sore, spasm, splenosis, ulcer, uterosis (Duke et al., 2008).
Healthy benefits of Cistus
A considerable amount of studies have thus explored the pharmacological properties of the resin secreted by Cistus leaves. These properties include allergenic, anti-aggregant, anti-leukemic, anti-oxidant, anti-peroxidant, anti-proliferant, anti-radicular, antiseptic, anti-ulcer, astringent, bactericide, candidicide, cardio-protective, cytotoxic, dermo-protective, dipeptidylpeptidase-IV inhibitor, alanyl-aminopeptidase inhibitor, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicide, gastro-protective, hemostat, myorelaxant, nervine, purgative, revulsive, sedative, spasmolytic, stimulant, vulcenary (Duke et al., 2008).
Dimitra Papaefthimiou, Antigoni Papanikolaou, Vasiliki Falara, Stella Givanoudi, Stefanos Kostas, and Angelos K. Kanellis,
Genus Cistus: a model for exploring labdane-type diterpenes’ biosynthesis and a natural source
of high value products with biological, aromatic, and pharmacological properties
Front Chem. 2014; 2: 35. Published online 2014 Jun 11