Cretan rockrose (Cistus Creticus): The legendary cretan herb

cretan rockroseA delicious and warming cup of tea is the favorite part of a lot of our days. Whether as a kick-start to your morning or a calming afternoon moment, it is the perfect way to slow down and take a minute for yourself. But what if your daily cup had health-boosting benefits? There is a great range of healthy Cretan herbs out there that can make wonderful teas. One of the most incredible cups can come from the Cretan rockrose.

If you have never heard of pink rockrose, also known as cistus creticus, this super-powered shrub grows mainly in the arid and rocky landscapes of the Mediterranean, especially flourishing in Greece.


The amazing history of Cretan Rockrose

The history of the Cretan rockrose is long and storied. Steeped in legend, it is believed that the gods on Mount Olympus used it to heal Greek warriors. However, the goddesses of the time believed the flower to be more beautiful than useful – the truth of the pink rockrose is that it offers both beauty and healing! It is also known as one of the 40 ingredients which make up the Holy Anointing Oil.

This perennial shrub has been growing abundantly in the dry soils of the Greek landscape since as far back as the times of Greek historian Herodotus. Used since ancient times in Egypt, this valuable herb used to be gathered in quite an interesting and unique way.

In Ancient Greece, goats roamed and grazed where pink rockrose grew – the resin would attach itself to their coats, which were shorn off and carefully boiled so that the insoluble resin could be gathered. It rose to the surface of the water during boiling and could be salvaged in this manner. This was due to the ancient Greeks wishing to preserve the valuable and rare labdanum present in the plant – and no wonder it was so prized, with such an intensive process!

In modern times, the techniques for collecting labdanum and reaping the benefits of cistus creticus have progressed to make this much easier, so we can all enjoy pink rockrose. However, the lush Greek islands maintain some sense of history, as in many places it is gathered by threshing the shrubs using a flail, which is then scraped clean of the sticky and treasured labdanum.

A hardy herb

The Cretan rockrose is able to survive best in the sometimes-tempestuous Mediterranean climate, thanks in part to its leaves being capable of seasonal dimorphism. This means that the plant is able to adjust in order to acclimatize to the changing seasons found across the Mediterranean – from very hot summers to cool and wet winters, even surviving frosts.

When there is less water during the summertime, the plant can develop brachy blasts that boast leaves that are five times shorter than those it displays in winter. These leaf clusters help the plant to remain hydrated even when water is scarce. Moving through the seasons into the winter, dolichoblasts become 14 times longer, providing protection and allowing more water to be absorbed.

It is no wonder that the Cretan rockrose has survived throughout the centuries to become one of the most health-supporting herbs found today.

Inside Cretan rockrose

So what makes the cistus creticus so powerful? With its gentle pink leaves and balsamic resin scent, the plant may look as attractive as the Ancient Greek goddesses thought, but it is also a powerhouse of amazing properties.

Bursting with bioactive compounds, it has been used as a herbal remedy for many thousands of years in Greece, Italy, Spain, and Turkey. This ongoing popularity is thanks to it being a rich source of rutin and bioflavonoids. In fact, it has been found to be a source of 12 phenylpropanoids-flavonoids.

Abundant with gallic acid and antioxidants, Cretan rockrose is just as popular now as it was in 500BC – so what kind of health benefits can we expect from this Mediterranean marvel?

Further properties of pink rockrose

Cretan rockrose is used to support health in a number of ways, due to the resin secreted from its leaves. Its many wonderful properties and compounds come together to make it anti-allergenic, protective for your gastric system, antioxidant, protective for your cardiac system, purgative, antiseptic, diuretic, and more.

Cretan Rockrose’s incredible health benefits

So, what health benefits can we expect to see when we incorporate Cretan rockrose into our life? It has been used to accelerate wound healing for centuries thanks to its antioxidant healing properties, but that isn’t all that this special shrub can do for you.

Thanks to a wealth of antibacterial and antiviral properties, it has been used to combat such diverse health issues as skin issues such as acne, stomach ulcers, and other gastric issues. Due to a range of anti-inflammatory properties, it is also used to help those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

In daily life, it is often employed as a mouthwash to support hygiene both orally and in the throat. This wonder plant has even been found to help with urinary tract infections and can be used to aid you with sluggishness.

To this day, it is still used to support the healing of skin abrasions, sores, and wounds, due to the anti-inflammatory properties which help to cool skin and ease the pain. This is an excellent way to speed up the healing process, as well as helping with residual discomfort.

Pink rockrose has been found to have a sedative effect that can ease insomnia and can help to battle a range of infections, aches, and pains, such as anxiety, various infections, headaches, asthma, and more.

No matter what health issue you face, you may be able to support your healing process with this ancient remedy.

Daily healing with Cistus Creticus

So how can you easily incorporate cistus creticus into your own daily life? The answer could not be simpler. Our pink rockrose tea is created using only carefully-selected leaves and flowers for an easily brewed cup that can be enjoyed warm or cold. Combine it with peppermint for an immunity-boosting beverage that does not contain caffeine.

rockrose tea

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