The Immune Herb You’ve Never Heard Of

Immune health used to be a humdrum topic for the average person; that feels almost unfathomable after everything we’ve been through in the past year. For the most part, immunity was something you only thought about when you felt the chills creeping in or a sniffle. Now immune health is semi-permanently curled up in your subconscious, stirring every time you open your door to walk outside or pass a stranger on the street. Pandemics have a way of doing that.

Our need for daily immune solutions is more acute than ever, an omnipresent elephant-in-the-room that can leave some of us feeling panicked or unsure of how to proceed. This dynamic is what’s driven our founder and formulator, Paul Schulick, over the past year as he scoured the globe and the latest immune research to find the most effective herbs for immune health. With over 390,000 species of plants in the world[1], it wasn’t an easy task.

The Immune Herb of 2021

And then he came across Cistus incanus. Paul and our research team were blown away by research that showed benefits including:

  • An ability to effectively support the body against immune challenges[2]
  • A unique combination of protective compounds[3]
  • The ability to break down some oral biofilms relating to dental health[4] 

“From my very first experience sipping a Cistus infusion, I sensed a potency in its complexity of taste and felt it informing me in ways that transcend words.” -  Paul Schulick, Founder & Formulator

What Is Cistus?

Cistus (Cistus incanus) is in the rockrose family and native to the Mediterranean regions. It’s a hardy plant that is the embodiment of resiliency; it thrives in poor soil, growing on dry, rocky hillsides, and can even flourish amid fires and droughts. Its unique adaptations to seemingly impossible conditions share an uncanny parallel with what is so needed in our world right now: something to help us adapt amidst the fire.[5][6] 

When To Use Cistus

Cistus incanus is exceptional for both fast relief of symptoms and daily support. When consumed daily, Cistus and its rich polyphenol content could help:

  • Fortify the friendly bacteria in your mouth[7]
  • Promote a healthy and balanced immune response and reduce oxidative stress[8]

These two benefits alone act like a training regimen for your immune system, helping to improve its resilience and ability to respond precisely when needed. Cistus is caffeine free, so it can be consumed at any point in the day. Again, while it is caffeine free, many people have described Cistus as having a refreshing and uplifting taste.

How To Use Cistus

One of the most effective (and delicious) ways to consume Cistus is as an herbal infusion. An infusion is prepared the same way as tea: by steeping herbs in hot water. The difference between an infusion and your average cup of tea is the amount of herbs used to prepare it and the resulting potency.

Studies show that consuming 220mg of Cistus-derived protective actives was an efficacious amount for improving perceived severity of symptoms.[9] Not sure how to create your own, nutrient-ensured Cistus infusion? Read on to take the guesswork out of sourcing and preparation.

Where Can I Find Cistus?

Loose leaf Cistus incanus can be found with a mere internet search, but this does not ensure you are receiving a quality, nutrient-dense form of the herb. That’s why when Paul formulated our Immune Therapy Cistus+ Infusion, he sourced samples from all over the world and tested them for purity, potency, and the specific actives that studies show make Cistus the powerhouse it is.

This invaluable form of Cistus is what headlines Immune Therapy Cistus+ Infusion, ensuring the clinically-backed dose of 220mg protective actives. Cistus is paired with vitamin-C rich herbs like rosehips and sumac berry to create powerful synergies that deliver additional health benefits.[10]

These synergies are so effective that clinical studies show Immune Therapy Cistus+ Infusion helps improve your immune response within 2 hours!* 

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Better yet, Immune Therapy Cistus+ Infusion comes in jumbo, eco-friendly steeping bags for fast and easy preparation of your infusion.

What Makes Cistus So Potent?

Cistus contains a unique array of protective compounds called polyphenols. So far there are 500 types of polyphenols identified in our edible plant foods[11]. Modern nutritional science has focused a great deal on these dietary polyphenols, linking their consumption to a wide array of improved health biomarkers[12], including longevity[13]. In fact, some polyphenols are believed to:

  • Operate as potent free radical scavengers[14]
  • Improve immune antibody production[15]
  • Protect against allergies[16], inflammation[17] and infectious diseases[18]

With that being said, Cistus’s potency lies in the types of polyphenols it contains rather than—or perhaps in addition to—the high number of polyphenols it contains.

Cistus’s Polyphenolic Composition

  • In one evaluation of Cistus, 32 polyphenols were identified, including gallic acid, gallocatechin, catechin, epicatechin, rutin, quercetin, kaempferol, ellagic acid, rosmarinic acid, and myricetin[19].
  • These specific types of polyphenols have been studied for their impressive anti-viral properties.[20]
  • In fact, Cistus is so uniquely potent that a study showed Cistus was “more effective in reducing the average duration and severity of (perceived) symptoms in patients than green tea[21].” While green tea contains a comparable amount of polyphenols, the difference in efficacy may be based on the nature of the types of phenolic compounds and not the amount. Again, this is what makes Cistus such an amazing find in the herbal world.

Does Cistus Blend Well With Other Herbs?

As we touched on above, powerful synergies can happen when combining Cistus with other complementary herbs. Notably, a synergy with cistus is seen with vitamin C. “Authors of a 2018 study noted that cistus extracts modulate the immune system, significantly strengthen immunity, and have anti-allergic actions. In addition, the bioflavonoids in cistus work synergistically with vitamin C, enhancing the plant’s action[22].”

Ideal herbal pairings with Cistus include:

  • Rosehips
  • Sumac berry
  • Black currant

 All these ingredients are featured in Immune Therapy Cistus+ Infusion in their purest and most potent forms. Chaga and ginger are also a key part of the formulation for their reputed immuno-modulatory and anti-viral benefits.

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Have any questions that still need answering? Reach out to our Customer Experience team over live chat, email, or an old-fashioned phone call! And remember, any new regimen should be approved by your doctor prior to beginning.

 

References 

[1] Morelle, R. (2016). Kew report makes new tally for number of world's plants. Retrieved October 05, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-36230858

[2]Kalus U, Grigorov A, Kadecki O, Jansen JP, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H. Cistus incanus (CYSTUS052) for treating patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical study. Antiviral Res. 2009;84(3):267-271. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.10.001. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19828122 

[3] Riehle, P., Vollmer, M., & Rohn, S. (2013). Phenolic compounds in Cistus incanus herbal infusions — Antioxidant capacity and thermal stability during the brewing process [Abstract]. Food research international, 53(2), 891-899. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodres.2012.09.020

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712263/

[5] José M. Torres-Ruiz, Hervé Cochard, Elsa Fonseca, Eric Badel, Luiz Gazarini, Margarida Vaz, Differences in functional and xylem anatomical features allow Cistus species to co-occur and cope differently with drought in the Mediterranean region, Tree Physiology, Volume 37, Issue 6, June 2017, Pages 755–766, https://doi.org/10.1093/treephys/tpx013

[6] THANOS, C.A. and GEORGHIOU, K. (1988), Ecophysiology of fire‐stimulated seed germination in Cistus incanus ssp. creticus (L.) Hey wood and C. salvifolius L.. Plant, Cell & Environment, 11: 841-849. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.1988.tb01910.x

[7]. Hickl J, Argyropoulou A, Sakavitsi ME, Halabalaki M, Al-Ahmad A, Hellwig E, et al. (2018) Mediterranean herb extracts inhibit microbial growth of representative oral microorganisms and biofilm formation of Streptococcus mutans. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0207574. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207574

[8] Cuevas, A., Saavedra, N., Salazar, L. A., & Abdalla, D. S. (2013). Modulation of immune function by polyphenols: possible contribution of epigenetic factors. Nutrients5(7), 2314–2332. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5072314

[9] Kalus U, Grigorov A, Kadecki O, Jansen JP, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H. Cistus incanus (CYSTUS052) for treating patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. A prospective, randomised, placebo-controlled clinical study. Antiviral Res. 2009;84(3):267-271. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.10.001. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19828122 

[10] Kerimi, A., & Williamson, G. (2016). At the interface of antioxidant signaling and cellular function: Key polyphenol effects. Molecular nutrition & food research, 60(8), 1770–1788. https://doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201500940

[11]Zamora-Ros, R., Rabassa, M., Cherubini, A., Urpí-Sardà, M., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., & Andres-Lacueva, C. (2013). High concentrations of a urinary biomarker of polyphenol intake are associated with decreased mortality in older adults. The journal of nutrition, 143(9), 1445–1450. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.113.177121 

[12]Zamora-Ros, R., Rabassa, M., Cherubini, A., Urpí-Sardà, M., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., & Andres-Lacueva, C. (2013). High concentrations of a urinary biomarker of polyphenol intake are associated with decreased mortality in older adults. The journal of nutrition, 143(9), 1445–1450. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.113.177121 

[13]Zamora-Ros, R., Rabassa, M., Cherubini, A., Urpí-Sardà, M., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., & Andres-Lacueva, C. (2013). High concentrations of a urinary biomarker of polyphenol intake are associated with decreased mortality in older adults. The journal of nutrition, 143(9), 1445–1450. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.113.177121 

[14] Singh, A., Holvoet, S., & Mercenier, A. (2011). Dietary polyphenols in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology41(10), 1346–1359. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2222.2011.03773.x

[15] Cuevas, A., Saavedra, N., Salazar, L. A., & Abdalla, D. S. (2013). Modulation of immune function by polyphenols: possible contribution of epigenetic factors. Nutrients5(7), 2314–2332. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu5072314

[16] Levy, E., Delvin, E., Marcil, V., & Spahis, S. (2020). Can phytotherapy with polyphenols serve as a powerful approach for the prevention and therapy tool of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)?. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism319(4), E689–E708. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00298.2020

[17] Riehle, Peer, Maren Vollmer, and Sascha Rohn. "Phenolic Compounds In Cistus Incanus Herbal Infusions — Antioxidant Capacity and Thermal Stability During the Brewing Process." Food research international, v. 53,.2 pp. 891-899. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2012.09.020

[18] Zhang, D. H., Wu, K. L., Zhang, X., Deng, S. Q., & Peng, B. (2020). In silico screening of Chinese herbal medicines with the potential to directly inhibit 2019 novel coronavirus. Journal of integrative medicine18(2), 152–158. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joim.2020.02.005

[19] Kalus U, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H. Effect of CYSTUS052 and green tea on subjective symptoms in patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. Phytother Res. 2010;24(1):96-100. doi:10.1002/ptr.2876. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19444821/ 

[20] Zdrojewicz, Z., Winiarski, J., Michalik, T., Śmieszniak, B., Popowicz, E., & Szyca, M. (2018). Czystek – królowa herbat [Cistus - queen of teas]. Polski merkuriusz lekarski : organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego45(266), 53–56.

[21] Kalus U, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H. Effect of CYSTUS052 and green tea on subjective symptoms in patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. Phytother Res. 2010;24(1):96-100. doi:10.1002/ptr.2876. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19444821/ 

[22] Zdrojewicz, Z., Winiarski, J., Michalik, T., Śmieszniak, B., Popowicz, E., & Szyca, M. (2018). Czystek – królowa herbat [Cistus - queen of teas]. Polski merkuriusz lekarski : organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego45(266), 53–56.

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