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An antiviral and immune-boosting natural remedy: the rockrose (Cistus)


Those who do not want to be vaccinated with one of the novel vaccines used against covid, which so far are only in emergency approval and whose side effects and long-term effects are only now being recorded in the course of mass vaccinations, would of course still like to experience effective treatment in the event of an illness. There are successful conventional medical approaches to this, which we have already reported on in our article Effective medicines against Covid-19 from daily practice. .

But did you also know that there are plants that have an antiviral effect? And that their use in the (supportive) treatment of viral infections has little to no side effects?

In fact, there are natural remedies whose active ingredients can prevent viruses from settling on the mucous membranes. This does not mean that they can necessarily prevent a covid disease, but they show broad antiviral activities in cell tests and support the immune system in its defence. Unfortunately, there are not many studies on this because they cost a lot of money and natural substances cannot be patented. Patents, however, ensure that the manufacturer can earn a lot of money. Therefore, there is little incentive to commission studies on natural remedies. Nevertheless, testimonials can testify that thyme, propolis or nasturtium have good healing effects on viral diseases of the upper respiratory tract.

We would now like to introduce you to a very special natural remedy with which very good experiences have been made with diseases of the upper respiratory tract and for which there are also studies on the mode of action.

The cistus

The rockrose (Cistus) grows in the Mediterranean region and is a small bush that rolls up its petals during drought and can thus survive months of drought. Already in ancient times, the healing power of the cistus was used to treat skin diseases and to improve wound healing. There are 20 different species of rockrose, of which Cistus incanus is probably the best known. But also Cistus albidus, Cistus monspeliensis, Cistus laurifolia, Cistus creticus have healing effects that are confirmed by field reports and also some studies.

Besides essential oils (cineole, limonene and eugenol) and tannins (tannins), cistus contains polyphenols, including 12 important flavonoids such as apigenin, kaempferol, naringenin, quercitrin and their derivatives, as well as gallic acid and ellagic acid. This combination then also explains the broad spectrum of effects of the plant.

The tannic acid in cistus has an astringent and anti-inflammatory effect. Cistus decoctions can be used successfully for skin problems such as acne and even neurodermatitis. The itching subsides and the inflammations can heal.

Cistus has been used successfully for Lyme disease. In a self-help group, it was reported that joint pain subsided with the intake of cistus extract. Cistus apparently kills the borelliosis bacteria.

Cistus has an antioxidant effect due to its high polyphenol content (the content is said to be 3 x higher than that of green tea and 4 x higher than that of vitamin C). Antioxidants eliminate free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress in the body, which in turn forms the basis for diseases. For example, polyphenols inhibit lipid peroxidation (this is the damage to fats by free radicals. It can lead to cell damage in lipids in the cell membrane).

But the effect of rockrose becomes really interesting in Covid19 times. This is because the polyphenols prevent viruses from adhering to the host cell, which was proven, for example, in a study on the effect of labdanum (the resin of the rockrose) on dengue virus diseases. [1]

A 2020 study of [2] the Institute of General Medicine at the University of Lübeck, headed by Prof. Dr. med. Jens-Martin Träger, took the good experience in the use of cistus extracts in the treatment of respiratory diseases as an opportunity to investigate the effect of cistus on SARS-Cov2. It turned out that the Cystus Pandalis extract massively inhibits the viral growth of SARS-Cov2 in particular.

Cystus Pandalis® extract inhibits viral growth of SARS-CoV-2 in a cell culture in vitro model. Remarkably, this effect on growth inhibition was observed at an EC50 of only 1.94 µg/ml against SARS-CoV-2, indicating even greater efficacy than against all other viruses tested to date. For influenza A viruses, the EC50 was more than 10-fold higher (Ø 25.12 µg/ml), in some cases even 40-fold higher (76.22 µg/ml) [11]. The EC50 was also higher for HIV-1 (Ø 9.08 µg/ml), HIV-2 (14.05 µg/ml), Ebola virus (5.2 µg/ml) and Marburg virus (4.7 µg/ml) [14].

Since the first front of the immune system’s defence against respiratory infections is in the mouth and throat, using cistus for prophylaxis is very simple: sucking lozenges with cistus extract or gargling with cistus tea can help prevent the viruses from attaching to the host cells and multiplying.


In our article on orthomolecular medicine, we were already able to show that it is possible to strengthen the immune system on one’s own responsibility and thus, in the case of a Covid 19 infection, to go through the disease with only mild symptoms or not to become ill at all.

Because prevention is still better than cure

As a reminder, here are a few important points in terms of prophylaxis and improving the general state of health :

  • Wash hands regularly;
  • Keep on moving: Get lots of exercise in the fresh air, breathe in the (forest) air, do sports
  • Always ensure good indoor air: healthy nasal mucous membranes can better fulfil their naturalbarrier function against germs;
  • Breathing exercises: deep, conscious breathing exercises train the strength of the lungs and relax them;
  • Drink a lot: if a virus should accidentally get lost in the mouth/throat, drinking a lot will wash it down; the gastric juices will destroy the virus;
  • Give preference to healthy, fresh, local and seasonal foods and avoid too much sugar and mass-produced animal proteins;
  • Supplement with Vitamin D, Vitamin C and zinc;
  • Nasal irrigation with a saline solution
  • Aromatherapy;
  • Nasturtium (antiviral, germicidal effect due to the mustard oils it contains) – tastes great in salad;
  • Nurture the gut flora (the gut is the seat of the immune system) through pre- and probiotics. The microbiome is often referred to as an organ in its own right. A healthy gut strengthens the immune system.
  • Throat sprays with propolis, eucalyptus, thyme and cistus
  • And finally: teas and lozenges with cistus extract. Banal and effective.

With cistus, we have a proven natural remedy at our disposal whose effect has been proven in studies and which has what it takes to keep Covid19 in check or contain it even in the early stages.