It strengthens the immune system, kills germs, is good for the skin and for weight loss: many effects are attributed to cistus tea. It should even protect against the corona virus. From a scientific point of view, these claims are untenable. However, one or two cups of tea can do you good.
Cure or exaggeration? cistus tea
Many people have always sworn by the beneficial effects of herbal tea, and some effects have been proven. Sage tea can relieve sore throat and flatulence from fennel tea. Teas with corresponding proof of efficacy are marked as medicinal teas. The healing effects have been tested and approved by the Federal Office for Drugs and Medical Devices. The situation is different with normal teas that are put on the market as food. They cannot be advertised with health-related claims. Cistus tea belongs to this category. Therefore, promises of salvation of any kind are not allowed when it comes to cistus leaves, which come from a medicinal plant that has been used in the Mediterranean region for thousands of years.
Proven effects and side effects.
If you are not expecting the wonderful effects of Cistus incanus, as it is botanically called, you can simply use the tea as a stimulant. In principle, the heat is already good, and the contained secondary plant substances have developed an antiviral effect, at least in animal and cell experiments. The situation here is similar to that of a hot lemon for a cold: the drink will not cure the infection, but it can ease the symptoms. However, you should be aware that cistus tea can have side effects. For example, cistus leaves trigger allergic reactions or stomach problems in some people. The effect of cistus tea during pregnancy has not yet been studied.
Black or green tea: which is healthier?
Green tea and black tea come from the same plant. Thus, the botanical origin says nothing about which of the two types of tea is healthier. Due to their caffeine content, both have a stimulating effect. Unlike black tea, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine. It can reduce the stimulating effect of caffeine and have a relaxing and calming effect. Green tea is also one of the dehydrating teas.
Sugar-free and drunk without milk, both teas are calorie-free. However, they are no longer made like bubble tea, as they are mixed with sweetened condensed milk and fruit juice. Sweetness in the form of sugar is also added to the Kombucha fermented tea beverage. In return, they provide significant amounts of fluoride and polyphenols, a subset of what are known as phytochemicals. However, for the production of green tea, the leaves of the tea plant are only dried, while for black tea they are mechanically ground and fermented in a humid environment until they change color. Some of the polyphenols in tea, which have a positive effect on health, are lost during the fermentation process. In this sense, less processed green tea could be considered healthier.
Among other things, secondary plant substances are said to have a preventive effect on cardiovascular diseases. They are also said to have an anti-inflammatory effect and stimulate killer cells in the immune system. Some compounds from the group of polyphenols can even have an anticancer effect. The fluoride in both teas also prevents tooth decay and thus contributes to dental health. However, anyone who likes sweets at tea time denies this effect.
In case of mild stomach and intestinal problems, on the other hand, the tannins contained in black tea can have a positive effect. Therefore, the tea can be used as a home remedy for minor problems in this area. However, a doctor should be consulted if gastrointestinal problems persist.
People with low iron levels should not drink green or black tea immediately with meals. Iron in food can form a poorly soluble compound with polyphenols in tea. As a result, the body can no longer use the iron as well. Also read our article on the effects of matcha tea, a ground green tea.
What is the European ban on cistus tea?
In fact, according to the Novel Food Regulation, only the herb Cistus incanus L. Pandalis is allowed as food in the EU. However, the question whether the leaves of other varieties of cistus have not been used for many years and are therefore not a new type of food remains unanswered. Here a dispute is still brewing between the providers and the approval authority. Meanwhile, cistus tea is often sold with the statement “Due to EU directives, it is no longer allowed to offer Cistus incanus as food”, leaving the choice to the consumer. If this is too delicate for you, you can of course do something else for your well-being and try our recipes to boost the immune system, for example.