Introduction : Herbs are a natural source of compounds that demonstrate bioactivity in humans.1,2 Cistus species (Cistaceae) are of particular interest in the area of herbal plants because of the valuable aspects of pharmacological and antioxidant activity.3-6 The Cistus species of the family Cistaceacea are perennial shrubs naturally occurring in the Mediterranean, Europe and western Africa, and Asia.7,8,9 Cistus species have been used since antiquity in Mediterranean cultures for their medicinal properties. Scientific literature confirms their valuable phytotherapeutic properties as anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-allergic, antimicrobial, and analgesic agents. Their biological activity is mainly due to antioxidant polyphenolic compounds that are present which are considered as potential therapeutic agents in a wide range of diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease among others.
The absence of antioxidant compounds such as phytotherapeutics in the human diet which provide the ability to deactivate free radicals can lead to dysfunction in the body, causing many diseases such as cancer, premature aging, and heart attacks. The aim of this paper is to characterize the cytotoxic and anti-cancer properties of the major species of the genus Cistus, with particular reference to the Cistus creticus subspecies cretenicus L., Cistus incanus L. and Cistus monspeliensis L., C. creticus ssp. Creticus, Cistus libanotis, C. villosus and C. monspeliensis, C. ladanifer and C. populifolius, C. salviif
In studies by Vitali et al., a significant effect of polyphenol compounds present in Cistus incanus L. and Cistus monspeliensis L. was indicated. These polyphenolic compounds showed cytotoxic effects on the human prostate cells (PZ-HPV-7 and PNT1A) and the lung fibroblast cell line (V79-4) in a reduction of cell viability. These substances present in the extracts of Cistus incanus L. and Another subspecies of C. creticus ssp. has also been characterized by cytotoxic activity against tumor cells. Ethanol extracts of C. creticus ssp. present in culture inhibit the development of cervical cancer cell lines (HeLa), breast cancer (MDA-MB-453) and melanoma (FemX). It was determined that the agents responsible for this inhibition are present in the diterpenes type labdan purified extract.31
Cistus monspeliensis L. may be beneficial in the treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).29 Studies of C. ladanifer and C. populifolius subspecies analyzed in vitro have confirmed their valuable antioxidant properties as well as cytotoxicity to human tumor cells. C. populifolius and C. ladanifer extract showed the ability to inhibit the proliferation of M220 pancreatic cancer cells and the breast cancer cells MCF7 / HER2 and JIMT-1.30 The leaves of these plants are a source of water-soluble polyphenol extracts enriched with ellagitannins with antioxidant activity, and their cytotoxic effect on neoplastic cells deserves further attention.
The results of scientific research literature presented in this paper characterize Cistus species as a medicinal plant with biological activity with emphasis on their antitumor properties. This is due to the presence of polyphenolic compounds such as labdan type diterpens and ellagitannins that may be considered potential therapeutic agents in the treatment of many cancers. However, the use of Cistus extracts as a complement to the treatment of human cancers requires further research to thoroughly understand the effects and interactions with recommended medicines.
Source : Centre for Innovative Research in Medical and Natural Sciences, Medical Faculty, University of Rzeszow, Poland 2 Department of Dietetics, Institute of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical Faculty, University of Rzeszow, Poland
Cistus Incanus Pink Rockrose