Planta Med 2015; 81(18): 1727-1735
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1557822
Analytical Studies
Original Papers
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

The Polyphenolic Composition of Cistus incanus Herbal Tea and Its Antibacterial and Anti-adherent Activity against Streptococcus mutans

Gesche Wittpahl
1   Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Isabelle Kölling-Speer
1   Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Sabine Basche
2   Clinic of Operative Dentistry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Eva Herrmann
2   Clinic of Operative Dentistry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Matthias Hannig
3   Clinic of Operative Dentistry, Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany
Karl Speer
1   Department of Chemistry and Food Chemistry, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
Christian Hannig
2   Clinic of Operative Dentistry, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 13 April 2015
revised 02 July 2015

accepted 02 July 2015

Publication Date:
20 August 2015 (online)


The Mediterranean plant Cistus incanus is rich in polyphenols and has shown several pharmacological activities, mainly antibacterial effects. Furthermore, in situ studies revealed that a C. incanus infusion reduces the initial bacterial adhesion in the oral cavity due to the polyphenols, an indication that C. incanus might reduce the risk of caries disease. In the present study, the polyphenols from four different commercial C. incanus herbal teas were extracted by standardized accelerated solvent extraction for in vitro tests and by an infusion for in situ tests. Both extracts were characterized qualitatively and quantitatively by high-performance liquid chromatography and only the polyphenol content differed slightly. By means of diode array detection and mass spectrometry, 29 polyphenols, including ellagitannins, flavanols, and glycosylated flavonols, were identified. Thereby, only quantitative but no qualitative differences between the four samples were detected. Furthermore, the in vitro antibacterial activity of the C. incanus accelerated solvent extracts against Streptococcus mutans, one of the primary cariogenic bacterial species, was examined using a live/dead assay (BacLight®). With this approach, C. incanus yielded antibacterial properties. Additional in situ experiments indicated that rinses with a C. incanus infusion reduced the initial bacterial colonization of enamel samples exposed to oral fluids for over eight hours. Furthermore, it was shown by transmission electron microscopy that the application of a C. incanus infusion modifies the ultrastructure of the acquired enamel pellicle, yielding a more electron-dense morphology. It can be assumed that the polyphenols are responsible for the observed effects.

Supporting Information

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