Cistus Essential Oil
- Distillation Method: Steam Distilled
- Country of Origin: Spain
- Plant Part: Leaves/Stalk
- Latin Name: Cistus Ladaniferus
About the Oil: This is a very therapeutic Cistus with a dry, woody, resinous aroma. The essential oil is produced by steam distillation of the leaves. It is pale yellow-orange with a strong, sweet, dry-herbaceous aroma. Its aroma is generally perceived as warming and restorative.
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Also known as Labdanum or Rock Rose, Cistus ladaniferus is a small, sticky shrub native to the Mediterranean and Middle East. Traditionally, Cistus has been used as a skin rejuvenator, respiratory aid and wound healer.
It has also been used as an ambient aroma to facilitate meditation and has a long history of being used in perfumes, anointing rituals and incense.
The subtle qualities of Cistus are beautifully described by Worwood: "It provides a vehicle to explore the knowing, and a means by which acknowledging the existence of universal wisdom deep within. The emotions of mortals are touched by labdanum, and it can bring to the forefront of the mind access to the soul level of all living things."1
Cistus was imported into ancient Egypt from Crete. The resin was extensively used in Egypt as a perfume and an incense. At the time of Christ, incense was made using Frankincense and myrrh from Arabia, galbanum and 'onycha'. The latter has been identified as gum labdanum, which is exuded from the leaves of cistus.2
Energetically, it instills a deep sense of peace and serenity. Known to support the higher energies centers (i.e. the Crown Chakra and the Third Eye Chakra), it can be suggested for support with extra-sensory perceptions, psychic work and meditations. According to Chinese 5 Elements principles, Cistus can be likened to the Earth element due to the sweet and warm aroma.
The oil is well known for its wound healing, and is recommended for the treatment of ulcers and wounds. 3 It is considered to be one of the fastest-acting oils to stop bleeding from an open wound.4
Direct inhalation, diffuser, oil vaporizer
Diffuse for respiratory wellness.
Massage, compress, bath, skincare
A strong, sweet, dry, woody and herbaceous aroma. Its odor effect is generally perceived as warming and restorative. Often used as a fixative in perfume.
Ernest Gunther of The Essential Oils Vol. VI. says: "One of the unforgettable scents is that of labdanum, whose sweet, warm, balsamic odor permeates sunny patches in the pine forest or some of the islands in the Mediterranean that stretch along the rocky coasts of that beautiful, blue sea."5
Blends well with frankincense, myrrh, lavender, pine, sage, cedarwood, cypress, jasmine, thyme, and citrus oils.
Generally non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.
1. Worwood VA. The fragrant heavens. Transworld Publishers, London, 1999.
2. Morris E. Fragrance - the story of perfume from Cleopatra to Chanel. Products of Nature and Art, New York, 1984.
3. Lavabre M. Aromatherapy workbook. Healing Arts Press, Rochester, 1997.
4. Schnaubelt K. Advanced Aromatherapy. Healing Arts Press, Rochester, 1995.
5. Guenther E. The essential oils - Vol. VI. Robert E Krieger Publishing, Malabar, 1952.