cistus essential oil


Cistus essential oil is also know as labdanum (the substance produced by the gum) and rock rose, cistus essential oil is one of the earliest aromatics used by ancient cultures (myrrh, wich is referred to in parts of the Bible, has been more accurately identified as labdanum). A small shrub that grows to just over 8 feet high (about 3 m), the cistus plant has dark green leaves with a lighter furry underside.The entire shrub is sticky because its resinous discharge. Tradicionally the gum, obtained by boiling the plant in water, was used to dispel mucus and diarrhea. This oleoresin is used in perfumery as a fixative, to anchor the scent.

It’s used to support the immune system and in the treatment of respiratory complaints, including bronchitis and coughs. It is often used in meat products to protect against oxidation.

Cistus essential oil is obteined through distillation of the whole plant, including its extremely fragrant papery white flowers; it can be pale yellow to olive green in color. It has a heady, warm, herbaceous yet spicy aroma and is often used in perfumes that have what is described as an “oriental” profile. It blends well with oils in the pine family and heavier-scented oils such as patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver.

The antimicrobial property of various extracts of cistus was found to be beneficial againts candida and several strains of bacteria, including MRSA and ulcer-causing bacteria in the gastrointestinal trac. This makes it an impotat ingredient for the treatment or prevention of several infections. 

It comes from the Cistaceae family, which grows in the Mediterranean basin, although its production has been limited to Spain, where it is. It develops spontaneously over large areas, specially in the center and south of the Peninsula (Ciudad Real, Guadalajara, Huelva).

Cistus essential oil distillation occurs between the months of June and September.


  • Treats Wounds

One of the most common uses of cistus oil throughout history has been to treat wounds and prevent infections. The combination of its powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial properties help to clear the wound of any harmful microbes, as well as prevent it from being infected by any other harmful pathogens. It has shown abilities to fight against Staph, Candida, and E.Coli. It is also known for its ability to slow the bleeding from a fresh wound.

To speed healing time and reduce infection in minor wounds, mix a drop or two of cistus  oil with a carrier oil and apply to the wound before covering it with a bandage.

  • Heals Skin Conditions


The astringent properties of cistus oil help to tone the skin and reduce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. For those who are prone to acne or have particularly oily skin, this oil can help regulate the production of sebum and clear up breakouts.

It can be blended with other skin-healing oils such as rose absolute, elemi, chamomile, and neroli to reduce the look of scars, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin disorders. 

To keep skin looking young and healthy, add a drop or two of cistus oil to your daily moisturizer. For the treatment of psoriasis, eczema or other disorders, mix with a carrier oil and other healing essential oils of your choice and gently massage onto the affected area.

  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation 


The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of cistus essential oil work together to soothe sore muscles and joints. For those who are suffering from sore muscles, arthritis, or other muscle and joint pain related to inflammation, using cistus oil can topically relieve the symptoms. Simply mix a few drops of cistus essential oil to a carrier oil and massage onto sore areas. Alternatiely, try adding a few drops to a warm bath.

  • Alleviates Respiratory Symptoms


Cistus oil has both expectorant and mucolytic properties, which help to rid the lungs and nasal passages of excess mucus and clear the sinuses. The antimicrobial properties help to rid the body of harmful pathogens that may be the underlying cause of respiratory symptoms.

To breathe easier, diffuse cistus essential oil throughout your home. If you are suffering from congestion, you can add a few drops of this essential oil to a bowl of steaming water, then cover your face with a towel and breathe in the vapors.

  • Aids in Meditation 


Cistus has been used throughout ancient times as an incense in spiritual ceremonies. The delightful scent and calming qualities help to clear the mind and get rid of negative emotions. This greatly benefits the meditation experience.

For a general sense of well-being or to aid in meditation, diffuse cistus essential oil throughout your home. You can find rock rose essential oil in our Zen therapeutic fragrance blend.

  • Cistus essential oil also stimulates the five senses: touch, feeling, hearing, sight and taste.

  • Cistus essential oil is an effective treatment for swollen lymph glands.

  • Cistus essential oil is wonderful oil for those who have been traumatized or suffer from a dramatic loss.

cistus essential oil uses

  • For abdominal pains caused by cold, cystitis, or painful menses, a sitz bath with a blend of Cistus and Sweet Marjoram may provide relief.
  • Blend with German Chamomile CO2 to treat chronic slow-healing skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, infected and inflamed skin conditions of all sorts.
  • Try rubbing a drop or two of Rose of Sharon oil on hands, cup over nose and inhale deeply.
  • Mix Rose of Sharon with olive oil and apply to the face for wrinkles.
  • Apply 4 to 5 drops of Rose of Sharon oil to the spine to help with infection.
  • For bronchitis, dilute several drops of Rose of Sharon with carrier oil and apply to the chest area.
  • To help strengthen and support the immune system, apply 2-3 drops to the soles of your feet daily.


Cistus essential oil is a reddish-brown greenish-yellow liquid with a balsamic olor, like amber.

Olor of cistus  oil

Balsamic odor

Colour of cistus oil

From reddish-brown to


Apparence of cistus oil 


cistus oil components

Main component of cistus essential oil is alpha-pinene, but among its many components, it is also worth mentioning camphene, limonene, p-cymene, bornyl acetate and terpinen-4-ol.





Bornyl acetate



The therapeutic properties of cistus oil are as follows:

  • Analgesic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiviral
  • Calmative
  • Cicatrizing
  • Immunostimulant

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