Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil
Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil

Greek Cistus Organic Essential Oil

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Greek Cistus Essential Oil

Batch: CI2023001B

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Common name: cistus

Other names: labdanum (not to be confused with "Laudanum", another name for tincture of opium), rock rose, gum rock rose

Latin name: Cistus ladaniferus

Botanical family: Cistaceae

Method of extraction: distillation of the gum obtained by boiling the leaves and branches

Plant part used to extract the oil: leaves and branches

Cultivation method: organic farming

Area of origin: Nea Tenedos, Central Macedonia, Greece

Historical notes: 

Cistus seeds are contained in a round pod divided into 7 to 10 smaller compartments. It might be that the name of the plant is derived from this observation as the Greek word “kístē” means “box”. “Kísthos” is indeed the Greek word for cistus!

There is no doubt that the plant, which is native to the Eastern Mediterranean area, especially some Greek islands, (e.g. Crete) and Middle East, must have been known and used for centuries. It has even been mentioned in the famous Ebers papyrus (dated around 1550 BCE). The gum - in ancient Greek referred to as“lídanon” (λήδανον) or “ládanon” (λάδανον) and known as “ladanum” by the Arabs - was used in worship rituals and as incense. Herodotus, an ancient Greek writer, geographer and historian (5th Century AD) recorded how the ‘resin’ was collected in his days. As it would stick to the coats of the grazing animals, shephers would comb it out from the beards of their goats once the animals had their fill. It was used in various ointments. Hippocrates, Dioscorides and later Roman encyclopaedistCelsus( c. ... 25 BC – c. ... 50 AD) known for his extant medical work, “De Medicina” -  all  mention cistus in their writings. 

While the gum is now separated by boiling the twigs and leaves, it can also be obtained with a rake-like tool with long strands of leather - known as the “ladanisterion” or “ergastiri” beingpulled through the shrubs. The sticky residue would adhere to the strands from which it can be then scraped off.

Biochemical group: monoterpene

Main chemical constituents: alpha-pinene, camphehe, para-cymene, bornyl acetate, trans-pinocarveol, trimethylcyclohexanone, borneol, globulol, limonene,dehydropara-cymene, isopinocamphone, gamma-terpinene,  1,8-cineole, verbenene, terpinene-4-ol

Colour: dark orange/amber 

Consistency: thick

Aroma strength: strong

Perfumery note: middle/base

Aroma: warm, herbaceous, sweet, dry, musky, balsamic, ambergris-like

Traditional Aromatherapy Uses:

Traditionally in aromatherapy treatments cistus is associated with the following therapeutic properties:

anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, antiseptic, astringent, calming, cicatrisant, emmenagogue, expectorant, lymphatic tonic, nervine, sedative, styptic, vulnerary

Qualified aromatherapists may use cistus essential oil for common complaints such as:

  • emotional issues such as emotional crisis, when in need of calming and comfort or to enhance meditation practice
  • lymphatic system – swollen lymph nodes and to improve lymphatic draining in massage
  • skin care applications to assist with wound healing, bedsores, ulcers, eczema and psoriasis as well as acne, oily skin and wrinkles; it is thought to be the fastest acting styptic oils (stops bleeding)
  • others, e.g. cistus is used in perfumery as a fixative and fragrance component.

How we use it:

Inhalation / Vapourisation:

- Vapourise a couple of drops or use in an aroma inhaler for stress and stress-related issues Try blended with lavender, frankincense, myrrh or our gorgeous helichrysum!

- Vapourise a couple of drops to enhance meditation. Try in combination with a drop of frankincense, Australian sandalwood, cedarwood or our Greek black pine.

Skin applications:

- For skin care and wound healing combine with helichrysum, lavender, patchouli and/or frankincense – dilute appropriately in rosehip oil or other suitable oil or cream.

Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information

Safety considerations:

Tisserand and Young do not indicate any contraindications when using cistus Essential Oil.

Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, 'Essential Oil Safety' (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 250.]

 Please, also see our How to Use Essential Oils Safely page for more information.

Research and studies:

  • Composition and Antimicrobial Activity of the Essential oil of Cistus creticus L.


  • Primary Mode of Action of Cistus ladaniferus L. Essential Oil Active Fractions on Staphylococcus aureus Strain

  • Detection of Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities in Phenol Components and Essential oils of Cistus ladaniferus and Mentha suaveolens extracts






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