Taking a deep breath can revitalize our bodies and minds. With both a peppery and earthy aroma, Cistus essential oil has long been associated with clearing the respiratory system.
The word Cistus is from the Greek ‘kistos’, and is a flowering plant in the rockrose family Cistaceae. Perennial shrubs found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal through to the Middle East, Cistus can also be found on the Canary Islands.
The paper-thin, beautiful flower is non-fragrant. The essential oil is extracted from the sticky and resinous leaves and stalks through a steam distillation process.
Botanical Name: Cistus ladanifer
Method: Steam Distilled
Plant Part: Leaves/ Stalk
Note: Middle - Base
Synonym: Labdanum, Rock Rose
Blends Well With: Vetiver, and other resins
Aroma: Peppery, earthy, and spicy
Color: Light Brown
Safety: Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult physician. Avoid contact with eyes. Do not use internally unless instructed by a licensed aromatherapist or physician.
OK For Kids: 2+
Kids Max Dilution: 1%
Shelf Life: 1-2 Years
Pet Safety: Essential oils are generally safe to diffuse around adult cats and dogs intermittently. Ensure the room you’re diffusing in is well ventilated and that your pet can leave if desired. Discontinue use if you notice any adverse reaction. Avoid topical use and diffusing around young pets, small animals or pets with health problems.
- There are several ways to effectively use Cistus essential oil and obtain its benefits, including 1.) Add 10 drops to your essential oil diffuser per 100 ml of water. 2.) Dilute 12 drops per 1 ounce of carrier oil and use in a skin-nourishing massage. 3.)Add 6 drops to ½ cup of castille soap and 1 cup of Epsom salt for added magnesium absorption. Add the mixture to your bath and soak up the goodness. 4.) Add 10 drops to an Essential Oil Inhaler and take it with you for on-the-go therapeutic use.
- The fresh, sweet earthy aromatics of Cistus has a deep, musky aroma that is somewhat smoky. It has undertones of balsam and is herbs and there is no other oil that can truly compare to this fascinating plant. Its resinous, sticky leaves and flowers are used to create this essential oil with steam distillation. The plant grows in very poor conditions - rocky, poor soil - that you have to wonder where on earth it is able to draw out its unique aromatic makeup.
- Cistus essential oil, aka Rock Rose as it is known in England, is derived from the flowers and leaves of the plant. These flowers are so called Rock Rose because they carry a resemblance of single roses and have a preferred habitat that is rocky and grows in relatively poor soil. The essential oil is a base note with anti-inflammatory and antiseptic and astringent properties which make it ideal for soothing skin issues from acne and rosacea to mature skin and even for sunburn and wound healing. It has been used for distressing emotional issues that deal with grief and longing. It also helps to guide you when dealing with uncomfortable situations.
- There are a few oils that can potentially be substitutes for Cistus but it depends on what you need it for. For emotional trauma and to calm the heart and mind, try Rose or Valerian. For skin remedies, turn to Tea Tree or Lavender, Rose or Neroli. To support womens issues Geranium and Clary Sage can best give comfort. To open the breath, try using Myrrh, Eucalyptus globulus and Benzoin.
- In perfumery, scents have ‘notes.’ A scent can be a top, middle or base note. Cistus is considered a middle note. Each aroma note reacts differently based on its volatility. Top notes tend to be the most volatile, meaning they don’t last that long after they’ve been exposed to air. However, top notes are generally the strongest aroma when you first smell a scent. On the other hand, base notes are the least volatile, meaning they last much longer and are not the strongest aroma when you first experience a scent but they grow stronger after being exposed to air.
Apply Topically: Our Single Essential Oils and Synergy Blends are 100% pure and undiluted. To apply to the skin, dilute with a high-quality Carrier Oil. See our dilution chart here. We recommend performing a skin patch test when using a new essential oil topically.
Diffuse & Inhale: Breathe in your favorite essential oils using an essential oil diffuser or personal pocket inhaler. For instructions on how to use your diffuser, please refer to the diffuser's product page.
DIYs: Explore simple and fun recipes on The Drop, our essential oil blog with expert tips, EO news, and informative reads.
SKIN BALM: To a 2 ounce squeeze bottle add: 5 drops of Cistus, 2 drop of Carrot Seed, 3 drops of Frankincense (Frereana), 6 drops of Lavender and 4 drops of Helichrysum with 2 teaspoons of Rosehip and fill with Tamanu oil. Apply to dry or damaged areas 2-3 times daily to soothe the skin. (1.7% dilution)
QUICK FIX: Add: 1 drop of Cistus to 1 teaspoon of Rosehip oil. Apply to face, throat and the back of hands to nourish and soothe.
SKIN OVER 30: Mix together: 3 drops of Cistus, 3 drops of Frankincense, 2 drops of Helichrysum and 1 drop of Carrot Seed to 1 ounce of Jojoba oil. Apply to face and neck after cleansing morning and evening.
SUGAR SCRUB: To exfoliate and smooth the skin, mix together: 6 drops of Cistus, 4 drops of Geranium, 10 drops of Cypress, 6 drops of Tangerine and 10 drops of Frankincense with 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, 1/4 cup of Jojoba and 1/4 cup of Sesame oils. Stir to mix well. Use as a last step in the shower, on wet skin. Scoop out with a spoon and gently massage 1 tablespoon at a time over the entire body. Rinse away the sugar to leave the oils behind to soothe and tone. Do not get scrub wet to prevent contamination. (1.5% dilution)
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