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Guide To Cistus Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

When you feel fearful and disconnected from your spiritual self, cistus essential oil (Cistus ladaniferus) can help you reconnect to the spiritual realm and bring your whole being back into balance, according to aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Cistus Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of a cistus flower.

Basic Cistus Facts

Cistus is also called rock rose (also spelled rockrose) or labdanum.

Plant family: Cistaceae

Production: Steam distilled from the flowers and leaves of the plant. Two other oils are also made from the same plant: Labdanum absolute is solvent-extracted from the resin. Cistus absolute is solvent-extracted from the flower tops and leaves. As always, know what you are buying.

Aroma: Warm, woody, herbaceous

Perfume/Aromatic note: Base

Is cistus safe to use during pregnancy? Possibly not. Consult a professional.

Is cistus safe for children? OK for children ages 2+, according to Revive Oils.

Cautions: If cistus essential oil becomes oxidized, it can cause skin sensitization.

Main components of cistus essential oil:

  • alpha-pinene       3.5–56.0%
  • camphene          1.1–10.3%
  • (3Z)-hexen-1-ol   0–6.8%
  • 2,2,6-trimethylcyclohexanone 1.7–5.7%
  • bornyl acetate     2.1–4.8%

Main components of labdanum absolute:

  • alpha-pinene  4.9–44.0%
  • 3-phenylproprionic acid 0–22.2%
  • camphene     1.4–7.0%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Cistus Aromatherapy Benefits

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Cistus sedates the nervous system and is useful for relieving colds, coughs, menstrual problems, and hemorrhoids. In skin care, use the essential oil for sun-damaged and mature skin and also to help heal acne, dermatitis, and boils. The oil is both emotionally elevating and grounding and can improve meditation and intuition.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Cistus may help relieve flu, bronchial conditions, arthritis and other joint aches & pains, muscle pain, cuts, wounds, pimples, acne, scarring, nervousness, tension, and stress.

375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols: Use cistus in skin care for mature skin and wrinkles. The oil may also help relieve coughs and is a common fixative in perfumes.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils
(updated edition): In skin care, use cistus for mature skin and wrinkles. The oil may help relieve coughs, rhinitis, and colds.

Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness: Use cistus in skin care for nourishing mature skin, reducing wrinkles, diminishing scars, and soothing inflamed skin. The oil calms the nervous system and may be helpful in blends to help relieve chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, and insomnia.

Complete Aromatherapy Handbook: Essential Oils for Radiant Health: Rockrose is comforting, balancing, and centering for mind and spirit. In skin care, the oil may help with oily skin, infected skin, slow-healing wounds, and chronic skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis. This essential oil may also help relieve menstrual cramps and reduce swelling.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Cistus promotes willpower, perseverance, self-confidence, and motivation. Physically, the essential oil restores hypotonic/weak and decongests congestive/damp conditions. The essential function of the oil in Traditional Chinese Medicine is to draw together fluids, resolve damp, and stop bleeding. This oil is drying and generally not recommended for conditions with dry cough, dry mouth, or constipation.

Suggested essential oils to blend with cistus:

  • To calm chronic insomnia, anxiety, unknown fears, or chronic stress-related conditions: atlas cedarwood
  • To calm excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding: geranium
  • To support the immune system: vetiver
  • To help relieve chronic anxiety and insomnia: lavender

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1: According to Five Element theory, the scent of the oil has a strong affinity with the Earth element and instills a deep sense of calm and tranquility. Use the oil as a meditation aid and for psychic work. The scent settles and quiets the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual bodies.

Use cistus essential oil in skin care to deal with acne or oily skin and to nourish mature skin. Suggested essential oils to blend with cistus:

  • For comfort during emotional or spiritual crisis: helichrysum, frankincense, lavender, or myrrh.
  • To enhance a meditation practice: atlas cedarwood, frankincense, pine, or sandalwood.
  • For mature and damaged skin: helichrysum, frankincense, lavender, patchouli, or rose absolute in rosehip carrier oil.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: For the fifth chakra cistus promotes the ability to hear spiritual messages; for the sixth chakra the essential oil promotes intuitive visions and dreams; and for the seventh chakra the oil assists in receiving clear spiritual guidance.

Cistus can help reduce feelings of disconnection and help you connect with your spiritual side to overcome the fear, notably when used during meditation. The oil warms the heart and is especially helpful after trauma or suffering a dramatic loss and it's associated fear. Source: Amy Emnett. "Conquering the Fear Within." Summer 2017.2 NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, p. 19.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Use cistus to consecrate space, stimulate intuition, and help receive messages from spirit guides. The oil broadens self-awareness.

Cistus Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Chronic Pain Relief Massage Oil

  • 2 tablespoons tamanu oil (Calophyllum inophyllum)
  • 6 drops cistus essential oil
  • 3 drops German chamomile essential oil
  • 2 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 4 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 3 drops myrrh essential oil

Blend ingredients in a one-ounce (30 ml) glass bottle. Cap and shake gently. Use as needed to massage painful areas and old injuries. Great for scars! Source: Aromahead

Dry, Damaged Skin Balm

  • 2 teaspoons rosehip oil
  • 5 drops cistus
  • 2 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 4 drops helichrysum essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • Tamanu oil

Add rosehip oil and essential oils to a 2-ounce squeeze bottle. Fill the bottle with tamanu oil. Close and shake gently. Apply a few drops to dry or damaged skin 2 or 3 times a day to soothe the skin. (1.7% dilution)
Source: Eden's Garden

Anxiety Relief Blend

  • 8 drops cistus
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 8 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 6 drops rose essential oil

Use a few drops in a diffuser or dilute in a carrier oil for a massage.
Adapted from Materia Aromatica

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