Cistus Essential Oil

Essential Oil Profile

Cistus (Rock Rose)

Cistus ladaniferus

Countries of Origin

Australia and Spain mainly for the essential oil.

Plant Family


Main Chemical Components (1)

Alpha Pinene 3.5-56%

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%

Extraction Method and Plant Part

Steam distilled from the leaves and twigs

About the Oil

                Color- Orange

                Aroma-  Fresh and herbaceous yet somewhat sweet and cool.

About the Plant (2)

“Known also by its common name 'rockrose', cistus is native to the western Mediterranean, and grows in Spain, Portugal, southern France, Sicily, Greece, Algeria and Morrocco.
A shrub reaching a height of 2.5 metres, it has evergreen leaves that are lanceolate in shape and five-petalled flowers 5-8 cm in diameter, usually with a red to maroon spot at the base, surrounding yellow stamens and pistils. The whole plant is covered with a sticky fragrant exudate.
Well-suited to the Mediterranean climate, it is an highly invasive plant that has taken over large swathes of former farmland and grasslands in the mountainous areas of central Spain.
Cistus is a popular ornamental plant, grown for its resin-scented foliage and conspicuous flowers. Its leaves yield a fragrant oleoresin known as labdanum, which is commonly used in perfumery for its fixative properties.”

Therapeutic Properties

Analgesic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-infectious, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-microbial, Anti-oxidant, Anti-septic, Anti-viral, Astringent, Calming, Cicatrisant, Cooling, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Mucolytic, Nervine, Sedative

Energetic Properties (4)

Associated Chakras: 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 6th 

This essential oil is thought to help alleviate shock from traumatic events. It can sooth the heart after a crisis, and is found to be beneficial for meditation especially if combined with Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) or Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum).

Safety Concerns (1)

Only hazards and cautions noted with this oil are in relation to high alpha pinene levels. Oxidation of this oil can cause skin sensitization and as such should be stored in a dark, cool location.

Blends well with (3)

Bergamot, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Helichrysum, Juniper, Lavender, Orange, Patchouli, Pine, Sandalwood, Vetiver

Fun Fact

This oil can be confused with labdanum oil which is distilled from the same plant resin or gum as opposed to cistus which is distilled from the flowering plant.  

“While labdanum oil is produced through distilling the gum exudate, cistus essential oil is produced through the steam distillation of the leaves and branches. The resulting oil is viscous and orange in colour, with a fresh, sweet-herbaceous, honey-like green aroma.”2

Expected Shelf Life

4 years, but needs to be kept in a cool and dark location to prevent oxidation.


1)      Tisserand and Young Essential Oil Safety




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As always; information presented here is for informational use only. Nothing herein is intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any illness or disease. Before adding supplements or changing your health care routine please seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.