Teaching Tuesday- Under the Radar EO's- Cistus

This week we will be continuing the "Under the Radar Essential Oils" by discussing a somewhat pricey (around 40-50$ an ounce) EO that you may not be familiar with. It is Cistus EO, botanically known as Cistus Ladaniferus and/or Cistus Ladanifer. This EO is steam distilled from the leaves of the Cistus plant, which is sometimes known as a Rockrose shrub. The Cistus is a small, sticky shrub, native to the Mediterranean and the Middle East. It is a pale yellow-orange,  and has a strong, sweet, dry, richly herbaceous aroma. The EO is primarily produced by Spain, France and the Mediterranean.  Besides the steam distilled oil, which is made from the leaves of the Cistus plant, you can also find an absolute, meaning a solvent extracted oil, which is made from the crude resin of the plant. It is [usually] identified on the market as Labdanum Absolute.

Cistus is considered one of the ancient spiritual oils, with a history of being used in incense, and as an aid to meditation and centering. Now days it is mainly used in perfumery for its rich aroma and the fact that it makes an excellent fixative. In fact, it is currently used in some expensive brands of perfume! It is also often used in skin care formulations, and is in fact highly recommended in blends for aging skin products. Medicinally it has most often been used for treating digestive and menstrual issues. Aromatherapy wise, Cistus is still used for meditation due to its calming, stress reducing and mood uplifting properties. 

Cistus has antiseptic, antimicrobial, astringent, expectorant, tonic*, and emmenagogue* properties. For this reason, this EO should be avoided during pregnancy. Remedies made with this EO especially benefit bronchitis, colds, coughs, wrinkles, mature skin care, and nervousness. It is also used in a warm compress to treat swollen lymph glands.

As always, internal use of EO's is not recommended unless you are working with an experienced, licensed, professional. Failure to comply with this advice could result in serious consequences, possibly even death.

*A tonic is an agent that restores or increases body tone.
**An emmenagogue is an herb that stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area and the uterus, and some also stimulate menstruation.

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