Rock rose
(Cistus landaniferus)

Family: Cistaceae
Description: Rock rose is also commonly known as labdanum and cistus. It is a small, sticky shrub with lance-shaped leaves and fragrant white flowers that last only a few hours, but which bud anew every morning. The essential oil is steam-distilled from the gum made from boiling the twigs and leaves in water.
Countries of origin: France, Spain
Characteristics: Rock rose is dark yellow and viscous, with sweet, warm herbaceous top notes and dry, musky undertones. It blends well with clary sage, neroli, lemon, bergamot, cedarwood, jasmine, pine, juniper, lavender, cypress, vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, orange and roman chamomile.

Main therapeutic properties; Anti—microbial, antiseptic, astringent, emmenagogue, expectorant tonic, vulnerary.


Rock rose is the first choice for healing minor wounds, and in a local wash or cold compress it quickly stops bleeding from open cuts, grazes and abrasions. Blended with lavender and clary sage, it is indicated for healing bed sores, and with cypress and lavender for varicose ulcers. Rock rose also heals chronic skin conditions and is especially effective when these are infected. Overall, it is cleansing, comforting and healing.
Useful in lymphatic drainage massage and in hot compresses on swollen lymph nodes on the neck, rock rose has a powerful cleansing and tonic effect on the lymphatic system. It is good in skin care for oily skins, acne, mature skin and wrinkles.
Psychologically, rock rose is warming and centring. It is valuable in meditations and mood perfumes after shock and trauma, when it warms, grounds and aids reconnection with life and soul. The essential oil mirrors the action of rock-rose flower essence and, used in combination, they provide a powerful way to deal with sudden shock. Rock rose also aids the visualization of spiritual experiences and helps to bring them into consciousness.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy.