Cistus Hydrosol is a great one to have in your First Aid Kit.  Especially if there are lots of incidences of cuts and scrapes and scars  Its antiviral properties make it great for washing wounds out, and it stops bleeding very quickly.

In addition to the information I share here on Cistus Hydrosol, I also have an article on Cistus essential oil which you might enjoy reading as well.

 (Cistus ladaniferus) 

Family: Cistceae

Plant Description:  Cistus, also known as labdanum and rock rose, is a small evergreen sticky shrub that grows up to around 90 – 150 meters high in acid soils.   Suited to a continental Mediterranean climate and able to withstand long summer droughts and cold weather. It has lance shaped leaves that are white and furry on the underside and fragrant white flowers which only last a few hours.

History/Folklore:  Cistus, or labdanum, is an aromatic that has been around for a long time.  The Egyptians imported it from Crete to use as a perfume and an incense. In Ancient Greece, shepherds allowed their sheep and goats wo wandered around the hills rubbing up against the small, sticky, cistus shrubs.  They would then harvest the gum by combing the fleece of their animals. It was long considered to be a sacred aroma, like frankincense, cedar, myrrh and benzoin.  Apparently, it was also used in the holy anointing oil used on the king of Israel to give them determination and will.

The Book of Genesis contains 2 mentions of labdanum being carried to Egypt from Palestine.  It was long considered to be a sacred aroma, like frankincense, cedar, myrrh and benzoin.  Apparently, it was also used in the holy anointing oil used on the king of Israel to give them determination and will.

During the Middle Ages it was used to treat wounds and ulcers of the skin.  The gum was used for catarrh, diarrhea and dysentery.

Aroma and Taste:  Suzanne Catty describes the fragrance of cistus hydrosol as being unusual.  Reminiscent of the essential oil but lacking its complexity and depth.  Herbaceous, quite dry and warm in both scent and flavor.

Stability and Shelf Life:  Very Stable.  Generally, two years or more.

pH: 2.9 – 3.1


Cistus hydrosol has antiviral, antiwrinkle, astringent, cicatrizant, immunostimulant and styptic properties.


Len and Shirley Price reference Franchomme & Penoel by saying that this hydrosol can be helpful for those who are ‘disconnected’ (out of touch with themselves), as well as helpful for those who have a dependence on certain drugs like alcohol and cigarettes and help them break the habit.

Suzanne Catty says that Cistus supports all types of medicines and treatments.  She says it is a good postoperative choice for speeding internal healing and preventing bleeding. Use it as a supporting treatment for bleeding ulcers, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.  Cistus hydrosol will stop bleeding almost on contact and is good for cleaning wounds, as a compress for hematoma with bleeding, and for the treatment of new scar tissue.  Also, very effective as a douche for endometriosis, especially when combined with Helichrysum hydrosol.  Use daily.

She also suggests that it can form the basis of a very effective antiwrinkle protocol.  Mist the face with it twice a day or use in compresses around the eye area.  An excellent addition as well to an Aftershave spray.


In Dr. Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, Cistus has the theme of obstructive congestion affecting throat, liver and spleen and heart.  It also has a theme of coldness.  This coldness is not meanness but sadness. For instance, one could consider using Cistus for someone who felt unwanted as a child, or for someone who lost a parent as a child.

You can view other posts written on individual hydrosols here.
Another general article on Floral Waters/Hydrosols/Hydrolats. 

Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin, 1960
Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc.
Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001
Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972
Ann Harman, Harvest to Hydrosol, IAG Botanics LLC dba botanicals, 2015
Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018
Bettina Malle & Helge Schmickl, The Essential Oil Maker’s Handbook, Spikehorn Press, 2012, 2015
Len and Shirley Price, Understanding Hydrolats Churchill Livingstone, 2004
Jeanne Rose, 374 Essential Oils and Hydrosols, Frog Ltd, 1999