Thursday, 10 October 2019

Rock On! Cistus Ladanifer

Image result for cistus ladanifer

Cistus: The plant and its products

Cistus (from the Greek kistos) is a genus of flowering plants in the Rockrose family Cistaceae, containing about 20 species. They are perennial shrubs found on dry or rocky soils throughout the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal through to the Middle East, and also on the Canary Islands. In Portugal, the most common species is Cistus Ladanifer; the plants cover large areas of the countryside, especially in the south (Alentejo and Algarve). Known in Portugal by its common name Esteva, the rockrose is used as an ornamental plant (although predominantly in countries where it is not native) and due to the high amount of resin it produces, it is an important source forlabdanum, a substance used in the perfume industry, due to its resemblance to ambergris. An estimated 33% of all modern quality perfumes contain labdanum. Cistus Ladanifer plants can also be used to produce Essential oil and Hydrosol. According to studies conducted, the plants in Portugal are particularly well-suited.

Aromatherapy uses

An extensive description of the rockrose hydrosol can be found in relevant literature, from which the following quotations where taken:
Rock rose supports all types of medicines and treatments and is a good postoperative choice for speeding internal healing and preventing
bleeding (…) Rock rose is a powerful antiwrinkle treatment (…) and makes a good aftershave (…).
One of the most important applications may be in the amelioration of endometriosis
“Properties, Indications & Uses: Antiviral, antibacterial, and antiarthritic. Indicated for:
Children’s illnesses, whooping cough, and inflammation of the arteries. Uses: Skin care for mature skin and wrinkles and an inhalant for coughs and bronchitis.”
Also backed up by several investigations conducted by foreign and national universities, it is safe to say that essential oils and oil containing hydrosols from the rockrose have shown to have beneficial properties.

Traditional uses
A survey conducted in the southwestern region of the Algarve in 2006, gathered extensive information on the traditional use of native plants for medicinal uses. The rockrose has been historically used for a number of applications, either in the form of tea, poultice, inhaled or ingested. Among the wide range of reported illnesses for which the seeds, leaves or petals of the rockrose have been used, are: diabetes, uric acid, diarrhoea, colds, flu, and others.

I have been offered some Organic Cistus Ladanifer Hydrosol from Portugal, but I'm not sure there would be any interest here. If you think you might like to use this product, please let me know by replying to this post. 

Thank you

Thursday, 11 April 2019


We are now stocking the essential oil made from the distillation of this wonderful spice. It has some amazing properties that are set out by Julia Lawless in her Enclyclopaedia of Essential Oils as follows:

Analgesic, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, bactericidal, digestive, diuretc, hypotensive, insecticidal, laxative, rubefacient, stimulant.  Useful for Arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, problems with digestive system. 

Quite a list, I think you'll agree. I've always enjoyed Turmeric in curries and added to boiled rice as a cheaper alternative to saffron. It's nice to think that such a delicious food can be so beneficial to our health.

Monday, 17 December 2018

More Christmas Specials

Here are our new ceramic burners, as promised! Just put a few drops of your favourite oils in the top, with a teaspoonful of water and heat gently with a tea-light.

Also shown is a packet of shimmering granules. A few of these in the top of the burner will give off  a seasonal Cinnamon and Orange fragrance.

All these products can be found under Christmas Specials on the Home Page

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

For the second year, here's a great gift idea: a set of six Christmas oils in an ornamental, yet functional carved wooden box.

The oils we have chosen are: 5mls each of Ginger, Nutmeg, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cinnamon and orange. A few drops of these finest quality fragrances will create a wonderful Yuletide atmosphere in your home. You could start with two or three drops of your favourite oil in your burner (we will soon be offering some excellent examples of these), with a teaspoonful of water, then try some combinations of fragrance to produce your own Christmas ambiance. Cinnamon and orange are the obvious ones, but I'm sure you'll be more creative than that!

Additionally, as these are all pure essential oils, they have their own individual therapeutic properties, for post-festive use, so please keep that in mind for the New Year. This is a gift that will last!

The box is beautifully hand-carved, with banding and inlay in polished brass, so the whole package would make a superb quality gift.

We are offering these boxes through December at £25, which includes 10% discount, and they can be found in our new Christmas Gift section on the menu to the left of the Home Page.

Friday, 15 June 2018

New - Fragrance Blends

We're delighted to announce two new products which will form the basis of a new range of fragrant essential oil blends. As these will be composed of 100% pure oils there will be therapeutic and mood-enhancing benefits, as well as attractive scents. Unlike conventional perfumes, our fragrance blends will not include synthetics or spirit bases which can be irritate and dry the skin. We have chosen Fractionated Coconut as a carrier because it has a low viscosity, and a quality of soothing and softening the skin. To help deliver these benefits, we're putting the blends into handy 10ml rollerball bottles. Our first two blends are:
  • Sweet and Warm - Organic Lavender with Rose Geranium in Fractionated Coconut
  • Fresh and Uplifting - Bergamot and Sweet Brazilian Orange in Fractionated Coconut
So what we're aiming to provide is a beautiful aroma with health-giving properties. We hope you will agree, you can find them in the product-list to the left of the home page. 

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Testimonial from the Channel Islands

We have recently begun to supply the lovely Stocks Hotel in Sark, Channel Islands Aromatherapy and pampering are on the menu there and the therapist Lynn Bleasdale sent the following email to me after receiving their oils:

Just to say thank you so much. The quality of the oils is superb.

It was so exciting to receive the box of oils today and what a cute and lovely box it is.

The oils I have to say, Are simply the best.

Thanks for all your help.


Friday, 22 December 2017

A Christmas card and carol

We Three Kings of Orient Are

Did you know that this was written by an American, the Rev. John Henry Hopkins, in 1867? The lyrics include:

  Frankincense to offer have I
Incense owns a Deity Nigh
But beware:
                     Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom
Have a great Christmas and a peaceful New Year