Essential Oil Labdanum (15 mL)
Essential Oil Labdanum
Labdanum, also called ladanum, laudanum, ladan or ladanon, is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus ladanifer (western Mediterranean) and Cistus creticus (eastern Mediterranean), species of rockrose. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient. It was traditionally one of the three main ingredients in classical French Chypre perfumes.
In ancient times, labdanum was collected by combing the beards and thighs of goats and sheep that had grazed on the cistus shrubs. It was collected by the shepherds and sold to coastal traders. The resin was used as an ingredient for incense, and medicinally to treat colds, coughs, menstrual problems and rheumatism. Ladanum was produced on the banks of the Mediterranean in antiquity. The Book of Genesis contains two mentions of ladanum being carried to Egypt from Palestine.
HISTORY OF USE
Labdanum or rock rose is a relatively small evergreen bush native to mountainous Mediterranean regions especially Spain, France, Morocco and Cyprus. Its oil has been utilized for centuries for its aromatic qualities in perfumery while the gum is used for several therapeutic purposes including catarrh, diarrhea and dysentery.
There are some interesting facts regarding its discovery; by all accounts Mediterranean shepherds and goat herders collected labdanum gum resin from the beards of their goats that grazed on the labdanum shrubs. The amber colored resin was sold and used for incense.
Historical evidence suggests that the Pharaohs were among the earliest people to use labdanum on their bodies. They attached goat hair beards onto their faces with labdanum resin which was also used in the treatment of colds, rheumatism and female menstrual problems.
Labdanum essential oil which is used today in aromatherapy is derived from the leaves and twigs of the shrub by steam distillation. Its scent is sweet, woody with musky undertones and is highly valued in the perfume industry today for its ability to enhance multiple scents.
The essential oil of labdanum has an almost terpenic, pine like opening, and then transitions into a warm, kind of leathery scent with hints of pepper, tar, coffee, light tobacco, etc, while not really smelling just like any one of them. It also has a tiny hint of an animalic side to it. The texture is very very resinous, which makes sense as labdanum is actually a resin.
Labdanum is also known as the Rose of Sharon and is mentioned in the Bible. An essential oil of this plant is also produced. It is typically called Cistus essential oil. Its aroma is very different from Labdanum and has less of the amber-like aroma.
Labdanum Essential Oil is not the same as Cistus Absolute, although they come from the same plant called Rock Rose. Labdanum is not as sweet as cistus. It is used primarily as a perfume oil to ground and balance competing scents. Energetically it balances and allows a synergy to form. Often confused with Rock Rose, the flower essence (Helianthemum canadense), which is another plant and oil. There is also cistus (C. ladanifer) coming from the same plant, but it is processed differently than labdanum. Cistus is a rare or precious oil distilled from the flowers and leaves, while labdanum is made from the crude gum of the plant. The crude gum is prepared by boiling the dried leaves and twigs in water. The gum is then skimmed off the surface of the water and dried. An essential oil can be distilled from this crude gum and is the one most prized for its ambergris qualities (and is often used as synthetic ambergris). A resinoid is produced when the gum is treated with alcohol and filtered. There is also a concrete and absolute made from the twigs and leaves, which is dissolved in a solvent (such as hexane), then vacuum extracted and thinned with alcohol. This is used as a perfume fixative. You will also find a labdanum, sometimes referred to as cistus, which is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs. It has little value, however and smells of pine. There is much confusion over the labeling of this oil, with cistus and labdanum frequently interchanged. Here, processing makes a world of difference.
Labdanum essential oil is primarily used as a fragrance in the perfume industry where it helps balance and ground competing scents. It is not as well known for its therapeutic benefits though in aromatherapy. Labdanum oil is used for its ability to deal with a range of emotional and mental issues and is known to relieve stress and to exert calm and tranquility on the mind. That being said, labdanum does consist of a number of therapeutic properties and it is possible that its medicinal potential has yet to be discovered.
Labdanum Essential Oil for the skin has regenerative qualities and blended with Frankincense can erase signs of aging. When inhaled, it can quiet the mind. Labdanum can calm the nerves and elevate perception. Use to meditate.
Caution: NEVER USE INTERNALLY without consulting professional medical help
- Not recommended for pregnant women and infants.
Individuals with serious and chronic health issues should consult an expert prior to using oils.
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