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Vicky E. Arvelaki.


Rock Rose (Cistrus Creticus)

Cistus creticus, commonly know as Rock Rose, is a perennial shrub, found on dry or rocky soils in Mediterranean area and particularly in Crete island, South Greece.

Mythology and History
Cistus Incanus Creticus.

It was known to the Greeks as early as the times of Herodotus and Theophrastus.
This plant and has been prized since ancient times as the source of the substance labdanum, also known as ladanum. This sticky resin, derived from the sap of Cistus incanus has been used for centuries as an ingredient in perfumes and incense, as well as to treat colds, coughs, menstrual problems, rheumatism, as well as for embalming and aphrodisiac purposes.

Ancient Greeks used a unique method for collecting the resin from these plants. Goats were allowed to graze among the Cistus incanus shrubs, and the resin would adhere to the hair of their coats, which was then shorn and boiled. The resin, which is not soluble in water, would eventually rise to the surface and would be skimmed off for later use. This complex and time-consuming process made labdanum a rare and highly prized commodity among ancient peoples. 
Today, modern techniques have made this process much more efficient. But still today in the Greek Isles, it is collected by threshing the plants by a kind of flail from which the sticky mass is scraped off with a knife and rolled into small black balls.

Health Benefits & Modern Medicinal uses

This plant is an aromatic, expectorant, stimulant herb that controls bleeding and has antibiotic effects. It is used internally in the treatment of catarrh and diarrhoea.
Rock Rose tea is three times as healthy as green tea and elderberry juice. It protects the heart four times better than red wine and it is an antioxidant twenty times stronger than freshly pressed lemon juice. Just a cup of tea a day is proven to stimulate the immune system significantly. 

The human body requires this type of antioxidant to combat toxic substances. Scientists have found that the rock rose contains an adequate combination of these antioxidants, detoxifies the body and eliminates toxic heavy metals deriving from the smoke of cigarettes, dental fillings and environmental pollution. In addition, rock rose flower is a key ingredient in a homeopathic treatment, especially for stress.

Presently, resin’s main use is in perfume industry, as a fixative substance. It is often used in making cosmetic creams, because of its anti-wrinkle properties and shampoos, as it strengthens the hair follicle. It is also considered a sedative, astringent, heating, antispasmodic and expectorant. 

The most outstanding effect of Rock Rose is its wound healing abilities. It used in any blend for healing skin issues, new or old scars, wounds, inflammation and infections. It is wonderful in blends for mature skin. It is a great anti-inflammatory and has a penetrating, deep aroma that opens up the senses.

The secret of these incredible versatile effects of the rockrose herb is the particularly high level of vitamin P, as well as certain tannic acid compounds or what we call polyphenols. Rockrose contains the highest level of these active agents of any substance known to man. These substances have a stronger antioxidant effect than the well-known vitamins E and C.


Labdanum from mediterranean Cistus species: GC-MS fingerprints and relative quantification of antispirochaetal manoyloxides

Planta Med 2012; 78 - PA10
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1320325

Labdanum from mediterranean Cistus species: GC-MS fingerprints and relative quantification of antispirochaetal manoyloxides

K Kuchta 1, K Grötzinger 1, C Birkemeyer 2, HW Rauwald 1
  • 1Pharmacognosy, Leipzig Uni., Johannisal. 23, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
  • 2Anal. Chemistry, Leipzig Uni., Linnéstr. 3, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

The oleoresin labdanum from Cistus creticus was used in ancient Greece as incense, anti-infective, and wound treatment [1]. On Crete, the main production center since antiquity, it is brushed off the leaves with long textile strings. After the Ottoman conquest of Crete 1645, Western Europe imported Spanish labdanum prepared by hot water extraction of aerial parts of Cistus ladanifer. Shortly there- after, labdanum fell out of pharmaceutical use [2]. Presently, C. creticus leaf extracts from Turkey are applied by German self-help groups for borreliosis therapy [3]. Our results indicate that this anti- spirochaetal activity is mainly due to manoyloxides in the essential oil [3,4]. Here, 8 labdanum sam- ples were analyzed by GC-MS for these active constituents, revealing exceptionally high contents of 13-epi-manoyloxide, 2-keto-manoyloxide, ent-3β-hydroxy-13-epi-manoyloxide, manoyloxide, sclareol, and acetoxy-manoyloxide in the Cretan ones. In other eastern Mediterranean samples, the concentration of these compounds was several orders of magnitude lower, whereas Spanish labda- num is dominated by simple alkanes with only trace amounts of manoyloxide and 13-epi-man- oyloxide. Thus, discontinuation of medicinal use of labdanum in Western Europe is understandable as “labdanum” from C. ladanifer is clearly not equivalent to the traditionally harvested C. creticus drug. Rumors that C. creticus contains psychotropic THC were refuted.
References: 1. Aufmesser, M (2002) Dioscurides. Olms Verlag. Hildesheim. 2. Husemann, T (1889) Archiv der Pharmazie 227: 1075-1092/1105-1132. 3. Hutschenreuther, A. et al. (2010) Pharmazie 65: 290-295. 4. Grötzinger, K. et al. (2010) Planta Med 76: 245.


Bogner Man Limited Edition

By: Sandra Raičević Petrović

Bogner Man Limited Edition is expected on the market from April 2013 as a harmonious fragrance for men, reflecting the style and sports spirit of Bogner brand. The composition of the fragrance and flacon design accompany the philosophy of the brand while accentuating sporty details highlighted in a simple yet modern style.

The new, sporty fragrance accentuates optimism and pure energy with luminous citruses offering dynamic strength in the top notes. A blend of mandarin and bergamot is combined with floral notes of Litsea cubeba (May Chang) bush. A pinch of cardamom provides masculinity to the composition. The masculine character of the heart is presented with cedar wood and surrounded with subtle floral accords of jasmine, orange blossom and Egyptian rose. The base encompasses a warm and cuddly blend of tonka beans, sandalwood, amber and musk.
bergamot, mandarin, Litsea cubeba
cedar, jasmine, orange blossom, Egyptian rose
amber, sandalwood, musk, tonka


uicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir.

By: Sandra Raičević Petrović

Another fragrance—a limited edition by Juicy Couture—joins the trendy wave of Noir editions. It will arrive in selected stores in July 2013, and globally from August 2013—as announced by moodiereport. Officials of the house of Elizabeth Arden accentuate that Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir explores the seductive face of the original Viva La Juicy editions.

"Viva La Juicy Noir is the embodiment of the fun-loving Viva muse, who is always the life of the party. Unapologetic, she takes risks and gets rewarded. We are excited to expand the Viva La Juicy portfolio for a limited time with the launch of Viva La Juicy Noir," explains Robin Mason (Elizabeth Arden Senior Vice President Global Marketing).

Top notes of the composition await us with a juicy union of berries and mandarin, announcing the floral blend of honeysuckle, gardenia and jasmine in the heart of the fragrance.

The base closes with amber, caramel, vanilla and sandalwood.


Three wise

Gold is symbolic of Jesus' kingship.

Frankincense is an aromatic gum resin from the scraggly boswellia tree (below left, the flowers and branches of the boswellia sacra from which most myrrh is derived) which grows in Somalia and in the southern Arabian peninsula. It is obtained by making a deep cut in the trunk of the tree, which exudes a milky juice that on exposure to air hardens into semi-opaque whitish lumps. This substance was ground into powder and burned as an incense in Temple ritual, giving off an odor like balsam. It thus denotes Jesus' future priesthood. From ancient times through the Middle Ages, frankincense was a principal Arabian trading commodity. In the ancient world it was used for religious and medicinal purposes; today, it is an ingredient in incense and perfumes.

Myrrh (above right) is a reddish-brown resinous material, the dried sap of a number of trees, but primarily from Commiphora myrrha, which is native to Yemen, Somalia and the eastern parts of Ethiopia, and Commiphora gileadensis, which is native to Jordan. The sap of a number of other species is also known as myrrh, including labdanum, an aromatic gum exuded from the leaves of the Cistus Incanus Creticus or rock rose. Myrrh was used as an embalming ointment and as an incense at funerals and cremations. Its oil was used in beauty treatments and was sometimes added to wine and drunk to relieve pain. As a constituent of perfumes and incense, was highly valued in ancient times, and was often worth more than its weight in gold. In Ancient Rome myrrh was priced at five times as much as frankincense.

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