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Pistacia Lentiscus (Pistacia lentiscus)

Pistacia Lentiscus

Pistacia lentiscus

A regular of the maquis scrubland and garrigues, Pistacia lentiscus, also called "mastic" or "terebinth", is a shrub of the Anacardiaceae family, which may reach three metres.


It grows in Mediterranean climates and its name derives from the Latin lentus (viscous) referring to its gum. Its leaves are green and persistent, and resemble those of the olive tree. It has a small, non-comestible fruit with a stone.

  • Bath Bath
  • Skin application Skin application
  • Oral route Oral route
  • Respiratory route Respiratory route


Makes sure you have an essential oil obtained by distillation. The absolutes obtained using solvents do not have the same therapeutic properties. Essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus must be diluted for cutaneous use. Children must not be present during its diffusion.

Do not use in: pregnant or breast feeding women, children under the age of six years, persons allergic to one of the components (geraniol, linalool, limonene), subjects with asthma without the advice of an allergologist before the first use, regular internal use in persons with kidney failure.


Digestive pains
3 drops of essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus, 30 drops of calophyllum plant oil. Apply the mixture by massaging the abdomen. Repeat morning and evening.

Apply 2 drops essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus diluted in 2 drops of carrier oil on the haemorrhoidal vein after each shower and each bowel movement.

Heavy legs, varicose veins
5 drops of essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus, 50 drops of calophyllum plant oil. Apply the mixture on the zone concerned. Repeat the application morning and evening.


Pistacia lentiscus is present in Morocco (since the 1950s), in Algeria and in Corsica. The yields are only profitable when the tree reaches adulthood between ten and fifteen years.


The odour of essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus is intense and herbaceous.


Steam distillation of the branches and flowers gives essential oil of pistacia lentiscus. Its yield is excessively low: 0.015%, i.e. only fifteen grams of essential oil per hundred kilograms of plant, therefore its price is high.


The chemical constituents of essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus are principally monoterpenes (75%), sesquiterpenes (15%), some monoterpenols and sesquiterpenols.


A decongestant of the venous and lymphatic systems, essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus treats varicose veins and venous stasis, phlebitis and haemorrhoids.

Pistacia lentiscus was used to cure all ailments or almost in the ancient pharmacopoeia. The Encyclopaedia states that its decoction "was celebrated as potable vegetable gold". It is an interesting panacea to cure gout, stomach weaknesses, relieve stubborn vomiting, dissipate winds, expel urine and firm loose teeth". The essential oil of Pistacia lentiscus is certainly multivalent, however its ambitions are much more limited. The Greeks still use it to perfume their ouzo. In the old days in Corsica, a "listincu" collar was put on dogs to preserve them from sickness and a branch was placed in barrels to disinfect them. This is the reason why bars in Ajaccio were identified to passers-by with a Pistacia lentiscus branch.


Extracts from the book 'Aromatherapia - All about essential oils', by Isabelle Pacchioni, watercolors by Patrick MORIN, Aroma Thera Editions . Extracts from the book '41 essential oils essential for treating yourself differently' and '48 essential oils which every home needs to be healthy' by Isabelle Delaleu and Isabelle Pacchioni, Publications of the Mandadori France group. Botanical illustrations by Agathe Haevermans.

The properties, benefits and method of use are given for information; they cannot in any case constitute or replace medical information that only health professionals can provide. For any use of essential oils for therapeutic purposes, please consult your GP or pharmacist.
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