Ancient Egypt

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Labdanum is a sticky brown resin obtained from the shrubs Cistus. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine and as a perfume ingredient.


In ancient times, the resin was scraped from the fur of goats and sheep that had grazed on the cistus shrubs. It was collected by the shepherds and sold to coastal traders. The false beards worn by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were actually the labdanum soaked hair of these goats. Later long poles with leather or cloth strips were used to sweep the shrubs and collect the resin which was later extracted. It was used to treat colds, coughs, menstrual problems and rheumatism.