Cedarwood oil is extracted from several species of trees including Cedrus atlantica (Atlas Cedarwood), Cedrus deodara (Himalayan Cedarwood), Juniperus virginiana (Virginian Cedarwood), and Juniperus mexicana (Texan Cedarwood). Cedars are coniferous trees in the Pinaceae and Cupressaceae families and are native to areas of the Mediterranean region and the Himalayas where they grow at altitudes up to 10,00 feet. Cedar trees grow to be around 100 to 150 feet tall with some examples reaching nearly 200 feet at full maturity. They have large, thick trunks and broad, spreading branches. The bark of cedar trees is dark gray and smooth on young trees and turns brown and scaly with cracks and fissures as the tree matures. Cedar leaves are rigid evergreen needles and can range from one-quarter inch to over two inches long. They vary in color from bright green to dark green to a pale bluish-green color depending on the thickness of the waxy layer that coats and protects the leaves. Cedar leaves form in dense spiral clusters on the short shoots and in more open spirals on the long shoots and can stay on a tree for three to six years. The seed-bearing cones of the Cedar tree are barrel-shaped and two to five inches long, changing from green to brown in color as they mature. Once fully mature, the cones begin disintegrating and releasing the seeds. The pollen-bearing cones of the Cedar tree are slender and from one to three inches long. Cedar pollination takes place in the fall and the cones will mature for one year before releasing the pollinated seeds. Cedarwood Essential Oil is extracted from the wood of the trees which can be reddish in color with a spicy, resinous scent.
Cedars have long been used as ornamental trees and have been cultivated for this purpose across the Mediterranean, western Europe, and regions of Australia and North America. Many species of cedar are also used for training as bonsai, working well in cascading, upright, and slanting styles.
In Ancient Egypt, Cedarwood Essential Oil was used during the mummification process to help combat bacteria and insects. It was also used there and in other ancient cultures for religious, and spiritual ceremonies as it helped to relax the body and mind for meditation and prayer. Cedarwood Essential Oil has been utilized in the traditional medicine of many cultures including Native American groups and Tibetan communities, to soothe discomfort and ease symptoms of illness. Both the wood of cedar trees and Cedarwood Essential Oil contain insect-repelling properties that have made them popular for warding off moths and other pests throughout history. Cedar is often used to make chests as well as line closets and drawers. The Iliad mentions cedar being used to line a storage chamber containing treasures to be used for ransom. Cedar is also used to make shoe trees that help to repel pests as well as absorb moisture and odors.
Cedar trees that are used for the production of essential oil are first cut into roughly eight-foot logs after felling. Using machinery, the wood is then chopped and ground into small pieces to make the distillation process as efficient as possible. Cedarwood Essential Oil is extracted from the wood of the tree through steam distillation. The distillation process can last from ten to twelve hours with an oil yield of around two to three percent. The resulting oil is thin and can range in color from clear to yellow to amber. The aroma of Cedarwood Essential Oil can be described as dry, woody, and sweet.
Benefits & Uses
Used in aromatherapy, Cedarwood Essential Oil has been found to be both invigorating and soothing to the body and mind. It is believed to boost brain activity, working to improve focus and combat hyperactivity. The comforting aroma of Cedarwood Essential Oil is believed to ease tension and stress while helping to clear the mind. It may also work to relax the body and improve sleep onset and duration for more restorative rest. Cedarwood Essential Oil’s grounding and calming benefits can help to bring focus inward and combat negative emotions when used in tandem with yoga, meditation, or other spiritual practices. Cedarwood Essential Oil may help to repel insects and prevent the development of bacteria and mildew, making it useful for protecting items during storage. It can also help to eliminate unwanted odors in fabrics and the air.
When diluted and used topically, Cedarwood Essential Oil is known to calm irritation and inflammation on the skin. It may help to soothe dry and itchy skin, working to combat cracking and peeling while also reducing redness. Cedarwood may also help to balance oil production which can further prevent dryness and combat the formation of acne and blemishes. Cedarwood Essential Oil is believed to be protective for the skin, helping to guard against pollution and toxins in the air which can lead to breakouts and irritation. Firming properties help cedarwood to tighten loose skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Cedarwood Essential Oil's many topical benefits also help to support hair and scalp health. It has been found to cleanse the scalp, working to combat dandruff and product buildup. Cedarwood is also believed to stimulate circulation in the scalp which can encourage hair growth and help reduce hair loss. Its circulation-boosting abilities also allow cedarwood to help regulate menstruation and soothe discomfort related to irregular cycles. Cedarwood Essential Oil is believed to contain antiseptic properties that may help to prevent infection and support quick healing of minor wounds and abrasions. Cedarwood has also been found to reduce inflammation, working to ease pain in the muscles and joints.
Here are some recipes using Cedarwood Essential Oil that we love...
Spiritual Focus Diffuser Blend
- 4 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Sandalwood Essential Oil
- 3 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil
Add water to your diffuser up to the fill line. Add drops of the essential oil blend. This diffuser blend recipe is formulated for a 200ml ultrasonic diffuser. Adjust the amount according to the size and directions of your diffuser.
Moth Guard Insect Repellent Spray
- 4oz Amber Glass Bottle with Spray Top
- 2oz of High Percentage Alcohol
- 2oz of Witch Hazel Extract
- 20 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
Add 2oz of high-percentage alcohol to the bottle. Add the essential oils and fill the remainder of the bottle with witch hazel, leaving a little space at the top. Shake well before each use. Spray in closets and storage areas to repel pests.
Balance & Cleanse Scalp Oil
- 2oz Amber Bottle with Dropper
- 1oz of Sweet Almond Oil
- 1oz of Jojoba Oil
- 12 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
- 8 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
Add all ingredients to the bottle and give it a good shake to combine. Part the hair, add a few drops to the scalp, and gently massage. Allow the oil to sit on the scalp for at least 30 minutes before shampooing as usual.
Thoughts Ahead Brain Boosting Roll-On
- 10ml Amber Glass Roll-On Bottle
- 10ml of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 5 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 5 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil
Add the essential oils to the bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle to the top with fractionated coconut oil. Replace the rollerball and cap, gently shake, and roll across your skin.
Nourish Bomb Dry Skin Salve
- 2oz of Unrefined Shea Butter
- 1oz of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 1oz of Beeswax Pearls
- 30 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
- 30 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
- 15 drops of Geranium Essential Oil
Add shea butter and wax to a heat-safe bowl and melt on a double boiler. Remove from heat and stir in fractionated coconut oil and essential oils. Pour into jars and allow to cool and harden for several hours. Apply a small amount to dry skin and gently massage to help absorption.
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