Cedarwood Benefits

Cedarwood
Latin Name

Juniperus virginiana

Origin

North America, Middle East, Himalayas, Lebanon

Parts Used

Bark, Needles, Leaves

Traditional Use and Health Benefits

The Cedar is a coniferous tree that is a close relation of the fir. Its aromatic wood and resinous oil have been revered by humans for thousands of years. It has a rich and well documented history of use and was the source of one of mankind’s earliest perfumes!

Traditionally, the oil was used by Native Americans to enhance spiritual communion and to promote feelings of positivity. It was also use in its native countries to stimulate hair growth and to treat various skin conditions.

Cedarwood Benefits

Hair Loss

Alopecia areata is a common and distressing cause of hair loss. It is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the hair follicles, causing clumps of hair to fall out.

A 1998 study by the Department of Dermatology at the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to eighty-six patients who had been diagnosed with alopecia areata. They were split into two groups and one group was instructed to massage the essential oils of Cedarwood, Thyme, Rosemary and Lavender (diluted in a carrier oil), into their scalps. The control group just massaged their scalps with the carrier oils. The results were remarkable – the subjects in the control group saw a 15 percent increase in hair growth, whilst the subjects who used the essential oils experienced a 50 percent increase in hair regrowth. The study concluded; “The results show aromatherapy to be a safe and effective treatment for alopecia areata. Treatment with these essential oils was significantly more effective than treatment with the carrier oil alone.”

Cedarwood is thought to promote hair growth by balancing the oil producing glands in the scalp. Its essential oil also stimulates hair follicles to trigger circulation in the scalp, helping to catalyse hair growth.

Skin Health

One of the most common uses of Cedarwood essential oil is in the treatment of eczema – in particular, a type of eczema known as “Seborrheic Eczema” (or Seborrheic Dermatitis). Considered a chronic form of eczema, it appears on the body where there are a lot of oil-producing (sebaceous) glands like the upper back, nose and scalp. The exact cause of seborrheic eczema is unknown, although genes and hormones play a role. Microorganisms that live on the skin naturally can also contribute to this condition.

Blending Cedarwood with Coconut Oil creates a powerfully anti-fungal and anti-microbial balm that will help to soothe and calm outbreaks of this unpleasant condition.

Cedarwood essential oil can also help to treat and protect the skin against acne. It prevents the clogging of skin pores and creates a protective barrier against acne causing particles and bacteria.

Respiratory Conditions

Coughs – in particular dry coughs – respond well to Cedarwood essential oil. With anti-spasmodic and expectorant qualities, diffusing Cedarwood in an oil burner or blending it with a carrier oil to create a chest rub can ease irritation and reduce coughing fits.

It can also help to clear phlegm and other breathing difficulties that accompany colds and flu.

Diuretic

Cedarwood is rich in the active compounds cedrol, beta-cedrene and thujopsene, which are natural diuretics. Diuretics increase the flow of urine which helps to cleanse the body of excess fluids, flush out toxins and stimulate the kidneys.

The essential oil can be diluted and massaged into the abdomen or bladder region to help eliminate waste and excess fluids.

Sedative

The aforementioned active component in Cedarwood, cedrol, has a sedative effect as well as enhancing wellbeing by stimulating the production of serotonin.

Diffuse the essential oil in your bedroom or add to a relaxing night-time bath to take advantage of its natural sedative qualities.

Typical Use

Cedarwood Essential Oil

Use 6-8 drops of essential oil in a bath, 2 -4 drops of oil in an oil burner and 10 -18 drops per 30ml of carrier oil. See Essential Oil Dosage Chart

Folklore and History

Cedarwood was an important part of ancient culture. The Sumerians believed that Cedar groves were the dwelling places of the gods and burned cedar in their ceremonies. Mentioned in both the bible and the talmud, Cedar was used to build important buildings in ancient times, including King Solomon's Temple and the palaces of David and King Solomon.

The ancient Egyptians used the resinous oil of the cedar for embalming. They also used the tree’s wood for making sarcophagi (coffins), some of which are still in excellent condition after 3,000 years. Noah was supposed to have prepared an offering of cedarwood and myrtle incense to give thanks for surviving the flood. Cedarwood was also burned as incense in Tibetan monasteries.

Cedarwood
Constituents

Sesquiterpenes as cadinene, cedrene, thujopsene, cuparene, alcohols as cedrol, cedrenol, widdrol, y-eudesmol.

Precautions

For external use only. Do not use in pregnancy. 

Essential oils need to be diluted first; never apply an essential oil directly to the skin. Avoid contact with eyes and mouth.