All About Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood essential oil is derived from the wood of the cedar tree, an evergreen conifer that grows in various regions around the world. It has a woodsy, comforting aroma and is yellow to golden brown in color. With numerous uses — ranging from skincare products to cosmetics to insect repellent — cedar wood essential oil is beneficial for the body and mind.
The cedar tree is a type of coniferous trees that is part of the pinaceae or pine family, which also includes firs, hemlocks, pines, spruces, and larches. While cedar trees are native to the mountain regions of the Himalayas and Mediterranean, they can be found in mountainous regions across the globe, and can grow in altitudes up to 100 feet.
There are several species of cedar trees including the Atlas, Cyprus, Himalayan, Lebanon, Texan, and Virginian. Cedar trees have needle-like foliage ranging from dark green to bluish green to bright green in color, and produce seeds in the form of cones. The trunk of the cedar tree has thick, ridged bark, which has a distinct reddish-brown color. The wood and foliage of the cedar tree is very aromatic and contains high amounts of cedarwood oil which can be extracted.
Method of Extraction
Cedarwood oil is extracted by steam distillation from the bark, trunk, and branches of cedar tree (usually in the form of wood chips or sawdust). Steam distillation is one of the most popular forms of extraction and isolates an essential oil from the plant by lowering its decomposition point. In other words, it uses steam to vaporize the volatile compounds found within the cedar tree. The result is a 100% pure cedarwood essential oil.
Traditional Uses of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood oil has been used throughout history by many cultures. Ancient Egyptians used it for mummification practices and in religious ceremonies. Native American tribes and Tibetan cultures have used cedarwood oil in folk medicine for centuries, especially for respiratory ailments and wound care. Today it’s a common ingredient in cologne, deodorant, shampoo, candles, and insect repellent, and also widely used in aromatherapy.
Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Skin, Hair, and Body Care Support
Cedarwood oil is a great essential oil to add to your skincare routine and can be applied to your face and body when combined with a carrier oil. It is known to soothe irritation, redness, and itchiness — especially when it comes to bug bites. It can also be used to aid with the healing of minor cuts and scrapes.
For those who are prone to acne, research has shown that cedarwood oil is very cleansing and can help balance oil levels, even skin tone, and prevent breakouts. When used on hair, it can help cleanse the scalp and remove excess dirt, oil, and dandruff, and relieve itchiness. When used on the body in a massage oil or lotion, cedarwood oil can help relieve tension that causes muscle aches. Its woodsy aroma also works as a great natural perfume or cologne.
Deeply balancing and grounding, cedarwood essential oil has a natural sedative effect when inhaled that can promote relaxation, restful sleep, easy breathing, and an overall sense of wellbeing. Cedarwood essential oil is also great for boosting concentration and focus.
How to use Cedarwood Essential Oil
For the SkinBefore using on skin be sure to combine with a carrier oil such as jojoba or argan oil.
- Mix 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil and 1 tablespoon of argan oil and use it on your face to remove impurities, prevent breakouts, and moisturize the skin.
- Combine 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil with 2 tablespoons of jojoba oil and massage into skin to ease muscle aches and promote a feeling of calm.
- Mix 6 drops of cedarwood essential oil with 1 teaspoon of honey and add to a hot bath to help soothe dry, irritated skin.
- Combine 3 drops of cedarwood essential oil with ½ teaspoon of coconut oil and use on minor cuts, scrapes, and bug bites.
For the Hair
Mix 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil and 2 tablespoons of argan oil and massage into your scalp and let sit for 20 minutes to relieve itchiness and cleanse the scalp from dandruff and dirt.
Add 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil to 1 tablespoon of shampoo and wash hair to remove excess grime that may cause your hair to look oily or dirty.
For Improving Your Environment
Add 4 drops of cedarwood essential oil and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to your diffuser along with water (as directed) to promote easy breathing and deep relaxation.
Add 6 drops of cedarwood essential oil and 5 drops of citronella oil to an 8oz spray bottle, fill with water, and spritz outdoor spaces to repel mosquitoes and flies.
How to Safely Use Cedarwood Essential OilCedarwood oil is overall a very safe essential oil to use. However, it should only be used externally and not ingested. As with any essential oil, cedarwood oil should be diluted and combined with a carrier oil before using on skin. To prevent an adverse reaction, you should do a patch test with the cedarwood essential oil and carrier oil blend beforehand to make sure your skin isn’t sensitive. If you have a cedar or pine allergy it is not recommended that you use cedarwood oil. For more essential oil safety tips, take a look at this article.
Cedarwood oil has a rich history and is a wonderful essential oil to incorporate into your daily routine. It benefits the body, mind, and spirit, and also has a very aromatic scent that is incredibly grounding and calming. It pairs well with other woodsy or earthy essential oils like pine and frankincense, as well as floral scents like lavender. To learn more about how you can use essential oils, take a look at this article.