HISTORY OF CEDARWOOD OIL USAGE
Cedarwood Fragrance Oil is steam distilled from the wood of the Cedar tree, of which there are several species, such as Cedrus atlantica, Cedrus deodara, Juniperus mexicana, and Juniperus virginiana, which are more commonly recognized as Atlas, Himalayan, Texan, and Virginian Cedarwood, respectively.
Throughout history, Cedarwood Fragrance Oil has been used by various cultures, such as Native American and Tibetan communities, to address ailments ranging from minor discomforts, including coughs and hiccups, to more severe illnesses. In Ancient Egypt, Cedarwood Oil’s antimicrobial and insecticidal properties made it valuable for use in mummifying procedures. In these and other societies, Cedarwood was also known to relax the body and mind, making it ideal for use in religious ceremonies and spiritual practices, such as communal prayer and independent meditation. Today, it continues to be used for similar applications as well as for cosmetic applications.
This article highlights the topical and medicinal benefits, therapeutic properties, and safe uses of Cedarwood Fragrance Oil.
CEDARWOOD OIL BENEFITS
Used in aromatherapy applications, Cedarwood Fragrance Oil is known for its sweet and woody fragrance, which has been characterized as warm, comforting, and sedative, thus naturally promoting stress relief. Cedarwood Oil’s energizing scent helps to deodorize and freshen indoor environments, while also helping to repel insects. At the same time, its anti-fungal properties help prevent the development of mildew. Its invigorating quality is known to improve cerebral activity, while its calming property is known to relax the body, and the combination of these properties helps to enhance concentration while decreasing hyperactivity. The soothing scent of Cedarwood Fragrance Oil is reputed to reduce harmful stress and ease tension, which in turn promotes the body’s rest, helps to clear the mind, and subsequently encourages the onset of quality sleep that is both restorative and reparative.
Used cosmetically on the skin, Cedarwood Fragrance Oil can help soothe irritation, inflammation, redness, and itchiness, as well as dryness that leads to cracking, peeling, or blistering. By regulating sebum production, eliminating acne-causing bacteria, and exhibiting a protective astringent property, Cedarwood Oil is reputed to guard the skin against environmental pollutants and toxins, thus helping prevent or reduce the chances of future breakouts. Its antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties help to eliminate unpleasant odors, making it an effective deodorizer, and its firming quality helps reduce the appearance of the signs of aging, such as loose and wrinkling skin.
Used in hair, Cedarwood Oil is known to cleanse the scalp, removing excess oil, dirt, and dandruff. It enhances circulation to the scalp and tightens the follicles, which helps stimulate healthy growth and thereby helps reduce thinning by slowing hair loss.
Used medicinally, Cedarwood Fragrance Oil’s antiseptic properties are reputed to protect the body against harmful bacteria that are known to cause fungal infections, which can be destructive to the skin and general health. This natural wound-healing quality makes Cedarwood Oil ideal for application to scrapes, cuts, and other abrasions that require disinfecting. Its anti-inflammatory property makes it well-suited to addressing the discomforts of muscle aches, joint pain, and stiffness, while its antispasmodic property helps to soothe not only coughs but also spasms associated with digestion, respiratory ailments, nerves, and menstruation. As a tonic for overall wellness, Cedarwood Oil is known to support the health and function of the organs, especially the brain, liver, and kidney.
Cedarwood Oil is reputed to exhibit an emmenagogue property that regulates menstruation by naturally stimulating circulation, thus benefitting women who suffer from irregular cycles.
CEDARWOOD OIL USES
To soothe asthma, coughing, congestion, a buildup of phlegm, and other respiratory discomforts that make it difficult to breathe easily, add a few drops of Cedarwood Fragrance Oil to a diffuser. Deeply inhaling its scent is known to facilitate relaxed respiration and to encourage sleep. To enhance the benefits of Cedarwood Oil, combine it with any of the following essential oils for a blend that is also aromatically appealing: Lavender, Frankincense, Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Bergamot, Lemon, Lime, Cinnamon, Cypress, Neroli, Jasmine. A natural vapor rub can be made by diluting Cedarwood Oil in a carrier oil then massaging it into the chest and throat.
To soothe blemishes, diminish their appearance, and reduce the chance of experiencing future breakouts, dilute Cedarwood Oil in a light carrier oil, a regular face wash, or a moisturizer, such as a face cream or body lotion. Applying it in these combinations can help to purge the skin of impurities and excess oil, fortify it against microbes, eliminate infection, and decrease inflammation as well as peeling. Alternatively, Cedarwood Oil can be diluted in a carrier oil then added to a warm bath to address blemishes in hard-to-reach areas.
To naturally reduce hair loss, Cedarwood Fragrance Oil can be diluted in a regular shampoo and conditioner before being applied as usual in the shower. Alternatively, a few drops can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as Coconut, and massaged into the scalp for several minutes. This blend can be left in like a mask on the scalp for at least half an hour before it is washed out in the shower. For increased effectiveness, Cedarwood Oil can be combined with the essential oils of Thyme, Lavender, or Rosemary. This combination is known to purify and increase circulation to the scalp, which in turn encourages new hair growth and enhances the appearance of more voluminous hair. This blend can also be applied to other areas of hair growth, such as beards.
To soothe pain, aches, stiffness, and inflammation, Cedarwood Fragrance Oil can be diluted with a carrier oil of personal preference and massaged into the affected areas. This simple massage blend has the added benefit of facilitating the body’s detoxification by helping to eliminate internal pollutants, addressing water retention, and encouraging frequent urination. Regular massages with Cedarwood are reputed to help naturally shed weight, tighten loose skin, diminish the appearance of stretch marks, soothe eczema and acne, facilitate wound healing, balance blood pressure, ease hypertension, and reduce muscle spasms. Alternatively, diluted Cedarwood Oil can be added to a warm bath.