What is Cedarwood Essential Oil?
Cedarwood essential oil is an extract obtained from distilling wood of Atlantic cedrus tree (Pinaceae), which is native to India and ancient Mesopotamia.
The word cedar comes from the Latin “cedrus”, which is derived from the Greek “kedron” that means power, and refers to a type of pointed tree with thorny leaves.
Cedarwood oil has very particular characteristics, it is dark yellowish in color, sometimes viscous and over time it deposit crystals on standing. It has a woody and warm smell; which is considered a manly fragrance, reason why in the cosmetic industry is widely used in the manufacture of products for men.
The essential oil of cedarwood blends well with: ylang ylang, orange, bergamot, juniper berry, patchouli, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, sandalwood, vetiver, ginger, lavender, and frankincense essential oil.
Cedarwood Essential Oil in History
There are different types of cedar tree, however, which derives the oil with greater therapeutic properties, is the atlas species (Cedrus Atlantica).
This has been used since ancient times due to its different properties to treat respiratory ailments and urinary tract infections. In addition, cedarwood oil was used as base for paints by the ancient Sumerians.
Cedar was initially used as incense to keep the environment fresh and relaxed and also, it was used as a cosmetic and perfume. Although one of its greatest uses, was to embalm the mummies in Egypt. This last, thanks to the pesticide properties contained in cedrol, which helped to keep the insects from disturbing the bodies.
With the passage of time, cedarwood oil was commercialized and more of its properties began to be known.
Today, in the temples of Tibet, it is still used as incense.
Chemical Components of Cedarwood Essential Oil
The main constituents of the Atlas cedar seeds essential oils are: α-pinene, β-pinene , myrcene, limonene, bornyl acetate, β-farnesene and manool.
Other components are cedrol (aroma), alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene, cadineno, thujopsen, sesquiterpenes (antibiotic compounds), as well as terpene hydrocarbons (produce deep and dense aroma), alpha and beta atlantone and caryophyllene, among others.
Properties of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Cedarwood oil possesses antiseptic, antiseborrhoeic, analgesic, antispasmodic, diuretic, expectorant, scalp tonic, soothing, tonic, lipolytic, antifungal, astringent, calming, sedative and repellent qualities.
Uses of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Some of the most common uses of cedarwood essential oil include:
- Helps in treatments for hypertension
- Works as an anti-inflammatory agent
- Relieves toothache
- Strengthens the gums
- Reduces dermatitis and eczema conditions
- Relieves spasms
- Combats respiratory infections such as bronchitis
- Relieves headaches
- Helps relieve arthritis and rheumatism
- Acts as an astringent
- Combats cystitis
- Kidney disorders
- Treatment for oily skin and acne conditions
- Repels insects
- Natural expectorant and cough relief
- Stimulates metabolism
- Regulates and stimulates menstruation
- Tones muscles
- Eliminates toxins from the body
- Relaxing that controls stress and anxiety
- Improves concentration and ADHD
- Promotes hair growth and eliminates dandruff
- Cures fungal Infections
- Sedative effect
- Promotes urination
- Health Tonic
- Prevents Infections
- Relieves symptoms of seborrhoea.
- Natural deodorizer
Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil
When there is an inadequate functioning of the sebaceous glands, the amount of skin fat is affected, as well as the protection of epidermal cells. The skin looks flaky, dry and cracked. Cedarwood oil is very useful to regularize sebaceous segregation and reduce skin inflammation.
Relieves eczema conditions
Eczema is a common skin disorder that causes redness and dryness of the skin, as well as itching that can turn into blisters or cracks.
Cedarwood essential oil can cure the inflammation that leads to skin irritation problems, reducing desquamation and acting on the infection with its antifungal properties.
There are several ways to incorporate cedarwood essential oil into a daily routine. Adding the oil in the skin lotion or shower gel, or mixing with a carrier oil and rubbing directly into the infected area. Another alternative is by adding five drops of cedarwood oil to a bath.
Protects against bacteria and germs
Cedar essential oil can be applied topically in wounds, therefore, it is a substance widely used to prepare antiseptic herbals creams and ointments.
Besides, it defends the body against toxins, and relieves white blood cells and immune system from stress or malfunction, which helps to protect internal organs and fight bacteria in the body.
Relieves all types of spasms
Another important property of cedarwood essential oil is that relieves spasms caused by diseases in the respiratory tract, muscles, intestines, nervous and cardiovascular systems, among others.
The inflammation of joints and tissues, common symptom of arthritis, causes debilitating pains and discomforts. This can be reduced with the use of cedarwood essential oil.
By inhaling the oil directly from the bottle, or using it externally on the skin, (previously diluted with a carrier oil) it reduces inflammation that decreases joint stiffness.
It is also effective to add 5-10 drops of cedarwood essential oil into a bath.
Cedarwood essential oil is comforting, tranquilizing and also has a pleasant woody aroma. It naturally adds a warm tone to any perfumes or oils mixture.
In addition, it is also known for uniting people and improving personal perspectives and self-esteem.
This may seem strange, but the soothing power of cedarwood oil aroma, has the ability to change a person’s perspective. Inhaling cedar oil, vaporizing it or adding it to a body spray can have long-lasting therapeutic effects.
Tones the muscles
Because cedarwood essential oil is an astringent, it tightens loose muscles and creates a feeling of firmness and youthfulness.
On the other hand, it also hardens the muscles of the digestive system, which helps with stomach problems such as diarrhea.
It is recommended to rub three to five drops of cedarwood oil on the hands, and then massage the sore or tight muscles.
In addition, to achieve a feeling of relaxation and freshness massage abdominal muscles, arms, chest, legs or the area of the body that needs a refreshing massage.
Cedarwood oil increases the frequency of urination and, therefore, helps to eliminate harmful toxins, excess water and body fat.
Rub two drops of cedarwood essential oil on the hands and massage the bladder and kidneys. This helps with urinary tract infections, water retention and kidney problems.
Improves concentration and attention
The study by doctors Terry Friedmann and Dennis Eggett of Bringham Young University, found that the use of cedarwood oil in children, could greatly improve their ability to concentrate and learn.
The children carried a bottle of essential oil with them to make three deep inhalations, three times a day, for thirty days.
At the end of the study the subjects were evaluated, and significant changes were seen with both, vetiver oil and cedarwood oil. The results showed that: cedarwood essential oil inhaled, improves the concentration in children with ADHD by 65%.
Remedy for stress
Because cedarwood essential oil is a sedative, it is able to relieve the stress that affects our health.
The aroma of cedarwood oil stimulates the release of serotonin, which transforms into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin induces restful sleep and provides a sense of calm.
An interesting study measured the sedative properties of cedarwood oil. The study included rats that inhaled cedrol, a component in cedar oil.
Motor activity in the rats decreased significantly; rats that had received caffeine and were categorized as hyperactive also showed a decrease in activity. Additionally, sleep rates in rats also increased.
The aromatic property of cedarwood oil helps people with chronic stress and depression.
This benefit is obtained with the simple action of inhaling the oil directly from the bottle. It is also useful to spread a few drops of oil in the home, or rub a drop of oil just above the eyebrows, to relieve tension.
Cedarwood essential oil has the ability to eliminate phlegm from the airways and lungs, which reduces the congestion caused by a cough or cold.
It is recommended to use cedarwood oil before going to sleep. This releases phlegm and relieves headaches as well.
Also helps to rub two drops of oil on the chest and throat for one minute. In addition, cedarwood oil can be applied to the nose and upper lip to help with breathing.
Fights fungal infections
Cedarwood essential oil cures fungal infections, whether internal or external. This protects against pathogenic fungi and food poisoning.
The study conducted at the Department of Oral and Radiological Medicine in India, found that cedarwood oil is a viable alternative to other antibacterial agents. Also, the study concluded that cedarwood oil is effective in controlling bacteria and fungi responsible for oral infections.
Cedarwood oil can be used as a tonic to regulate the different systems of the body and stimulate metabolism. This helps to tone the skin, muscles, stomach, nerves and brain functions, among others.
Cedarwood essential oil chases away mosquitoes, flies and other insects.
Outdoors, when applying a few drops of oil on the skin, mosquitoes will stay away.
By using an environmental diffuser, we will keep it out of the house. It also helps to spray cedarwood essential oil diluted, on beds, furniture and clothes to keep insects under control.
A study measured the effectiveness of cedarwood oil against beetles and house flies, and the results showed insecticidal activity against both species in the tests. The research suggests that cedarwood oil may be an active natural product that, when added to commercial insecticides, is beneficial.
For hair loss
Cedarwood essential oil can stimulate hair follicles and increase circulation in the scalp.
This contributes to hair growth and slows down the loss. Herbalists and aromatherapists have recommended essential oils for years to treat thinning, hair loss and various types of alopecia.
There is evidence that the use of cedarwood oil on the scalp, in combination with thyme oil, rosemary oil and lavender oil, improves hair growth in up to 44% of people with hair loss problems, after seven months of treatment.
To achieve this benefit, add the cedarwood oil to the shampoo or conditioner, or simply massage the oil over the scalp and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing.
Why is Cedarwood Oil used to observe bacteria?
Cedarwood oil is used as immersion oil because it increases the resolution of the microscope, that is, it allows to visualize the bacteria in a more effective, optimal and detailed way, without leaving any details aside.
It is useful to obtain a higher level of resolution of the observed organism.
In the 40s, cedarwood oil was widely used for immersion, but over time it was determined that it absorbs ultraviolet light, and also has acidity, that can damage the studied objectives.
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Warnings and Side effects of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Although cedarwood essential oil has no known or reported side effects, there are certain basic warnings that one must take before use:
- To detect any allergic reaction, it is always recommended to carry out a patch test before applying it with total confidence.
- Those suffering from sensitive skin or specific allergies are also not recommended to use cedarwood oil.
- For precautionary measures, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use cedarwood essential oil.
- If used in high concentrations, cedarwood essential oil can cause skin irritations. Do not use undiluted.
- Although some essential oils can be ingested in food or orally in minimal quantities, this is not possible with cedarwood oil, because it is such a strong oil that it can cause vomiting, excessive thirst, nausea and great damage to the body, especially in the digestive system.
Where to buy Cedarwood Essential Oil?
Generally, good quality oils, that is, 100% pure, therapeutic grade and not mixed with other substances, can be found in specialized natural herb stores.
If you can not reach a trusted naturist or herbalist shop near you, here are some online products recommendations:
Scent Characteristics: Rich, warm, earthy and woody aroma reminiscent of cedarwood trees.
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Tips for better performance and duration of your oils:
- Store them in a dark glass bottle, never plastic, not even when blended with a carrier oil.
- Keep them in cool, dark places, away from sources of heat and light.
- Maintain the container that holds it tightly closed, since they are very volatile and also, their properties would be lost or modified.