30 November 2021 / Caitlin Devlin
Cedarwood Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Cedarwood's protective qualities help to guard us against insects, coughs, and skin infections.
One of the first ever distilled oils in Ancient Egypt, cedarwood oil is prominent in folklore stretching back thousands of years.
Considered sacred in many religions, cedars are mentioned often in the Bible and were used to carve sarcophagi for Egyptian pharaohs. Cedarwood oil was also used in the mummification process, as a key ingredient in embalming. In the years since cedarwood oil has been associated with a vast range of beneficial properties, and has been called an anti-inflammatory, a diuretic, a sedative, and an antifungal agent, among other things. It is overwhelmingly associated with positivity and protection throughout its history.
Cedarwood essential oil is good for the skin.
Cedarwood oil has antiseptic abilities that make it really beneficial for the skin. A 2017 review found that these antiseptic and antimicrobial properties allowed it to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms on the surface of the skin and protect it from possible damage.
Cedarwood oil also acts as an anti-inflammatory, which a study in 2016 noted makes it a great agent against acne. People have found that the anti-inflammatory properties in cedarwood calm the redness of affected areas and reduce the appearance of acne on the skin.
It also has anti-fungal properties that have proven to be effective against oral fungi. A few drops of cedarwood diluted with a carrier oil can make a great facial cleanser.
It repels insects.
Cedarwood has long been noted for its bug repellent abilities, which is one of the reasons that it was used in the embalming process. This is due to a component in the oil called cedrol. A study in 2014 showed that cedral is highly repellent to ants, and can be lethal to ticks and moth larvae.
Try spraying a diluted solution of cedarwood oil around areas that you want to protect from bugs, or placing some of the oil in draws or wardrobes.
It improves focus.
There’s some evidence to suggest that cedarwood oil can improve focus and attention, particularly in children with ADHD. A study at Brigham Young University found that inhaling cedarwood oil had a positive effect on behaviour and focus in a group of children with ADHD, and many parents reported that the treatment continued to work at home. More research is needed in this area, but this is potentially a very valuable application of cedarwood oil.
It helps ease cough symptoms.
Among its other benefits, cedarwood has antispasmodic properties. Coughing fits can sometimes be caused by spasming muscles in the chest – cedarwood oil can help to ease these spasms and inhibit coughing fits, thus allowing for easier sleep. A small amount of cedarwood oil diluted and applied topically to the chest can help achieve these effects.
Cedarwood oil’s smoky, woody scent is mysterious and alluring enough on its own. The wide range of benefits that it possesses only make it more desirable, and its easy to understand why the oil was so heavily sought-after in ancient times.
Shop our cedarwood essential oil here.