30 November 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez
Cedarwood Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits
Cedarwood's protective qualities help to guard us against insects, coughs, and skin infections.
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One of the first ever distilled oils in Ancient Egypt, cedarwood oil is prominent in folklore stretching back thousands of years.
In the years since, cedarwood oil has become 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, on top of its distinct scent properties that make it a phenomenal base oil for a number of perfumes and cosmetics.
What is Cedarwood Essential Oil?
Derived from the needles, leaves, bark, and occasionally berries of the cedar tree, cedarwood essential oil is a robust, earthy oil with a distinctive woody and smoky aroma.
There are many variations of cedar trees around the world, and the oil itself can be extracted from these trees via a number of different processes.
Some of the most popular variations of cedarwood oil include Cedarwood Altas, native to the Atlas Mountains, Cedarwood Virginian, and Cedarwood (Himalayan).
The properties of each cedarwood variation are largely the same and are mostly distinguished by smell.
What are the benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil?
Used in insect repellents, perfumes, deodorants, and shampoos, cedarwood is incredibly versatile both in its uses and in its properties. Cedarwood can help with:
- Insect repelling
- Focus improvement
- Easing cough symptoms
- Hair loss
- Sleep and restlessness
Is Cedarwood essential oil good for the skin?
Cedarwood oil is known to have powerful antiseptic and antimicrobial abilities that make it extremely beneficial for skin health.
A 2017 review found that these properties allowed cedarwood to become an effective agent in preventing the growth of harmful microorganisms on the surface of the skin, as well as protecting 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 breakouts.
People have found that the anti-inflammatory properties of cedarwood calm the redness of affected areas and reduce the appearance of acne on the skin.
Cedarwood oil also has anti-fungal properties that have proven to be effective against oral fungi.
Does cedarwood keep insects away?
Cedarwood has long been noted for its bug repellent abilities, which is one of the reasons why it was used in the embalming processes adopted by Ancient Egyptians.
These abilities are said to be due to a component in the oil called cedrol.
A study in 2014 showed that cedrol is highly repellent to ants, and can also be lethal to ticks and moth larvae.
Cedarwood has also proven extremely effective against fully-grown moths, with cedarwood balls being used as a common household remedy for reducing moths in the home.
You can find out how to make your own mothballs using essential oils here.
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.
Using cedarwood oil to improve focus
There’s some evidence to suggest that cedarwood oil can be used to 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 this neurodivergent condition, and many parents reported that the treatment continued to work at home.
Though more research is needed in this area, this is potentially a very valuable application of cedarwood oil that can be used to target cognitive processing further down the line.
Can cedarwood essential oil help ease cough symptoms?
Among its other benefits, cedarwood also contains effective antispasmodic properties.
As 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 day-to-day functioning.
A small amount of cedarwood oil diluted and applied topically to the chest can help achieve these effects.
Does cedarwood oil help hair growth?
Cedarwood is one of many essential oils being studied for positive effects on hair growth and scalp health.
A small 1998 study concluded that a daily scalp massage of cedarwood, combined with various other hair-boosting essential oils, created a significant acceleration in hair growth on patients with alopecia areata.
Cedarwood’s effective skin-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties can also be extended for use on the scalp.
These properties can help to create a healthier environment which, in turn, can facilitate faster hair growth.
Does cedarwood help you sleep?
It has been suggested that cedarwood essential oil may contain sedative properties that can help improve sleep quality as well as reduce restlessness.
A study conducted in 2003 found that, when inhaled, cedrol had a remarkably notable effect on the restless motor activity of several different species of rodents - which was concluded to be just as effective across a number of different animal species.
A similar 2018 study measuring the effects of cedrol against anxiety found that cedarwood can be very beneficial due to its soothing effect on mood as well as its ability to reduce stress.
How to use Cedarwood Essential Oil
When dealing with ailments surrounding sleep or the inability to relax, diffusing cedarwood is a fantastic option for quick relief.
Try adding 5-7 drops of cedarwood essential oil to an oil burner or diffuser, or adding a small amount onto a handkerchief or towel.
Cedarwood’s smoky, woody aromas also make for a great base in homemade blends. Try combining cedarwood with other soothing oils such as lavender for an enhanced therapeutic experience.
As in aromatherapy, adding a few drops of cedarwood essential oil to your bath can help facilitate a sound environment for relaxation, focus, and contentment.
Combine 5 drops of cedarwood with 10ml of your chosen carrier oil to create a rich massage oil for your scalp and skin.
Cedarwood’s hair-boosting properties make it a popular choice for preventing hair loss as well as promoting thicker, healthier locks.
You can also choose to apply your massage oil to the skin for a relaxing experience to help balance and restore your mood.
A popular treatment for acne, cedarwood oil’s anti-inflammatory properties can be used to reduce the appearance of blemishes, tackle redness and promote smoothness.
Try diluting the oil with a carrier oil and spot treating problem areas using a cotton bud. Alternatively, try using this mixture as a replacement facial cleanser.
Candles and soaps
Cedarwood essential oil is suitable for all forms of candle and soap making – among other scent-related projects.
Be sure to follow a trusted recipe or check out our Make At Home section for more unique ideas on how to use cedarwood.
The History of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Considered sacred in many religions, cedars are mentioned often in the Bible as a symbol of all that is fertile, abundant, and strong.
Cedars were also used to carve sarcophagi for Egyptian pharaohs, while cedarwood oil was used in the mummification process as a key ingredient in embalming.
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.
|100% Pure Cedarwood (Himalayan) Essential Oil|
|Botanical Name||Cedrus Deodara|
|Benefits & Uses||Anti-Inflammatory, Enhances Focus, Insect Repellent|
|Suitable for Diffusers?||Yes, this cedarwood (himalayan) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.|
|Suitable for Candles and Soaps?||Yes, this cedarwood (himalayan) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.|
|Extraction Method||Steam Distillation|
|Bottle Type||Tamper proof and UV resistant|