Cedrus or cedar, a genus of coniferous trees in the plant family Pinaceae, is indigenous to Lebanon, western Syria and south central Turkey. The essential oil of cedarwood is obtained from the timber of this tree by a process known as steam distillation. While cedarwood essential oil has been used for time immemorial by the indigenous people of the regions for therapeutic purposes, the earliest man used this essential oil in preserving mummies.
Similar to several other essential oils, the use of cedarwood essential oil is traced to the ancient Egyptians. Information available from ancient records reveals that the primeval Egyptians used this essential oil as embalming or preservative oil. In addition they also used this oil for cosmetic purposes. Since the oil is extracted from the real woody part of the cedarwood trees, it possesses a wood-like and zesty fragrance.
As mentioned earlier, cedarwood essential oil has been used for several thousand years by the ancient Romans, Greeks and Egyptians who used it for treating different medical conditions. In addition, the ancient Egyptians used the oil extensively to prepare incense. Even to this day, Buddhists in Tibet still use the essential oil obtained from the timber of cedarwood trees to prepare incense that is used during ceremonies. On the other hand, the primeval Egyptians especially used this essential oil to preserve mummies. In fact, cedarwood essential oil formed a very important part of the entire mummification process.
While cedarwood essential oil possesses several therapeutic properties, it is usually used as a tranquilizer for its sedative effect. In addition, this superb oil is also an extremely helpful substance that is commonly used in products meant for skincare. Cedarwood essential oil is generally incorporated in products meant for aromatherapy for the oil's aptitude to provide relaxation and relieve stress. Use of this essential oil is suggested in combinations with other oils in aromatherapy diffusers since applying the oil in this process also yields the same benefits.
Apart from being useful in alleviating stress and strain, cedarwood essential oil is also a stimulant and its tonic properties facilitate tautening and toning up the body muscles, together with the stomach muscles. This oil has other therapeutic properties too. While it helps to enhance the functioning of the brain, it also tones up the skin. At the same time, cedarwood essential oil augments the metabolic activities of the body, thereby aiding in weight loss and regulating the body weight of an individual.
As cedarwood essential oil possesses antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, it is effective in treating a number of ailments. This oil may be used topically on wounds to clean the injuries as well as avoid contagions, such as tetanus. At the same time, this essential oil may also be used internally in very low concentrations to treat as well as keep off a number of ailments. When cedarwood oil is used in an aromatherapy diffuser, a compress or even in the air, it has the aptitude to lessen coughing. Furthermore, this essential oil is also useful in treating different problems related to the digestive tract.
Cedarwood oil is also an excellent expectorant (a medication or substance that helps in discharging phlegm or other fluids from the respiratory tract) and, therefore, it may be used instead of the traditional expectorant medications containing chemicals to cure cough and respiratory tract congestion that are associated with conditions, such as flu, colds and allergies. In addition, cedarwood oil is also effective in treating symptoms like headache, runny nose and itchy, red or watery eyes.
In fact, when people suffering from allergy, flu and cold use this essential oil they fall asleep quickly and rest more profoundly. This action of the oil is attributed to the sedative property of cedarwood essential oil.
As aforesaid, cedarwood essential oil is a potent emmenagogue and, hence, beneficial for women. In other words, this oil stimulated the flow of blood in the pelvic region. If used in appropriate dosages, this oil has the aptitude to encourage menstruation and also regulate the monthly menstrual cycle when it becomes irregular. Apart from these, this oil is also helpful as it is effective in alleviating nausea, pain and exhaustion related with menstruation and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).
Similar to several other essential oils that are potent and have zesty fragrance, cedarwood essential oil is also an effective insect repellent. You may use this oil in an aromatherapy oil diffuser or in a vaporiser in the kitchen, garden, garage or other places in your house that are infested with insects. You will be amazed to see how fast the aroma of this oil drives away insects, flies and mosquitoes. If you want to use this oil to keep places that are comparatively less infested by insects clear, add a few drops of cedarwood essential oil in three or four cotton balls and place them in different areas in the house which are somewhat infested by insects. For instance, you may place these cotton balls containing the oil on the kitchen window, corners of the basement, pantry and such other areas. In addition, both cedarwood as well as the essential oil obtained from the timber of cedarwood trees are exceptional natural repellents that help to protect the clothes from moths and carpet moths.
In fact, the timber or wood of the cedarwood trees are known to be self-preserving and do not decay easily. As a result, this wood is utilized in several outdoor applications without requiring any treatment for durability. The natural oil present in the timber of cedarwood is said to be responsible for the self-preserving property of the wood of this tree.
As mentioned earlier, cedarwood essential oil is extracted from the timber of the tree through a process known as steam distillation. The timber of this tree also provides different qualities of chips and sawdust. The steam distillation process involves pumping steam into a chamber where cedarwood sawdust and chips are placed from before. The steam makes the oil cells in the sawdust and chips burst open and blend with it. Later, when the steam is cooled, the water and the essential oil are separated.
Cedarwood essential oil is comforting, reinforcing and also possesses a wood-like balmy scent. As a result of these characteristics of this essential oil, it is used to prepare perfumes with a view to add body and a warm tepid tone to any blend. This oil is also used as a room fragrance or potpourris owing to its pleasing warm and woody scent. Since ancient times, people have been using this oil to treat several ailments as it possesses a number of therapeutic properties. It is very potent astringent oil that is effective in protecting and nurturing oily as well as flawed skin. Cedarwood essential oil aids in fighting cellulite (lumps of fatty deposits, especially in the thighs and buttocks).
Cedarwood essential oil is extracted from the wood of Atleas cedar wood (botanical name Cedrus atlantica) and produces an incredible comforting effect on the body as well as the mind. This oil possesses astringent properties and hence is capable of curing toothache and even has the aptitude to tauten the gums around the teeth. The astringent property of cedarwood essential oil also helps to provide the muscles with the suppleness of a youth. In addition, this oil also tones up the skin by tightening the pores of the skin. This action of cedarwood essential oil protects the skin pores from letting in dust or any harmful microbes into the body. Cedarwood oil is especially effective for tightening the facial skin and giving it a youthful appearance.
Cedarwood essential oil is also anti-sebhorroeic - an extraordinary property that is not present in most essential oils. The anti-sebhorroeic property of this essential oil aids in getting rid of the horrific skin ailment known as seborrhoea. In fact, seborrhoea (an extreme and anomalous discharge from the sebaceous glands) is basically caused owing to the failure of the sebaceous glands in the skin to function properly. The sebaceous glands present in the skin are responsible for oil production and need to be always kept moist as well as supple. However, when the sebaceous glands stop functioning normally, they usually become infected by various microbes. This, in turn, results in the skin becoming grey or white and it eventually peels off.
In such cases, cedarwood essential oil is used as a stimulant or moisturizer and it helps to get rid of the infections as well as normalize the functioning of the sebaceous glands. In fact, using cedarwood oil helps to eliminate seborrhoea perpetually. Since cedarwood essential oil has the ability to regulate the skin condition and tone it up, it is also effective in healing other conditions related to the skin, such as acne, dandruff and skin ailments and infections.
Cedarwood essential oil has a beneficial effect on the skin as well as the pores on it. Owing to this property of this essential oil, it forms an important ingredient in many men's skin care products, including shaving cream and similar products. At times, cedarwood essential oil is also blended with other essential oils in skin care products for better results. Cedarwood essential oil possesses both anti-septic as well as astringent characteristics, which together provide a warm and woody fragrance that makes an incredible addition for men's shaving products. Cedarwood essential oil is also an excellent addition to skin care products like aromatherapy bath oils, face masks and body butter.
The essential oil extracted from the timber of cedarwood trees is also used as potpourris as mentioned before, especially used as a room freshener by means of an aromatherapy oil diffuser. When the room is scented with the aroma of cedarwood oil, it will produce a comforting, peaceful and sedative effect. This is because cedarwood oil is a potent tranquilizer. Since cedarwood essential oil possesses extreme sedative properties, it is often recommended to get relief from stress and strain. In addition, using this oil also helps to unwind the muscles and provide comfort. This essential oil is particularly beneficial for people who remain tense and stressed most of the time. When such people use cedarwood essential oil blended with other essential oils in aromatherapy, it helps to provide them comfort, peace and relief from stress and strain. An aromatherapy massage with this essential oil is also effective in relaxing the muscles as well as the mind. In effect, cedarwood essential oil is especially effective in comforting and calming the stressed and nervous mind and also relieving anxiety.
Many products that meant for aromatherapy usually enclose cedarwood essential oil, particularly those products that are intended for use more during the evening, for instance, aromatherapy bath oils or body butters.
Cedarwood essential oil is an excellent remedy for inducing sleep, particularly when an individual suffers from sleeplessness or insomnia due to stress and nervous anxiety. Owing to its potent sedative property, cedarwood essential oil is generally used in aromatherapy oil diffuser to provide relief from sleeplessness or insomnia and its symptoms. Usually, cedarwood essential oil is combined with lavender oil to help provide relief from the symptoms of insomnia. It may be mentioned here that lavender oil is excellent aromatherapy oil for treating insomnia.
In addition to its various other remedial properties, the essential oil obtained from the timber of cedarwood trees is especially effective in providing a comfort and unwinding the stressed mind and body. Hence, in aromatherapy, this oil is extensively used to provide relaxation and alleviate stress and strain. Below are some of the specific benefits of using the cedarwood essential oil.
The most important thing that you ought to bear in mind while purchasing cedarwood essential oil is that you do not buy the adulterated oil. In addition, you ought to be aware that though this oil is beneficial for treating numerous medical conditions, using cedarwood oil in high concentrations may result in irritations. Hence, it is advisable that you use low concentrations of this valuable oil. Moreover, this essential oil should not be used during pregnancy as it is an emmenagogue (a substance that causes increased menstrual flow) or by patients who are undergoing chemotherapy for treating cancer.
Cedarwood essential oil is very potent and hence, it ought to be only used in a watered down form while applying it topically on the skin for it may cause exasperation. In addition, before you actually apply this oil over large skin areas, you should first check if the oil is suitable for you by first applying it over a small area. The best way to check whether this oil suits your skin is to apply a small drop of the oil on your skin and observe for around 24 hours if its use causes any adverse reaction, including irritation.
If you intend to use this oil internally, it is essential that you consult a physician or a homeopathic medical practitioner before doing so. In fact, this should be done before one starts using cedarwood or any other essential oil internally.