Cedarwood Essential Oil is a colorless to almost a pale yellow essential oil that is produced by steam distillation of the wood from the red cedar tree. The tree is grown mainly for timber and all the off cuts, trimmings, knotty wood and even the sawdust, are all used in a steam distillation unit to produce Cedarwood Oil.
It has a wonderful fragrance that is deep and long-lasting. It’s definitely woody and a little smoky, but a slightly sweet smoky aroma that lingers that instantly reminds me of pencil shavings from a school classroom. Most people find it a very warm and comforting aroma.
Red Cedar has been used for centuries as a major building material. From early Biblical days, it was used for building King Solomon’s temple. It’s a good hard wood and very resistant. It would also imbue the building with an incredible aroma for years and conveniently, that also kept fleas and other insects away.
The use as an insecticide was carried on through the Medieval period, where the bark was mixed with other wild plants and herbs and used as a strewing herb. This was a mixture that was scattered across the floor of a house. It insulated the floor, so it was not so cold if it was stone slabs. If you were poor and had a dirt floor, it helped keep your feet out of the dirt. For everyone, it was a very effective way to keep insects, lice and rats away from where you would eat and sleep.
There are two types of Cedarwood Oil and the other one is Cedarwood Atlas. They are both good aromatherapy oils and are used in a lot of aromatherapy products, especially those aimed at the men’s grooming market. The specific one I am using here though has an INCI name of Juniperus Virginiana.
INCI stands for International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, which is a way the ingredients in cosmetics are identified and categorized. It is widely adhered to in the EU, where the CosIng website gives free information. It also means that you can check the INCI name on the essential oil bottle to check that you have got the correct variety of cedarwood, which, in this case, is Juniperus Virginiana. There are so many parts of plants that can be used to make cosmetic emulsifiers, oils and waxes, that it is necessary to know just what they are. Just because something is natural does not mean that it is guaranteed to be safe.
Cedarwood Oil side effects should always be investigated, and this oil has a more important statement that is not a side effect. It is a contraindication with Cedarwood Essential Oil that it should not be used during pregnancy. It’s important that contraindications like this are taken seriously, and it applies not only to using the oil on your skin, but also using it in a diffuser.
How to use essential oils to scent a room
Cedarwood Essential Oil is a wonderful oil to use in an aromatherapy diffuser, and the most commonly seen ones are ceramic dishes with a tea light underneath. A small amount of water is put into the dish and a few drops of the essential oil are dropped into the water. The tea light heats the water and oil and both gently evaporate. They do need topping up to make sure they don’t dry out, and you need to be especially careful with children and pets knocking them over. My preference is for a USB nebulizer that uses sonic vibrations to cause the essential oil molecules to move into the air. They are safe and give the true fragrance of the oil as it is not heated up. This is a good one here;
Cedarwood Essential Oil Benefits For Skin
- Cedarwood Essential Oil is slightly astringent. Of course, you do not use this essential oil neat, but even when diluted correctly into a cream, lotion or serum, it still retains some astringency and that is very helpful for greasy skin and problem skin.
- It is antiseborrheic and will help against future breakouts with acneic skin. A great combination for treating acne-prone skin is to blend it with Bog Myrtle Essential Oil and some Petitgrain Essential Oil. Put that blend into a cream or lotion with Hazelnut Oil, Squalane and Geranium Essential Oil and you have a sure fire winner!
- The second benefit for anyone with acne is that Cedarwood Oil is antiseptic and strongly antibacterial.
- Benefit number three is that it reduces the size of large pores. So you can see why it is used in so many teenage acne products as well as men’s skincare products for use after shaving. It blends well with Green Mandarin Essential Oil for acne and all types of sensitive and sensitized skin.
- There is a lot of Cedrol in this essential oil, which inhibits dopamine. That is why aromatherapists recommend using Cedarwood Essential Oil for sleep.
This is always a treatment that is available in spas and wellness centers.
- I used to use it on my massage clients who had arthritis and rheumatism, as it eased their joints somewhat.
- One of the other reasons Cedarwood Essential Oil is used a lot in places like this is, once again, its astringent properties. This is good for use in detoxifying spa wraps for body sculpting, and especially when blended with Grapefruit Essential Oil and Juniper Essential Oil for cellulite treatments.
- It also works well as a diuretic in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) treatments.
Cedarwood Essential Oil for Fragrance
- This essential oil has an incredible woodsy fragrance, which is often perceived to be very masculine. However, Cedarwood Essential Oil blends well with many other essential oils, and it totally transforms the blend. Lavender essential oil is a particular favorite of mine and when blended together, the fragrance is something different, with elements of both, but a new fragrance of its own.
- Blending Cedarwood Oil with very floral oils like Ylang Ylang or Jasmine tones down the floral notes to give overall greater depth and nuance. It is starting to smell like a high-end perfume by now.
- A personal favorite of mine is to add a couple of drops of Vetiver Essential Oil for a deep “masculine” fragrance. It acts as a fixative as well, so any oils that it is blended with, give off their fragrance for longer.
It’s great for hair products as well.
- As you would guess from what the skin care benefits are, it is also good for sorting out an oily scalp and greasy hair.
- It boosts the micro circulation of the scalp as well. This means that the blood supply to the hair follicles is improved.
Now, if you have male pattern baldness like me, this isn’t going to improve matters at all. However, if you have temporary hair loss, then getting the hair follicles in the best condition possible is good for restoring normal hair growth.
Essential Oils & Emotions
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as Traditional Aromatherapy, essential oils resonate with certain chakra vibrations to support the function of that area.
Cedarwood Essential Oil resonates with the 1st Chakra.
- 1st Chakra / Root Chakra / Muladhara / Base of spine
This chakra connects with our stability, roots, and foundations and gives us the security of feeling grounded. When the chakra is open, we feel balanced and capable.
Mantra: “I can’t grow from an unsteady foundation”
This is useful for when you feel “out of sorts”. It’s very grounding when you feel a bit too much in your head. It’s also protective and gently purifying for any negativity you may have. Obviously, a wonderful oil to use in the diffuser during the evening when you are winding down after your day.
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