Cedarwood oil is a light yellow or orange-colored viscous oil, which is extracted from the wood chips and sawdust of the cedarwood tree. There are basically two types of cedarwood trees that are used for extracting this oil. One is the evergreen tree, Cedrus atlantica, which is known as the 'true cedar', and the other is the Juniperus virginiana, which is popularly known as 'red cedar'. However, in ancient times, it was the Lebanon cedar which was used for extracting this oil. The wood chips and the sawdust of cedar trees are steam distilled to extract this essential oil.
Uses of Cedarwood Oil: Ancient and Modern Times
Cedar trees had immense importance in ancient times. The oil extracted from these trees was used by the ancient Egyptians for embalming the dead bodies during mummification. Like Egyptians, the Greeks also used this oil for preserving the dead.
The Asian countries, seemed to be aware of the therapeutic benefits of this oil for a long time. In some cultures, this oil was used for treating urinary tract infections and infections of the respiratory tract.
In Tibet, this oil is still used in traditional medicine, and also as an incense in the temples. In modern times, it has found applications as a bug repellent, sedative, and an expectorant. It is also an important aromatherapy oil, and is used as an ingredient in herbal antiseptic creams. It is used for repelling fleas and other insects, like bugs, mosquitoes, and moths.
It is an essential oil with a soothing, woody, and spicy aroma. It has detoxifying properties, and is widely used along with other essential oils in aromatherapy. It is considered to be very effective in reducing or relieving stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. It provides significant relief in nasal and respiratory congestion, by stimulating the expulsion of phlegm and mucus from the lungs and the respiratory tract.
This oil has antiseptic, antispasmodic, fungicidal, anti-seborrhoeic, astringent, and emmenagogue properties. Due to its anti-seborrhoeic properties, it can regulate the production of sebum, and hence can prove beneficial for oily skin. This makes it an effective home remedy for acne and seborrhea or seborrheic eczema. This oil can also be used for minor cuts or wounds, as it is a natural antiseptic.
Cedarwood oil may help reduce hair fall, dandruff, and premature graying of hair. It can help ensure regular menstruation in women, and relieve the discomforts like, nausea and fatigue, that usually accompany menstruation. Apart from these, this oil can improve metabolism, and promote the functions of the digestive and the nervous system.
This oil may help alleviate toothaches, dermatitis, skin rash, arthritis, spasms of the respiratory system, bronchitis, muscle spasms, kidney disorders, hypertension, cystitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
However, this oil should not be taken internally without consulting a health care professional. Generally, essential oils are applied on the skin along with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. If used in higher concentration, cedarwood oil can cause skin irritation. Therefore, it should be used with care, and under the supervision of a health care provider. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are generally advised to avoid this essential oil.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be treated as a substitute for professional medical advice.