Cedar originates from the Atlas mountains and is grown in particular in Morocco, from where most of the essential oil for aromatherapy is imported. Cedar belongs to the family Pinaceae. The trees are large and imposing. Demand for cedarwood for building and furnishing has greatly depleted the ancient cedar forests of Lebanon, which is why the oil has to be sourced elsewhere. Another kind of cedarwood oil comes from the red cedar -Juniperus virginiana – which is grown in North America. Cedarwood itself is highly aromatic.
Cedarwood oil has a rich, honey color and a warm, woody, sweet smell that appeals to both sexes. The oil is extracted from wood waste – sawdust, chips and shavings – by the process of steam distillation.
Cedarwood oil has been in use for many centuries. The ancient Egyptians used it in cosmetics and in the process of mummification. It is also used in incense. Nowadays, it is used commercially for its fragrance in a variety of household products and also in the manufacture of cosmetics and toiletries, in particular aftershaves. Aromatherapists use cedarwood oil for the treatment of respiratory ailments. It has antiseptic properties, and is effective against coughs, bronchitis and catarrh. Its use in skin and hair care is well recognized, and it can be very beneficial in the treatment of dandruff, eczema and acne. As an ingredient in a blend to perfume a room, cedarwood oil is warm and pleasant. The oil is particularly useful in treating stress and tension.
Suitable methods of use
- Skin care
Use in low concentration only as it can be irritating to the skin. Warning: Cedarwood oil must be avoided during pregnancy.