Cedarwood oil has a lot going on than most would expect. Its benefits can be attributed to its antiseborrihoeic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, insecticidal, sedative, and fungicidal properties.
Nature made a point of reminding me of cedarwood recently during an escape from my usual habitat, the asphalt jungle. Traveling through a wooded trail, surrounded by towering trees who appear a lot friendlier than steel skyscrapers, I made my way into a clearing full of flowers, butterflies, and large pockets of brush. It was there the sweet scents of nature hit me all at once. Clean air, lavender, hay, and, of course, cedarwood, amongst others. An unmistakable fragrance containing a combination of musk with hints of vanilla hidden beneath a warm earthy scent.
Cedarwood is native to cold climates and is mostly found at high altitudes. The oil is extracted through a process of steam distillation from the wood pieces of the tree, whose scientific name is Juniperius Virginiana (also known as Cedar Doedara, Cedrus Atlantica, and Cedrus Libani, depending on regions they’re found). The different and complicated names of cedarwood oil do not affect the medicinal uses of it.
The main components of cedarwood oil are Alpha Cedrene, Beta Cedrene, Cedrol, Widdrol, Thujopsene, and a group of Sesquiterpenes, which contribute a great amount of its medicinal significance and benefits.
Seborrhea (also known as seborrhoeic eczema, or seborrhoeic dermatitis) is a harsh skin disorder that affects the scalp, face, and torso, which is caused by a malfunction of the sebaceous glands. Sebum production is increased and a subsequent infection of the epidermal cells follows, causing skin to become flaky, irritated, red or discolored, scaly, and peel.
Cedarwood oil is antiseborrhoeic and can help cure this inflammatory condition by reducing the skin peeling, treating the infection, and regularizing sebum production. It can also reduce redness, and obvious signs of the skin condition while treating it.
Cedarwood oil can help prevent wounds from becoming infected, and protects them from tetanus germs. The oil can be safely applied topically on wounds as an antiseptic, and it’s also found as an ingredient in herbal antiseptic creams. By defending the body against harmful toxins, cedarwood oil mitigates white blood cells and immune system of the extra stress, which allows them to better defend internal functions.
Relieves Arthritis & Inflammation
Cedarwood oil has certain anti-inflammatory effects, which according to studies, can help bring relief to those suffering from arthritis pain. The debilitating pain, or discomfort from the inflammation of joints and tissues can be somewhat diminished by the inhalation, or topical application of cedarwood oil on skin.
Since cedarwood oil is antispasmodic, almost all types of spasms, and related ailments can be relieved by the use of this oil. This covers spasms that affect the respiratory system, muscles, intestines, nerves, and heart. Those experiencing trouble sleeping due to restless leg syndrome, asthma, respiratory seizures, and other spasmodic conditions can also find soothing relief in cedarwood oil.
Works As An Astringent
Like witch hazel, cedarwood oil is an astringent that can help cure toothaches, strengthen the grip of gums on teeth, and protect them from falling out. It also helps tighten loose muscles, providing a feeling of firmness, fitness and youth to them.
Being an astringent, cedarwood oil can also be used to cure diarrhea by tightening the digestive system’s muscles, and contracting spasm-prone muscles. The oil is beneficial in protecting the skin from toxins and bacteria. When applying astringent substances onto skin it causes skin proteins to coagulate, where they dry and harden, forming a protective shield on applied area.
For many years, cedarwood oil has been used as an effective insect and mosquito repellant. You can successfully drive away mosquitoes, flies, and other insects by using the oil in a vaporizer within a large area at home. You can also sprinkle some of the oil on pillows or sheets at night to keep mosquitoes and other annoying bugs and pests away while asleep.
Tonics are medicinal substances that offer restorative and invigorating effects on the body. Cedarwood oil can be used as a general health tonic as it tones the organ systems, and jump starts the metabolism. It tightens and tones muscles, the nervous system, skin, stomach, brain, and digestive system functions. It can boost the functionality of the kidney and liver, which further improves overall health and wellness.
A diuretic is a substance that increases the passing of urine, which then helps the body excrete unwanted fat, excess water, and toxins that could cause ailments or illnesses. Such ailments include obesity, high blood pressure, urinary tract infection, hypertension, arthritis, rheumatism, and other issues. Using cedarwood oil as a diuretic can help cure the mentioned problems, and help flush out the accumulated toxins in the blood.
Fights Cough & Cold
Cedarwood oil is an expectorant, and if suffering from cough, cold, and congestion, the oil can help reduce irritation caused by these symptoms. It can successfully eliminate coughs, and remove phlegm from respiratory tracts and lungs, which will then relieve congestion.
The oil can also be used to ease headaches, red and watery eyes, and other symptoms related to cough and colds. A small drop of cedarwood oil could even help achieve a needed good night’s sleep when feeling under the weather. By encouraging the loosening of phlegm, it can protect the respiratory tract, and overall health from harmful toxins excess phlegm causes.
Regulates Menstrual Cycle
Women who experience obstructed and irregular menstruation can most definitely benefit from using cedarwood oil since it is an emmenagogue. An emmenagogue is a substance that stimulates menstruation, while at the same time regularizing the cycle. The usual pain and side effects associated with menstruation, such as nausea, fatigue, and mood swings, can all be treated with regular use of cedarwood oil. When that time of the month comes, the mentioned symptoms occur due to changes in hormones, and cedarwood oil helps bring relief by directly impacting the hormonal function of various glands in the endocrine system.
Eases Anxiety & Calms
Need to wind down a bit? Cedarwood oil is an excellent sedative. It can soothe and calm the mind, cure inflammation, itchy skin, all while relieving tension and anxiety. It can also help promote uninterrupted, restorative sleep, which is something those suffering from insomnia could benefit from.
In aromatherapy applications, the scent of cedarwood oil induces the release of serotonin, which then is converted into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin is a hormone that induces calm and fatigue, and helps you fall asleep. For these reasons, individuals who experience chronic anxiety, stress, and depression can also find relief in using cedarwood oil as well.
Containing certain fungicidal qualities, cedarwood oil can be used to eliminate fungal infections, both internal and external. According to some studies, the inhalation of the oil can protect the body against a variety of food poisoning, as well as plant, animal, and human fungal pathogens.
Cedarwood oil is equally as useful in curing arthritis, acne, bronchitis, dandruff, cystitis, dermatitis, stress, kidney disorder, and can be used as a treatment against oily skin.
A Word of Caution:
High concentrations of cedarwood oil may produce skin irritations, so be careful of how much you use. Pregnant women should avoid using the oil altogether. If under a specific dietary regime, consult your doctor first before making any kind of changes, or additions to diet.
Cedarwood oil, unlike some essential oils, cannot be ingested in any quantity since it is highly potent. Ingesting it can cause vomiting, nausea, thirst, and extensive damage to the digestive system.
Cedarwood oil can be blended with other essential oils like bergamot, benzoin, cypress, cinnamon, frankincense, juniper, jasmine, lime, lemon, lavender, neroli, rose, and rosemary.