As you may have guessed from the name, cedarwood essential oil typically comes from cedar trees throughout North America. However, the uses for cedarwood oil haven't been limited to just North America because cultures around the world have used this product for a variety of benefits. The Egyptians used cedarwood essential oil for perfume and beauty purposes, the Native Americans used it to cure respiratory problems, and Greeks used the oil because they thought it would make them immortal.
And while the benefits of cedarwood may not go quite as far as the Greeks wanted, there are a variety of healing properties and other perks to using this oil. But before we get into all of this, let's take a quick look at the basics of cedarwood.
Cedarwood oil is extracted from the wood of its namesake tree through steam distillation. And there is normally plenty of wood to extract the oil from since many cedar wood trees grow over 100 feet high and 4-5 feet in diameter. As mentioned before, most cedar woods are found in North America, but these trees are also found in other areas such as the Middle East and Asia.
As far as properties of cedarwood oil go, the appearance is yellow-to-dark brown, and the smell gives off a woodsy aroma. The appearance of cedarwood is very important because some people mistake it for cedar leaf oil, which is colorless-to-pale yellow, and has much different uses including bug repellant and painting.
This top note essential oil is fast-acting, and combines well with the following oils: bergamot, benzoin, chamomile, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, patchouli, rose, neroli, rosemary and ylang ylang.
While cedarwood oil certainly has a lot of excellent purposes, one of the most enticing is its number of cosmetic uses. Many people like to add a little cedarwood to their skin creams in order to stave off oily skin, psoriasis, acne and dermatitis. You can also relieve itchy skin by combining this oil with an anti-itch solution.
Although cedarwood doesn't get mentioned with Slim Fast or Jenny Craig in regards to dieting products, this oil is actually very beneficial to those who are trying to lose weight and be healthier. The primary reason why cedarwood oil is so good as a dietary aid is because it promotes frequent urination, which helps flush out excess fat and toxins from the body.
The Native Americans realized cedarwood essential oil’s benefit as a respiratory aid long ago because it reduces congestion brought on by colds and flues. All it takes is a few drops into some boiling water or a vaporizer for cedarwood to start working on phlegm and mucus trapped in the lungs.
Aside from having respiratory benefits when inhaled, cedarwood also does an excellent job at relaxing people. It's for this reason why those suffering from insomnia, and people who frequently meditate, love to use cedarwood essential oil. Not surprisingly, the effects of cedarwood also extend to reducing anxiety and nervousness in people.
While many essential oils work as a mouthwash, cedarwood oil takes things a step further by also acting to promote overall mouth care. This product keeps teeth firmly entrenched in the gums, and works to reduce pain associated with toothaches.
As discussed under the basics section, the oft-confused cedar leaf oil is commonly known as an insect repellant. However, the name-associated cedarwood oil is also effective at warding off bugs and other annoying pests. In fact, you can put cedarwood in boiling water and/or a vaporizer to keep mosquitoes, bees and flies at bay.
Rounding out our list of benefits and healing purposes is cedarwood's antiseptic properties. There are plenty of store-bought antiseptics that already use cedarwood as an ingredient. But if you don't find cedarwood contained in the product you use to treat wounds or cuts, you can always add a few drops of cedarwood oil.
The method that you use to attain the benefits of cedarwood all depends on what purpose you're using it for. For example, if you want to clear up congestion or prevent anxiety, inhalation is the method you need to use. To properly inhale cedarwood oil, you can either use a vaporizer or put a few drops in steaming water, while staying near the pan to breathe in its properties.
Assuming you are hoping to ward off insects with cedarwood oil, a vaporizer is once again a good choice. However, you might also consider making a spray out of the oil by combining several drops of cedarwood into a few ounces of water and alcohol; once the solution is ready, lightly spray it onto your skin to keep bugs away. Creating a solution like this is also very helpful when you want to spray your house and/or furniture to make it smell better.
If you're looking to strengthen your teeth and gums, add a few drops of cedarwood essential oil into a cup of mouthwash or water, swish the solution around in your mouth, and spit. Of course, like with any other essential oil, you want to avoid ingesting the product because cedarwood oil could make you sick when swallowed in large quantities.
In regards to using cedarwood as a cosmetic, there are a couple of ways to go about this. For one, you can fill a bathtub up and put 7 or 8 drops of cedarwood essential oil into the water; this allows you to soak up a lot of the oil's skin-aiding benefits. A more popular way for clearing up skin problems with cedarwood is to add a few drops of the oil to skin cream and apply.
As you can see, there are a variety methods for using this oil, and quite a few benefits offered too. So save yourself some money on buying tons of different products, and try using cedarwood essential oil for a variety of purposes.