Our Complete Guide to Cedarwood Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions
With its smoky, woodsy scent it’s no wonder that Cedarwood essential oil is so popular. This oil is extremely comforting and it offers a range of benefits. Some use cedarwood essential oil for skin conditions, occasional bouts of sleeplessness, and it’s great for healthy, shiny hair.
You can use cedarwood essential oil in aromatherapy sessions, for massage therapy, and you can apply it topically, depending on what you’re using it for.
Like all oils, it’s always a good idea to do your homework on it before you begin. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about cedarwood essential oil, its incredible benefits and how you can use it safely.
- What is cedarwood essential oil?
- Cedarwood essential oil - quick facts
- How is cedarwood essential oil made?
- Benefits of cedarwood essential oil
- Cedarwood essential oil for skin
- Cedarwood essential oil for hair
- Cedarwood essential oil for sleep
- Cedarwood essential oil for stress management
- Cedarwood essential oil for pest control
- How to use cedarwood essential oil
- Topical use of cedarwood essential oil
- Aromatherapy massage with cedarwood essential oil
- Inhalation of cedarwood essential oil
- Pillow mist with cedarwood essential oil
- Cedarwood essential oil research
- Cedarwood essential oil for hair - 1998
- Cedarwood essential oil for skin - 2012, 2013, 2016
- Cedarwood essential oil for anxiety and relaxation - 2018, 2020
- Cedarwood essential oil for sleep - 2003, 2019
- Side effects of cedarwood essential oil
- Contraindications of cedarwood essential oil
- Where to buy cedarwood essential oil
- Cedarwood essential oil FAQs
- What is cedarwood essential oil good for?
- Can cedarwood essential oil be applied directly to the skin?
- Is cedarwood essential oil good for anxiety?
- In summary
What is cedarwood essential oil?
Cedarwood essential oil is derived from three families evergreen conifer trees, and the most popular types include Cedrus atlantica (Atlantic or atlas cedar), Cedrus deodara (Himalayan cedar), Juniperus mexicana (Texas cedar) and Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar/Virginian cedar). The oil derived from these trees each has its own unique scent but they all offer the same range of benefits.
For thousands of years, people have been using cedarwood essential oil for sleep and to address a range of other ailments, including coughs, hiccups and more serious illnesses. The Ancient Egyptians even used it in their mummification process due to its antimicrobial and insecticidal benefits. In Tibet, it’s very popular in religious practices and spiritual ceremonies like solitary meditation and communal prayers.
Interestingly, this oil is one of Mithridates’ ingredients, a famous poison antidote relied on for hundreds of years. One of the ancient names for the cedar tree is Arbor vitae, which means Tree of Life, and it’s seen as a symbol of immortality and incorruptibility.
Modern Western society has found it works very well in cosmetic applications. People use cedarwood essential oil for hair, in shampoos and as scalp treatments, and it’s also added to aftershave, body scrubs, deodorants, face masks and lotions.
Because it packs so many advantages and benefits your body, mind, and soul, it’s easy to see why cedarwood essential oil is such a global favorite.
Cedarwood essential oil - quick facts
🪵 Latin name: Juniperus virginiana, Cedrus atlantica, Chamaecyparis/Cupressus funebris, Cedrus deodara, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Juniperus ashei/mexicana
🪵 Also known as: Cedar, Juniper, Cypress
🪵 Country of origin: Mediterranean, Western Himalayas, 🇺🇸 USA , 🇮🇳 India
🪵 Scent note: Woody, sweet, rich dry overtones
🪵 Annual production: $300 million in 2020, projected to double by 2030
🪵 Popular uses: Hair care, skin care, sleeping aid, mothballs, stress & relaxation
How is cedarwood essential oil made?
Cedarwood essential oil can be extracted by carbon dioxide (CO2) extraction, cold pressing or steam distillation. It's derived from the bark, berries, leaves and needles of cedar, juniper or cypress trees.
Like most essential oils, cedarwood is extracted from the cedar, juniper or cypress tree in a variety of ways, including cold pressing and steam distillation.
Cold pressing involves pulverizing the raw materials at room temperature by mixing, grinding and compaction before being compressed. Steam distillation injects hot steam through the raw material, opening the cavities inside it that contain the oil. These are vaporized, with the oil separating from the water once condensed in the distillate which is then collected.
Benefits of cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil has a wide range of benefits such as:
- 🪵 Skin treatment
- 🪵 Hair tonic
- 🪵 Sleeping aid
- 🪵 Reducing anxiety and stress
- 🪵 Pest repellent
Let's take a look at each of these benefits of cedarwood oil in more detail.
Cedarwood essential oil for skin
When it comes to using cedarwood essential oil for skin issues, you’ll benefit from its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. These make it helpful for acne, eczema and irritated skin. It’s also a wonderful natural wound healer, so use it (diluted of course!) on abrasions, cuts and scrapes that require disinfection too.
Cedarwood essential oil for hair
Many people use cedarwood essential oil for hair growth and to minimize hair loss. It balances the glands in your scalp that produce oil, and its medicinal properties make it a good choice for conditions like dandruff and alopecia areata.
Cedarwood essential oil for stress management
When you use this essential oil in aromatherapy applications, you’ll enjoy the sweet, woody fragrance. It has a comforting, sedative, warming effect on the body and mind and thus naturally promotes stress relief.
Cedarwood essential oil has an invigorating quality that can improve your cerebral activity as its calming properties relax your body. The combination of these effects will enhance your ability to concentrate while it reduces any tendencies toward hyperactivity.
Its soothing scent lessens the impact of harmful stress and tension and, as it clears the mind, it promotes your body’s ability to rest. When you use cedarwood essential oil for sleep, you’ll find that your rest becomes more reparative and restorative.
Cedarwood essential oil for pest control
This natural product is safe for people and a range of pets, including cats and dogs, when it’s used as directed. It also causes no harm to beneficial bugs like bees, butterflies, lacewings, mantids and spiders, although it does deter them. Spray a dilution around your house and garden to deter fleas, beetles, houseflies, moths and mites, ants, ticks, mosquitoes.
How to use cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil can be used in a variety of ways, depending on its intended purpose.
Here are some of the most common ways to use cedarwood essential oil:
- 🪵 Topical use
- 🪵 Aromatherapy massage
- 🪵 Inhalation
- 🪵 Pillow mist
Let’s take a look at each of these uses of cedarwood essential oil in more detail.
Topical use of cedarwood essential oil
Use cedarwood essential oil for skin issues by adding some of it to your lotions, soap, a carrier oil or your bath. It’s a great resource for conditions like acne, eczema, pigmentation and skin dullness and will help reduce premature signs of aging with its antioxidant properties.
Just be sure to properly dilute your cedarwood essential oil: 2-3 drops of essential oil per tablespoon of carrier oil. Use a non-comedogenic carrier oil for your face, such as jojoba oil. Sweet almond oil, fractionated coconut oil and other thicker oils work well on the rest of your body where breakouts are less likely to occur.
Aromatherapy massage with cedarwood essential oil
When you use cedarwood essential oil as part of an aromatherapy massage treatment, it will decrease hyperactivity, enhance your concentration levels, improve your brain activity, relax your body and reduce stress levels.
Because it eases tension and clears the mind, you may find the quality of the sleep you’re getting at the end of the day vastly improved too.
Follow the same recommendations above for properly diluting cedarwood essential oil with carrier oils.
Inhalation of cedarwood essential oil
Inhaling this essential oil is a wonderful way to reap its benefits. You can do this quickly and easily by using a diffuser. If you don’t have a diffuser, add a few drops to a bowl of steaming water and cover your head with a towel while you breathe it in.
You’ll enjoy an immediate drop in your stress levels, and the woodsy scent will soothe your anxious mind. Diffusing cedarwood essential oil beside your bed may help you sleep better too!
Pillow mist with cedarwood essential oil
If you don’t have a diffuser and you want to use cedarwood essential oil for sleep, why not make a pillow mist? Just add a few drops of it to distilled water and spray this concoction onto your pillow before you get into bed.
Its comforting scent will work to make sure you’re getting the rest you need.
Cedarwood essential oil research
Because of how popular cedarwood essential oil is and how long people have been using it, there is quite a bit of research available on it. Read on for an outline of impactful studies that have been done on the benefits of cedarwood essential oil for hair, skin, sleep and its other advantages.
Cedarwood essential oil for hair - 1998
While cedarwood’s hair benefits haven’t been extensively researched, one study combined cedarwood essential oil with several other essential oils in alopecia areata sufferers and found that it reduced hair loss and improved hair growth.
Cedarwood essential oil for skin - 2012, 2013, 2016
Cedarwood essential oil has been shown to help in medication-resistant acne.
A study in 2012 on its antifungal properties revealed that it’s effective in killing various types of dermatophytes and yeasts including Candida albicans and others that cause toenail fungus and skin fungal infections.
Additionally, a study on an animal model with skin wounds found that cedarwood essential oil had anti-inflammatory activities and helped wounds heal effectively.
Cedarwood essential oil for anxiety and relaxation - 2018, 2020
A 2018 study investigated how effectively cedarwood essential oil worked at reducing anxiety. It revealed that cedrol, a chemical compound in cedarwood, increases brain levels of dopamine and serotonin, the so-called “happy hormones”.
Dementia patients in a 2020 study were exposed to cedarwood aromatherapy by inhalation. After 8 weeks, it was shown to improve their mental function and provide calming and positive behavioral effects.
Cedarwood essential oil for sleep - 2003, 2019
A 2003 study ended up crediting cedrol with the ability to relax us. Rats exposed to this chemical compound became much less active. The result was similar even when the rats had been treated with caffeine, and it was noted that sleeping time was prolonged in instances of exposure as well compared to other essential oils that are considered sleep aids.
Disturbances in the sleep-wake cycle for patients with coronary heart disease have been noted. A randomized, controlled study assessed the sleep quality of stable CHD patients and found that cedarwood essential oil aromatherapy had a positive effect on their sleep.
Side effects of cedarwood essential oil
As amazing as the many benefits of using cedarwood essential oil are, there are some side effects that you need to be aware of. Taking precautions means you can use it without worry.
The jury’s out on whether or not it’s safe for pregnant women to use cedarwood essential oil. The extent of its possible side effects isn’t known, so for safety’s sake, it’s recommended you steer clear of it if you’re expecting a baby.
Make sure to dilute it before you apply it topically. About 30 drops per ounce of carrier oil is considered safe for adults. Don’t use it on children less than a year old, and for children up to the age of 12, reduce the amount to six drops per ounce of carrier oil. And always do a patch test before use to make sure you’re not sensitive to it.
Contraindications of cedarwood essential oil
If you’re dealing with cancer, heart-related illnesses, hormone-related diseases or serious skin ailments, consult with your physician before you start using cedarwood essential oil. This also applies to people with atherosclerosis, those at greater risk of having a stroke or a heart attack, people taking prescription drugs, or anyone undergoing major surgery.
Never use cedarwood essential oil on the skin of newborn babies (or any essential oil for that matter) as it can be toxic and cause severe complications.
Where to buy cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood essential oil is widely available online and in stores. When purchasing cedarwood oil, be sure to look for a 100% pure essential oil - not an extract. This ensures that you're getting an authentic product with all of the therapeutic benefits. If it’s organic, even better!
Here are some of the places where you can purchase cedarwood essential oil.
Volant stocks Organic Cedarwood, a calming, woodsy, great-smelling essential oil that will leave whichever room you use it in more welcoming. All our oils are 100% pure and certified organic, cruelty free, sourced ethically, vegan friendly and tested before, during and after distillation.
A major drawcard for shopping at Amazon is the enormous selection of products at your fingertips. Typing Cedarwood Essential Oil into the search engine returns 500+ results.
But this also means that you’ll find a mix of products of great quality and items that aren’t quite up to snuff. Take careful note of ingredients lists and reviews to ensure you get the best oil.
Cedarwood essential oil’s list of physical benefits means that many pharmacies will have it in stock. Once again, read everything on the label to ensure you’re getting a quality product.
doTerra is committed to selling only 100% pure essential oils, so you can trust their cedarwood oil. You’ll also be able to enjoy its full range of benefits in the knowledge that all items are ethically sourced.
Cedarwood essential oil FAQs
What is cedarwood essential oil good for?
It’s a popular ingredient to add to your skin care and hair care products, it can help with acne, fungal infections and help wounds heal more quickly, it’s a powerful sleep aid, great for reducing stress, and is a powerful bug repellent to boot.
Can cedarwood essential oil be applied directly to the skin?
Yes, just dilute it in a carrier oil and test a small area of your skin first to be safe. Luckily, it’s also non-toxic to your furry friends, whether cat or dog.
Is cedarwood essential oil good for anxiety?
Cedarwood essential oil can reduce levels of stress and anxiety significantly.
Cedarwood essential oil is used by many people to increase their emotional, mental and physical well-being. It aids relaxation, helps improve the quality of your sleep, works as a hair and skin tonic, functions as an antibacterial agent and repels pests from your skin and home.
If you want to start using cedarwood essential oil, remember that it’s important to buy this product from a reputable supplier. Volant only uses the best plants to produce our organic essential oils, and all our oils are organic and pure. So when you buy cedarwood essential oil from us, you can rest assured it’s the purest and most effective oil possible.
We’re happy to help if you have any questions about cedarwood essential oil. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime!