There are many types of cedarwood: Atlas Cedarwood, Virginian Cedarwood, and Himalyan Cedarwood, Red Cedar Texas Cedar. It can be confusing. The brand of cedarwood I use is the Atlas version. People say that this oil is high in cedrol, but this incorrect.
About Cedarwood Oil
Atlas cedarwood, species name cedrus atlantica, is also called Morroccan Cedarwood or Atlantic Cedarwood. It is steam distilled from the bark of the tree and is actually high in beta-, alpha-, and gamma-himachalene, and alpha-atlantone — not cedrol.
Juniperus virginiana, also known as Virginian Cedar or Red Cedar or Eastern Red Cedar, is one of the botanicals that is higher in cedrol.
Uses for Cedarwood Oil
Cedar oil was used in ancient times for cosmetics, embalming, and perfumery, and temples were built with the wood as well. It was seen as a spiritual oil and was used for anointing, but also symbolized fertility. It was also one of the ingredients used for centuries as a poison antidote.
Cedarwood is a sesquiterpene, which makes it fantastic for nerves and relaxation. It supports the limbic brain, especially the pineal gland. The pineal gland is responsible for hormones related to sleep, so this is a great choice for bedtime. It is one I use a lot for clients who have trouble sleeping, and who need to reduce stress.
Cedarwood has also been used for years for acne and skin irritations and cuts, burns, bruises. It’s also used for joint and muscle pain, and for coughs and colds. I recently started using it again twice daily on my face, and it is helping clear up my skin beautifully.
Concerns for Cedarwood Oil
Atlas cedarwood is a fragile species. It is e x t r e m e l y important to source your essential oil from companies who are sustainably, ethically, and legally trading this botanical. Because of its status, many atlas cedar oils are adulterated. (Many other cedar species are fragile as well) However, this botanical is often highly adulterated by mixing a combination of cedars together because of the cedars’ similar chemical profiles, .
This is why where you purchase your products is extremely, extremely important.
Physically, and for health reference, atlas cedarwood has no contraindications or precautions. This makes it a great essential oil for children.
Did you know most of your saunas are made with western red cedar? But it’s a different species again than the ones listed here: usually made with thuja plicata, AKA Pacific thuja.
Want to learn more about how to use essential oils? Let’s chat and we can set up a plan for you.