Who knew that the oil from a tree could be so beneficial to your health and wellness? Surprisingly, cedarwood essential oil has antifungal, antiseptic, diuretic, astringent and sedative properties. It has the power to improve your skin, help with organ function, tighten muscles, improve metabolism and benefit your digestive system.
What is Cedarwood Essential Oil?
It’s no wonder why cedars were the trees mentioned most in the Bible, symbolizing a source of protection, wisdom and abundance.
Cedarwood essential oil is extracted through the process of steam distillation from wood pieces of the cedar wood tree. The major components of cedarwood essential oil are alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene, cedrol, widdrol, thujopsene and a group of sesquiterpenes — all of which contribute a great deal to its health benefits.
Cedarwood Essential Oil Benefits
Some of the most common benefits of cedarwood essential oil include:
- improves focus and wisdom
- promotes hair growth
- has anti-inflammatory agents
- cures toothaches
- strengthens gums
- reduces skin irritations
- relives spasms
- cures fungal infections
- repels bugs
- cures acne
- reduces cough
- stimulates metabolism
- regulates menstruation
- tightens muscles
- cleans out toxins
Clearly, cedarwood essential oil is a great tool for your medicine cabinet. It has not only external health benefits, but also the power to improve your digestive and circulatory function as well.
Top 15 Cedarwood Essential Oil Uses
1. Eczema — Eczema is a common skin disorder that causes dry, red, itchy skin that can blister or crack. Cedarwood essential oil can cure the inflammation that leads to this irritating skin issue — it reduces skin pealing and treats the infection with its antifungal properties. There are a few ways to add cedarwood essential oil to your daily routine. Add the oil to your skin lotion or soap, rub it on the infected or itchy area directly, or make yourself a bath with five drops of cedarwood oil added to it.
2. Hair loss — Cedarwood essential oil can stimulate the hair follicles and increase circulation to the scalp. This contributes to hair growth and slows hair loss. Herbalists and aromatherapists have recommended essential oils for years to treat hair loss, thinning hair and various types of alopecia.
There’s evidence that applying cedarwood oil, in combination with the essential oils from thyme, rosemary and lavender, to the scalp improves hair growth in up to 44 percent for people with hair loss after seven months of treatment. To do this, add cedarwood oil to your shampoo or conditioner, or just massage the oil into your scalp and let it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. (1)
3. Dry scalp — Cedarwood essential oil helps reduce dry or flaky scalp. It stimulates the scalp and increases circulation. To take advantage of this essential oil benefit, mix two drops of cedarwood essential oil with coconut oil to create a mixture with antifungal and moisturizing properties. Add the mixture to your scalp, and rub it in for five minutes. For the best results, let it sit on your scalp for 30 minutes or so — then wash it out.
4. Antiseptic properties — Cedarwood essential oil can safely be applied topically on wounds as an antiseptic. It defends the body against toxins and relieves your white blood cells and immune system of stress or malfunction — this protects your internal functions and fights off bacteria in the body. Create an oil rub by mixing cedarwood essential oil with coconut oil, and then rub the mixture on your body to help with wounds, scars or infections.
5. Reduces arthritis — Inflammation of the joints and tissues, which are common symptoms of arthritis, can lead to debilitating pain or discomfort; this can be lessened with the use of cedarwood essential oil. By inhaling the oil, or using it externally on the skin, you reduce inflammation — which minimizes joint stiffness. Try making yourself a bath with five to 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil. (2)
6. Relieves spasmodic conditions — If you struggle with restless leg syndrome, respiratory seizures, asthma and other spasmodic conditions, you can find relief by taking advantage of the calming and soothing properties of cedarwood essential oil. These spasms may affect the respiratory system, muscles, intestines, heart and nerves.
7. Natural deodorizer — Cedarwood essential oil is comforting, reassuring and also possesses a wood-like pleasant scent. It adds a warm tone to any blend of perfumes or oil mixtures. It’s also known to bring people together and improve personal outlook and self-esteem. This may seem strange, but the soothing power of cedarwood oil has the ability to change a person’s perspective. Inhaling cedarwood oil, vaporizing it or adding it to a body spray can have long-lasting therapeutic effects.
8. Tightens muscles — Because cedarwood essential oil is an astringent, it tightens loose muscles and creates a feeling of firmness and youth. It also hardens the muscles of the digestive system, which helps with stomach issues like diarrhea. Rub three to five drops of cedarwood essential oil into your hands, and then massage any sore or tight muscles. Massage your abs, arms, chest and legs. You feel a soothing and fresh sensation.
9. Serves as a diuretic — Cedarwood essential oil increases the frequency of urination and therefore removes harmful toxins, excess water and fat from the body. Rub two drops of cedarwood essential oil into your hands and massage your bladder and kidneys. This helps with urinary tract infections, water retention and kidney issues.
10. Improves Focus and ADHD — A study performed by Dr. Terry Friedmann M.D. and Dennis Eggett from Bringham Young University found that using cedarwood oil on children could greatly improve their focus and learning capacity. 34 children with ADHD were given different single oils including vetiver, cedarwood, lavender and an oil blend.
Children held up a bottle of essential oils and took three deep inhalations 3x a day for thirty days. At the end of the study subjects retook an EEG and T.O.V.A. test and with both vetiver and cedarwood oil there were significant changes. The results showed cedarwood oil inhalation improved focus in children with ADHD by 65%!
11. Cough relief — Cedarwood essential oil has the power to remove phlegm from the respiratory tract and lungs, which reduces congestion from a cough or cold. Try using a cedarwood essential oil before you go to sleep — it loosens bothersome phlegm and relieves headaches as well. Rub two drops of oil onto your chest and throat and rub it in for a minute; you can also add the oil to your nose and upper lip to help with breathing.
12. Bug repellant — Cedarwood essential oil drives away mosquitoes, flies and other insects. You can put a few drops of oil on your skin to keep them away outdoors, or use a vaporizer to keep them out of the house or apartment. You can also spray diluted cedarwood essential oil on your bed and coaches to keep the pests away.
One study measured the effectiveness of cedarwood oil against the pulse beetle and the housefly, and the results showed insecticidal activity against both test species. The study suggests that cedarwood oil can be an active natural product that, when added to commercial insecticides, is beneficial. (3)
Do you have a problem with moths eating your clothes? Use cedarwood essential oil to keep them away (without the smell of mothballs). Add cedarwood essential oil to cotton balls and place them in your closet, on your hangers and inside of storage boxes.
13. Relieves tension — Because cedarwood essential oil is a sedative, it has the power to relieve tension and stress that affects your health. It has a soothing and calming effect on the mind, reduces inflammation and muscle pain, and minimizes skin irritation or itchiness. The scent of cedarwood essential oil encourages the release of serotonin, which is converted into melatonin in the brain. Melatonin induces restorative sleep and leaves you feeling calm.
One interesting study measured the sedative properties of cedarwood oil. The study included rats that inhaled cedrol, a component of cedarwood oil. Motor activity in the rats decreased significantly; the rats that were given caffeine and categorized as hyperactive also showed a decrease it activity. Sleeping rates in the rats increased as well. (4)
These aromatherapy properties of cedarwood essential oil help people with chronic stress and depression. All you have to do is inhale cedarwood essential oil directly from the bottle; you can also diffuse a few drops of oil or rub a drop of oil right above your eyebrows to relieve tension.
14. Kills fungal infections — Cedarwood essential oil cures internal and external fungal infections. It can protect you from fungal pathogens and food poisoning. One study done at the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology in India found that cedarwood essential oil is a viable alternative to other antibacterial agents and is an effective module in controlling both bacteria and yeasts responsible for oral infections. The study also proved that cinnamon oil, lemongrass oil, clove oil and eucalyptus oil have the same antifungal properties. (5)
15. Cures acne — Cedarwood essential oil protects skin pores from letting in dust or any harmful microbes into the body, which lead to acne and skin infections. Cedarwood oil is also effective for tightening the facial skin and giving it a youthful appearance. To cure your acne naturally, add one drop of cedarwood essential oil to your lotion or face soap, or massage the oil into your skin all by itself. This exercise can be added to your daily routine in order to eliminate acne.
You can also make your own face scrub by combining cedarwood essential oil with Epsom salt and coconut oil. Mix these ingredients together until you get a rough and slightly oily texture — then use the mixture to exfoliate your face and help eliminate acne for good.
Research, Unique Compounds and Studies
An interesting experiment focused on the ability to create fragrances for perfumes out of renewable energy resources, like cedarwood oil. Scientists found that cedarwood oil mixed with turpentine oil is very suitable for the synthesis of woody and ambery notes. If used for commercial perfumes, more people can take advantage of cedarwood oil’s amazing health benefits. (6)
Another interesting factor is that cedarwood essential oils are sometimes made from waste wood chips — which means that people benefit from recycled and repurposed wood. How neat is that?
Cedarwood Oil Side Effects
Although some essential oils can be added to food or ingested orally in minimal amounts, it’s not safe to consume cedarwood essential oil internally. Because it’s such a strong oil, it can cause vomiting, nausea, thirst and extensive damage to the digestive system. Women who are pregnant should not use cedarwood essential oil. If used in high concentrations, cedarwood essential oil can cause skin irritations.
DIY Cedarwood Essential Oil Recipe
Many colognes contain synthetic fragrances that can be toxic. Instead, try this homemade men’s cologne recipe. It’s easy to make, and the essential oils provide health benefits while smelling amazing!
Note: Citrus essentials oils are highly concentrated and are full of healthy acidic properties Because of this, I recommend you use glass containers when storing them so they don’t eat away any of the plastic.
Total time: 2 minutes
5 drops cedarwood essential oil
3 drops bergamot essential oil
2 drops sandalwood essential oil
1/2 pint (300 milliliters) 70 percent alcohol or vodka
Glass roll on tube or glass cologne spray bottle
Mix all ingredients together and store in a bottle.
Add 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil to this Homemade Vapor Rub. The essential oils deliver a soothing feeling while giving off an aroma that helps open up the respiratory system and improve the ease of breathing.
To use cedarwood essential oil as a natural remedy for hair loss or dry hair, you only need a few drops. Mix two to three drops of cedarwood essential oil to your favorite shampoo or conditioner, or make your own rub by adding cedarwood oil to coconut or jojoba oil. After you apply the mixture, cover your head with a towel or shower cap, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Then wash out the oil mixture completely. You can even add other essential oils to this mix — like lavender, evening primrose or lemongrass oil.