Proven Uses and Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedar Oil) – Science Based

Proven Uses and Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedar Oil)

Cedarwood essential oil, also known as cedar oil, is a versatile oil with many therapeutic benefits for your scalp, mind and skin. You can also use cedar oil as a natural insect repellent. Cedar oil can also be combined with other essential oils to help reduce stress and get a better night’s sleep. There is also some evidence that cedarwood oil can help address problems of hair loss.

Like with most essential oils, you should use cedarwood diluted in a carrier oil. This way, you can apply cedarwood oil to minor wounds, acne-prone skin, or to keep your scalp healthy. Cedarwood oil also works well in a diffuser, as its vapors help you relax and even soothe pain.

In this article, you will learn about how to use cedarwood oil for its many health benefits. You will also find out about scientific research that backs up many of the medicinal uses of cedar oil.

What Is Cedarwood Essential Oil (Cedar Oil) and Where it Comes From?

Cedarwood essential oil is also referred to as cedar oil and is made from various types of conifers, mostly pine, juniper or cypress botanical families.

According to U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, cedar oils are extracted by a distillation process. This produces an essential oil that has a woody aroma and a light-yellow color. (1)

Cedarwood essential oil also contains many compounds that have antifungal, antiseptic, and insecticidal properties.

Although cedar oil used to be extracted from true cedar trees, much of the cedarwood essential oil sold today is derived from trees belonging to the Cupressaceae species, such as cypress and juniper trees. (1)

What Is Cedarwood Oil Good For?

Cedarwood essential oil has been used for centuries for its medicinal and therapeutic benefits.

According to research on cedarwood oil, cedar oil contains compounds such as cedrol, beta-cedrene, and thujopsene. Researchers say that cedar extracts are good for treating fungal infections, reducing spasms, killing off insects, and using as an astringent. (2)

The medicinal compounds in cedarwood oil are called sesquiterpenes. Scientists have discovered that these cedar oil components have an anti-inflammatory effect with therapeutic potential. (3)

The Benefits of Using Cedarwood Oil

Let’s look in more detail at the many reasons to use cedarwood oil to rejuvenate your scalp, reduce anxiety, and to get rid of insects and bugs.

Cedarwood Oil Boosts Scalp and Hair Health

Cedarwood essential oil has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can improve the health of your scalp and treat dry hair.

One study on medicinal plants that are used in hair care found that sesquiterpenes in cedarwood oil can help address many hair care issues. Cedarwood oil can help to stop dandruff, prevent dry hair, and even promote healthy hair growth. (4)

Cedarwood essential oil may help stop hair loss

When combined with other essential oils, cedar oil can help boost hair growth and treat alopecia areata (also known as spot baldness).

In one randomized controlled trial, cedarwood essential oil was combined in a carrier oil with lavender, thyme, and rosemary. The cedarwood oil hair treatment was massaged into the scalp daily. In a 7-month period, dermatologists noted better hair growth with the group using the essential oil treatment. (5)

How to use cedarwood oil for hair growth

You can use the following recipe to make your own cedarwood hair treatment to help hair grow faster.

  • Add 2 drops of cedarwood oil and 2 drops of rosemary oil to 1 tablespoon of a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil.
  • Massage the cedarwood oil blend into your scalp and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Wash and dry your hair as normal.
  • Use the cedar oil hair mask 2-3 times a week to help your hair regrow.

Alternatively, you can replace rosemary oil with peppermint oil to help hair grow.

For good scalp health, you can also add cedarwood essential oil to your regular shampoo. For every ounce of shampoo, add 6-8 drops of cedar essential oil. Use as you would your normal shampoo, but leave the shampoo on your head for 5 minutes before rinsing to help get rid of dandruff.

Find out why rosemary essential oil is good for hair regrowth and about other natural methods to grow your hair faster.

Cedar Oil Is Good for Your Skin

The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of cedarwood essential oil are great for helping to keep your skin in good health.

A review of good essential oils for the skin found that cedarwood oil is good for skin conditions like eczema, greasy and oily skin conditions, psoriasis, and acne. (6)

One case report found that applying cedarwood essential oil helped to control acne that was difficult to treat. (7)

If you plan on using cedarwood essential oil for your skin, it is good to remember that its long-term use can irritate your skin. A study on the dermal effects of cedarwood oil found that using it for longer than 3 months can cause skin irritation. (8)

How to use cedarwood essential oil on your skin

You can easily make your own facial cleansing toner to help keep germs and bacteria free from your skin.

  • Mix 4 drops of tea tree oil and 4 drops of cedarwood oil with 1 oz. of witch hazel.
  • Dip a cotton ball in the cedarwood skin treatment lotion and gently cleanse your skin from grime and unclog pores.

If you have oily skin you can use cedarwood essential oil as a cleanser and toner. Blend a few drops of the essential oil with an ordinary unscented cleanser, mild liquid soap or cream.

Find out why tea tree oil is a great oil for treating acne outbreaks and how witch hazel can be used to treat acne.

Did you know that there are many more essential oils that are great for treating acne?

Cedarwood Oil is Antiseptic and Can Help Heal Minor Wounds

You can also use the antimicrobial properties in cedarwood essential oil to help minor wounds heal quicker.

Cedarwood oil is on the list of essential oils that are good to use as an antiseptic and to help treat scabs. (6)

Although cedar oil is good for your skin, you should avoid applying it to broken skin or skin rashes that weep or ooze.

Learn about natural ways to treat various types of wounds and how to prevent scabs from forming.

How to use cedarwood essential oil for minor wounds

Mix 4 drops of cedarwood oil with one tablespoon of carrier oil and apply twice a day to the wound to heal it faster.

Cedarwood Essential Oil May Help Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Inhaling the woody aromas of cedarwood oil can help you relax and soothe feelings of anxiety and stress.

Researchers have found that inhaling cedrol helps to reduce blood pressure which is often elevated when under stress. (9)

Other studies have found that breathing in the cedarwood compound cedrol has a positive effect on the nervous system. (10)

Aromas of cedar extracts are also used in therapies to help reduce anxiety and stress. For example, therapists use cedarwood oil to help create a sensation of being in a forest which has been linked to stress relief and lower levels of anxiety. (11)

How to use cedarwood oil as a natural remedy for stress

You can make an oil blend with 4 drops of cedarwood essential oil and a tablespoon of sweet almond oil or other carrier oil. Gently massage into your temples, lie back, close your eyes, and breathe in the soothing cedar aromas.

You can also use the anti-anxiety properties of cedarwood essential oil by putting it in your diffuser. This is what you should do:

  • Put 2 drops of cedarwood oil, 2 drops of bergamot oil, and 2 drops of lavender oil to make an anti-stress diffuser blend.
  • Add to your diffuser and inhale the aromas at work or in the home to help reduce stress.

Find out about more essential oils that can help to relieve stress and lift your mood naturally.

Cedarwood Oil Is Relaxing and Helps You Get to Sleep

Because cedarwood essential oil has such a relaxing effect on your mind, it should come as no surprise that it can help treat insomnia.

There can be many reasons why you find it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The pleasant smell of cedarwood has a sedative effect on your mind to help you relax at night.

One study found that cedrol in cedarwood helps to improve sleep patterns and sleep quality. Scientists have found that there are a number of reasons why cedarwood oil is good for helping induce sleep. (12)

Another study found that cedarwood helped elderly people with dementia sleep better and longer. Using essential oils such as cedarwood, lavender, or sweet orange essential oil helped improve sleep and reduce early morning awakening. (13)

How to use cedarwood essential oil for a better night’s sleep

If you have difficulty sleeping, you can use the following natural remedy to improve your sleep patterns.

  • Put 2-4 drops of cedarwood essential oil on a cotton pad.
  • Put the cotton pad near your pillow to allow you to breathe in the cedarwood aromas to help you sleep better.

You can, of course, make a sleep-inducing essential oil blend for your diffuser in your bedroom. Combine 2 drops each of cedarwood essential oil, lavender essential oil, and orange essential oil. Put the oil blend into your diffuser while you sleep.

Alternatively, you could add a few drops of cedarwood oil diluted in a carrier oil to a warm bath to help relax before going to sleep. Use a ratio of 10-12 drops of essential oil per 1 oz (30 ml) of carrier oil, and add to your bath water.

Learn about other essential oils that can help you get a better sleep.

Cedarwood Oil Can Soothe Pain and Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory properties of cedarwood essential oil can also help relieve pain in sore muscles and joints.

Research from 2015 found that sesquiterpene compounds in cedar oil may have a similar effect to anti-inflammatory drugs. (16)

One study involving rats found that an essential oil ointment containing cedarwood helped to treat the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritis-related conditions. The pain-relieving blend also contained basil essential oil, black pepper oil, eucalyptus, and pine needle oil. (17)

How to use cedar oil to relieve pain

Make your own pain-reliving cedarwood ointment

  • Mix 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil, 3 drops of chamomile oil, and 3 drops of eucalyptus oil with 1 oz. of carrier oil.
  • Massage some of the cedarwood pain relieving oil into your sore joints to help relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times a day until your pain has gone.

You can find out what other essential oils you can use in this home remedy for pain relief.

You can also use cedar oil as a bath soak to soothe tired, aching muscles: mix 10-12 drops of cedarwood oil in 1 oz (30 ml) of carrier oil, and add to your hot bath water (you can also add 2-3 cups of Epsom salt to enhance the effect).

Cedarwood Essential Oil as an Insect Repellent

The insect repelling action of cedar oil can help to keep your house free of insects and other bugs.

Cedarwood essential oil is a registered natural pesticide with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Volatile oils extracted from the Juniperus virginiana tree have active ingredients that help get rid of moths and fleas. (18)

One study from 2014 found that cedrol in cedarwood can be used as a pest control agent against ticks and various species of ants. (19)

Some people claim that cedarwood oil could help repel mosquitoes. However, research has found that cedarwood extracts didn’t repel mosquitos effectively and other essential oils only had limited effect. (20)

How to use cedarwood oil to get rid of bugs and insects

You can use a combination of neem oil, peppermint oil, and cedarwood oil to make your own anti-bug spray.

  • Fill a 16-oz. (470 ml) spray bottle with warm water, leaving about an inch free from the top.
  • Add 2 tablespoons neem oil, 5 drops of cedarwood essential oil, and 5 drops of peppermint oil.
  • To the cedarwood oil bug spray, add a few drops of liquid dish soap and shake well.
  • Spray the natural insect repellent in corners or entry points around your home to help keep spiders and other creepy-crawlies away.
  • This cedarwood bug spray should also kill spiders when you spray it directly on them.

You can also use cedar oil as a bug repellent by adding 2 to 3 drops to a diffuser, or using a few drops on cotton balls and placing them in highly infested areas.

Find out how to make natural bug sprays using other essential oils and how you can protect yourself from mosquitoes naturally.

Cedarwood Essential Oil Can Soothe Respiratory Conditions

Essential oil from cedars, cypress, or juniper wood can also help to soothe coughing or asthmatic symptoms due to its antispasmodic properties.

The journal Chemistry of Natural Compounds reports that sesquiterpenes in cedar oils have antispasmodic properties. (20)

Although there are no studies directly linking inhaling cedarwood essential oil to relieving asthmatic conditions, its soothing effect could reduce coughing or respiratory irritation.

Try putting a few drops of cedarwood on a tissue and inhale the vapors deeply to help reduce coughing.

Cedarwood Oil Has Antifungal Properties

Cedarwood essential oil mixed with a carrier oil could help get rid of fungal infections like athlete’s foot or ringworm.

Research into the effects of essential oils on the skin has found that cedarwood oil can be good for treating fungal infections. (6)

One study from Japan found that sesquiterpenes in essential oil extracted from Japanese cedars and cypress trees can suppress fungal growth. The cedar oil helped treat various tinea (fungal) diseases. However, it should be noted that the oil was extracted from sake barrels. (21)

Use Cedar Oil as a Natural Air Freshener

Since cedarwood essential oil has a strong base note, it naturally eliminates / neutralizes various types of odors: pet, smoke, mildew, etc.

It blends well with other oils to create a variety of scents.

Try blending cedarwood oil in a diffuser with jasmine, lavender, sandalwood, eucalyptus or lemon essential oil to create a customized aroma to freshen up the air in your home.

Precautions and Side Effects of Cedarwood Oil

It is important to remember that cedarwood oil is a very powerful and potent essential oil. Because of this, you should never apply cedarwood essential oil directly on your skin. You should always mix the cedar oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or sweet almond oil.

If you are pregnant, you should consult with your doctor before using any essential oil, including cedarwood oil, for its medicinal or therapeutic benefits.

If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This e-book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.

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