Cedarwood - Cedrus Atlantica

The American Indians burned the twigs and inhaled the smoke to relieve head colds and chest congestion...

Cedarwood is an uplifting and stimulating oil with a sweet, balsamic ‘pencil-wood’ scent.

Nature: uplifting, stimulating

As an inhalant, the vapors open the sinus and breathing passages.

Ideal in a local massage to ease chest congestion.

The calming scent of cedarwood helps relieve anxiety and nervous tension.

Principal Actions: Nerve sedative, decongestant, astringent for oily hair or skin.

Practical Uses

Methods of Use: application, aroma lamp, bath, inhaler, lightbulb ring, massage, mist spray, steam inhalation, steam room, sauna

Cedarwood in Skin Care

Cedarwood is effective in treating many skin problems such as acne, oily skin, alopecia, psoriasis, dandruff, hair loss, eczema and rashes.

For Oily Skin Conditions: Mix 3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops bay leaf, 2 drops lemon, 2 drops myrtle in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and apply to affected skin.

To Ease Itching Skin: Mix 2 drops cedarwood, 3 drops peppermint, 2 drops geranium in 20ml/4 tsp carrier oil and apply to affected skin.

For Problem Scalp: Mix 4 drops cedarwood and 4 drops caraway in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and rub into scalp.

Circulation, Muscles and Joints

Cedarwood is a circulatory system stimulant, making it useful for arthritis and rheumatism.

For Edema: Mix 3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops grapefruit, 2 drops cypress and 2 drops fennel in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and gently massage into affected areas.

For Water Retention: Mix 3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops grapefruit, 2 drops yarrow and 2 drops balsam fir needle (Abies balsamea) in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and gently massage into affected areas.

For Congested Lymph: Mix 3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops myrtle, 2 drops geranium and 2 drops Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and use in a massage or bath.

Respiratory System

The deep woodsy scent of cedarwood is clearing as an inhalant, and is used in the treatment of respiratory disorders, bronchitis, catarrh (excess mucus or phlegm), coughs, and sinusitis. Put 2-3 drops of cedarwood neat on a tissue and use as an inhalant.

Genito-Urinary System

The antiseptic properties of cedarwood make this an effective oil for treating cystitis, urinal and vaginal infections. The composing and balancing properties are valued for use in cases of loss of menstruation and PMS.

Nervous System

Cedarwood has a harmonizing and composing quality that can help to alleviate anxiety and stress-related disorders. It soothes and aids those with insomnia and depression. Cedarwood also works on the mind, relieving long-term anxiety and worries.

Stress Buster: Mix 10 drops cedarwood, 5 drops rose, 4 drops patchouli. Use 6 drops of the blend in a bath; 4 – 6 drops of the blend in a diffusor; add 10 drops to 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and use in a massage.

Woodsy, Resonant Perfume: Mix 4 drops cedarwood, 4 drops clary sage, 4 drops petitgrain and 1 drop vetiver in 10ml jojoba oil and use as a perfume.

For Computer Burn-out: Mix 3 drops cedarwood, 5 drops cypress, 4 drops bergamot and 2 drops petitgrain. Use 4 – 6 drops of this blend in a diffusor or on a tissue and use as an inhalant.

Other Uses:

Dog Rub: Mix 4 drops cedarwood, 4 drops lavender in 2 cups of warm water and soak the brush in this blend.

Caution: not to be used during pregnancy, possible irritant to sensitive skins

Cedarwood in Aromatherapy

Botanical Name: Cedrus atlantica (Cedarwood atlas), Juniperus virginiana (Cedarwood Virginian)

Note: Base - 97

Parts Used: wood and leaves of a 7 metre high evergreen tree

Source: Cedrus atlantica (Cedarwood atlas)- steam distillation of the wood, stumps and sawdust from the evergreen tree native to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria, though most of the oil is produced in Morocco. Cedrus Atlantica is believed to have originated from the famous Lebanon cedars (C. Libani), which grow wild in Lebanon and on the island of Cyprus.

Source: Juniperus virginiana (Cedarwood Virginian) - steam distillation from the timber waste, sawdust and shavings from the evergreen tree native to North America, especially the mountainous regions east of the Rocky Mountains.

Description and Odour Effect: a yellow, orange or deep amber viscous oil with a warm camphoraceous top note and a sweet-woody undertone. The fragrance improves as the oil ages. Its odour effect is sedative and antidepressant; a reputed aphrodisiac.

Blends well with: benzoin, bergamot, carnation, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, juniper berry, neroli, patchouli, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, ylang ylang, vetiver

Caution: Avoid during pregnancy. Virginian Cedarwood is a powerful abortifacient. Cedarwood is a possible irritant to sensitive skins; do not overuse.

Applications: massage, hot compress, inhalations, vaporizer, bath, local wash

Therapeutic Properties: abortifacient, anti-seborrhoeic, antiseptic (pulmonary, genito-urinary), expectorant, insect repellent, sedative (nervous), stimulant (circulatory) skincare, tonic

Safety Data: Externally cedarwood oil is relatively non-toxic; can cause acute local irritation and possible sensitization in some individuals. People with dry or sensitive skin may require additional dilution in carrier oil when applying topically. Use in small amounts, in moderation. The oil is a powerful abortifacient - avoid during pregnancy.

Chemical Composition

Cedrus Atlantica Lig. [Atlas cedarwood, satinwood] Abietaceae
Representative constituents
Hydrocarbons
sesquiterpenes (50%) cedrene
Alcohols
sesquiterpenols (30%) atlantol, α-caryophyllene alcohol, epi-β-cubenol
Ketones
sesquiterpenones (20%) α-atlantone, γ-atlantone other α-ionone
Other epoxy-β-himachalene and its epimer deodarone

Quick Reference – Cedarwood

Skin: acne, dandruff, eczema, greasy hair, insect repellent, oily skin, psoriasis

Circulation, Muscles & Joints: arthritis, rheumatism

Respiratory: bronchitis, catarrh, congestion, coughs, sinusitis

Genito-urinary: cystitis, leucorrhoea

Nervous: nervous tension and stress related conditions

Keyword: Composing

Cedar Magic: cedar hung in the home protects it against lightning strikes. A piece of cedar kept in the wallet or purse draws money, and cedar is used in money incenses. Inhale before meditation to increase spirituality.

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Home Essentials

  • One drop of lemon essential oil on a soft cloth will polish copper with gentle buffing.
  • When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of bergamont, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or mandarin essential oil to the final rinse water.
  • Essential oils of Atlas cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, myrrh and vetiver all make wonderful firewood oils. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
  • Flies and moths dislike lavender oil. Sprinkle it on the outside of your window frames.

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Body Essentials

  • Overindulge last night? Essential oils of carrot seed, cedarwood, fennel, grapefruit, juniper berry, lavender and lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend from these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
  • 6 – 8 drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath cools the body in summer and protects it in winter.
  • Add 1 drop geranium oil to your facial moisturizer to bring out a radiant glow in your skin.
  • Place 1 or 2 drops of rosemary on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.

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Creating a Balanced Blend

For a balanced massage blend, combine the essential oil drops in these proportions of essential oil "notes":

  • 3 drops Base Note
  • 7 drops Middle Note
  • 5 drops Top Note

For a total of 15 drops of essential oils per 30ml (1 oz) of carrier oil.


Top notes are the first impression of the blend; short-lived, yet brilliant. Top notes are sharp, penetrating, first to evaporate, extreme, and either hot or cold. Top notes provide the "ahhhh" in a blend.


Middle notes give body to blends - the developing phase with breadth and variety. Middle notes are warm, round, soft and mellow. Middle notes often provide the bulk, 50% to 80%, of the blend.


Base Notes are the final, lasting message of the blend; they deepen your blend and draw it into the skin, giving it roots and permanence. Base notes are deep, intense, rich and sensual. Base notes should be used sparingly, about 5%, so as not to overpower the blend.


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