9 Cedarwood Essential Oil Uses for Beauty and Wellness That Will Improve Your Life Today
This past August, I discovered a secret function to one of our scents. I was out East in the Hamptons, spending a surf weekend at a friend’s house. I thought it would be fitting to accent the mini getaway with our East Hampton fragrance, given the destination, and wore it the entire weekend. While the rest of our group got monstrous mosquito bites all over their bodies, I was surprisingly, mostly untouched. I didn’t know what to attribute it to, seeing that I’m usually bereft with bites after being outdoors for even just a few minutes. It wasn’t until I started researching information on cedarwood essential oil uses for this article that I discovered the pairing of natural, certified-organic cedarwood and vetiver oil in our East Hampton fragrance may have been my savior from a week of itchy and splotchy skin.
Turns out, cedarwood oil is a natural insect repellent, amongst having a slew of other purposes.
Jenn Goldman, a certified Aromatherapist in New York and founder of Essential Rose Life says,
You may be surprise to learn that Cedarwood oil has been renowned for its curative, therapeutic, and insect-repellant nature since 1800 BC, and was most likely the first essential oil ever to be extracted from a plant. It’s properties are just as useful now as they were 4000 years ago! Try the tips below by incorporating cedarwood oil into your daily regimen, and reap the wellness and beauty benefits.
1. Insect Repellent
For centuries, people have been lining the walls of closets with cedarwood in order to keep harmful insects away from items in long-term storage. For daily use, especially in the summer, mix a few drops of the cedarwood with a few drops (6-10) of lavender, bergamot, and vetiver oil in 2 ounces of distilled water, and put your blend into a spray bottle. Shake well and spritz arms and legs. (Citrus oils, like bergamot, are photosensitive, which means they react in the sun. This aromatic blend is not intended to be applied directly to the skin or internally, but rather diffused.) Alternatively, add the oil blend to a home vaporizer to keep mosquitos, flies and other insects at bay.
The science: A National Institutes of Health study found that the chemical compounds in Himalayan cedarwood oil were effective in killing certain insects and the oil was a candidate for inclusion in commercial pesticides.
2. Hair Growth
Applying cedarwood oil to the scalp is shown to increase blood circulation in the area, which in turn can stimulate the follicles and improve hair strength. Incorporate a few drops into your shampoo—the mix can become a valuable tool in your everyday hair care routine.
The science: A study for alopecia patients showed that nearly half of the participants experienced improvement in hair growth after using a mixture of cedarwood and other oils on the scalp. About 30 percent experienced significant regrowth.
3. Stress Relief Benefits
Cedarwood essential oil is a natural sedative. Aromatherapists use it to help people who suffer from chronic anxiety, stress, insomnia, and even depression. Take a few whiffs from the bottle, or add a couple of drops to a diffuser to relieve tension and anxiety. The scent prompts the release of serotonin in the body, which becomes melatonin in the brain. Melatonin encourages better sleep and calms the mind—a natural alternative to Xanax.
The science: The NIH explored the effects of cedrol, the main component of cedarwood oil, on laboratory rats. The study found that cedrol had both a calming effect on hyperactive rats and induced sleep in various rat species.
Cedarwood essential oil has long been known to carry antiseptic qualities, making it ideal for healing minor wounds. Add a few drops to coconut oil to create a salve for treating wounds.
The science: In 2012, an investigation of juniper-derived oils showed them to be particularly effective as an anti-inflammatory treatment and for wound healing.
5. Joint Treatment
Cedarwood essential oil is often used to treat aching joints that result from rheumatism and arthritis. Add a few drops of cedarwood to a carrier oil, then massage the mix into painful joints or add to a hot bath for all-over relief.
The science: The NIH also explored whether cedarwood oil would reduce edema (swelling) in rats’ paws. Not only did it relieve the edema, it also showed pain-reducing results.
6. Skin Care Benefits
Another one of the well-documented cedarwood essential oil uses is as an acne treatment. It also can be used for dry scalp and eczema. The oil helps prevent skin peeling associated with eczema, and its astringent properties are beneficial for acne sufferers. Bonus: Add one drop of cedarwood oil into your face cream or serum—it’s recognized for tightening the skin and offering anti-aging benefits.
The science: An the NIH study on the wound-healing properties of the oil show that it can be effective on soothing acne irritation.
Scientists have been exploring alternatives to traditional antifungal and antibacterial medications, and essential oils are on the top of the list. Cedarwood, along with eucalyptus oil and cinnamon oil, has been found to have antifungal properties. Mix a few drops with a carrier oil (such as sweet almond, jojoba, avocado or coconut oil) and rub into affected area every few hours.
The science: India’s Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology concluded that cedarwood oil was an effective antibacterial for the treatment of bacteria- and yeast-based infections.
8. Respiratory Soother
The aroma of cedarwood essential oils can be used to sooth respiratory irritation in asthma sufferers as well as reduce coughing in people with a cold. Using a vaporizer with a couple of drops of cedarwood oil will help with breathing, as the calming effects of cedarwood help open up the chest to allow air flow.
The science: One of the chemical compounds in Himalayan cedar-derived essential oil is shown to be a 5-LOX inhibitor. An excess of 5-LOX can result in asthma and lung inflammation.
9. Base Scent in Fragrance
All science aside, cedarwood simply smells great. The earthy and grounding scent blends well with many fragrance notes making it a popular base note in perfumes and colognes. The cedarwood scent contains spicy-resinous elements as well as an undertone of sandalwood. Notice its importance in our East Hampton fragrance—just a tiny whiff transports you to an overcast day on the beach, with the smell of the salt water and beach grass mingling with cedar that has washed ashore.
You can also make your own scented blend with cedarwood. Amanda Tarver, a licensed massage therapist in Chicago who touts the aromatherapy benefits of cedarwood, said, “It mixes particularly well with citrus and flower essential oils such as lemon, orange, bergamot, rose, jasmine, lavender and more.”
These nine cedarwood essential oil uses are great reasons to give the oil a try, even for a quick meditative breather during work. When you purchase an essential oil, be sure to note its source, as the therapeutic quality of oils varies.
Discover the full-bodied scent of cedarwood in our East Hampton Atlantic White Cedar fragrance, which is paired with notes of lily of the valley, Italian bergamot, East Indian sandalwood, vetiver, and bosc pear.
Use code: Autumn20 at checkout for 20% off our East Hampton fragrance in EDP, travel spray, and roll-on size.