Essential oil spotlight: Cedarwood

Posted by Diana Zapata on

Essential oils are extracted from plants in order to obtain plant's benefits in a more potent form. Today I'm breaking down one of my favorite oils, Cedarwood.

“I invite you to drink in the divine nectar of aromatic love and let it penetrate you in the deepest, most profound ways. Trust that the oils are working side-by-side to heal, regenerate, and teach you. The more you use them, the more they’ll reveal their secrets to you” ― Elana Millman, Aromatherapy for Sensual Living: Essential Oils for the Ecstatic Soul

First of all, you should know that there are different types of Cedarwood oil, from different families and produced in different regions of the world. The most common Cedarwood oil used is Atlas "Cedrus Atlantica", from its latin name and from the Pinaceae family. While other versions include Cedarwood Texas "Juniperus Ashei" and Cedarwood Virginian "Juniperus Virginiana" both from the Cupressaceae family.


This is a pyramid-shaped tree, that grows up to 40 meters high. The wood is strongly aromatic because of the high content of essential oil. It is native to the Atlas mountains in Algeria yet the oil is mainly produced in Morocco. Therefore, Cedarwood is believed to have originated from the famous Lebanon cedars, which grow wild in Lebanon and on the island of Cyprus.

The oil from the Lebanon cedars was possibly first extracted and used by Egyptians for embalming purposes, cosmetics and perfumery. Furthermore, It was also one of the ingredients in a poison antidote used for centuries. Its wood was used for building and it's scent repels ants, moths and harmful insects.

This oil is antiseptic, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, fungicidal, sedative (nervous) and stimulant (circulatory). It is extracted by steam distillation from the wood, stumps, and sawdust. In addition, a resinoid and absolute are made in smaller quantities.

A yellow, orange or deep amber viscous oil with a warm, camphoraceous top note and sweet tenacious, woody-balsamic undertone.


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