(NaturalNews) The use of the evergreen cedar tree for medicinal purposes goes back to biblical times. The Egyptians used the oil in cosmetics and as an insect repellent. Native Americans used cedar wood in medicine and in purification rituals. Today, the woody scent of cedarwood and the various properties of the essential oil make it an excellent choice in treating dandruff and skin eruptions.
Cedarwood Oil Properties
The aromatic wood of the cedar contains a high percentage of essential oil, which is extracted by steam distilling cedarwood chips and sawdust.
According to Esoteric Oils, "The main chemical components of cedarwood oil are a-cedrene, b-cedrene, thujopsene, other sesquiterpenes, cedrol and widdrol. The therapeutic properties of cedarwood oil are anti-seborrheic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, tonic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, insecticide, sedative and fungicide".
The antiseptic, anti-seborrheic and mild astringent properties of cedarwood make it a popular choice for treating dandruff and for relieving scalp itchiness.
The astringent action helps to treat acne and oily skin eruptions.
Cedarwood oil is an expectorant and mucolytic, and it has been used traditionally in the treatment of catarrhal problems, especially bronchial infections and congestion. It clears the respiratory system of excess phlegm and catarrh and is said to have a pronounced effect on mucus membranes.
It is also of use in cases of arthritis and rheumatism and is an overall tonic for the body.
Cedarwood oil helps to compose the mind and is of great value in conditions associated with nervous tension, anxiety, obsessions and fears.
Blend 6 drops cedarwood, 6 drops rosemary essential oil and 4 drops cypress oil with 50ml olive oil. Massage into the scalp and leave to soak overnight. Shampoo thoroughly the next day.
Another useful recipe to combat oily hair is to blend 4 teaspoons grape seed oil with 5 drops each of cedarwood oil, cyprus oil and peppermint oil. Add to a quarter cup of fresh lemon juice. Massage into the scalp and leave for at least 2 hours before washing out.
More ways to use cedarwood
Blend with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or dilute in the bath to assist with asthma, bronchitis, respiratory problems, painful joints, oily skin and dandruff.
Use a burner or vaporizer to treat arthritis, bronchitis, rheumatism and respiratory problems or as a general tonic.
Cedarwood blends well with neroli, jasmine, juniper, chamomile, geranium, lavender, frankincense, rosemary, ylang ylang, rosewood and vetiver essential oils.
Caution: In high concentration, cedarwood oil may irritate the skin. Do not use during pregnancy. This article is for information purposes only - any serious medical condition should be addressed by a medical professional.
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Natural Remedies, C. Shealy MD, PhD, Published by Harper Collins, 2002 edition, page 149
Fleur Hupston is a professional freelance writer. She is passionate about natural, healthy living and is currently studying to be a naturopath. She divides her time between writing for Natural News and various other sites, home schooling her children and studying part time.