Cedarwood Essential Oil - Cedrus atlantica

9:36 AM Posted by Jo Pedranti


Cedarwood, (Cedrus atlantica), is part of the Pinaceae family. It is also known as Atlas Cedar, Moroccan Cedarwood, and Atlantic Cedar. It is a pyramide shaped evergreen tree about 120 feet tall. The wood is steam distilled to make the essential oil. It is a native plant to the Atlas Mountains of Algeria, but is now also cultivated in North Africa, Morocco.


The ancient Egyptians used Cedarwood for cosmetics, embalming, and perfumery. Asian temples were built with cedarwood, and it was also mentioned in the Bible symbolizing everything fertile. The oil has historically been used for urinary and bronchial infections.


It's chemical constituents are:
  • The sesquiterpene: Cedrene. The cedrene is antiseptic, antibacterial, calming, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant.
  • The monoterpene: Carophylene. The carophylene is anitbacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal. It is also found in lavender, eucalyptus, and black pepper.
  • The cedrol, ketones, and alcohol.
  • The ketone: Atlantone is vulnerary, expectorant, and cell proliferant.

    Cedrus atlantica has balsamic-woody, earthy and slightly spicy, and camphoraceous top note. The scent is very calming, relaxing, and it feels comfortable. The middle note is sweeter, and more woody with a perfumery scent. Cedarwood is a warm and tenacious note. It reminds me of fresh cut timber.



    The oil feels slightly oily, and it takes longer to dry when rubbed between the fingers. It leaves a yellow stain on the perfume blotter.

    Cedrus atlantica may be useful in nervous tension and anxiety due to its warming and harmonizing properties, which make it very soothing and calming. The oil may be comforting, warming, and helpful in stress-related conditions such as nervous tension, anger and exhaustion. According to Gary Young, it may reduce the hardening of the artery walls. Young also says it may  stimulate the pineal gland, which releases melatonin.

    Cedrus atlantica has a great affinity with the respiratory system because of its expectorant properties. According to Battaglia,  it has historically made a good choice for bronchitis, catarrh, and coughs. It may also be beneficial in kidney, cystitis, and bladder infections due to its antiseptic properties.

    According to Battaglia,  cedarwood's astringent and antiseptic properties makes it very useful in oily skin conditions. Battaglia says it helps to clear  dermatitis and psoriasis, he says it is also a good hair tonic and is effective for treating dandruff, alopecia and seborrhea of the scalp.

    Cedarwood has also been used as furniture polish. It is also an insect repellent.

    It needs to be avoided in pregnancy and breastfeeding. A skin patch test is recommended.

    Cedarwood blends well with
    Bergamot, cinnamon, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, neroli, patchouli, rose, orange, sandalwood, rosemary, ylang ylang, and vetiver.


    Before you leave:


    I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.

    Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

    Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
    If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 

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    Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
    Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.






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