Hello dear friends!
I know it’s been a little while since we talked about essential oils, so I figured it was time for another spotlight. Last time we talked about all the uplifting and cleansing goodness of lemon oil, but this time I want to take a walk deep into the woods with… cedarwood!
A grounding, earthy and deeply aromatic oil, cedarwood is one of my favorites to use around the house. I’ve always been an outdoorsy kind of gal, and feel at home among the trees and dirt, so this oil really brings me back to center. I know it’s not one of the most popular oils that people have in their cabinets, but it certainly deserves its own little blog post!
Cedarwood oil is extracted through steam distillation of the woody parts of the tree (Juniperus Virginiana), resulting in a gorgeous amber colored oil with a powerful scent. It has been used since ancient times and is well noted for its incredibly high levels of sesquiterpenes (say what?), which are bioactive hydrocarbon groups found in many essential oils. These molecules work on the part of the brain called the limbic system, the control center for things like heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, stress hormones and other important biomarkers. So, the higher the level of sesquiterpenes, the more potent the physiological effects are. Which brings me back to this woodsy little beauty.
Just to give you an overview of this powerhouse oil, some of its effects include:
· wound antiseptic
· all over anti-inflammatory
· soothes and repairs skin
· all over respiratory healer
· regulates menstruation
· repels bugs
So in putting all those together, there here are handful of things you can use cedarwood oil to treat:
· bug bites (and preventing them in the first place!)
· restless leg syndrome
· muscle spasms
· topical fungal infections
· irregular periods
· water retention/bloating
· poor circulation to extremities
· difficulty concentrating
· any feelings of groundlessness or being frazzled
· cold/flu symptoms
Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it? That’s one of the reasons I love essential oils so much- that just one oil can have a dozen or more uses! It’s not like going to the pharmacy and buying a drug that only treats one thing and can only be used in a certain way. Essential oils cover a lot of ground in a small little bottle.
* A quick precaution about cedarwood: this oil is very powerful and can irritate skin if not properly diluted (feel free to get in touch with me if you’d like help with this, or to create your own custom blend!) and also should not be ingested. Pregnant women are also advised to avoid it, because of the strong effects on the hormones and internal organs! *
Another way to think about cedarwood oil is that it brings the energy of its source with it- the strong, grounded stillness of the tree. Therefore, this oil is great when you need to calm down, unwind, find stillness, and ground yourself. If you’re bouncing off the walls (this works great on hyperactive kids too!) or find you have lots of nervous twitches or tremors, it’s perfect for bringing quiet to the body. And if you find your mind frantic and racing in a million directions, whether it’s before bed or trying to meet a work deadline, cedar can give you a sense of calm and focus.
Personally, this oil is always at the front of my shelf because it’s one of the most helpful in my healing from CFS. It helps clear my head (especially paired with peppermint or lemon), calm down my racing mind before bed (often diffused with lavender and vetiver), and slow down my heart rate and breathing rate (great in a roller ball) when I feel panicked during the day. Here are just a few examples of how I use my cedarwood essential oil:
· put a few drops in a diffuser before bed
· mix in a linen spray (usually with lavender and vetiver)
· place a couple drops in a bowl of hot water for stuffy nose (along with eucalyptus)
· mix in a roller ball for topical treatment of cuts, bites, etc…
· dilute with lemon and eucalyptus for bug repellant spray (DEET free!)
· put a drop or two into my shampoo for an irritated scalp
· put a drop or two in my face cleanser for acne breakouts
· apply a few drops over throat and chest for congestion
· mix with coconut oil as special moisturizer for problem skin
· drop a few drops in a hot bath for achy joints
· massage a couple of drops into earlobes and wrists for insomnia
You can pick up a bottle of cedarwood oil for less than $20, and it goes a long long way (I still have my bottle from two years ago!) so it’s a great investment for your natural and healthy home. And whenever you want to “embody a tree” with strength, calm, and stillness (in your muscles, on your skin, in your mind…), reach for this amazing oil and start reaping the benefits!
I am also super excited to announce that I will be offering custom blended essential oils and offering consultations through my website! I am working towards my clinical aromatherapy certification and want to start bringing healing to all of you through my oil blends. If you are struggling with a health issue, be it physical or emotional (anything from anxiety and insomnia to heartache and fatigue), I would love to find an oil blend to help aid your healing process.
Consultations are FREE for a limited time, so head over here to get started!
And as always…
~ Hoping you feel as well as possible ~