Essential Oils - Cedarwood

Many species of cedarwood exist and have been used since antiquity:

  • Atlas cedarwood oil from the Lebanon cedar was possibly the first to be extracted.
  • Ancient Egypt used cedarwood for embalming, cosmetics, and perfumes.
  • Towards the East cedarwood was used for bronchial and urinary tract infections.
  • It is still used today by Tibetan monks as a temple incense.
  • The Native Americans in New Mexico used the oil to treat skin rashes.
  • Virginia cedarwood is native in all of North America, mainly in mountainous regions east of the Rocky Mountains. Native Americans used the oil for respiratory issues, skin rashes, wards, gonorrhea, and kidney infections. It is also used as an excellent insect and vermin repellant. 
  • Texas cedarwood comes from the southwestern US, Mexico, and Central America. The oil is mainly produced in Texas.
  • Regardless of origin cedarwood oil was also used to help with muscular and joint pain associated with arthritis and rheumatism. 

The oil is extracted by steam distillation. Texas cedarwood tree is especially targeted for its essential oil.

SAFETY DATA – Externally the oil is relatively non-toxic; can cause local irritation and possible sensitization in some; use in dilution only and in moderation; avoid using during pregnancy. 


Sourced from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils : The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism

Julia Lawless