Plant/Part: Tree /Wood (Source: Egypt, North America)
Latin Name: Cedrus Atlantica (White)
Base Extraction: Steam Distillation
AROMA: Warm and woody, with a hint of camphor.
PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, Astringent, Diuretic, Emollient, Expectorant, Fungicide, Insecticide, Sedative, Tonic. This oil eases aches and pains and is especially good in cosmetic preparations for oily skin. Helps to clear the breathing passages and is used in hair and skin care products. Tends to be useful for long standing complaints rather than acute ones. A combined tonic action on the glandular and nervous system helps put the body back into balance thereby regulating homeostasis. Its main effect due to expectorant properties, is on the respiratory tract and may help ease conditions such as bronchitis, coughs and catarrh. Excess phlegm is curbed through Cedarwood's drying effect.
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS: Main constituents: Atlantone, Caryophyllene, Cedrol, Cadinene.
PRECAUTIONS: High concentrations may possibly irritate the skin, Best avoided in pregnancy.
BLENDS : Benzoin, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Cypress, Frankincense, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Linden Blossom, Neroli, Rose, Rosemary.
The oils are different, even though they share a name, but similar in application. i'll mention differences whenever necessary.
Genito-Urinary tract: stimulates the production of urine (diuretic), and (virginian) menstrual blood (emmenagogue), tones the kidneys. has an antiseptic effect, and is used to treat infections in the area. can be used in the treatment of leucorhoea, pruritis, cystitis, urethritis and thrush
Respiratory: antiseptic and antispasmodic, helps to expel mucus. used for flu, bronchitis, catarrh, congestion, coughs and (virginian) sinusitis.
Muscles/Bones: virginian cedarwood relieves muscular tension. both are used in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatism.
Skin/Hair: antiseptic, astringent, tonic. kills fungi. atlas cedarwood combats decay and putrefaction. used for acne, dermatitis and eczema. reduces the production of sebum, normalizes both dry and oily skin and hair, stimulates the scalp and hair folliclies; used in hair care to treat dandruff and hair loss ( a scientific study on the use of atlas cedarwood in the treatment of alopecia areata). also used for cellulite
Emotions/Mind: grounding, strengthening, relieves anxiety, worry and nervous tension, soothes fears, helpful in depression. improves concentration, helps to focus scattered thoughts.
Other: virginian is an insect repellent and its effect on polish midges is something i can vouch for :)
Caution: virginian shouldn't be used in pregnancy, as it can be abortifacient. atlas is safer, but still best avoided.
Several trees yield essential oils which may be sold as Cedarwood, but you should ensure that you use only that obtained from Cedrus Atlantica, the Atlas Cedar. This is closely related to the biblical Ceda,r of Lebanon and its therapeutic properties have been recognized since antiquity. Cedar was used by all the ancient civilisations in medicine, cosmetics and perfumery, and by the Egyptians in embalming. The wood itself is very aromatic, due to the high percentage of essential oil it contains, and was used for building and making storage chests, as the odour repels termites, ants, moths and other harmful insects. In common with other aromatic woods, it was widely used as an incense. It is still used as a temple incense in Tibet (and among Tibetan exiles) as well as having important uses in traditional Tibetan medicine.
The essential oil is yellowish, fairly viscous with a warm, woody fragrance. Its active principles include cedrol, cadinene and other sesquiterpenes, and several terpenic hydrocarbons.
Cedarwood is a powerful antiseptic, used particularly for bronchial and urinary tract infections. It is very effective for cystitis and vaginal infections and discharges (always remembering the need for medical investigation to identify the cause). It is mucolytic (i.e., it breaks down mucus) which makes it doubly useful in treating catarrhal conditions, especially chronic bronchitis.
Cedar is used in skincare as a mild astringent, and its antiseptic properties make it valuable in treating acne. Its "masculine" odour makes it acceptable to young men and boys with acne, who might reject sweeter-smelling oils. It is used in men's toiletries, especially aftershaves where both the astringent and antiseptic properties are helpful. It is also helpful for dandruff and other scalp problems. However, its popularity as a masculine perfume may be connected with its traditional reputation as an aphrodisiac. It certainly has a tonic and stimulant action on the whole body, while at the same time reducing stress and tension, so there is some foundation for this belief.
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