Cedar essential oil properties

Benefits of cedar essential oil

Characteristics of cedars

Cedars are very tall evergreen trees of the Pine family (Pinaceae).  They belong to gender Cedrus, some of them can reach 60 meters high.  They are very characteristics because their leaves (needles)  are arranged in rossetes at the end of short shoots. They produce female cones resembling barrels or eggs and ovoid male ones with a lot of pollen. Pollination takes place in autumn.

They are very big trees, generally planted in parks or big gardens as ornamental trees because of their needles color, brunches structure  and whole magnificency,

In spite of being so big trees, cedars are used as samples of bonsai.

Main species of cedars

Drawing of Cedar of Lebanon  female cones and needles (Cedrus libani)

There are several species, being the following ones the best know:

  • Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani): Only small patches of this tree can be found in Lebanon and Turkey. Till 36 metres tall. Dark green needles till 35 mm long. The most cultivated species of cedar in Western Europe.
  • Atlantic cedar (Cedrus atlantica):_ From Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria. A wide-crown tree till 30 meters tall. Dark green to bluish needles till 25 mm long. Cones wearing smooth scales.
  • Cedar of the Himalayas, deodar (Cedrus deodora) From Western Himalaya. It can attain 60 meters tall. With darker and longer leaves than the rest. (till 35 mm long) . It also needs a more humid and milder climate.
  • Cyprus cedar ( Cedrus brevifolia): From Cyprus. Considered sometimes as a variety of Cedrus libani. It is shorter that this one ( till 18 meters tall) and presents shorter glaucous  blue- green needles (from 8 to 20 mm long)

Uses of cedars

  • Cedar wood: Apart from their ornamental use, they are specially profited for wood production, showing  a very distinctive pattern, colour and scent.  Very fragile, however it can stand rotting very well, so it has been used for ship building, roof tiles,  , musical instruments, pencils, etc.
    The use of cedar wood for the elaboration of coffins or sarcophagi not only responds to the ability of this wood to resist moisture, but to the fact that its peculiar richness in oils provides a characteristic odor from which insects and worms flee , which contributes to its duration.
  • Cedar essential oil: Cedar leaves are rich in essential oils that are used in aromatherapy.
  • Cleaning products: They are used in making soap, insecticide products and wood waxes and parquet washing products.

Characteristics of cedars essential oil

These oils have a woody smell and a yellowish color. It is considered that it was widely used by ancient egyptians for embalming mummies.

Properties of cedar essential  oil

  • Soothing
  • Harmonizing
  • respiratory tonic.

Main uses of cedar essential oil

Toxicity of cedar essential oil

Virginia cedar essential oil is irritating to the skin and rich in cedrol with supposedly carcinogenic properties. As a matter of fact, this oil comes from a plant (Juniperus virginiana)  which is not really a real cedar, but a juniper .

punto rojo More information on essential oils

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Botanical-online is an informative page that describes, among other topics, the traditional uses of plants from a therapeutic point of view. Their descriptions do not replace professional advice. Botanical-online is not responsible for self-medication and recommends consulting with the physician.
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