CEDARWOOD – Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy Weblog

  Cedar is an historic tree that has been utilized by generations of people for bodily, emotional and ritual/meditative makes use of. It has been confused with an American Juniper tree. Study extra.

By Jeanne Rose ~ March 2020

A true Cedar (Cedrus atlantica), tree in the SF Botanical Garden
Cedar (Cedrus atlantica) tree within the SF Botanical Backyard – fig.1


            CEDAR is a standard title used for a number of totally different bushes from two completely totally different households of bushes. Each household Pinaceæ and household Cupressaceæ are within the Coniferae Order of vegetation. Right here we encounter the confusion that frequent names create.  There are a lot of kinds of Cedar bushes: true Cedars from the Genus Cedrus and different bushes which are literally from different genera but even have the frequent title of Cedar.   True Cedar, solely of the Genera Cedrus, and solely from the Pinaceae household is the one I need to talk about.  These are totally different and the variations are consequential.

COMMON NAME/LATIN BINOMIAL ~ Cedarwood (Cedrus spp).The genus Cedrus is the true cedar tree from the Pinaceae household. A lot of the bushes that individuals name Cedar are literally not and from the Cupressaceae household with names like Juniper (Juniperus virginiana) or Jap red-cedar. (the hyphen is there to let you realize that it isn’t actually a Cedar tree).

            There are some
bushes from the Cupressaceæ household that are referred to as Cedars however once you
take a look at their Latin binomials you will note that they’re really a Juniper or

            True Cedars from
household Pinaceæ embody Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica var. libani),
Cedar (Cedrus deodara), Cyprus Cedar (Cedrus brevifolia )
and Lebanon
Cedarwood (Cedrus libani)

            From household Cupressaceæ: Port Orford-Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana), Hinoki-Cedar (Chamaecyparis obtusa), Virginia-Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), Texas-Cedar (Juniperus ashei),  and others from the Juniper clan of this group of bushes.  Bear in mind, the bushes referred to as Cedar from the Cupressaceæ household are NOT true Cedars.  I like to recommend, once more, keep in mind vegetation and their important oils by their Latin binomial.  There are additionally Pine bushes and different kinds of bushes incorrectly referred to as “Cedar” bushes. Know what you need and study their appropriate names. http://jeanne-blog.com/re-cedar-wood-virginia/

            This fashion, you
will know for certain from which plant your oil comes.

An explanatory paragraph explaining the difference between Cedrus of the bible and the Juniper
Cedar vs cedar

True Atlas Cedar branches – photo by JeanneRose
true Atlas Cedar branches – photograph by Jeanne Rose – fig. 2

         One other level to
pay attention to when utilizing Cedar oils is whether or not you’re utilizing the oil of the
leaf or the wooden.  Consciousness of the a part of
the plant the oil is coming from is simply as necessary as consciousness of which
the oil is coming from.   If an oil is solely labeled Cedar,
how are you to know what this oil is and the way it may be used safely?  All
important oils needs to be labeled with their Latin binomial, frequent title,
nation of origin and a part of the plant used.  Should you take a look at your
assortment of important oils at residence or in shops, you will note that that is
hardly ever the case.


            Fifty years in the past, once I first began amassing the historic books of vegetation (herbs and aromatics), I used to be delay by so many books that had the names and historical past of vegetation simply plain flawed. As a science main at school (1954-1959), I used to be educated by and the assistant of a botanist who was a stickler in using appropriate Latin binomials and the historical past of every plant. He mentioned, “you don’t have to pronounce the title accurately, however you do have to spell it accurately”. The Latin names are the identical everywhere in the world. 

           One of many first books I obtained was a first-edition ebook, dated 1951, that acknowledged the bushes that have been used to construct the temple of Solomon in historic Jerusalem was the American Cedarwood named Juniperus virginiana. Effectively, anybody with a lick of sense is aware of that the Temple of Solomon was constructed round 1000 B.C.E. (earlier than the frequent period) within the Center East and that the tree referred to as Juniperus virginiana is a species of Juniper indigenous to and native to jap North America and was not named or recognized or discovered till the early 1600s. (Sure, the Native People of the realm used this tree, however these will not be the individuals of Solomon’s period.) I discarded that ebook instantly and can’t even keep in mind its title.   However I additionally noticed this identical misinformation that “Cedrus species is a North American tree…of the household Cupressaceae” in one in all our fashionable books on aromatherapy, revealed in 1995 by two well-known lecturers of aromatherapy.

             In 1972, I had additionally began amassing the true historic uncommon historic books, together with a duplicate of Gerard’s Natural from 1632 and a duplicate of Plinie’s Natural revealed in 1601. These I used to provide me an actual background and grounding within the fragrant vegetation and herbs that have been to finally make-up my life’s work.

            I take pleasure in
taxonomy now, though not a lot again in 1957. Names are necessary and also you
ought to know the names of the vegetation that you simply use, identical to it is best to know the
names of the buddies that you simply love. You wouldn’t name each feminine you realize, ‘sis’
– would you? So, don’t go calling all of the bushes cedar both.

2 photos - on the left is branch of true Cedar and on the right is branch of Eastern red-cedar. Note the hyphen meaning they are different.
Fig. 3

BOTANICAL NAME AND FAMILY OF THE TRUE CEDAR  ~ Cedrus spp. of the household Pinaceae.

CEDAR (ATLAS) & COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN ~ Morocco and Algeria. This pretty tree now’s grown in lots of international locations and does properly in any Mediterranean local weather. It’s planted as a decorative tree. There’s a gorgeous stand in San Francisco’s Botanical Backyard in Golden Gate Park in addition to a row of true Cedars resulting in the State Capitol of California.

The harvest season for Atlas Cedar is March and the
areas of harvest are Morocco, and the Himalayas.

ATLAS CEDAR • GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PLANT, HABITAT & GROWTH ~ An evergreen conifer tree with huge branches tapering to a peak of 50 toes.  The branches are coated with lengthy needles, having barrel-shaped cones upright on the branches.  The Cedrus Genera has needles organized singly on rising shoots in tufts usually referred to as “whorls”.  There are sometimes 10-20 needles organized in a single tuft.  The Cedrus Genera have upright cones just like the Abies, however the cones disintegrate after two years.

            Among the cedars in Lebanon, Cedrus libani, nonetheless, are as much as 140 toes and are mentioned to be over 1,000 years previous. One of many ten Deodar Cedars that have been planted in 1872, that line the west facet of the California Capitol, is the most important of its species (Cedrus deodara) in California. It measures 98 toes excessive, with a trunk circumference of 228 inches (19 toes) and a crown unfold of 85 toes. It’s drought tolerant.    

Resinous cones of a Cedrus spp. in Golden Gate Park - photo by Jeanne Rose
Resinous cones of Cedrus spp. – photograph by Jeanne Rose Fig. 4

:  The wooden and stumps or
sawdust is steam distilled.  It’s on
event solvent-extracted to provide a concrète which is
thought of to be a true-to-nature scent.

            Yield ~

SUSTAINABILITY ~ There’s a decline of the Cedar
forest attributable to human actions corresponding to overgrazing, over-harvesting
and unlawful logging. These are having far-reaching implications for forest
conservation administration. This tree is taken into account to be endangered however not restricted.

Important oil and department and cones of Cedrus atlantica – fig. 5


The organoleptic traits of an Atlas Cedar discussing the important oil colour, readability, viscosity, depth of odor and tenacity in a fragrance or mix.

Cedar species organoleptics of color, clarity, viscosity, intensity of odor and tenacity in a blend

Cedar ODOR DESCRIPTION/AROMA ASSESSMENT ~ I exploit a easy Vocabulary of Odor© to explain the odor of important oils. It’s simple to study and really useful within the research of those merchandise of distillation. I even have an Superior Vocabulary of Odor© that’s extra complicated however offers you a snapshot of the scent. [see the end of article] So it all the time surprises me when somebody can’t appear to make use of descriptive phrases to explain an odor and resorts to poetical makes use of. Poetry is gorgeous however it isn’t useful in describing an odor. The Fragrance Album by Jessee describes one odor thusly, “It taxes vocabulary and creativeness to explain adequately the exact character of the perfume.” I discover this description very unhelpful. It actually doesn’t do that plant or important oil justice.

            The outline of the scent of the genus Cedrus, Atlas and the others is floral, fruity and woody, with again notes of honey and spice. Examine this with the smoky, woody, conifer and fruity odor of Virginia cedar that everybody confuses with the beautiful Atlas Cedar and you will note a exceptional distinction. The scent snapshot comparability is on the finish of this text and can present you two completely totally different odors that seem like totally different ‘mountain’ ranges.

5 essential oils: the first two are genus Juniperus while that three on the right are the genus Cedrus.
Important oils courtesy of Eden Botanicals. fig. 6

COMPONENTS of the true Cedar  ~
and Beta Cedrene, Cedrol, Atlantone, Carophyllene, and Cadinene and the opposite
so-called Cedar, the Juniperus virginiana include thujopsene and cedrene. These final
named  “cedar-woods” are used as a
industrial supply of thujone and hinokitol and are very totally different from
the true Cedrus species.

HISTORICAL USES ~ The important oil was and is used within the perfumery, was utilized in mummification and to repel vermin, though now the Virginia Cedar is best for the vermin half.

            “The Temple of
Solomon, begun by David, was made totally of Cedrus deodara, and 1 / 4 of
one million males have been used to plunder the good forests of the Lebanon to fulfill
the wants of the builder. Objects of this Cedar retain their perfume after
3000 years.”1



            The final  Properties of Atlas Cedar are by
IG=ingestion or IN=inhalation or AP=software. Should you inhale the oil it’s
a  tonic to the respiratory system.  Should you apply the oil it’s thought of to be
an antiseptic, fungicide, and tonic, a stimulus to arterial regeneration, it
helps the lymphatics as a tonic, is anti-seborrheic, and regenerative for the
pores and skin and scalp. There is no such thing as a cause or use for ingestion though one supply
advised that it could be helpful with Sandalwood for urinary


and Makes use of ~ Cedar
oils, if out there, are on the whole used externally, properly diluted for
pores and skin situations and dandruff, fungal infections and hair loss, and inhaled in
blends for the respiratory system. Cedar wooden oils as a result of they largely come
from the wooden are confused with different bushes with the identical frequent title and
considered contraindicated for people who find themselves vulnerable to hypertension
and coronary heart issues and needs to be averted by individuals with delicate pores and skin.  Nonetheless, this can be due to the frequent
title confusion with different genera. However true Cedar oils are usually not a

          Oil from the wooden of Cedrus atlantica, Atlas Cedar, from the Pinaceæ household accommodates as much as 80% Sesquiterpenes and Sesquiterpenols. Its properties are tonic to the physique.  It’s helpful in blends for exterior software because it aids within the removing of physique fats and is used externally for cellulite and the retention of fluid within the tissue .  Atlas Cedar is an efficient oil for the medication chest as a result of it’s used for the respiratory system; a single drop in a half cup water to gargle for sore throat; or with two drops of Eucalyptus in a steaming bowl of water to cut back nasal and lung congestion.  This could be oil to make use of in a home-made vapor salve, for reduction of lung and nasal congestion.  It may be added to shampoos or facial washes to cut back oily secretions and has a wonderful scent for the hair and face.  It is usually used as a fixative within the fragrance business the place it provides a stunning fruity wooden word.

Utility/Skincare ~
It’s used for the retention of
fluid within the tissue (edema), cellulite discount, and in pores and skin take care of lowering
oily secretions.  It is usually used for
cleaning, as a basic tonic in blends for zits, rheumatism, cystitis, and
scalp dysfunction.

Quite a lot of formulation utilizing Cedrus spp. oil for pores and skin and scalp care. Fig. 7

Hair Care

            Alopecia Examine – 1999 ~ Arch Dermatol. 1998 Nov;134 (11):1349-52 Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Profitable remedy for alopecia areata. By Hay IC, Jamieson M, Ormerod AD. Supply – Division of Dermatology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Scotland. [email protected]
            ABSTRACT:      Directions in important oil use and scalp therapeutic massage got to 84 sufferers with Alopecia areata, a dysfunction through which the hair falls out in patches producing areas of baldness. Randomly divided into two teams, the management group massaged a mix of jojoba and grapeseed provider oils into their scalps each evening, occluding the realm with a heat towel.
       The take a look at group used the identical method however included a mix of the next important oils
Thymus vulgaris (88 mg), [no chemotype given] (antibacterial & antifungal)
Lavandula angustifolia (108 mg), (soothing)
Rosmarinus officinalis cineole (114 mg) (therapeutic, development, & tonic) and
Cedrus atlantica (94 mg) important oils
with 23 ml of provider oil (Jojoba can be invaluable right here).
This process was adopted for seven months and evaluated by numerous means, together with photographic evaluation by impartial dermatologists and measurement of areas of alopecia by computerized picture evaluation.  Though variable, the take a look at group outcomes confirmed a major statistical benefit to the remedy regime with an enchancment fee of 44%. This was comparable to standard therapies. Because it had no important antagonistic results, the important oil remedy had the next therapeutic ratio than some therapies. A relative lack of response within the management group indicated pharmacological exercise of the important oils versus any results arising from scalp therapeutic massage alone.            CONCLUSIONS of Alopecia research: The outcomes present aromatherapy to be a protected and efficient remedy for alopecia areata. Therapy with these important oils was considerably more practical than remedy with the provider oil alone (P = .008 for the first end result measure). We additionally efficiently utilized an evidence-based methodology to another remedy.


Scalp Conditioner & Hair Progress
From 1969 and 2008 up to date

30% Rosemary verbenone
25% Atlas Cedar
20% Rose Absolute
20% historic Frankincense
Add an equal quantity of  95% impartial grape spirits or a mix of Walnut and Jojoba oil. Combine this all collectively. Put into a sprig or drop bottle. Label the bottle. Spray or drop a couple of drops as soon as a day onto the scalp to situation the scalp. Therapeutic massage in together with your fingertips.
           Smells resinous and sharp. The Rose absolute scent is misplaced. However provides a deep richness. This mix situations the scalp and eliminates any lingering yeast and fungus like Malassezia that feeds on oils on the scalps of most adults.

Atlas Cedar Limerick
There was a younger man from Natchez,
Whose head was balding in patches.
He used Atlas Cedar for certain,
And Rosemary that was pure
And now he now not scratches. —JeanneRose2012

OIL EMOTIONAL/Energetic/Ritual Use ~  (AP
OR IN) ~
  Inhale this oil for
safety, calming, anxiousness and grounding. Use in blends for a similar
situations. It is a scent that’s revered in meditative practices.     

 Cedarwood is utilized by
software and inhalation for chest infections and bronchial asthma and so as to add a
nice woody perfume to the air.

CULINARY/HERBAL USE ~ I do know of no culinary makes use of for needles or wooden of Cedrus spp. and herbally if I had a tree out there, I would definitely distill all elements for the hydrosol and in addition use them as an infusion or decoction in my tub and to make use of as a facial spray.

           Cedar sawdust baths are very healthful for the pores and skin. On this case, both the Juniper-Cedar or the true Cedar can be utilized relying upon what is out there.


BLENDS & PERFUMERY with Atlas Cedar ~ The Atlas Cedar oil and different true Cedar oils are extensively utilized in blends and perfumery as a base word or as a fixative for floral odors. It blends fantastically with florals, woody-florals and the wealthy, tenacious, intense odor of Labdanum with its sweetness,  smoky-woody, leather-based and powder notes. http://jeanne-blog.com/labdanum-cistus-resin-eo-hydrosol-profile/

            Cedar oils mix properly ~ with all florals, natural scents, citrus scents, and roots and woods. It’s a unbelievable fixative in perfumery.  Typically utilized in masculine perfumery for its deep woody and floral, fruity odor.


Head – 20 drops of Bulgarian Rose and Bergamot. I like to make use of extra Bergamot than Rose.
Coronary heart –20 drops of Egyptian Geranium and Ylang-Ylang Further
Base – 20 drops of Atlas Cedar and Haitian Vetivert
Fixative – 5 drops of something woodsy that you’ve got
Complete is 65 drops.

Succuss collectively vigorously. Add your provider, I
want impartial grape spirits, about 130 drops to make a 33% fragrance method.
Succuss once more. Label rigorously. Put apart to age and meld for 10 days. Use with

Pharaoh’s Limerick
Atlas Cedar is extra like a Pine
With needles so fairly and fantastic
Use as a scent
To the tombs, you’ll be despatched
And be invited by Pharaoh to dine.

HYDROSOL ~ I’ve not had the pleasure to make use of the hydrosol of both the cones,
needles or wooden of any species of the true Cedar.

: A real
hydrosol needs to be particularly distilled for the hydrosol, not as a co-product
or perhaps a by-product of important oil distillation. The plant’s mobile water
has many elements most are misplaced below pressurized brief steam runs for
important oil, or by utilizing dried materials. We advocate that the producers
particularly distill for a product by utilizing plant materials that’s contemporary.

Cones and needles of Cedrus atlantica var. glauca – Cedar ~ Golden Gate Parok. fig. 9

INTERESTING INFORMATION ~ The Cedar tree was utilized by different historic cultures for sarcophagi and palace and temple materials.  Generally referred to as ‘satinwood’.  The Latin title means ‘Atlas Cedar’, that’s, the tree rising within the Atlas Mountains that span Morocco and Algeria.  Completely different species of cedars are discovered everywhere in the world.  [in the book, essential aromatherapy, p. 122, there is a sentence that says, “Native Americans use the cedar as medicine and burn it for purification”,” and this is woefully  incorrect as this book is confusing American ‘cedar’ Juniperus virginiana with the true Cedar, Cedrus spp.].

            Roy Genders in Scented
Flora of the World,
states that “Cedrus deodara didn’t attain
Britain till 1731 and that it’s as hardy there as it’s in its native
habitat. It’s a stunning pyramidal-shaped tree with gracefully drooping
branches that usually attain to the bottom. … The wooden is valuable, extraordinarily
sturdy and its perfume transcends that of different woods”.

            In my very own expertise, the needles and wooden are solely very evenly scented, and the wooden needs to be distilled or cooked and macerated to acquire that fantastic woody, floral and fruity scent.

There are not any identified contraindications to
using the Cedars; Atlas, Lebanon or Deodar.

~ Make certain that you simply’re not utilizing Juniperus virginiana, additionally referred to as “Cedar-wood”.  Each oils are utilized in repelling vermin within the
storage of valuables, and the oils shouldn’t instantly contact the clothes.  Cedrus
is a real cedar, whereas Juniperus
accommodates largely Cederene. 
Despite the fact that they’ve the identical frequent title, and though they each repel
vermin, they aren’t used identically in any other case.  So, be completely sure of which oil you
are utilizing.

5 bottles of Cedar oil, both the darker Juniper and the true Cedar on the right.
Stunning important oils – see true Cedar oils on the precise. fig.10

Respiratory issues, hair care, and perfumery.            

Safety Precautions to remember.
Security Precautions fig. 11


Arctander, Steffen. Fragrance and Taste Supplies of Pure Origin. Arctander. 1960
Britton, Lord, and Hon. Addison Brown • An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States and Canada Vol. II • (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1970.)
Franchomme, P. and Pénoël, Docteur D • L’Aromatherapie Exactement • (Limoges, France: Roger Jollois Editeur, 1990.)
1Genders, Roy. Scented Flora of the World. St. Martins Press. 1977
Grieve, M. A Fashionable Natural: the …Properties, …with their Makes use of. Brace & Firm, Harcourt, 1931
Guenther, Ernest, Ph.D. • The Important Oils • (Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing Co. 1976) (unique ed 1952.) (in VI volumes)
Natural Research Course/ Jeanne Rose & Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 1992
Mabberley, D. J. Mabberley’s Plant-E-book, 3rd version, 2014 printing, Cambridge College Press.
Mojay, Gabriel.  Aromatherapy for Therapeutic the Spirit.  Rochester, Vermont:  Therapeutic Arts Press, 1999 Rose, Jeanne.  375 Important Oils and Hydrosols.  Berkeley, California: Frog, Ltd., 1999
Rose, Jeanne.  The Aromatherapy E-book: Functions & Inhalations.  San Francisco, California
Sudworth, George B. • Forest Bushes of the Pacific Slope • (New York, NY: Dover Publications, 1967.)
Tutin, Heywood, Burgers, Moore, Valentine, Walters and Webb, Editors •  Flora Europaea, Vol 4 • (Cambridge, England: Cambridge College Press, 1976.)
Worwood, Susan & Valerie Ann.  Essential aromatherapy, a pocket information.  Novato, CA: New World Library, 2003.


Scent Snapshots of Cedar-Cedar Odor
Cedar-Cedar Odor Snapshot. Utilizing Jeanne Rose Round Vocabulary of Odor. fig. 12
A chart of what the scent of Virginia Cedar and Atlas Cedar look like,  called "Mountain Ranges" -  using the Vertical Vocabulary of Odor.
“Mountain Ranges” — what the scent seems like utilizing the Vertical Vocabulary of Odor. fig. 13

~ JR ~

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