Cedarwood oil is one of the oldest mentioned oils of all time and has been used for a variety of purposes from medicinal to household. It is extracted from the bark of pine and evergreen. It was originally extracted from the very Lebanon cedar tree mentioned in the Bible, which is no longer in existence.
Cedarwood oil is an aromatic, antifungal, antiseptic, promotes circulation and provides a host of other properties. It has an ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity–antioxidants) of 169,000 uTE/100g. Since it is mostly sold in small quantities, it is best used with a carrier oil, such as olive, jojoba, castor oil, sweet almond oil and other such oils. (More on these in a future installment in this series. In the meantime, Wikipedia has a list of carrier oils. Click here for a full list.)
First, cedarwood oil is aromatic. It is said to calm the spirit, soothe anger, calm nervous energy, and to improve and regenerate mood. Some trivia: the Egyptians used cedarwood for embalming, Native Americans traditionally used it to enhance their spiritual communication, and the Cherokee believe that cedarwood offers protection. Traditionally, a small piece of wood would be placed in a medicine bag and worn around the neck.
Secondly, cedarwood oil is an antifungal. Fungi is one of the most common causes of dandruff. Cedarwood oil can be found in anti-dandruff shampoos. It also relieves itchy scalps.
Third, cedarwood oil alleviates a variety of skin and hair-loss conditions. It is used to help treat alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss in round patches. Cedarwood oil also helps treat acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
Fourth, it is an antiseptic. It can be found in many herbal antiseptic creams. Finally, it promotes hair growth, as it boosts blood circulation, stimulates hair follicles and regulates sebum, the scalp’s natural oil that lubricates hair.
One note: women should avoid using cedarwood oil during pregnancy.
To use cedarwood oil, you can mix with carrier oils for daily moisturation of locs, a hot oil treatment, and as a nightly scalp treatment. One recipe:
- Cedarwood oil
- Coconut oil (carrier)
- Ylang-ylang oil (also stimulates the scalp and regulates sebum production)
Ratio: a drop of cedarwood oil and a drop of ylang ylang to two tablespoons of coconut oil. Massage the oil treatment into locs and scalp and let sit under a heated towel or a plastic cap under a hooded dryer. (ehow.com)
You can also use as a scalp massage oil for hair loss. Try this recipe:
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of rosemary essential oil (which should also be avoided by pregnant women)
- 2 drops thyme essential oil
- 2 drops cedarwood essential oil
- 3 ml jojoba oil
- 20 ml grapeseed oil
Mix the grapeseed and jojoba oils in a small jar. Add essential oils and stir to blend. Massage into your scalp nightly for two minutes and wrap overnight. Your body heat will increase absorption. According to www.spafromscratch.com/?p=5251 it works.
As with most essential oils, cedarwood oil is sold in small dark bottles to help preserve potency and freshness. Keep from direct sunlight and in a cool place. Its shelf life is short, so use it quickly.
Yet another oil that helps keep your locs looking and feeling great!
‘Till next time,
Loc’d Life Magazine
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