Cedarwood

cedarwood plant

The Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil is used widely in cosmetics as a fragrance component in soaps, detergents, shampoos, lotions and creams. It is also used in other personal care products as well as household products such as air fresheners and room sprays. In the perfumery industry, Cedarwood Atlas is commonly used, especially for the formulation of male fragrances. Cedrus atlantica, also known as the Atlantic Cedar, Atlas Cedar or African Cedar. It is a large pyramid-shaped coniferous evergreen, with a majestic structure known to grow up to 35-40 metres tall. The wood is hard yet highly aromatic, due to its high percentage of essential oil content. Cedarwood Essential Oil is a viscous liquid of a golden yellow, orange or deep amber color that holds a warm, camphoraceous scent with a sweet and tenacious, woody-balsamic undertone. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of Cedar wood, stumps and sawdust, which can hold up to 35% oil content. The oil’s main chemical components are atlantone, caryophyllene, cedrol, cadinene and other minor constituents. Cedarwood Essential Oil has antiseptic, antiputrescent, antiseborrheic, aphrodisiac, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, fungicidal, mucolytic, sedative (nervous), stimulant (circulatory) and tonic properties. It is used in alternative medicines, often in combination with other essential oils, to treat various conditions.

History

Over the centuries, Cedar wood was exploited by the Babylonian, Persian, Sumerian, Assyrian, Phoenician, Hebrew, Egyptian, Roman and Turkish civilizations. The ancient Egyptians made use of the essential oil for cosmetics and perfumery. They also used the resin from the wood for mummification. Cedar wood sawdust was found in the tombs of their Pharaohs, suggesting that the ancient Egyptians held Cedars in high esteem. It was also one of the ingredients of “mithridat”, an antidote which was in use for centuries. The Phoenicians made use of the wood for construction. They built houses, palaces and temples out of it. More importantly, known as the first civilization to conduct trade by sea, they built their commercial, (and military) ships out of Cedar wood. Cedars and Cedar wood also played a big role in the ancient Hebrew civilization, as they also used the wood for construction. Their priests were ordered by Moses to use the bark of the Lebanon Cedar for circumcisions and the treatment of leprosy. They celebrated the New Year by making a fire with Cedar wood, and their prophet Isaiah referred to the tree itself to be the pride of the world. Cedar wood became very popular, and foreign rulers from far and wide were ordering it for the construction of religious and civil buildings. The most famous Cedar wood constructions are King Solomon’s Temple and King Solomon’s and David’s palaces found in Jerusalem. In the East, the oil was used as incense, to treat bronchial and urinary infections, and as a preservative. Tibetans still use it as their temple incense today, and continue employing it in their traditional medicinal practices. Having such a long and rich history of usage, Cedar wood has been often mentioned in literature. For example, the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh describes the Cedar groves of Lebanon as the dwelling of the Gods. Because of its significance in the lives of people in that era, the word “Cedar” is mentioned a substantial 75 times throughout the Bible. The Cedar is also the national symbol of Lebanon, as it is found on the national flag.

Geography

The Atlas Cedar, one of the species of the Cedrus genus is native to the Atlas Mountains, which span across northwest Africa through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. That is where they still grow today however plantations have also been established in the regions of southern France (for timber production). The Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil is mostly produced in Morocco. There are more than twenty species of Cedrus which are native. They grow in the mountains of the Mediterranean at altitudes between 1,000-2,200 meters as well as in the western Himalayas at altitudes between 1,500-3,200 metres. The Atlas Cedar is believed to originate from the Lebanon Cedars (Cedrus libani), which grow wild in Lebanon and Cyprus, and have been used by man since the dawn of ancient civilization

Skin & Body Care

Cedarwood essential oil is a known remedy for acne, eczema, dermatitis, fungal infections, skin eruptions, and for oily skin.

Hair Care

Cedarwood essential oil is a known remedy for Dandruff, oily hair and scalp, and aids in preventing hair loss.