Monthly Archives: January 2017

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

Cedarwood header

Family: Pinaceae

Synonyms: Cedarwood atlas, atlas cedarwood. Atlantic cedar. Don’t confuse with cedarwood/ Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

Aroma: woody, balsamic, sweet

Colour: Deep gold to yellow brown.

Plant: A tall pyramid shaped evergreen conifer growing up to 40 metres

Main Growing Areas: Atlas mountains of Morocco and Algeria, north America and Canada

Major Constituents: antlantone, caryophyllene, cedrol, cadinene, gamma, alpha and beta-himachalene,

Interesting snippets:
Cedarwood has been found in Egyptian tombs and was used by Cleopatra to look after her hair.
Cedarwood, cistus and galbanum were used in fumigation rites in ancient Egypt.
Cedarwood was used to make storage chests as it repelled termites, moths and ants.

Part of Plant used / Extraction: Waste wood and sawdust by steam distillation. Trees around 20 -30 years old with wood chips from the heartwood are preferred. This yields around 3-5% essential oil. Cedarwood Atlas makes up less than 1% of the cedarwood oils whereas Virginian and Texas (Juniperus mexicana) make up 75%.

Therapeutic actions: respiratory conditions such as a dry, persistent cough, congestion, dry skin bronchitis

Emotional and Spiritual: Spiritual strength and endurance.
Anxiety, nervousness, nervous tension and stress.

Robbi Zeck suggests that it often requires considerable courage to rework the patterns of our lives and Cedarwood brings strength and commitment to that desire. Deeply consider and contemplate your soul’s journey where healing and higher learning has occurred.

Gabriel Mojay writes that cedarwood gives us the will to hold firm, even against persistent external forces. Steadying the conscious mind, it helps us to resist the sudden events and powerful emotions that threaten to undermine our confidence and morale. Cedarwood helps us to take a negative or threatening situation, and transform it into an experience from which we can derive strength and wisdom.

Aromatherapy Insight Card:

Cedarwood Insight card

(This reading is for Virginian cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) but also applies to Cedrus atlantica)
Cedarwood is invaluable in helping you through the toughest situations in life by giving you the willpower, focus and persistence to keep going. Access your courage and get what you want in life and business. You will stay grounded while taking charge without being irrational and over sensitive. Recognize negative situations and change them into learning experiences. You are the one in control. Tap into your courage and regain control over, and responsibility for, your life.

Fragrant Change Healing Card: I have the strength and courage to weather any crisis.

Contemplations for the Soul:Contemplations for the Soul cedarwood

Are there areas of your life you need to change or situations you need to face?
Have you changed your circumstances and are finding it hard to fit in or adjust to the change?
Are fear and a lack of confidence holding you back from making the necessary changes?
The cedarwood tree stands tall for centuries with an inner strength and harmony spreading her branches while being buffeted by the winds and storms of change around her.
Just as cedarwood spreads her branches taking the room she needs to expand and grow tall so too can you face all the challenges that life throws at you with courage, determination, dignity and grace; learning, growing and gaining strength from each challenge and experience.

Safety: Non-irritating, non-sensitising, non-toxic

Battaglia S, The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. The Perfect Potion, Australia (1995)
Hodges C. Contemplations for the Soul (2016)
Hodges C, Fragrant Change Healing Cards (2015)
Jefferies J, Osborn K, Aromatherapy Insight Cards. Living Energy, Aust. (2nd Ed. 2005)
Kerr J, Cedarwood Essential Oil Profile. Aromatherapy Today, Vol.27 (2003)
Mojay G, Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Hodder and Stoughton (1996)
Zeck R, The Blossoming Heart. Aroma Tours (2004)

Essential Oils for Endings and Beginnings

Essential oils for endings and beginnings

“You only grow by coming to the end of something and by beginning something else.”
John Irving, The World According to Garp

The end of an old year and the start of a new one is just one of the many endings and beginnings that are occurring throughout your life.

In a few months summer will end and autumn will begin. As with many endings and beginnings the change maybe so gradual that we may not notice that we are in a new phase or time of life.

In your own life you have been through many endings and beginnings, You may have gone to preschool and then primary school, high school and possibly university, TAFE or college and then into the workforce. Each stage an ending and a beginning at the end of which you were no longer the same person you were at the beginning. You were a child with a child’s beliefs and ideas in preschool and primary and now you are an adult with adult responsibilities.

During your life you may lose parents, children, siblings and close friends. You mourn their loss and must find a new way to go on, a new beginning without them. Your parent may not physically die but may be lost to you through Alzheimer’s and so your way of relating to them and them to you is ended and you have to find a new way to continue the relationship.

Ending a journeyEndings and beginnings happen every day for example, finishing one project and beginning another or coming to the end of one journey and beginning another.

Changing your way of thinking can also signal an ending and beginning. Deciding to stop eating unhealthily, that you will no longer accept being treated with disrespect, changing your beliefs about yourself and what you are capable of will all lead to new beginnings.

Remember that sometimes what can seem like a terrible ending opens the door to something more wonderful. For example you lose your job only to get another that is higher paying and gives you the chance to excel.

Some Essential Oils to Help With Endings and Beginnings
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) can help when you feel you have lost your way. She is the light at the end of the tunnel.

Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) helps you to stand firm when there seems nothing but chaos around you.

Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) is ideal when going through emotional and physical change. She helps you to grieve losing the old while accepting the new.

Fennel Sweet (Foeniculum vulgare dulce) helps remind you that as one door closes another opens.

Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) helps you to rebalance and relax especially when going through stressful endings.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) is psychologically cleansing and purifying helping to support you when going through challenging endings and beginnings.

Kunzea (Kunzea ambigua) helps to ease the emotional pain you may feel during this period.

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) will nurture and nourish you emotionally during this period.

Marjoram (Marjorama hortensis) helps ease any anxiety you may be feeling.

Rose (Rosa damascena) provides compassion for yourself and others who may be going through these times with you.

Ways to Use the Oils
Use a single oil or a blend of 2 or 3 oils in a diffuser, vaporiser, shower, bath, spray mist, massage or perfume. See