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)