What is it?
The Atlas Cedarwood tree is of the plant family Abietaceae; it is native to the Atlas mountains of Algeria, hence its name. The Atlas Cedarwood tree is an evergreen tree which grows up to 131 feet in height; it is shaped like a pyramid, has oval cones and gray-green needles. The wood of the Atlas Cedarwood is very aromatic and it is from the wood that the essential oil is extracted and distilled; Atlas cedarwood essential oil is produced in Morocco and Lebanon. True cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) essential oil is extracted from the Atlas Cedarwood tree and should not be confused with Texas (Juniperus ashei) or Virginian (Juniperus virginiana) Cedarwood, which are commonly sold in the USA and often under the general term cedarwood. There are also several other trees which yield 'cedarwood' oil; Atlas Cedarwood oil is the preferred oil of today's aromatherapist.
Skin Care Concerns / Treatments
Regularizing sebum production
Cedarwood oil's great benefit lies in its ability to calm and sooth nerves. Cedarwood oil benefits the skin by its sedating ability which relieves itching. Its unique astringent action relieves skin and hair problems including acne, oily skin and hair and dandruff. It is used in aromatherapy to clear urinary infections, rheumatism and arthritis.
Cedarwood essential oil is a clean smelling, balsamic oil that not only has a calming and balanced effets, but also helps to clear the respiratory system. It has a soft, woody and "pencil-like" smell and has a faint undertone of sandalwood. It is pale yellow to light orange in color and is viscous.
Is a species of the pinaceae family. Atlas Cedarwood (Morocco) is preferred in aromatherapy over Virginian and Texas types. The Egyptians used the oil in the mummification process, in cosmetics and as a insect repellant, while native Americans used Cedar oil in medicine and burnt it for purification. This is the tree Solomon used to build the Temple in Jerusalem. Cedrus libani or Lebanon cedar, from which the first essential oil was extracted, is very scarce due to over use.
The main chemical components of cedarwood oil are a-cedrene, b-cedrene, thujopsene, other sesquiterpenes, cedrol and widdrol. Wood chips and sawdust are subjected to steam distillation to extract the oil and the yield is about 35 %.
Blends well with
It blends well with benzoin, bergamot, cinnamon, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, neroli, rose and rosemary.
In high concentration, cedarwood oil may irritate the skin and it should be avoided in pregnancy.
Zakia's Morocco products using Cedar Wood Essential Oil