Organic Spa Blog

Atlas Cedarwood Essential Oil: Get grounded in the midst of change.

amy-in-woodsAtlas Cedarwood (Cedrus Atlantica) is one of my all time favorite essential oils.  It’s has this remarkably deep and rich aroma, that lingers and mellows in the most surprisingly subtle way. The scent transports me to heart of the forest and grounds me.

Next week the change of season arrives; it will be September, and soon the leaves will turn color, our schedules will shift and the gates will open to a host of new beginnings, like new school terms, fashion trends, fall fruits, and social and cultural engagements.

What can we do to stay grounded? Try using some Atlas Cedarwood Essential Oil.

The history of Atlas Cedarwood oil has both powerfully spiritual and ancient roots. Native to the Atlas mountains of North Africa, (where the name comes from) these tall, strong trees once grew in abundance in Lebanon, where their groves are often mentioned in the Old Testament. The aromatic wood from these magnificent trees were used by the ancient Egyptians to embalm and mummify their dead, and escort them to the next world. Centuries later, King Solomon harvested them from the once majestic groves of Lebanon to build the Second Temple. The aroma that comes from the wood was then believed to foster a direct connection to the spiritual realm.

Atlas Cedarwood oil has also been found amongst the 80+ ingredients blended into ancient Tibetan and Buddhist incense that were used in temple meditation practice and rituals. Like the ancient cultures from the middle east, the Buddhists found profound peace and stillness from the wood’s fragrance.

What the plant looks like:  The Atlas Cedarwood tree is a tall coniferous evergreen tree that can grow to heights of 115 feet.  There are many other varieties of Cedarwood. For example the Juniperus virginiana variety, which is grown here in the US,  is a very popular Cedarwood Oil but has a distinctly different aroma and medicinal properties.  If you want to explore using Atlas Cedarwood, make sure you look for the botanical name: Cedrus Atlantica.

How the oil is extracted:  The essential oil is extracted through steam distillation of the wood.

What the oil looks and feels like:  Pale yellow and slightly viscous, may have an “oily” feel.

What Atlas Cedarwood Essential is good for:

Hair and Skin: Antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory. Great for bringing energy to the skin, balancing skin irritations, like acne and dermatitis. Emollient.  Excellent for scalp treatments, stimulating to hair follicles and brings moisture and relief to dry itchy areas. There is evidence relating that Atlas Cedarwood Oil can help encourage hair growth by bringing stimulation to scalp.

Muscles and Joints: Promotes muscle relaxation, and softens spasms and tightness by encouraging muscles tissue to open and breathe. Increases joint mobility.

Digestive: Calming, quiets anxiety so it can soothe nervous stomachs and digestive spasms

Psycho/Spiritual/Emotional: Extremely grounding and balancing.  Quiets a racing mind, and regulates breath to help find stillness. Supports meditation by relaxing the body and mind and encouraging connection to deeper self and spiritual essence. May also increase sexual desire; known as an aphrodisiac.

Home Life: Great insect repellent; effective to use in clothing storage and floor cleaning to deter moths and ants.

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