The resin from the cedar tree was used to embalm Egyptian mummies and cedars were the trees mentioned most in the Bible, symbolising a source of abundance, protection and wisdom. Cedar wood is highly prized due to its rot resistance and the American cedar was sacred to Native American Indians, the Cherokee in particular.
Cedar wood oil is toxic when ingested but has medicinal uses externally and as a essential oil but care should be taken if applying to the skin and an allergy test should be done before using.
It has powerful antimicrobial properties against bacteria and fungi and can be used to treat dandruff and strengthen the hair. It has been known to reduce hair loss and improve hair growth especially if combined with the essential oils of lavender, rosemary and thyme and coconut oil.
It can also help to relieve arthritis and minor skin irritations such as acne, Add five to ten drops of the essential oil to a hot bath. This may also reduce spasms caused by asthma, inflammation, muscle pain and restless leg syndrome.
It can be used in moderation to cure tooth ache and strengthen gums.
It is also a powerful insect repellent against mosquitoes and other flying insects.
The aroma of cedar wood essential oil is a sedative which can help to release serotonin which is converted into melatonin in the brain. This can relieve anxiety and promote restful sleep.
The components in cedar wood essential oil that provide the above abilities are sesquiterpenes such as alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene, cedrol, thujopsene and widdrol.