Cedarwood (Virginia) Essential Oil

Cedarwood essential oil (Virginia) is pretty unique. The oil comes from the red cedar or eastern red cedar tree, which actually belongs to the genus Juniperus. That’s why it’s sometimes called Virginian juniper. Let’s learn more about this essential oil.

cedarwood essential oil

Properties of Cedarwood (Virginia) Essential Oil


Cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil comes from the Juniperus virginiana tree.

Now, this oil can get confused with juniper essential oil, but that oil comes from another species within the same genus (Juniperus). So if you’re looking to buy cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil, look out for the botanical name: Juniperus virginiana or simply ask for Juniperus virginiana essential oil.

You should also know that cedarwood (Virginia) is sometimes called eastern red cedar, Virginian juniper, and pencil cedar. So you can use any of these names when buying the oil too.

Color & Scent

This essential oil ranges from a light yellow to amber to almost red-brown color. And it has a beautiful woody, slightly balsamic smell.

What’s in the oil?

The compounds in cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil are pretty consistent. The oil mainly contains varying amounts of cedrol, thujopsene, alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene, widdrol, alpha-selinene, and cuparene.

Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil (Virginia)

Unfortunately, there aren’t many studies exploring the benefits of cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil. Nevertheless, here’s what’s been proven so far.

It is anti-inflammatory

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A 2013 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food proved cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil has anti-inflammatory benefits.

The in vivo study used the essential oil obtained from heartwood samples of the Juniperus virginiana tree and compared with other essential oils from the Juniperus genus. The results showed that Juniperus virginiana essential oil was the most effective anti-inflammatory oil tested.

That means cedarwood (Virginia) oil can be used to reduce skin redness, irritation and more. And, according to the study, this essential oil has helpful wound-healing benefits too. Awesome!

It is antifungal

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There are studies dating back to the 1970s that show cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil has anti-fungal benefits.

And those studies went further to point to cedrol as the compound responsible for these effects.

It has insecticidal benefits

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Again there are studies from the 1970s like this one that showed cedrol and cedrene can disrupt the reproductive and developmental cycles of several insects, like the peanut trash bug, the Indian meal moth and the forage mite.

A more recent study from 2004 showed cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil and, more specifically, cedrol and widdrol were also toxic to termites.

Clearly, this oil is a great, all-natural insecticide. So the next time you whip up a batch of your homemade bug spray, why not add a few drops of this essential oil?
There it is… the few proven benefits of cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil.

Uses of Cedarwood (Virginia) Essential Oil

Ok so you have seen the benefits of this essential oil. But what about its uses? Well here are a few ways to use cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil.

If you’re looking for a beautiful woody smell, then try this essential oil. Just add one to two drops of the oil to your diffuser or to a tissue and inhale deeply.

Cedarwood (Virginia) oil also blends well with other woody, earthy tones. So mix it with sandalwood, vetiver, cypress, juniper, carrot seed, rosemary, frankincense, and patchouli essential oils.

You can absolutely use cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil in your massage blends too. But before you do, make sure you patch test. To do this, mix a 5% blend with your favorite carrier oil. That works up to be 5 drops of cedarwood (Virginia) added to 5 milliliters of your carrier oil.

Dab a bit of the mixture on the inside of your elbow and behind your ear. Monitor the areas for several hours. If they get red, irritated or start burning, then wash the areas immediately. You may be sensitive to the oil and shouldn’t use it on your skin.

If you don’t see any effects, then you can use the essential oil in your blends. Don’t forget though… 5% blends should be the most concentrated essential oil mixtures you use on your skin.

More Precautions
Finally, like with all essential oils, consult with your doctor or healthcare professional before trying cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil. This is especially important if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, suffering from any ailments or using certain medications.

Where to buy cedarwood (Virginia) essential oil

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