Don’t you just love the woody smell of cypress trees? Would you believe cypress essential oil smells the same way? Well it does. And that’s not the best thing about this oil. Here’s more about the properties, uses and benefits of cypress essential oil.
Properties of Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress’ botanical name is Cupressus sempervirens. It’s important that you check for this name before buying the essential oil.
You may also come across blue cypress (Callitris intratropica) essential oil. But you should know this oil is chemically different to cypress.
Color & Scent
Cypress essential oil has a light yellow color and a sharp, woody, herb-like scent.
What is in the oil?
The main compound in this essential oil is alpha-pinene. It can make up more than 50% of the oil. Other compounds in the oil include carene, cedrol, limonene, and alpha-terpineolene.
Benefits of Cypress Essential Oil
There are a few proven cypress essential oil benefits. Here are some of them.
It may have antioxidant effects
A 2014 study looked at the antioxidant activities of a few essential oils like cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, lemon and thyme. While thyme showed the best free radical scavenging capacity, cypress essential oil was most effective in scavenging nitric oxide free radicals. So it can be said that this oil has some great antioxidant benefits.
Similar findings were also shown in this 2005 study. But here’s the disclaimer. Until there are clinical studies showing the oil is antioxidant when used on our skin, we won’t be able to say – yes we can definitely use this oil to deal with free radicals. It may be possible, but it just has not been clinically proven.
It has some antibacterial benefits
There are quite a few studies that have looked at the antibacterial benefits of cypress essential oil. But not all of them agree if cypress has moderate or significant antibacterial effects.
For instance, consider this 2005 study. It tested the essential oils of various cypress species on several bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The study found all essential oils had significant antibacterial benefits.
However, this 2014 study , which tested cypress oil on the common bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, found the oil only had moderate effects.
Similar moderate activity was also reported in this 2010 study. So clearly, cypress has antibacterial benefits but it certainly isn’t one of the best antibacterial essential oils that you can use.
It has some antifungal benefits too
Again, reports vary about the potency of cypress essential oil. The same 2005 study that suggested cypress oil had significant antibacterial benefits also found the oil had great anti-fungal effects too. Note, this study tested the oil on Candida albicans, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus fumigatus.
Another 2005 study which investigated the anti-fungal activity of cypress, eucalyptus, ginger, lemongrass, rosemary, thyme, turmeric and ylang ylang found that the oil was exceptional against five fungi species.
But the same studies that noted the oil had moderate antibacterial effects also found the oil had limited to moderate anti-fungal benefits too. In fact, the 2014 study (mentioned above) found the oil did not kill any Candida albicans fungi.
So what does this all mean? Well, for now, cypress essential oil has some anti-fungal benefits. But we need a bit more research comparing it to other oils.
It’s a moderate insecticide
This 2013 study tested several essential oils against the mosquito, Aedes albopictus. The researchers found the oil of Cupressus sempervirens had moderate toxicity to the mosquito larvae and had underwhelming repellency activity.
Uses of Cypress Essential Oil
If you’re looking for a wonderful, woody scent then reach for this essential oil. It’s amazing and blends well with other earthy, woody oils and citrus oils. So pair it with cedarwood, lime, lemon, pine and rosemary.
You can also use it on your skin but always patch test first, especially if it’s the first time you are using it. And keep the concentrations of the oil less than 5% or less than 5 drops to one teaspoon of essential oil.
Finally, you should always check with your doctor before using this or any other essential oil.
Where to buy cypress essential oil?