Cedarwood Essential Oil

Cedarwood Essential Oil is extracted from the needles and wood of several species of Juniper (Juniperus spp), Cypress (Cupressus spp) and Cedar (Cedrus spp). 

Because Cedarwood Essential Oil is produced from many different sources, the composition and properties of this essential oil are quite variable. Cedarwood Essential Oil is widely used in Aromotherapy and Naturopathic medicine. Cedarwood Essential Oil is rarely used in Naturopathic treatments for acne.

When used for the treatment of acne, Cedarwood Essential Oil is often blended into topical Naturopathic formulations that contain additional essential oils and other active ingredients. Cedarwood Essential Oil is purported to help improve skin tone. It has been claimed that Cedarwood Essential Oil has antibacterial, anti-fungal, astringent, insect repellent and sedative properties.

Cedarwood Essential Oil has also been claimed to improve metabolic and digestive function. However, very few of these claims have been scientifically investigated, so it is difficult to know whether they are true or not. Cedar wood itself is well known to be resistant to microbes and insects, and cedar is widely used to create storage chests for clothing, and other items.

Cedarwood Essential Oil is most commonly produced from about 4 species of conifer: Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica), Himalayan Cedar (Cedrus deodora), Mexican Juniper (Juniperus mexicana) and Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana). The chemical composition of Cedarwood Essential Oil depends on the source material. Major components of Cedarwood Essential Oil include alpha-Cedrene and Cedrol.

Laboratory testing indicates that Cedarwood Essential Oil tends to be weakly toxic to gram positive bacteria, a group which includes the acne-causing P. acnes bacterium.


Computer-aided identification of individual components of essential oils using carbon-13 NMR spectroscopy. Tomi, et al. 1995.
Antimicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant extracts. Hammer, et al. 1999.
Cedar wood oil — Analyses and properties. Adams, et al. 1991.
In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils. Prabuseenivasan, et al. 2006.
Supercritical carbon dioxide extraction of cedarwood oil: a study of extraction parameters and oil characteristics. Eller, et al. 2007.
The Encyclopedia of essential oils: the complete guide to the use of aromatic oils in aromatherapy, herbalism, health, and well being. Lawless. 2013.