Cedarwood Atlas – An Ancient Wood with a Modern Scent

Cedarwood atlas - Cedrus atlantica

Cedarwood atlas – Cedrus atlantica

In Aromatherapy we use a few cedarwoods –

Cedrus atlantica           = Cedarwood Atlas

Juniperus virginiana     = Cedarwood Virginian

Cedrus deodora           = Cedarwood Himalyan

When I first started practicing I didn’t really use this oil a lot – I preferred Cedarwood Virginian. Years ago when I was creating a range for a new clinic in Sydney, I was inspired to incorporate this oil by the Herbalist and sales manager. She encouraged me to use Cedarwood atlas and described the scent to me as being reminiscent of sandalwood. She also suggested I could use it in place of sandalwood as the Sandalwood industry was under pressure and prices had tripled within years.

So embraced Cedarwood atlas and while I don’t necessarily use it as s replacement for sandalwood I certainly love to use it frequently. It is a true cedarwood and has an interesting history.

The Atlas Mountains in Morocco

The Atlas Mountains in Morocco, map originally created by Daniel Feher of Free World Maps. Original map can by found here http://www.freeworldmaps.net/africa/morocco/map.html

It is part of the Pinaceae family of trees and is still considered to be a viable tree with no concern for its life here on earth. It hails from the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and is also farmed for its wood and oil in other regions.

The rich history of cedarwood most probably relates to Lebanon cedarwood which is Cedrus libani and found in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Cypress and surrounding areas. It is also from the Pinaceae family and I would assume that the two are quite similar and they both would have been used for ancient rituals and traditions; in Egyptian times, in building the Temples of Jersualem and all the ancient majesty and mystery that comes with them. Phoenicaians and Egytians built their boats with this wood, and the resin was used to treat illness and mummify Phaoroahs. There are also other cedars in these areas that belong to the Cupressaceae family (the cypresses), and have also been used over thousands of years in spiritual practice.

A drop of oil can be essential

A drop of oil can be essential

The oil is steam distilled using the wood and twigs and currently in Aromatherapy Cedarwood atlas is used for-

* respiratory ailments – coughs, colds, bronchitis as it is a great expectorant

* in a sitz bath to address kidney and bladder including cystitis – it’s an astringent oil

* as a tonic for stress and anxiety (yes we say this about many oils so it goes to prove a few drops of distilled nature really can change your focus and make you feel better)

* as an astringent for oily skin and on the flip side to also treat dry and flaky conditions like dry scalp, dandruff and also to ease symptoms of psoriasis

Abundance is a state of being

Abundance is a state of being

I love to use this oil to stimulate connection to spirit and to inspire acknowledgement of the abundance all around us. If the resins of this tree were used in the mummification process  to help souls live for ever after death, I see it as a sign that our abundance is ever flowing in all states of existence.


copyright suzannerbanks 2013

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