Cedarwood Virginiana Has a Secret!

Cedarwood virginiana - pic via botany.csdl.tamu.edu

Cedarwood virginiana – pic via botany.csdl.tamu.edu

Cedarwood Virginiana has a secret – it’s a juniper tree! It’s botanical name is Juniperus virginiana but in Aromatherapy today it’s referred to as a cedarwood. I’ve always seen this tree and oil referred to as cedarwood and perhaps it’s because this native to North America is commonly called Red Cedar and/or Aromatic cedar, and a few other names too! It is from the Cupressacae family and the Juniperus genus whereas Cedarwood Atlas (Cedrus atlantica), for example, is from the Pinacae family and the Cedrus genus. Himalayan cedarwood (Cedrus deodora) is from the Pinacae family and the Cedrus genus too.

So back to our Cedarwood Virginiana. You can see by the pic above it has berries like a juniper tree, and leaves like a cypress, but the oil is very different from juniper essential oil and cypress essential oil. This essential oil is thick and creamy and smells like it could easily come from a wood, but also carries a very cleansing energy about it like juniper. I think in my very early days of aromatherapy I blended this oil like it was a basey wood and was never disappointed with the results. I’ve even read a description of the scent of this oil as “pencil- like” and it is also referred to as a pencil cedar , as the heartwood has been used to make lead pencils.

Eastern Red Cedar pic via www.realchristmastrees.org

Eastern Red Cedar pic via http://www.realchristmastrees.org

In Native American medicine this common tree has been used for respiratory infections and other ailments including arthritis and rheumatism, skin disorders and as a treatments for venereal infections (according to Salvatore Battaglia).

In Aromatherapy today Cedarwood Virginiana is used –

* as a treatment for oily and acne skin

* as a treatment for other skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis

*  as a soothing treatment for coughs and colds and as an expectorant

* to induce more spiritual connectedness

* as a space/energy cleanser

I’ve always loved using this oil so check out some simple recipes –

The classic Duralex glass dish is handy to make oil blends and quick perfumes in

The classic Duralex glass dish is handy to make oil blends and quick perfumes in

1. Pure Pulse Point Perfume

In a little dish mix these oils and anoint your pulse points or chakras – 3 drops of essential oils and dilute with a few drops of carrier oil

“Psychic Awareness”

Open your upper chakras –

Cedarwood Virginiana   2 drops

Mandarin                       1 drop


“A New Start”

Cleanse and refresh you attitude –

Cedarwood Virginiana 1 drop

Lemon                         1 drop

Rose Geranium            1 drop


“And… Breathe!”

Take a quite moment for yourself –

Cedarwood Virginiana    1 drop

Roman Chamomile 3%  3 drops   * see my article for more info on 3% blends in jojoba


Nourish your body with a beautiful oil blend - pic via redbookmag.com

Nourish your body with a beautiful oil blend – pic via redbookmag.com

2. Nourishing Body Oil Blend

For a coat of your body use 3 teaspoons of carrier oil in a little dish and, add 7 – 8 drops of essential oil.

***** Always put the drops of essential oil into the bottle or dish first, then add the carrier oil. It gives the scents time to create a synergistic fusion.

For a 50ml bottle of oil add 25 drops and see my articles “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and  “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”


This is my go-to classic body oil blend –

Cedarwood Virginiana   2 drops

Orange                          4 drops

Lavender                       2 drops


“Give Me Strength”

A warming blend for courage and physical strength –

Cedarwood Virginiana  2 drops

Bergamot                     3 drops

Rosewood                   3 drops


Happy blending and remember to use your intention when you are creating your formulas. See my article about intention.

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