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Are you overwhelmed by the cleaning aisle of the grocery store? Do you find it disconcerting to look through the hundreds of products that all claim to be the absolute best? If your mind while shopping feels as chaotic as your crowded cleaning closet, it’s time to make a change.

As it turns out, there is a crucial truth that the cleaning industry doesn’t want you to know. Those dozens of different products on the store shelves? They aren’t as different as they look.

In fact, the majority of cleaning products all contain a handful of the same active ingredients. Though each label might boldly proclaim that no other product can compare with what’s inside, the truth is that there are more similarities than differences between the majority of these products.

Cedar oil: The right cleaning product for you

Armed with this knowledge, you can make some big changes in the cleaning products you buy. By forgoing the department store diluted mixes, you can simply buy the active ingredients and provide yourself the power to create a product that exactly fits your needs. You’ll save both money and storage space in the process. Best of all, mixing your own products allows you to control exactly what goes in each mixture.

If you’re looking for a smart ingredient to get your natural cleaning routine going, few products are more versatile than cedar oil. Not only is this pine scented oil beneficial for your skin, hair and physical health, it’s also a great all around cleaner and even works as a natural pesticide.

If you take the time to incorporate cedar oil into your life, you’ll be amazed how many unique uses you can find for it.

What is cedar oil?

Coming from cedarwood, cedar trees grow in cold climates at high elevation, and often grow over 100 ft tall. Cedarwood oil can come from all types of cedar tree and is a yellow, sticky oil that has been used for thousands of years. There are even records of the ancient Egyptians using cedar oil as an essential ingredient in their perfumes, make up and even mummies.

Cedar oil comes from four different types of cedar tree: Atlas cedar, Virginia cedar, Himalayan cedar and Texas cedar. Though the four trees all produce similar oil, technically only the Atlas and Himalayan are a species of cedar while the Virginia and Texas are a juniper.

Getting the oil out of cedarwood is a time consuming process. Small pieces of wood, bark and even needles are distilled to create a steam-based oil that is full of beneficial ingredients for health, beauty and cleaning products.

12 uses for cedar oil

Because it comes from a species of evergreen, cedar oil tends to have a warm, woodsy scent that many people find naturally invigorating. There are plenty of medicinal and beneficial properties in cedar oil that make it useful in many ways. Not only is cedar oil a natural bactericidal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, it is also useful for building up your immune system and keeping you healthy.

Below are some of the top ways that cedar oil can be used in your daily life.

  1. Treating chest infections: When carefully breathed in, cedar oil has the potential to clear up your lungs and remove phlegm and mucus, making it an ideal treatment for bronchitis, asthma or general congestion. You can add two to three drops of oil into a steam inhalation system or simply rub two drops onto your chest and throat.
  2. Menstruation relief: If you suffer from an irregular menstrual cycle, regulate your hormones by mixing a few drops of cedar oil into a tablespoon of a carrier oil and rubbing it into your hips, pelvis and feet bottoms. This can also provide relief for period cramps.
  3. Natural air freshener: Because cedar oil has a strong base note, it naturally overpowers other scents and can help you cover bad odors. The scent is even better when cedar oil is mixed with jasmine, sandalwood, pine, or lavender oils.
  4. Natural skin health: Cedar oil has tremendous potential for keeping your skin looking its very best. If you have problems with eczema, acne or psoriasis, all you need to do is mix two drops of oil into a carrier oil and carefully rub it into the problem area. Rashes, irritated skin and fungal infections will also benefit from an infusion of cedar oil, but be careful not to apply it to any places where your skin is broken or has an oozing rash. Cedar oil also works wonders for cleaning and toning oily skin, especially when a few drops are blended in an ordinary unscented liquid soap.
  5. Hair benefits: If you feel like you are losing hair from your head on a daily basis, cedar oil can help to improve the blood circulation in your scalp and slow down hair loss. Massaging a few drops of oil onto your head will also help treat a dry, flake-filled scalp. Mixing a few drops of cedar oil into coconut oil also makes for a high powered anti-fungal treatment and destroys scalp fungus before it can take over. If you suffer from greasy hair, simply mix in ten drops of cedar oil into every eight ounces of shampoo and massage the mixture into your hair for at least four minutes.peaceful cedar forest with walkway
  6. Relieves stress: If your chaotic city life makes you wish for an evergreen forest, the comforting pine scent of cedar oil might offer you relief. By blending cedar oil into other essential oils, you can reduce the sharpness of their scents and make your life easier to take in. Keep a bottle of cedar oil handy at all times so that you can give yourself a quick aromatherapy break whenever you feel overwhelmed. It’s also a great way to start to unwind when you get overly stressed. For even quicker relief, you can spread a few drops of cedar oil into a cloth and spread it over your face. Within thirty seconds of relaxed breathing, your endorphins will start to be triggered enough to calm you down.
  7. Pain relief: For those that experience pain and stiffness in their joints, cedar oil is able to provide relief. Simply mix ten drops of cedar oil into an ounce of carrier oil and gently massage it right at the pain point. An essential oil-filled hot bath can be equally soothing; simply add a few drops of oil to a two cups of Epsom salts and add the mixture into the water.
  8. Naturally treat your wounds: You can use cedar oil to naturally treat wounds, as its chemical properties make it useful for fighting off toxins in the body instead of forcing your immune system to do it all. All you need to do it create a coconut rub with a few drops cedar oil and a tablespoon of coconut oil and massage at the source of your injury.
  9. Reduce inflammation: Recent scientific evidence has revealed that cedar oil has incredible potential for treating the types of inflammation that are caused by arthritis. Add a few drops of cedar oil to a carrier oil and massage it right into your sore joint.
  10. Repel insects naturally: Cedar trees have few problems with pests, which makes cedar oil a natural insect repellent that has been used for thousands of years to drive away pests. You can buy a high quality organic insect repellent that has cedar oil as an active ingredient, or make your own by adding a few drops of cedar oil to a carrier oil and putting it in places where insects like to linger. To keep moths away you can add drops of oil to cotton balls and store them in cabinets and drawers where the problem is.
  11. Help you get to sleep: If you find yourself counting sheep for hours before finally finding relief, you can make a nighttime rub with coconut oil, 12 drops lavender oil, 12 drops cedar oil and a few drops wild orange oil. Massage this mixture onto the bottoms of your feet before going to bed for an easy transition into unconsciousness.spray bottle with cedar oil and hand with rubber glove
  12. Clean your home: As it turns out, cedar oil is as good for your home as it is for your body, and it makes a high-powdered dusting spray that will keep your home clean. All you need to do is mix 1/3 cup water with 1/2 Tbsp Castile soap and four drops of cedar oil. Then, simply spray on the surfaces you want to clean.

Buying cedar oil

You might think that buying a good supply of cedar oil is as simple as finding the cheapest price per ounce, but the truth is that not all oils are created equal. In order to get the best benefits possible from your oil, it’s important to buy from a reputable brand that won’t dilute your oil with a lower grade form. In fact, many lower priced essential oils actually contain very little of the oil they advertise! If you have your doubts about an oil you purchased, a simple test is to leave a dab on paper and wait for it to dry. If you see a residue, you can be confident that your “essential oil” is actually made up of vegetable oil.

In most cases, it’s also best to purchase organic oils whenever you can, as the label ensures that the plant was grown through natural methods and that you won’t be exposing yourself to toxic synthetic fertilizers and pesticides when you choose to use it.

In summary

There’s no reason to turn towards synthetic products when the natural world is filled with beneficial healing products that can be used in an enormous number of ways. If you keep your home well stocked with cedar oil you will be amazed by the number of ways that you find to put it to use.

By learning to rely on natural oils like cedar oil, you’ll be keeping your body healthy and safe from the damaging chemical additives in commercial products.

About Author

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Lydia Noyes is an Appalachian homesteader and writer that lives on a land trust deep in the mountains of West Virginia.