In this article, I’ll be taking a look at both the benefits and properties of cedarwood.
For those who don’t know, Cedar Wood is famous for its wonderful smell, as well as its ability to repel insects. It possesses an oil that gives off a very sweet scent, little wonder it is a popular choice for hot tub fanatics.
Besides being used for saunas and colognes, there are other benefits of cedarwood.
Features And Uses Of Cedar Wood
About Cedar Wood
Let’s take a moment to check out some vital information about Cedar Wood.
Where It Grows
Cedar Wood is known to thrive in damp climates. Being so, cedarwood can resist harsh weather conditions. Cedar Wood might be scarce since it is only available in certain regions on Earth. So your access to this wood may depend on where you live.
Take white cedar, for instance, they have a more limited growth range, so they are difficult to find. The western red cedar on the other hand thrives around America’s west coast. This is why it’s America’s most popular cedar.
All cedars indeed have the same basic features such as looks and texture, there are species with a distinct feature.
Major Species Of Cedarwood
Commonly, there are three major types of cedars. These include the western red cedar, aromatic closet cedar, and northern white cedar.
Let’s check out the unique features of each.
Western Red Cedar
Remember I said different species of cedar each have their unique features. This one is known for its pink/reddish color. The colors are sometimes broadband of Amber, cream, and brown.
They are mainly straight-grained and are among the most beautiful species of cedar you can find.
There are sub-species of the western red cedar. The ones of construction-grade can be used for interior decorations like windowsills or trim.
More advanced grades like the sanded cedar have a smoother, semi-polished surface. These are more preferable for making small furniture.
Being a softwood that ranks just 350 on the hardness scale, western cedar wood is very easy to slice up with a chainsaw or ax. The downside is that it can dent and scratch easily, all thanks to its soft nature.
Northern White Cedar
If you thought the red cedar was soft, then think again. The northern white cedar is significantly softer than the western red cedar. It ranks at 320 on the Janka hardness scale.
It’s called white cedar but it has a variety of color ranges. These include white, tan, and brown. It is very distinct from other cedars.
The grain of the northern white cedar is mainly straight and features small tight knits, which can be compared to that of the bird’s eye maple.
Being so soft, you can already assume it’ll be easy to cut this wood. However, its softness also means that it will have a weaker screws fastener-holding features.
Aromatic Closet Cedar
The aromatic closet cedar looks so much like the red cedar, but that’s just in appearance. As for its texture, it is very different. It has a ranking of 900 on the Janka scale, making it 3 times harder than red cedar.
It also has a decent range of colors, you can find them in violet, brown, and yellow. A lot of people consider aromatic cedar to be the most appealing of the cedar family, but it’s all a matter of opinion.
They have straighter grains and a nice, finer feel than the red or white species.
Being resistant to pests and decay, aromatic cedar can be used in applications that require direct contact with the ground. There will also be no need to treat the wood.
As for finishing, you couldn’t ask for a better wood to work with. However, most users leave it unfinished in a bid to retain the lovely, natural aroma the wood has.
Thanks to its sweet smell, it is perfect for closet lining, small stools, and chests. Just to name a few home furniture this wood is good for.
Cedar Wood’s Top Qualities
Apart from its sweet scent and pest repelling ability, cedarwood does not swell nor shrink to the extent of most other forms of wood. This is even under significant changes in humidity.
Cedar Wood has large proportions of the f cell cavities that are filled with air. This gives it high-thermal insulation.
Cedar wood’s high resistance against decay is amazing. It can do so for as long as 40 years, which is why it remains a good choice for exterior siding, even though it is soft.
Many people don’t know this, but cedarwood is also sound resistant. This is a great quality to have if you’re looking to use it for fencing or exterior sound barriers.
There other common uses of cedarwood. These include shingles, decks, shutters, blinds, and interior trim.
As I have mentioned before, cedarwood doesn’t require paint or finishing. Nonetheless, you can apply a wood sealer to retain its durability and color.
Cedarwood is free of pitch and resin, so there will be no issues if you choose to finish.
Usage and Benefits of Cedarwood Essential Oil
Distillation is the preferred means of extracting the oil from Cedarwood.
Using this process, cedarwood and bark are exposed to high temperatures and pressure in a specific time frame. The distillers are careful not to damage the tree during the extraction process.
Each of the components gotten from cedar wood has specific effects with various uses. Cedrus atlantica, for instance, is 50% sesquiterpenes.
This substance enhances oxygen utilization of the brain cells, which fights off premature degradation of the brain. It has also been discovered to aid in the treatment of cancer.
There are many ways to take cedarwood essential oil. Funny enough, inhalation is one of them. Inhaling the scent is of great healing benefits, as it is taken in by the limbic system and move to the hypothalamus and the lungs. Eventually, the inhaled substance will make its way to the circulatory system.
This can help improve your emotions and boost your hormones. It is known to improve reasoning also.
Below, I will list some specific benefits of taking cedar oil.
For Fungi-Related Health Problems
Fungal infections are not the same with bacterial infections, being that fungi are rooted in the areas they affect and are harder to get rid of.
Cedarwood essential oils have been proven to have anti-fungal properties. Research has suggested that cedarwood oil can destroy fungi down to its roots.
With regular application, cedarwood oil can also prevent fungi from re-occurring.
Preventing Hair Loss
Hair loss isn’t strange, especially for men who are starting to reach their middle ages. Cedarwood essential oils can be used to slow down and prevent hair loss in men.
This is a great alternative to other forms of synthetic (non-organic) medicine, such as Rogaine.
All you have to do is dilute the oil with the right amount of water (you can also use coconut oil), and massage it into your scalp so that it will be well circulated. Let it sit for about an hour then rinse off your hair.
Doing this regularly will keep your hair roots strong and healthy, hence preventing hair loss.
The antiseptic properties possessed by cedarwood oil can prevent infections on surface wounds.
First, you have to dilute the oil with some water. The reason for diluting it is that using oil on its might bee too harsh.
When you’re done diluting, apply the mixture onto the surface and let do the rest.
It will kill any bacteria that is on the wound’s surface and stop any more bacteria from penetrating the open wound.
Helps in Breathing
The scent of cedarwood oil isn’t just pleasant, it can aid in breathing too.
It is a natural sedative, so it can ease the symptoms of various respiratory conditions. These include asthma, coughing, and other flu or respiratory issues.
Inhaling cedarwood oil scent can also clear out congested sinuses and an excessive build-up of phlegm.
The above listed are among the many wonderful things cedarwood can do for us as humans. They are beautiful, they provide nice smelling oils that have great benefits, and they are also pest resistant.
READ: Tree Species With Sweet Fragrances
I have to mention though, as good as cedarwood oil is, you have to consult your physician and explain your health conditions before you self-administer cedarwood oil.
The reason for this is that your complication may be so severe, it would require other forms of treatment. Your doctor is in the best position to make these recommendations.
Is Cedar Good For Firewood?
If you plan to heat your fireplace or do some old school roasting at the backyard, you’ll be needing some firewood. You may be wondering whether cedar wood is good for this.
Well, cedarwood makes excellent firewood. It is easy to cut and it burns very hotly. The smoke produced by cedarwood also smells good.
It’s a good choice.
There you have it. I hope this article on the benefits and properties of cedarwood has been helpful.