Virginian cedarwood
(Juniperus virginiana)

Family: Cupressaceae
Description: Virginian cedarwood is a slow-growing, majestic evergreen tree with brown cones, also commonly called red cedar. The essential oil is steam-distilled from sawdust and other timber waste.

Country of origin: America
Characteristics: Virginian cedarwood has dry, woody, pencil-shaving-like top notes and oily, sweet, balsamic undertones. It blends well with most other woods, and also with rose, vetiver, patchouli and benzoin.
Main therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, anti-seborrhoeic, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, insecticide, sedative.


Virginian cedarwood is similar in many ways to atlas cedarwood, although the latter is generally considered a finer and safer essential oil. Virginian cedarwood is a good nerve tonic, especially beneficial for chronic anxiety and nervous tension. Like atlas cedarwood, it is much used in men’s toiletries and is recommended for treating oily skin, dandruff and acne. Overall, virginian cedarwood is refreshing, uplifting and restorative.
In steam inhalations, virginian cedarwood is indicated for chronic coughs and bronchitis, and in a local wash for urinary-tract infections and cystitis.

Psychologically, it is fortifying, warming and protecting. It is a powerful tonic of the subtle energies and — although sedative is good for poor concentration and nervous debility. Virginian cedarwood assists in transforming negative emotions into their positive counterparts.

Contraindications: Avoid during pregnancy and if you have sensitive skin. Use in moderation – no more than 2 per cent.