The Aromatic Thymes – August

Summer is coming to a close and many of us are heading back to the routine of work or school. Don’t forget to make the oils part of your day, easing the transition and boosting your immune system for the approaching flu season – (More on that in the November issue) The more you use the oils, the more they have a chance to cleanse your body and improve oxygenation of the tissues.

This Issue

Oil of the Month: Cedarwood
Aromatherapy Tip of the Month: Quick Energy Lift
Resource Guide: -NAHA
Latest Aromatherapy Research: Hair Loss
Book Review: ” 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy”
by David and Carol Schiller
Recipe of the month -Essential Oil Moth Balls

Oil of the Month

Latin Name: Cedrus atlantica
Family: Pinaceae
Source of Oil: Bark and sawdust
Primary cultivation: Morocco
Woody, Sweet
Note: Base
Properties: Antiseptic (urinary, lungs), antiseborrheic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, insecticide, sedative (nervous), stimulant (circulatory).
Strongest characteristic: Respiratory aid, soothing
Contraindications: (Situation in which oil should not be used) Some people suggest avoiding during pregnancy. People with sensitive skin should be cautious, as it can cause local irritation.
Blends well with: Frankincense, Rose, Ylang Ylang, Sandalwood, Lavender

It is likely that Cedarwood oil was the first essential oil to be extracted from a plant, and was used by the Egyptians in the mummification process because of its ability to preserve and also to repel insects. They valued it highly as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an insect repellent.

They used the wood to make jewellery, furniture and ships and it was always used to make their coffins. They valued cedarwood so highly that the Lebanon area (which produced Cedrus Libani, used for making furniture, almost out of existence now) was incorporated into the Egyptian Empire in order to ensure a regular supply.

There are several varieties of Cedar, but the most widely used in Aromatherapy is that of Cedrus Atlantica.
Cedarwood tends to be more useful for long-standing health concerns, rather than acute ones. It has the curious feature of acting as a sedative to the nervous system, while being a stimulant to the circulatory system. Cedarwood contains the highest concentration of sesquiterpenes, which have the ability to pass through the blood-brain barrier and oxygenate the brain directly upon inhalation by way of the nasal passages and the olfactory nerves.

Joints: Because of it’s ability to stimulate the circulatory system, cedarwood is often used for arthritis and rheumatism. In these cases, you might want to mix it with other oils designed to address different aspects, like lavender for the pain, chamomile for soothing inflammation etc. One idea would be to make a salve that you can rub on the affected area as needed.

Respiratory: The North American Indians used cedarwood for respiratory infections, in particular catarrh. It’s expectorant and mildly drying properties draw out excess phlegm. It is an effective addition to a steam inhalation for coughs and chest infections of all kinds.

Skin: The astringent and antiseptic properties are helpful to oily skin conditions. It can help acne and also aids in clearing scabs and pus. Combined with lavender and sandalwood, cedarwood is useful for chronic conditions including dermatitis and psoriasis. For this use, you might dilute it to a 3% dilution with Aloe Vera. It is a good hair tonic, effective against dandruff, alopecia and seborrhoea – see this months research section below.. Skin softening properties could be enhanced when mixed with Frankincense and Cypress. It is often added to an insect repellant blend, for example with citronella.

Urinary/Reproductive System: Cedarwood exerts a gently, antiseptic effect on the urinary system, making it a useful oil in cases of cystitis and kidney infections, particularly where there is a burning pain. The oil can be used in compresses, baths or as a local massage oil. It has also been used when menstruation is delayed. A warm compress over the abdomen is best for this, perhaps combined with clary sage.

Nervous System: Cedarwood has a soothing effect on the nervous system and, because of this, is useful for all manner of stress-related conditions, such as anxiety and nervousness. Place a few drops in the diffuser to unwind after a busy day. Terry Friedmann, MD found in clinical tests that this essential oil was able to successfully treat ADD and ADHD (attention deficit disorders) in children.

Aromatherapy Tip of the Month

Quick Energy Lift

When you’re feeling tired and need a quick energy boost, try placing 1 drop rosemary between your palms and rug vigorously together. Cup your hands over your nose and inhale deeply three times. If you need to clear out the mental fog, try the same thing with a drop of Basil or Peppermint. Repeat as often as needed.



The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy is one of the premier organizations of Aromatherapy in the US. They are active in promoting appropriate education in the field and furthering the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the subject. They offer a very comprehensive web site at . They also offer a quarterly Aromatherapy Journal. The web site covers approved professional schools, business listings, a bookstore, calender of events and much more. If you are interested in becoming professionally involved in the field, they are a great place to start.



Hair Loss

Effective alternative treatment for alopecia

Aromatherapy is an effective, alternative treatment for patients suffering with Alopecia areata, according to researchers at the Department of Dermatology, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Scotland.

In a randomized, double-blind, controlled trial, lasting 7 months, eighty-six patients diagnosed as having Alopecia areata were split into two groups. The first group received a combination of essential oils – thyme, rosemary, lavender, and cedarwood in a base of carrier oils (jojoba and grapeseed) – massaged into their scalps daily. The second group had just the base massage oil massaged into their scalp.

The treatment was assessed using sequential photographs taken by two dermatologists (I.C.H. and A.D.O.) independently of each other, and the photographs were then analysed via two methods – a 6-point scale and computerized analysis of traced areas of Alopecia. Records were taken before the treatment commenced, after three months, and then again after seven months.

The results revealed that nineteen (44%) of 43 patients in the treatment group showed improvement compared with just 6 (15%) of 41 patients in the control group. The degree of improvement on photographic assessment was found to be highly significant. A demographic analysis showed that the two groups were well matched for prognostic factors, and the researchers concluded that, from the results of their study, aromatherapy is a safe and effective treatment for Alopecia areata.

Source: Randomized trial of aromatherapy. Successful treatment for alopecia areata. Hay IC; Jamieson M; Ormerod AD Arch Dermatol, 134:1349-52, 1998 Nov

© Internet Health Library



500 Formulas for Aromatherapy

By David and Carol Schiller

If you’re looking for a book that provides you with recipes, pure and simple, with little aromatherapy information as background, then this the book for you. As the title says, this book has 500 recipes for cellulite, massage oils, baby oils, powders and much more. It also has an alphabetical listing of the oils and their benefits. It does not include much info on why the particular oils are chosen, but if you just want some formulas to have at your fingertips, then this is very helpful. To order, please click below.

of the Month

Essential Oil Moth Balls

Commercial moth balls contain a toxic mixture of chemicals. But you can make your own using essential oils that are not only effective, but good for you.

Blend together 1/2 oz lavender with 1/2 oz cedarwood. Dip cotton balls in the mixture and wring out. Place them in your cupboards as needed and refresh when the aroma has faded.