Cedar! What’s the first image that came to your mind? I’ll bet it was something along the lines of a small-to-medium sized piney tree that is quite plentiful in certain Southern and Central areas of the United States…or perhaps it wasn’t even an image at all. Perhaps it was the memory of the scent of the distinct, woodsy aroma that accompanies a trip to East Texas, especially during Christmas. It would have even been reasonable to presume that you may have thought of a sea of green needles covered in white as the winter snow sticks to the trees in these abundant cedar forests. All would have been justifiable.
I’ll bet you would not have imagined, however, a giant tree on the side of some of the tallest mountains in the world, reaching heights five times larger than that of the cedar trees we’re used to experiencing here at home and ages that are verifiably ancient. Additionally, I feel as though it would have been a safe bet to presume that you would not have thought of a vial of essential oil that would range in benefits from medicinal to psychological to cosmetic. That being said, all would have, again, been correct.
Thus, it could be deduced by that which is written above that there are indeed a variety of different types of cedars trees…and cedar oils for that matter. After all, with different sources come different results. Here I will concentrate on the differences (physical aspects, benefits, aromas, uses, etc.) between two of the most prevalent and dominant types of cedar: the Texas Cedar (Juniperus Ashei) which is part of Juniperus genus and the Himalayan Cedar (Cedrus Deodara) which is part of the Cedrus genus.
First of all, though both of these trees are “cedaresque” in nature, there are substantial differences in their physical nature and appearance. The Texas Cedar, a member of the Cupressaceae family, can grow to heights of 10 (average) to 15 (rare) meters tall with scale-like “leaves” ranging from 2 to 5 millimeters in length and sprouting in dense, feathery flares. They are located predominantly in Central Texas, the south-central parts of the United States and the Northeastern parts of Mexico. The tree itself is drought-tolerant and, due to its dense foliage, provides year-round shade and shelter for wildlife. The wood itself is rot-resistant thus making it a favorite for fence posts and the like.
The Himalayan Cedar, a member of the Pinaceae family, is much larger in stature reaching heights of up to 50 meters, occasionally even reaching heights of 60 meters, and has needle-like leaves ranging from 2.5 to 5 centimeters in length (sometimes even reaching lengths of up to 7 cm). The top of the tree crowns into a cone and has level branches with smaller drooping branches sprouting off of them. Its rot-resistant wood has fine, close grain and is often used in the construction of various buildings and basic structures due to its durable nature. Its timber is not, however, very strong, thus making its use in delicate work such as in chair making, for example, unfit and improper.
The Texas Cedar Oil is relatively yellow in color with a woodsy, clean, sweet balsamic scent while the Himalayan Cedar oil is a slightly viscous liquid with a somewhat yellow to brownish-yellow color and has an earthy, woodsy, clean balsamic odor. Both essential oils are used for various skin conditions including but not limited to acne, dandruff, oily skin, psoriasis, dermatitis and various skin eruptions as well as treating various respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, chronic congestion, and sinusitis. Additionally, both oils are believed to help promote sleep, improve mental clarity and focus, and relieve stress and tension while helping relieve pain and discomfort from arthritis and rheumatism. I’m also happy to note that both the Texas cedar and the Himalayan cedar are effective natural insect repellents and are used extensively for these purposes throughout the world.
It is widely believed that both oils contribute to one’s emotional health and emotional well-being as well. There are slight differences, however, as to how each oil improves one’s
emotions. The Himalayan cedar oil is said to combat the feelings of depression, alienation, paranoia, and feeling panicked while causing the individual to enjoy a sense of calmness, assuredness, confidence, and a sense of belonging while, at the same time, improving the enjoyment of one’s time spent alone. The Texas cedar oil is said to combat the feelings of powerlessness, lifelessness, fatigue, and feeling victimized while causing the individual to enjoy a sense of empowerment, joy, feeling in control, productivity, independence, and a state of being energized.
In regards to their different physical and emotional benefits, it would be advisable to make your selection based upon what it is you’re experiencing and what it is you’re wanting to assist in treating and alleviating. While many benefits are prevalent and apparent in both oils, the slight differences mentioned above may make your selection easier based on your specific interests and needs. That being said, it is, of course, ok to use both oils during any given period, though you may find that the benefits are enjoyed more correctly if each oil is used separately from the other during any one session/application.
There are a variety of different methods in terms of applying the essential oils and reaping their benefits. Traditionally, Himalayan oil has been used in baths, massages, soaps, as an aftershave, and even during meditations whereas the Texas oil has been used predominantly in baths, during massages, as a mist spray, and in steam inhalations. Now, let it be noted that either of these oils could technically be applied in any of the above-mentioned methods. I simply wanted to confer which methods were used more for each oil from a traditional standpoint. It is also worth mentioning that it is not advisable for women who are pregnant to use these oils even though they are both non-toxic. This is simply because cedar allergies do exist and voluntarily exposing yourself to a potential allergic reaction would be unpleasant or dangerous for anyone, especially for women who are pregnant and the little ones they’re carrying.
Ultimately, both the Texas essential cedar oil and the Himalayan essential cedar oil are astonishingly beneficial and are held in the highest of regard within the healing community. If you only have a place for one of these oils in your oil-aid kit, then I would advise assessing your needs and making your selection accordingly. That being said, if your oil-aid kit has enough room, having a vial of both of these oils is always going to be a sound choice. So, good luck and Happy Healing!