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Information @ a Glance

General Information

  • Cedarwood essential oil is extracted from Juniperus virginiana of the Cupressaceae family. It is also known as Virginian, red, eastern red or southern red cedar, as well as Bedford cedarwood.

  • Red cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is a medium-sized dioecious or rarely monoecious tree from 10-20 m (33-66') tall.
  • The evergreen tree is shaped like a pyramid or column, with reddish-brown to grayish colored bark that is fibrous and shedding.

Extraction Process

  • Removal of essential oils from plant material is accomplished by various methods, depending on the quality of the oil present and the stability of the aromatic constituents. The tendency of some constituents to undergo changes when subjected to high temperatures makes it necessary in some cases to use special methods of extraction to obtain the desired product without decomposition or alteration.
  • Four major methods of extraction are generally used: hydro or water distillation - only water is used; water and steam distillation - both water and steam are used; direct steam distillation - only steam is used; solvent extraction - a solvent is used.
  • The extractions of cedarwood oil were performed sequentially and automatically on an Isco Model SFX 3560 extractor. This permitted individual samples of the wood matrix to be extracted using different combinations of pressures, temperatures, and extraction times as designated via the microprocessor controller on the extractor.


  • Cedarwood oil benefits the skin by its sedating ability which relieves itching. Its astringent action is great for acne, oily skin, as well as for hair and dandruff. It helps with chest and urinary infections, acts as a general tonic and has a pronounced effect on mucus membranes.
  • It has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and is of great help in conditions associated with anxiety and nervous tension. It is also of value in cases of arthritis and rheumatism.


  • The economics of essential oil production depend on both the cultivation of the herbs and extraction of oils from the herbs. However, major emphasis is often given to the cultivation , since the crop yield and yield of the essential oil depends on the quality of cultivation.
  • The red cedar market ranges from small operations with gross annual sales of less than $10,000 per year to large firms with gross annual sales over $16 million.

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