Cypress Oil

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Your Guide to Using Cypress Oil

Cypress oil is widely recognized for its healing properties and is often used for a variety of ailments and health conditions. Its benefits also extend beyond the body, most notably for its ability to infuse a sense of well-being, calmness, and balance to the spirit and mind.

credit: tantetati/pixabay.com
credit: tantetati/pixabay.com

Its botanical name came from the Greek word that means “ever-living.”

 

What is Cypress Oil?

The essential oil of the cypress is obtained from a steam distillation process that uses parts of the cypress tree, which belongs to a family of conifers known as Cupressus Sempervirens. Once the components of the cypress tree are harvested and processed, the resulting essential oil is a pale-yellow color.

credit: stain_marylight/pixabay.com
credit: stain_marylight/pixabay.com

The aroma of cypress essential oil is woodsy, fresh, and clean with overtones of pine and balsam. During the distillation process, portions of the cypress tree that are used may include the bark, twigs, needles, and cones. Cypress oil is also used by some cultures to create incense due to its religious importance.   

credit: aphiddew/flickr.com
credit: aphiddew/flickr.com

The cypress trees that are commonly harvested for use in making essential oils are primarily grown in several regions of the world including France, Spain, Italy, and Morocco. The tall cypress evergreens have needles that resemble a typical pine tree.

 

Did you know?

The name for cypress is believed to come from the Greek character Cyparissus or Cuparissos who was loved by the god Apollo. He prayed to Apollo for permission to grieve forever, after accidentally killing his beloved pet stag and Apollo turned him into a cypress tree so that his place would always be where others grieve.

credit: wikimediacommons
credit: wikimediacommons

This is how the cypress tree became an emblem of death, associated with cemeteries, and known as an ancient symbol of comfort, solace, and life after death.

 

How is Cypress Oil Used?

As an essential oil, cypress is popular and regularly used in the practice of aromatherapy—the use of fragrant plant oils and materials that enhance well-being and healing. The consistency of cypress oil is such that it can be added to lotions and applied to the skin for treating a variety of health conditions and ailments. The fragrance of cypress oil is also beneficial as a deodorant.

The essential oil of cypress can also be added to water to cleanse the hair and scalp or infused within the bath to help soothe and relax sore muscles. Aromatherapy enthusiasts like cypress oil; it is quite popular as a scent when used in incense to help clean the air and remove negative elements. It is also used as an essential oil for therapeutic massage treatments to help relieve pain and soreness.

Cypress can be placed within a diffuser so that its scent is dispersed into the air for inhalation. Some individuals rely upon this method when treating respiratory ailments and illnesses such as coughing, congestion, and asthma. The essential oil can also be mixed within a pan of hot steaming water to ease breathing difficulties by opening the air passageways to the lungs.

Cypress oil is used in a variety of ways that seek to enhance a state of relaxation, serenity, and tranquility while promoting positive energy and a sense of overall balance and stability. It has strong astringent and antibacterial capabilities which make it ideal as a cleansing agent for the body. As an essential oil, cypress is recognized for its abilities to heal the physical body and comfort the soul.

 

Therapeutic Properties of Cypress Oil

The therapeutic properties of cypress as an essential oil include benefits for the body and senses as well as for the mind and spirit.

Benefits to the Body and Senses

Cypress oil is effective at treating a variety of physical ailments and common grooming problems. Properties and health benefits include:

  • Astringent

The strong astringent properties of cypress oil are excellent for controlling oily skin while helping to tighten and shrink the pores. Cypress oil is very refreshing and can also be used as a light cleansing agent to remove surface impurities of the skin.

  • Lethargy

You can use cypress oil when taking a warm bath to rejuvenate the body. Cypress oil helps to alleviate overall fatigue in the body while eliminating lethargy and adding a boost of energy.

  • Oily hair

Cypress oil is excellent for cleaning oily hair. It is gentle enough to remove the buildup of grease without stripping the hair and leaving it overly dry. This essential oil uses its astringent capabilities to effectively cleanse the scalp.

  • Deodorant

The essential oil of cypress provides all-natural protection from body odor with its light refreshing scent. The fragrance is similar to the scent given off by the tree and has a clean earthy aroma like a forest grove of trees. It may be best suited for use by men.

  • Antiseptic  

Cypress oil is known for its antibacterial properties in the prevention of infection in cuts and wounds. As an antiseptic, cypress oil is effective in helping to promote faster healing when appropriately applied in a diluted base solution.

  • Urinary tract infections

 As a preventative, cypress oil’s antiseptic properties act as a cleansing agent to minimize urinary tract infections. The use of this essential oil helps to keep the kidneys healthy.

  • Diuretic

Cypress oil is an effective diuretic for eliminating excess fluids. It works as a diuretic by promoting increased levels of urination and reducing the retention of fluids in the body.

  • Respiratory ailments

The strong, fresh scent of cypress oil is quite effective for providing relief from respiratory ailments such as congestion, cough, and asthma. Cypress oil helps to remove phlegm from the lungs and clear the passageways, making it easier to breathe.

  • Insect repellant

Cypress oil is a natural repellant that can help keep annoying insects such as mosquitoes and gnats at bay. It is much gentler and safer to use than traditional insect repellants that typically contain toxic chemicals.

Benefits to the Mind and Spirit

The scent of cypress oil is often used in aromatherapy to soothe the mind and comfort the soul. Properties and health benefits include:

  • Cypress oil harmonizes the spirit

This essential oil helps to attune one’s spirit by providing harmony on an emotional level. When used in conjunction with aromatherapy, the soothing scent of cypress oil provides a foundation to the soul.

  • Calms the nervous system

Cypress oil helps the nervous system with its calming properties. It helps to ground the individual and promote stability by removing negative elements that produce stagnation.

  • Reduces stress levels

The ability to lower levels of stress is a key property of this essential oil. Cypress oil provides a sense of tranquility and helps to eliminate the strain of anxiety by replacing it with a sense of serenity.

  • Balances the mind

Cypress oil is effective at stabilizing a busy mind and providing a sense of relaxation. It removes all traces of tension and replaces it with calmness and quiet. The mind is balanced and composed.

  • Infuses confidence

Courage and a strong sense of sureness and faith is restored when using cypress oil. This essential oil works by strengthening self-reliance and levels of self-esteem.

  • Eliminates tension

Cypress oil is very effective at removing heightened levels of tension and replacing it with a sense of relaxation. It decompresses by diminishing and loosening levels of discomfort with its therapeutic properties.

  • Soothes irritability

Agitation is reduced by the aromatherapy benefits provided by cypress oil. Irritation is replaced by a sense of quiet and calmness. Negativity is lifted and the energy is more positive and light.

  • Helps to diminish anger

Cypress oil is useful for eliminating anger and producing a sense of tranquility. The essential oil comforts the mind which in turn helps to alleviate the feeling of anger.

  • Promotes well-being

Overall happiness and contentment are enhanced when using cypress oil in conjunction with aromatherapy. This essential oil provides balance to the mind and spirit, which in turn helps solidify and strengthen the soul.

Potential Side Effects of Cypress Oil

Precautions should always be taken when using any type of product regardless of how it is infused into the body. The quality and purity of an essential oil is very important and should be taken into consideration when using it. The safety of essential oils aligns with factors including using appropriate dosage levels and correct methods for applying the product to the skin or inhaling it.

If you are pregnant or currently taking prescription medications, it would be advisable to check with your regular doctor before using essential oils to avoid possible reactions. There is always the possibility of adverse reactions in some cases, depending on individual circumstances. In rare instances, certain essential oils can irritate the skin and mucous membranes.

Ask questions if you are unsure about using essential oils to get more information by contacting a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Try to seek out a professional that has completed a recognized training program such as those that have been established by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA).     

When choosing an essential oil such as cypress, do your research and make sure that you purchase the product from a reputable source to ensure a high level of purity and quality in the product. Depending on where you buy cypress oil, some holistic health stores may also carry preparations such as lotions and sprays that already have the essential oil mixed in so that it is ready to use.

Depending on the uses for this oil, cypress oil blends well with bergamot, clary sage, lavender, lemon, wild orange, and sandalwood essential oils.

 

Sources

  1. Ehrlich, Steven, NMD. (2011). Aromatherapy – What is Aromatherapy? What are Essential Oils?
  2. Halcon, Linda, PhD. (2013). Are Essential Oils Safe? University of Minnesota – Center for Spirituality & Healing.
  3. Halcon, Linda, PhD. (2013). How Do I Choose and Use Essential Oils? University of Minnesota – Center for Spirituality & Healing.
  4. Halcon, Linda, PhD. (2013). How Do I Determine the Quality of Essential Oils? University of Minnesota – Center for Spirituality & Healing.
  5. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). (2016). Approved Standards for Professional Aromatherapy Education. 
  6. National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). (2016). Exploring Aromatherapy – Safety Information.
  7. U.S. National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. (2016). About Essential Oils.
  8. U.S. National Library of Medicine – PubMed Health. (2016). About Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.
  9. http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/cypress-oil.aspx
  10. http://www.quinessence.com/blog/cypress-essential-oil
  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cupressus_sempervirens
  12. http://www.theoi.com/Heros/Kyparissos.html
  13. http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/cypress-oil.html

 

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