Cade Essential Oil Rectified (Juniperus oxycedrus)

Cade Essential Oil Rectified
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Botanical name Juniper tar

Synonym Juniper tar

Family Cupressaceae (Coniferae)

Source  Wood

Origin  Spain

Description / Color / Consistency   Dark orange liquid of medium consistency.

Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma A base note of medium aroma, Cade has an intense, smoky, tar-like, phenolic odor.

Blends With Cedar wood, Clove bud, Labdanum, Origanum, Rosemary and Thyme

Product Abstract

Cade, also known by several other common names including Juniper Tar and Prickly Juniper, is a variety of juniper that is native to regions of the Mediterranean.

Rectified Cade Oil is generally obtained by steam distillation of the crude extraction of cade oil through destructive distillation. According to Tisserand and Young, crude (unrectified) Cade Oil is potentially carcinogenic due to the presence of benzo[a]pyrene and should not be used internally or externally. They precaution that only rectified Cade Oil should be used.

Unless you have an appropriate background in aromatherapy to understand the risks of working with the crude oil, I don't recommend procuring or working with it. Crude, unrectified Cade Oil is generally darker, thicker and smokier than is rectified Cade Oil.


Cade has been used for snakebites, leprosy, soothe toothaches, kill lice and their eggs, and heal skin conditions. It was introduced into French medicine in the middle of the 19th century to treat skin irritation.

Harvesting/Extraction Information

Cade is a species of juniper grown in rocky areas across the Mediterranean.

Common Usage

  • Dermatological
  • Antimicrobialz
  • Antifungal
  • Spiritual
  • Improve digestion
  • Good for the heart


First, pregnant women should never consume cade in whole or essential oil form as it may potentially cause damage to the unborn child or force uterine contractions. cade is also not recommended for those with poor kidney function.

Key constituents

d-Cadinene 24.2%

Torreyol (þ 3 other alcohols)  9.3%

Epicubenol  8.7%

Zonarene  8.1%

b-Caryophyllene  6.1%

(E)-Calamenene  5.1%

a-Caryophyllene 4.3%

14-Hydroxy-a-caryophyllene  2.8%

Gleenol  0.4%

a-Calacorene  2.3%

a-Muurolene  2.3%

Cadalene  1.3%

a-Selinene  1.2%

14-Oxo-a-caryophyllene  1.1%

14-Hydroxy-d-cadinene  1.0%

Safety summary

Hazards Toxicity.

Contraindications  Should not be taken in oral doses.

Regulatory guidelines

The IFRA Code of Practice requires that crude cade oil should not be used as fragrance ingredient. Only rectified cade oils may be used. Whether used alone or in conjunction with birch tar oil, the final product may not contain more than 1 ppb of PAHs. PAHs may include benzo[a]pyrene and 1,2- benzanthracene.

Organ-specific effects

Adverse skin reactions Undiluted rectified cade oil was not irritating to rabbit or mouse skin; tested at 2% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic. A 3% concentration of rectified cade oil produced two mild irritation reactions in 25 volunteers.

Systemic effects

Acute toxicity (human)  See Cade oil (unrectified) below.

Acute toxicity (animal)  Rectified cade oil acute oral LD50 in rats reported as 8.0 g/kg and >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg.

Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential  No information found. Benzo[a]pyrene, a polynuclear hydrocarbon, is a wellknown carcinogen. It is present in rectified cade oil at up to 20 ppb, less than the concentration found in some foodstuffs.


Cade is the name of the oil, but the plant it comes from is known as prickly juniper. Cade oil is generally prepared by dry distillation, without water or steam. This causes the wood to burn, which in turn leads to the formation of the PAHs found in the commercial oil. As the essential oil in the wood distils over, it is followed by a tar-like material which dissolves in the essential oil. Commercial cade oil is a mixture of both. Burning organic material, such as wood or leaves generally produces carcinogenic PAHs. Benzo[a]pyrene is one of the carcinogenic compounds found in cigarette smoke. Since unrectified cade oil is potentially carcinogenic and the rectified oil is not, it is clearly important to distinguish between the two, as with birch tar oil.

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