Botanical name Juniperus ashei Buchholz
Synonym Juniperus mexicana Spreng
Description / Color / Consistency A thin, golden yellow to orange or brown liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma middle note of strong aroma, this oil has a sweet, balsamic wood scent that is similar to Virginian Cedarwood, but softer.
Rosewood, Bergamot, Cypress, Cassia, Jasmine, Juniper, Neroli, Labdanum, frankincense, Clary Sage, Vetive, Rosemary, Ylang-Ylang.
The Texan Cedarwood is a small alpine evergreen that grows up to 7 m high. It has stiff green needles and an irregular shaped trunk. While the tree is native to southwestern USA, Mexico and Central America, the main essential oil production is in Texas. In New Mexico, the native peoples used Cedarwood Oil.
The seed requires a period of cold stratification. The seed has a hard seedcoat and can be very slow to germinate, requiring a cold period followed by a warm period and then another cold spell, each of 2 - 3 months duration. Soaking the seed for 3 - 6 seconds in boiling water may speed up the germination process. The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. Some might germinate in the following spring, though most will take another year. Another possibility is to harvest the seed 'green' (when the embryo has fully formed but before the seedcoat has hardened). The seedlings can be potted up into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on in pots until large enough, then plant out in early summer. When stored dry, the seed can remain viable for several years. Cuttings of mature wood, 5 - 10cm with a heel, September/October in a cold frame. Plant out in the following autumn. Layering in September/October. Takes 12 months.
Dilute before use; for external use only. May cause skin irritation in some individuals; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.
Quality May be adulterated with Chinese cedarwood oil.
Hazards None known.
Contraindications None known.
Adverse skin reactions Undiluted Texan cedarwood oil was not irritating to rabbit, pig or mouse skin; tested at 8% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. The oil is nonphototoxic (Opdyke 1976 p. 711–712). One case has been reported of an eczematous reaction to traces of cedarwood oil, probably a mixture of oils of Juniperus ashei and Juniperus virginiana.
Acute toxicity Texan cedarwood acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/ kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg. Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential No information found for Texan cedarwood oil, but it contains no known carcinogens.
Millions of acres of farmland have been invaded by this opportunistic species. Cedar trees and stumps discarded by local ranchers as by-products of their land clearing operations are used for oil extraction. The tree also grows in Mexico and South America.