Botanical name Red cedar, Eastern red cedar
Synonym Juniperus virginiana L.
Family Cupressaceae (Coniferae)
Description / Color / Consistency A thin, golden yellow to orange or brown liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma A middle note of strong aroma, this oil has a sweet and woody scent, and sometimes reminiscent of sandalwood. It is softer than that of Cedarwood Atlas, but stronger than that of Cedarwood Texas.
Blends With Rosewood, Bergamot, Cypress, Cassia, Jasmine, Juniper, Neroli, Labdanum, frankincense, Clary Sage, Vetive, Rosemary, Ylang-Ylang.
The Virginia Cedarwood is a slow-growing, coniferous evergreen, reaching heights of 33 metres. It has a reddish heartwood and bears brown cones. Also known as Red Cedar, it is from the family Cupressacea. Originally used by native North Americans, Cedar is an important ornamental and timber tree of eastern North America whose fragrant wood is made into cabinets, fence posts, and pencils.
Juniperus virginiana is a dense slow-growing coniferous evergreen tree that may never become more than a bush on poor soil, but is ordinarily from 5–20 m or 16–66 ft tall, with a short trunk 30–100 cm or 12–39 inches in diameter (rarely to 27 m or 89 ft in height, and 170 cm or 67 inches in diameter. The oldest tree reported, from West Virginia, was 940 years old. The bark is reddish-brown, fibrous, and peels off in narrow strips. The leaves are of two types
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.
Hazards None known.
Contraindications None known.
Adverse skin reactions Undiluted Virginian cedarwood oil was moderately irritating to rabbits but was not irritating to mice; tested at 8% on 25 volunteers it was neither irritating nor sensitizing. It is non-phototoxic. In an in vitro assay, cedarwood oil was nonphototoxic. Cedarwood oil tested at 10%, induced allergic responses in 10 of 1,606 consecutive dermatitis patients. There were no irritant or allergic reactions in a group of 100 consecutive dermatitis patients tested with 5% cedarwood oil. Five out of 747 dermatitis patients suspected of fragrance allergy reacted to 10% cedarwood oil. In a multicenter study, Germany’s IVDK reported that 48 of 6,223 dermatitis patients suspected of fragrance allergy tested positive to 10% Virginian cedarwood oil. 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 Virginian cedarwood oil acute oral LD50 in rats >5 g/kg; acute dermal LD50 in rabbits >5 g/kg
Carcinogenic/anticarcinogenic potential No information found for Virginian oil, but it contains no known carcinogens.
The tree grows in many parts of the eastern and central United States.