Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil is derived from the Italian Cypress tree, or Cupressus sempervirens. A member of the evergreen family, the tree is native to Northern Africa, Western Asia, and Southeastern Europe.3
Essential oils have been used for centuries, with the earliest mention of cypress oil documented in 2600 B.C. Mesopotamia, as a natural cough suppressant and anti-inflammatory.1
Cypress essential oil is slightly yellow in color, and is extracted from the leaves of the tree using steam or hydrodistillation.5,6 With its bold, woody scent, cypress essential oil is a popular ingredient for deodorants, shampoos, and soaps.3 With natural antimicrobial and astringent qualities, it has also been reported to have several therapeutic benefits such as a respiratory aid and muscle pain reliever.2,5,6
Cypress Essential Oil Uses
Cypress oil has been used for thousands of years, and continues to be a popular ingredient in many modern products. Read below to learn how to incorporate the woody, floral scent of cypress essential oil into your routine.
Homemade Soap and Shampoo
Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, cypress essential oil can be used as a natural alternative to shampoos and soaps.2 To make your own shampoo or hand soap at home, add ¼ cup of coconut milk, 2 Tbsp. of sweet almond oil, ½ cup castile liquid soap, and 10-15 drops of cypress essential oil into a mixing bowl. Blend the ingredients together, and pour into a sealable bottle or jar. For a more complex scent, add a few drops of tea tree, or lavender essential oil
The woodsy aroma of cypress essential oil has been reported to help relieve coughs and congestion caused by the common cold.4,5 Pour 4 oz. of water into a diffuser and add 5-10 drops of cypress essential oil.
Alternatively, you can apply 1-6 drops of undiluted cypress essential oil to a clean cloth and inhale as needed, up to 3-times per day.5
Begin filling your tub with bathwater, and once there is a layer of water covering the bottom of your tub, add 6 drops of cypress essential oil into the water just below the faucet. As the tub continues to fill, the oil will disperse into the water. Climb in, relax, and breathe in the refreshing scent.
For headaches, swelling or aching joints, fill a bowl with cold water. Add 6 drops of cypress essential oil. Take a clean, cotton facecloth and soak the material in the mixture. Apply to sore areas for up to 4 hours. For sore muscles, use hot water instead of cold. Do not apply the mixture to open sores or abrasions.
Natural Household Cleaner
Put the antibacterial and antifungal properties of cypress essential oil to work as a natural household cleaner. For washing kitchen counters and other hard surfaces, mix 1 cup water, 2 Tbsp. of castile liquid soap, and 20 drops of cypress essential oil into a spray bottle. Shake well, and spray on surfaces before wiping clean.
Be sure to keep the bottle in a cool dark place, and out of the reach of children.
Due to its astringent and antimicrobial properties, cypress essential oil also works well as a natural deodorant. To make your own, mix 1/3 cup of warmed coconut oil, 1 ½ Tbsp. of baking soda, 1/3 cup of cornstarch and 4 – 5 drops of cypress essential oil in to a mixing bowl. Stir well, and pour the finished product into a recycled deodorant casing, or a sealable jar to cool and harden. Store in the refrigerator to retain the shape, and use up to 3 times daily.
Benefits of Cypress Essential Oil
In ancient times, cypress essential oil was used to fight cold symptoms; today, research has concluded there is scientific data to support this traditional herbal remedy. Here are the latest scientifically researched benefits of cypress essential oil.
A study published in the journal Ancient Science of Life noted that cypress essential oil has significant antibacterial properties.2 During the study, oil was extracted from the leaves of the cypress tree using hydro distillation, and then screened against several fungi and bacteria, including E. Coli. Researchers found that even at low concentrations of 200 mcg/ml, the oil worked to halt growth of bacteria on test surfaces.
A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research found that cypress essential oil also demonstrated significant antifungal properties. Researchers diluted the oil and tested it against 10 different cultivated types of fungi, including F. culmorum, which causes root rot in some grass species. The results were positive, indicating a halt or slowing of growth in all fungi.3
In a 2013 study, cypress essential oil was collected from leaves, twigs, and cones to test the reaction of the oil against common garden weeds. Researchers diluted the essential oil with water and tween, a detergent which helps decrease the chances of DNA absorption.
The mixture was then applied to mustard, annual rye grass, field clover, and canary grass, causing a complete halt in growth of the four plants.3 While further testing is necessary, cypress essential oil may be a potential safe alternative to chemical herbicides.
Cypress essential oil has been used as a respiratory aid for thousands of years.1 In a 2013 study on the antimicrobial properties of cypress essential oil, researchers stated that the oil extracted from the leaves and cones of the plant were commonly used to fight cold symptoms, as well as bronchitis.7
Side Effects of Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil is generally safe for inhalation and diluted topical use. To avoid skin irritation, never directly apply essential oils to the skin.5 It is not recommended to ingest cypress essential oil unless you are under direct supervision of a health care provider.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use cypress essential oil without the consent of a doctor. It is suggested that essential oils are kept out of the reach of children.
Where to Buy Cypress Essential Oil
Previously, high quality essential oils could only be bought at specialty health stores, or through expensive multi-level marketing companies. Now, due to advancements in technology, extremely high grade essential oils can be purchased over the internet at very reasonable prices.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Dias D. A., Urban S. & Roessner U. (2012). A historical overview of natural products in drug discovery. Metabolites. 2(2), 303-336. doi:10.3390/metabo2020303
- Manivannan R., Kuma M. S., Jawahar N., Ganesh E. S. & Jubie S. (2005). A comparative antimicrobial study on the essential oil of the leaves of various species of Cupresses. Ancient Science of Life. 24(3), 131-133. Retrieved February 8, 2017 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330931/pdf/ASL-24-131.pdf.
- Amri I., Hamrouni L., 2, Hanana M., Gargouri S. & Jamoussi B. (2013) Chemical composition, bio-herbicidal and antifungal activities of essential oils isolated from Tunisian common cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 7(16), 1070-1080. DOI: 10.5897/JMPR12.1088
- Gowthamarajan, K, Kulkarni, GT & Subburaju, T. (2005, August). Aroma oils as cosmeceuticals. Natural Product Radiance. 4(4), 335-338. Retrieved February 8, 2017 from http://nopr.niscair.res.in/handle/123456789/8120
- Health Canada. (2015, December). Aromatherapy – essential oils. Drugs and Health Products. Retrieved February 9, 2017 from http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/atReq.do?atid=aromatherap&lang=eng#use8
- Damian P. & Damian K. (1995) Aromatherapy scent and psyche; Using essential oils for psychological and physical wellbeing. (187). Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=GHt6AlrwNdIC&oi=fnd&pg=PP13&dq=aromatherapy,+cypress+oil&ots=KfDT9xKyVq&sig=t1-JQUWxVR9qlljDvF_CV1Uqyww#v=onepage&q=cypress&f=false – View reference
- Samy S. A., Mohammed A. E., Sherif H.M. & Abdulrhman A. R. (2014) Chemical composition, antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of the essential oil and methanol extract of the Mediterranean cypress (Cupressus sempervirens L.) The official journal of the International Society for Complementary Medicine Research. 14, 179. DOI: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-179