Botanical Name: Cupressus sempervirens
Part Used: Needles
Process: Steam Distillation
Plant Description: Native to the eastern Mediterranean, including in northeast Libya, southeast Greece, southern Turkey, Cyprus, northern Egypt, western Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Malta, Italy, western Jordan, and Iran. Grows wild in the Mediterranean area, far southeastern Europe, and North America; it is cultivated in France, Spain and Morocco. Cupressus sempervirens is a medium-tall evergreen conifer tree that grows to a height of 115 feet, with a conical shape (the cultivar C. sempervirens var. stricta has an extremely narrow conical shape), lateral branches and drooping branchlets. Foliage grows in dense, dark green sprays with scale-like leaves 2-5 mm long on rounded shoots. Male cones release their pollen in late winter; female (seed) cones mature from green to brown in 20-24 months after pollination. Cypress trees are extremely long-lived and can be 1,000 years old or more. The leaves are distilled for their essential oil when freshly harvested.
Oil Description: Almost colorless to pale yellow or pale olive-green mobile liquid with a dry, sweet-balsamic, refreshing aroma, reminiscent of juniper berry or pine needle oil, with a unique dryout of delicate tenacity and sweetness, and mild ambergris-like notes.
Historical/Traditional Uses: Cypress was used as incense and for various medicinal purposes in ancient Egypt. Ancient Assyrians used the leaves to cure hemorrhoids, and the 2nd century CE Greek physician Galen recommended Cypress leaves for internal bleeding and diarrhea. In the Latin name for Cypress, sempervirens means ever-living and may be an insight as to the reason why these trees were and still are an inextricable feature of burial sites and cemeteries, the perpetual greenness of the trees perhaps conveying a comforting symbol of life beyond death.
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Cypress essential oil is indicated for oily skin and hair, dandruff, excessive perspiration, varicose veins*, bleeding gums, cellulitis, weak connective tissue, poor circulation, muscle cramps, spasmodic coughs, excessive menstrual bleeding, lack of concentration, and nervousness. The psychological influence of Cypress supports and strengthens the psyche; its subtle action helps one to cope with and accept change as it eases and heals emotional trauma and pain. In perfumery, Cypress is considered a middle to base note that blends well with ambrette seed, benzoin (Siam), bergamot, cardamom, cedarwood, cistus, clary sage, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, labdanum, lavender, lemon, lime, liquidambar (styrax), mandarin, marjoram, orange, pine, rosemary ct cineole, and sandalwood.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Cypress essential oil is non toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating. Cypress has a regulating effect on the menstrual cycle, so best to avoid its use during pregnancy.
*Varicose veins: never apply an essential oil blend directly on varicose veins, but apply locally, well diluted in carrier oil (1-2 % concentration) and with a very gentle, light touch in an upward direction.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.