Cypress essential oil has been used for thousands of years for both aromatherapy and health benefits. Here’s some information you’ll want to know about this multifaceted essential oil that hails from the Mediterranean, as well as recipes for reaping the benefits of cypress essential oil in your own home.
Origins and History of Cypress Essential Oil
Did you know that Biblical scholars believe that cypress wood was used to make the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified? The hardy, flexible Cupressus sempervirens tree, resistant to wind, drought, and precipitation, has been a common source of wood in the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Europe for millennia. The Ancient Egyptians built burial sarcophagi with cypress, while other Mediterranean cultures used it for ship and house building.
Additionally, the small branches and needles of this conifer, have long been made into fragrant essential oil by steam distillation. Cypress essential oil was used in ancient times to scent bath water and was enjoyed for its fresh, outdoorsy scent. In traditional Chinese medicine, cypress has been a key essential oil for a multitude of physical and mental health treatments.
Cypress trees now grow around the world in temperate climates. You may have seen their tall, slender spires flanking driveways on estates in Beverly Hills or Tuscany. A cypress tree can live to be 1,000 years old; in fact the Latin word sempervirens means “lives forever.”
Seven Uses for Cypress Essential Oil
Relief from Muscle Aches and Spasms
If you work out frequently or have a health condition that causes muscle cramps and aches (like restless leg syndrome), cypress essential oil should definitely be in your medicine cabinet. Cypress essential oil has natural antispasmodic properties, which can help you sleep better, eliminate muscle pain, and improve your circulation. Even common “charley horses” resulting from physical overexertion can be quelled by cypress essential oil, which helps the body eliminate lactic acid–the cause of such cramps–more quickly.
Some people also find relief from carpal tunnel syndrome with cypress essential oil. While carpal tunnel is caused by a nerve condition, cypress essential oil’s ability to help reduce swelling can decrease pressure on the nerves in the wrist and hands and thereby soothe related pain.
If you find yourself plagued by hiccups, a few drops of cypress essential oil applied to the collarbones can sometimes stop this spasming of the diaphragm muscle that sits beneath the lungs.
Nighttime incontinence or bedwetting can also be helped by cypress essential oil. Rub a few drops mixed in a carrier oil on the abdomen before sleep to avoid accidents due to spasms in the urinary system.
The astringent nature of cypress essential oil makes it fabulous for making your skin and hair look better. If you use cypress essential oil in your moisturizing or toning routine, your skin can appear tighter. It can even make your hair follicles more secure when applied to the scalp, preventing hair loss.
A tiny amount of cypress essential oil in a carrier oil can also be rubbed on the gums (without swallowing) to help maintain gingival health.
Cypress essential oil has a long history of being used to help blood clot (hemostasis) so wounds can heal. In addition to being used in wound dressings, cypress essential oil can be applied topically to ease excess menstrual bleeding and as an adjunct therapy for endometriosis and uterine fibroids.
Rubbing a few drops of cypress essential oil in a carrier oil on the inside of the forearms can quell nosebleeds. On a smaller scale, cypress essential oil is also a styptic, which means it can tighten tiny capillaries and reduce blood flow from nicks and scrapes–great for those pesky shaving accidents.
Varicose Vein Treatment
With its circulation boosting abilities, cypress essential oil is ideal for reducing the appearance of spider veins and the pain and swelling of varicose veins. As a natural diuretic, cypress essential oil also reduces fluid retention, which can improve the flow of blood in the lower limbs and prevent the backup of blood flow that contributes to varicosities. Improving circulation and ridding the body of excess fluid has the added benefits of cleansing the body of toxins faster and at the same time boosting the health of filter organs like the liver.
Improvement of Respiratory Conditions
Cypress essential oil is a natural expectorant, and can help rid the respiratory system of excess phlegm, which makes it perfect to use as an inhaled oil at the end of a cold. Chronic respiratory conditions, like asthma, can also be aided by cypress essential oil. While cypress essential oil should never replace a rescue inhaler for asthma or respiratory distress, its regular use can help prevent frequent bronchial spasms. Furthermore, as an essential oil with antimicrobial properties, cypress can help eliminate bacteria from the lungs and respiratory structures, reducing the risk of infection.
If you are bothered by stress, anxiety, or worry, cypress essential oil will make a good addition to your daily routine. Both topical and aromatherapy applications of cypress essential oil can calm your mind, help you through difficult times, and reduce insomnia related to anxiousness.
Personal and Environmental Deodorant
Its refreshing, outdoorsy aroma makes cypress essential oil a natural for both homemade underarm deodorants and room deodorizers. Cypress mixes well with many other fragrances (see below) and is a perfect base for unisex scents. If you want to bring the feeling of nature into your home and get rid of stale odors, cypress essential oil is one of the best oils you can add to your cleaning supplies.
8 Health and Wellness Recipes for Cypress Essential Oil
Diffuser Blends You Can Mix Yourself
If you want to use cypress essential oil in a diffuser, try mixing it with a variety of essential oils for different effects. Here are some top suggestions:
Uplifting Wintertime Blend
Springtime in Italy Blend
Soothing Nature’s Morning Blend
- 3 drops cypress EO
- 3 drops white fir EO
- 2 drops frankincense EO
- 1 drop clove EO
- 1 drop peppermint EO
Mental Focus Blend
Rough Day Comfort Blend
- 2 drops cypress EO
- 1 drop frankincense EO
- 1 drop myrrh EO
- 1 drop wild orange EO
- 1 drop helichrysum EO
Autumn Forest Blend
Guys Night Blend
Ready for Adventure Blend
Weight Loss Blend
Stuffy House Room Spray
- 8 ounces distilled water
- 2 ounces witch hazel
- 10 drops cypress EO
- 10 drops ylang ylang EO
- 10 drops bergamot EO
- 10 drops frankincense EO
- Combine all of the ingredients above in a 12-ounce glass spray bottle.
- Use on bedding, upholstery, and in the air to freshen the room and bring the outdoors inside.
- Hint: if you do not have witch hazel, you can substitute 2 teaspoons Epsom salts.
Relief for Swollen Feet and Ankles
- 6 drops cypress EO
- 6 drops lavender EO
- 6 drops lemongrass EO
- 6 drops grapefruit EO
- ¼ cup carrier oil of your choice (fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, etc.)
- Mix the above ingredients in a small glass bottle and roll between your palms to blend the oils.
- Pour about a nickel-size drop of the mixture in the palm of your hand, and apply to swollen feet and ankles (or have someone apply it for you).
- Massage with long strokes in the direction of your heart to encourage the return of blood flow from the lower limbs.
Cypress Essential Oil Treatment for Varicose and Spider Veins
- Mix all the ingredients above in a small dark glass bottle.
- Apply to the legs twice daily, massaging the oil mixture in well, moving in the direction of the heart to improve blood flow and reduce the appearance and discomfort of spider and varicose veins.
- Hint: multiply the recipe above as desired to make enough for daily use. Store away from heat and sunlight.
Essential Oil Blend for Skin Firming
- 5 drops cypress EO
- 5 drops geranium EO
- 8 drops patchouli EO
- 1 drop sandalwood EO
- ¼ cup carrier oil of choice
- Blend the ingredients above in a small glass bottle.
- Apply at night and massage well into sagging skin (perfect for postpartum moms).
- Hint: add two drops of cypress EO and 2 drops of tangerine EO to a tablespoon of your favorite facial moisturizer or coconut oil, and use on your face, especially under the eyes, for the same firming effect.
Allergy Relief Foot Rub
- Mix all four oils in a small glass bottle.
- Rub on the bottoms of the feet nightly before bed, or inhale as needed for allergy relief.
Refreshing Foaming Hand Soap
- 15 drops cypress EO (or blend with other essential oils)
- 1 teaspoon liquid oil (jojoba, olive, avocado, grapeseed, etc.)
- 2 tablespoons liquid castile soap
- Fill a foaming soap dispenser with a pump top to about 1 inch from the top with water.
- Add the essential oil, liquid oil, and castile soap.
- Place the lid on the dispenser, and shake lightly to mix the ingredients.
- Tip: adding a few glass beads to the bottle will help the soap mix better.
- Tip: make sure to include the oil, not just to keep your hands moisturized, but to keep the pump lubricated as well.
- Use in the kitchen or bathroom in place of commercial hand soap.
Gent’s Probiotic Deodorant
- 10 drops cypress EO
- 10 drops bergamot EO
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup beeswax (grated)
- ¼ cup shea butter
- ¼ cup baking soda
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 3 capsules probiotic
- In a double boiler, melt the beeswax and coconut oil together. Stir the mixture gently until both components are completely melted.
- Add remaining ingredients, stirring gently to incorporate.
- While still warm, pour the mixture into empty plastic deodorant containers (recycled from commercial preparations). Recipe will make 1 or 2 full-size deodorant sticks, depending on the size of the container.
- Allow the deodorant to harden, keeping the container upright while cooling.
- Use like regular commercial deodorant to prevent underarm odor and fight bacteria.
- Tip: if you have a sensitivity to baking soda on bare skin, you can replace the baking soda with arrowroot powder.
Tips for Using Cypress Essential Oil
Cypress essential oil is a versatile scent, when blending it with other essential oils. It goes particularly well with:
- clary sage
Like many wood-based essential oils, cypress essential oil is ideal for making unisex scent products because it is not too floral or feminine in nature. Cypress essential oil is also great for creating an outdoorsy feel indoors and for adding an evergreen scent to the home during the winter holidays.
Cypress essential oil should never be taken internally. Instead, it should be inhaled, used in the bath, enjoyed in a diffuser, or applied topically in a carrier oil.
To make sure you don’t have any skin sensitivities to cypress essential oil, always use a small amount in a patch test first, after diluting it with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba oil. If you have no reaction, you can use it on a larger scale without worry.
Avoid using cypress essential oil during pregnancy and nursing. Cypress essential oil should not be used on very small children.
If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comment section below.
Table of Contents
- Origins and History of Cypress Essential Oil
- Seven Uses for Cypress Essential Oil
- 8 Health and Wellness Recipes for Cypress Essential Oil
- Diffuser Blends You Can Mix Yourself
- Stuffy House Room Spray
- Relief for Swollen Feet and Ankles
- Cypress Essential Oil Treatment for Varicose and Spider Veins
- Essential Oil Blend for Skin Firming
- Allergy Relief Foot Rub
- Refreshing Foaming Hand Soap
- Gent’s Probiotic Deodorant
- Tips for Using Cypress Essential Oil