Did you know that the Japanese have used the wood of a certain type of tree to build their bathtubs for centuries and that that very same tree produces one of the most important essential oils on earth? It’s true. The hinoki tree, also known as the Japanese cypress, is one of the most versatile trees known to man. The flowers, the twigs, the wood, practically every part of the tree has a scientific use but the most important use of all is providing us with hinoki essential oil. This oil is simply amazing. This oil has a unique lemon-like scent and a pinkish-brown color that makes people fall in love with it instantly. It may smell and look great but that obviously isn’t what makes hinoki essential oil so unique. It has countless health benefits including getting rid of bad odors, stimulating hair growth, soothing muscle cramps, promoting digestion, and so much more!
How is Hinoki Essential Oil Made
Hinoki essential oil is extracted by distilling certain parts of the hinoki tree, which is also known as Chamaecyparis obtuse. This tree is native to Japan and is considered one of the most cherished trees of all time to the Japanese. Why? For a number of reasons. First of all, this tree gives high-quality timber that is highly rot-resistant, which gave it a reputation as being an immortal tree. The Japanese considered the hinoki tree as one of the “Five Sacred Trees of Kiso” meaning it was one of the few trees allowed to be used in building palaces, temples, shrines, baths, and traditional noh theatres. Its aroma was known to energize anyone who smelled it and they’d instantly feel more relaxed and at peace.
It would uplift their mind and soothe their soul, taking away all the troubles, stress and tension of day to day life. Later on, people realized that that “aroma” hinoki trees were emanating was actually the hinoki essential oil! It was the one relaxing all the nerves and taking away all the stress. That’s why today, one of the most common uses for hinoki essential oil is stress-relief. But that’s not all it can do. Hinoki or Japanese cypress has quite a few uses in common with cypress, since they’re the same genus and have a lot of similar chemical compounds. Let’s jump right in see what hinoki essential oil can do.
Benefits of Hinoki Essential Oil
Wounds, cuts and skin injuries
Hinoki essential oil is a great way to help your skin stitch itself up faster. It helps promote a different healing processes in your skin that shorten the time required for a cut, wound or injury to heal itself. In addition to that, hinoki essential oil has a chemical compound called “camphene” that acts as a natural antibacterial.
There are bacteria all around you. Every breath you take, every move you make, bacteria are watching you (it was a great song, wasn’t it?). As soon as you suffer any form of injury, they try to invade your skin layers and reach your bloodstream. If that happens and your immune system isn’t strong enough to fight it, you can go into septic shock, which can be fatal. That’s why whenever you get a cut or scrape, doctors always tell you to disinfect it, right? Well there you go; hinoki essential oil is a natural disinfectant. It kills the bacteria that get into your wound and prevents them from ever reaching your blood. Even if the bacteria remain on the surface and don’t penetrate your skin, they can significantly delay its natural healing process.
Your body will be too busy fighting them to think about healing. That’s just another reason hinoki essential oil is so great at healing wounds and injuries.
Hinoki essential oil can help control blood flow, or more precisely, stop excessive bleeding, by promoting blood clotting at wounds and injuries. This is thanks to certain chemical compounds in hinoki essential oil that have astringent properties. Astringent basically means having the ability to cause contraction. For example, by contracting the blood vessels at an injured area, you help reduce or completely stop its bleeding.
These astringent properties are also useful when it comes to your gums. By contracting different muscles and vessels around your gums, hinoki essential oil can help make them stronger, firmer, and much less liable to bleeding. This also helps tighten their grip on your teeth, making it harder for your teeth to fall out. The same concept that applies to gums can be applied to hair. By contracting your follicles, hinoki essential oil can make your hair much suppler and prevent it from falling out.
Hinoki essential oil is an excellent antispasmodic agent. That basically means it stops or prevents spasm. What kind of spasm? Anywhere you can think of. For example, muscle spasm. Hinoki essential oil is a great option for treating muscle cramps and other annoying symptoms that accompany conditions like restless leg syndrome. It’s a common neurological condition which involves a throbbing or pulling sensation in your leg along with painful cramps. Restless leg syndrome can deprive you of a good night’s sleep and leave you fatigued all day long, unable to concentrate on anything or get anything done. Antispasmodics like hinoki essential oil can help relieve the tension and relax your legs so you can get back to your productivity.
Another condition that can benefit from hinoki essential oil is carpel tunnel syndrome. It’s a condition that involves painful inflammation of the “tunnel” that contains the nerves that go through your forearm and down into your palm. That’s basically the wrist area. Sometimes it gets swollen and the surrounding muscles begin to contract painfully. Hinoki essential oil can help reduce the inflammation as well as fluid retention and other factors that can worsen the condition.
Your respiratory tract is another area where spasms commonly occur. For example, with asthma, your bronchi start to spasm, or contract, which leads to tighter airways and less oxygen. By inhaling hinoki essential oil, your bronchi start to relax and get wider which allows you to finally catch your breath.
Good for your liver
Hinoki essential oil is one of few oils that can benefit the liver. It helps regulate bile formation and secretion which is an essential part of any healthy liver. In addition to that, hinoki essential oil’s antimicrobial properties can help protect the liver from all kinds of pathogens and organisms that can cause hepatic infections.
Hinoki essential oil is a natural deodorant. It can help get rid of unpleasant odors thanks to its unique, spicy, lemon scent. Lots of soap manufacturers add hinoki essential oil to their products to give them an edge over competitor brands thanks to its unique aroma. It’s a great alternative for synthetics deodorants that can cause skin irritations and harm sensitive skin.
Hinoki essential oil can help your body with its natural detoxification processes through several mechanisms. For one, it helps strengthen your liver, which is the organ responsible for eliminating harmful toxins and converting them to less toxic substances. Hinoki essential oil also helps promote urination which is absolutely vital because it’s the body’s main method for getting rid of toxins and unwanted substances.
Pregnant Women and Hinoki Essential Oil
Hinoki essential oil is truly a wonder when it comes to the world of medicine. It has so many therapeutic uses that there’s practically no way you won’t find a use that suits your needs. One thing worth mentioning is that pregnant moms should first consult with their physician before using hinoki essential oil. It’s not that there’s something wrong with the oil, but during pregnancy, there are many contraindications and things not allowed that would normally be completely safe otherwise. So don’t take the risk, check with your physician first if you’re pregnant. Same goes for nursing mothers because a lot of different substances can often be passed on to babies through breastfeeding, so that’s another thing to look out for. Other than that, hinoki essential oil is completely safe and you’ll love having it around.
How to Use Hinoki Essential Oil
One great thing about it is how easy it is to use. You can massage it onto the areas that are bothering you such as sore muscles or you can simply rub it onto your temples to uplift your mood. Another method is inhalation. You can either inhale it directly or go for a more fancy option such as a diffuser. Add a bit of hinoki essential oil to your diffuser and turn it on for about 30 minutes, three times a day. You’ll notice its effects in no time. If you’re thinking about using other oils along with hinoki essential oil, don’t worry, it’s one of few essential oils that are compatible with others. It’s actually recommended that you blend some hinoki with some olive oil before applying them to your desired areas.
No matter how you use it, as long as you stay consistent, you’ll get the results you want in no time. So get your hands on a bottle of hinoki essential oil and see for yourself what the oil of one of the Five Sacred Trees of Japan can do for you.