We know wood is great for many different uses. Heating homes, grilling, gardening, interior design… the list goes on and on! While typically we talk about the types of woods we harvest here at Woodchuck Delivery, we wanted to explore other woods and their benefits as well. One type of wood with an endless list of uses is Cedar.
Cedar, like many trees, has been around for a very long time. People have found many uses for its wood and oils over the years. Cedar is a softwood known for its aroma. It is very stable which means it is not prone to expansion or moisture cracking. This means it has a great resistance to warping, cracking and rotting making it a desirable building material. Its beloved aroma comes from the oil within the wood and has many health and beauty benefits. In fact, Cedar oil is said to be one of the first essential oils to be used.
As you may have noticed, essential oils have become very popular over the last few years. They have many medicinal benefits in addition to being all natural. Plus, people have fallen in love with the wonderful aromas they produce. Cedar oil is a part of this group. Since it has been around for so long, the list of uses seems endless. It has many healing properties like antiseptic, antifungal, painkilling and sedative. Below are just some of the ways Cedar essential oil can help your:Eczema, Arthritis, Insomnia, Minor wounds, Dry scalp, Pain relief, Congestion, Fungal infections, and Acne, to name a few. A lot of people just love the smell and use it as a deodorizer for their house or even adding a few drops to their deodorant. That same aroma is also a great insect repellant. You can’t beat the benefits of this natural wood oil. It pairs nicely with Benzoin, Cypress, Bergamot, Cinnamon, Juniper, Frankincense, Jasmine, Lime, Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose, Rosemary and Neroli. For those of you who are essential oil enthusiasts. In addition to the oil, you can use cedar leaves to make tinctures and salves to apply topically to fungal infections.. We know there are so many more ways you can use Cedar oil but what about the wood itself?
Cedar wood is perfect for many uses around the home and not just because it is beautiful. As we mentioned earlier, it is a softwood that has a resistance to warping, rotting and cracking over time. These qualities make it great for building furniture, especially outdoor furniture. After being built and treated, it can handle a lot of wear and tear, something that is inevitable with furniture. For these same reasons, cedar is great for backyard fences. An added bonus is the aroma repels insects preventing damage they can cause.
Another great quality cedar has is insulation. This makes it great for shingles or paneling use. We have also seen cedar shiplap in stores which is a popular wall feature these days.One of the most popular uses for cedar paneling is for closets. The aroma from the wood helps keep insects away, such as moths, that destroy clothing. Cedar paneling is also great for music rooms. It provides desirable acoustics as well as insulation, keeping the outside noise to a minimum for the best practices. Another reason builders and DIYers love using cedar shingles, beams, flooring and decking is because of its resistance to rot. This makes it a wonderful and reliable building material.
There are so many interesting uses for cedar. One of our favorites being for music. As we said earlier, cedar has desirable acoustics which makes it perfect for musical instruments! Violins, Cellos, Guitars, etc… these are all best when made out of cedar wood. You can find cedar reeds for those of you who prefer wind instruments over string. It’s amazing to see how many ways something as simple and natural as wood is a part of our everyday lives.
Burning and Cooking
Since cedar has so many amazing uses, can you burn cedar wood? You can, but you have to be very careful. Cedar wood can get to very hot temperatures which can ruin a wood burning stove. You also run the risks of sparks flying if you do not have a closed fireplace or are using a fire pit. If it is not seasoned properly, about nine months or so, you run the risk of a fire starting in your flue due to the sparks. This is due to that wonderful oil that the wood produces. You will want that to completely dry out before burning use. Also, keep in mind that cedar is a softwood so it is going to burn a lot faster than hardwoods like oak, pecan, mesquite and hickory. What about cooking with cedar?
While cedar has so many neat and useful qualities, cooking is not one of them. Because cedar is a softwood, it is full of sap and air which means it will burn quickly and add some undesirable flavors to your meal. While the oil is great to diffuse in your home, the oil being burned on your grill is not the same. It presents different risk factors, like cedar asthma. Leave the smell to the essential oil and not the grill.
Cedar wood has provided humans with all of its benefits for many years. We are blessed to have such versatile resources, such as this wood, readily available to us. We can keep our homes warm, relax in beautiful furniture, cure our ailments and even create music for others to enjoy, all with one type of wood. You can find cedar wood products in your local hardware store so you can get started on paneling your closet or a shiplap feature wall. You can find cedar wood oil from a variety of distributors both online and in stores.Let us know how cedar and cedarwood oil improve your home and your health.