Juniperus oxycedrus (prickly juniper, prickly cedar, cade cuniper and cade (from the French genévrier cade), sharp cedar) is a species of juniper, native across the Mediterranean region from Morocco and Portugal, north to southern France, east to westernmost Iran, and south to Lebanon and Israel, growing on a variety of rocky sites from sea level up to 1600 m altitude. The specific epithetoxycedrus means “sharp cedar” and this species may have been the original cedar or cedrus of the ancient Greeks.
The Juniperus oxycedrus tree is very variable in shape, forming a spreading shrub 2–3 m tall to a small erect tree 10–15 m tall. It has needle-like leaves in whorls of three; the leaves are green, 5–20 mm long and 1–2 mm broad, with a double white stomatal band (split by a green midrib) on the inner surface. It is usually dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The seed cones are berry-like, green ripening in 18 months to orange-red with a variable pink waxy coating; they are spherical, 7–12 mm diameter, and have three or six fused scales in 1-2 whorls, three of the scales with a single seed. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat the cones, digesting the fleshy scales and passing the hard seeds in their droppings. The pollen cones are yellow, 2–3 mm long, and fall soon after shedding their pollen in late winter or early spring.
As to be expected from the wide range, Juniperus oxycedrus is very variable. One recent study splits it into three species, though other authorities do not accept this:
- Juniperus oxycedrus L. – Western prickly juniper. Southwest Europe, in eastern Portugal and Spain east to southern France, northwest Italy, Corsica, and Sardinia, and northwest Africa from Morocco east to Tunisia. Leaves long (10–20 mm), narrow-based; cones smooth.
- Juniperus navicularis Gand. (syn. J. oxycedrus subsp. transtagana) – Portuguese prickly juniper. Coastal southwest Portugal. Leaves short (5–12 mm); cones smooth.
- Juniperus deltoides R.P.Adams – Eastern prickly juniper. Central Italy east to Iran and Israel. Leaves long (10–20 mm), broad-based; cones with raised scale edges.
What is Cade Essential Oil?
Cade oil is the essential oil obtained through destructive distillation of the wood of this shrub. It is a dark, aromatic oil with a strong smoky smell which is used in some cosmetics and (traditional) skin treatment drugs, as well as incense.
Cade essential oil was introduced into French medicine in the middle of the nine-teenth century to treat skin irritation. It was listed as having antiseptic, vulnerary and anti-parasitic properties, and was used in the treatment of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, scalp infections with hair loss, herpes, all skin eruptions and chronic rhinitis.
Pharmaceuticals use Cade oil in many of their skin preparations. Essential oils are made from the berries, needles, and the heartwood. Cade is used widely in perfume industry, especially in men’s fragrances and the food industry giving foods a smoky flavor. Veterinary practitioners use the oil for parasitic skin problems. Creosol is a constituent in cade. In Greek, the word cresote means “flesh-saving” which refers to the powerful antiseptic action it has on the skin. This oil is often adulterated to change the color to blackish brown instead of dark red brown. Color changes can only be seen in a clear glass bottle up to the light. Since the oil is sold in amber glass bottles, it is very difficult to tell the color. A skin test does not work.
Chemistry of Cade Essential Oil
Cade oil is said to contain A-pinene (leaf), dihydrocloride, manoyl oxide, myrcene, limonene, germacrene D, calamenene, geranyl acetone, phellandrene, carene, cadinene, creosol, cadinol, p-creosol, terpenes, guaiacol, eudesma, cymene, muure, occidentalol and kaurene.
Therapeutic Properties of Cade Essential Oil
The major healing properties of this oil are antiseptic, analgesic, antimicrobial, antipruritic, disinfectant, anti-parasitic, vermifuge and vulnerary.
Uses and Benefits of Cade Essential Oil
Cade essential oil has numerous benefits to the skin and hair for which it has been used since the ancient period for treating health problems including dermatological cancers, eczema, psoriasis, skin eruptions, parasitic and fungal infections on the skin, chronic rhinitis and other skin infections. Cade oil is also a proven remedy for treating alopecia or excessive hair loss, dandruff and other scalp problems. It is for these reasons, Cade oil is used as an effective formula in making ointments for treating wounds, psoriasis, eczema, and the treatment of fungal, viral and bacterial conditions of the scalp. Numerous studies have proved the potential effects of Cade oil and its use in medicinal manufacturing of skin creams, ointments, and anti- dandruff shampoos as well. Cade essential oil is used as an ingredient in liniments and ointments for chronic skin diseases and problems of the scalp. Mixing 4 drops of Cade oil blended with 4 drops of Rosemary oil, 4 drops of Thyme oil, 4 drops of Cedarwood oil with 20 ml coconut oil can be used as an effective massage blend for the body for treating all kinds of skin problems, allergies, microbial infections and hair problems as well. This massaging helps in fighting against dead skin cells, promoting quicker healing of wounds, and its disinfectant properties fights against microbes that worsen skin infections. 2 drops of Cade oil added to bathing water or to 10 ml of mild shampoo can act as a potent remedy for treating psoriasis, eczema, ringworm, seborrhea, wounds, herpes, dandruff, lice, loss of hair and other scalp problems as it works by nourishing the skin and scalp, promoting the growth of hair by enriching the hair follicles and support the growth of healthy hair by combating the growth of infectious microbes.
The essential oil of Cade is a well-known anti-microbial oil and the antimicrobial activity of Juniperus oxycedrus oil was studied through aqueous and methanol extracts of its leaves in the Pelitli Village of Gebze, Kocaeli, in the Marmara region of Turkey, where Cade was extensively used by the people of the same terrain for the treatment of numerous diseases. The effects of the extracts from the tree were employed in its research in the field of medicine. Cade essential oil is dark, aromatic and smells like smoke. This oil is also used as mixtures in cosmetics and creams employed in medicinal applications for skin problems. A 2003 study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity of aqueous and methanol extracts of Juniperus oxycedrus L,’ was conducted on the laboratory strains belonging to 56 bacterial species, and 31 isolates of 5 fungi species. This study proves that the methanol extract of Cade oil proved promising in the inhibitory effects on the growth of 57 strains of 24 bacterial species in the genera of Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Brevundimonas, Brucella, Acinetobacter, Enterobacter, Escherichia, Micrococcus and Xanthomonas. Another Egyptian study on the ‘Antimicrobial activity/Cytotoxic activity of essential oils of leaves and berries of Cade oil’, witnessed that Cade oil showed major activity against most of the tested strains including gram positive bacteria like Enterobacter cloacae and Staphylococcus aureus, and gram negative bacteria like Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Pseudomonas syringae etc. The best way to use Cade oil for fighting against bacteria, fungi, virus and other microbial infections is to add 3 to 4 drops of Cade oil along with 2 drops of Lavender oil in bathing water to fight against existing microbial infections and to guard you against the effects of harmful microbes throughout the day. You can also add 2 drops of this oil to 1 ml of olive oil and apply it gently on the affected area.
With its antifungal effects, Cade oil fights against the growth of fungus and checks various fungal infections like ringworm, athlete’s foot, dandruff etc. This property is attributed to its presence of chemical constituents tested by GC-MS and its 42 compounds that represent 96.73% of total oil, α-pinene (39.63%), manoyl oxide (12.34), Z-caryophyllene (4.1%) and extensively high amounts of monoterpenes hydrocarbons and sesquiterpenes. The existence of these strong properties makes the oil prove best in its antifungal activities. A 2013 study on the ‘Chemical composition and antifungal activity of essential oil isolated from Juniperus oxycedrus’ states “the antifungal testing by in vitro contact assay showed that the oil significantly inhibits the growth of nine plant pathogenic fungi.” Applying 2 drops of Cade oil mixed with 1 ml of sweet almond oil on the infected parts can help in reducing the severity of the infection and prevent the infestation of new microbes as well.
Cade is an amazing Ayurvedic remedy that has been used in incense and utilized especially during prayers, meditation and Pranayama or the art of balanced breathing. The most inspiring reason is the enormous spiritual benefits of Cade oil. Adding 2 drops of this oil in your diffuser, room freshener, vaporizer or aromatic candles during prayers and meditation can be of great assistance in helping you forget the pain of being abused, quit addiction, fear of being neglected, alleviate negative emotions and re-align the spiritual and emotional elements of the system. Regular meditation, simple physical exercises, prayers and Pranayama assisted with Cade oil can aid in augmenting your spiritual quotient and elevate your bonding with the divine.
Cade essential oil was also used in veterinary practice, externally on horses and other animals, to treat ulcers, scabies, worms and parasites. In falconry, Cade essential oil can be used to strengthen nails and beaks of birds and horse’s hooves after shoeing them.
Other uses and benefits
Cade essential oil have also been in use since the ancient times in the treatment of pain, joint aches, leprosy, toothaches, snake bites, lice, dandruff, cancer, peptic ulcer, pneumonia, high blood pressure, skin irritation, bronchitis, diarrhea, itching and few other infections.
Precautions for Cade Essential Oil
Cade oil is often adulterated with birch, pine, tar and petrol. Users of this oil should be careful about the source from where it is procured. It should be used in minimum quantities to avoid damage to the skin. It is better if you can consult a registered aroma therapy practitioner. Treatments with cade essential oil should not continue for long to prevent damage by accumulation. This plant contains principles that may be responsible for the development of cancerous tumors. Treatments over four weeks should be monitored by your doctor.
Cade Essential Oil Blends Well With…
Cade essential oil blends very well with Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove Bud & Leaf, Fir Needle, Geranium, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lemon Myrtle, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Orange, Palmarosa, Rose, Rose Geranium. Rosewood, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Tangerine and Thyme.
Sample Recipes of Cade Essential Oil Blend
60 drops Cade
55 drops Lemongrass
35 drops Rose Geranium
30 drops Lemon
20 drops Sandalwood
Mix together and keep in a bottle.
55 drops Cade
50 drops Rosewood
40 drops Cedarwood
35 drops Grapefruit
20 drops Lime
Mix together and keep in a bottle.
Sources (click for direct links):
Health and Happiness
Aroma Essential Oils Store
Hwaa Irfan’s Blog