These notes were originally prepared for two short CPD (Continuing Professional Development) "essential oils refresher" sessions which I led for Professional Aromatherapy Network in South Yorkshire. I would be glad to lead such sessions for other groups, e.g. local/regional IFPA or IFA branches.

For list of other essential oil profiles see USES.
To buy cypress oil visit the ONLINE SHOP.


Cupressus Sempervirens

Origin Mediterranean. Main producers Spain, France and Morocco.

Extraction Steam distillation of leaves, stems, and sometimes cones.

History Suki Isakson (1) says cypress was “associated with death through the Egyptian use of the wood to make the sarcophagi for mummies because it was almost immune to rot (Lavabre 1990, 1997). For the ancient Greeks and Romans this symbolic “everlastingness” was carried on through the use of the word “sempervirens,” which means “everliving.” Funereal use of “the Tree of Death” continued in southern Europe both for making coffins......and for making funeral garlands or for strewing sprigs and branches on funeral biers”. Cypress trees were often planted in graveyards. Used as a cleansing incense in Nepal and Tibet. Other cypress varieties were used in by Native Americans ceremonially and for various illnesses. 

Contra-indications Tisserand & Balacs (2) give no contraindications.

Chemistry alpha-pinene 40%-50%, delta-3-carene 15%-20%, cedrol 3%-7%, alpha-terpinyl acetate 2%-5%.

Blending Suggestions Base to middle note. Not a very strong odour. Black pepper, black spruce, caraway, cinnamon leaf, clary sage, clove bud, frankincense, grapefruit, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, mandarin, marjoram, patchouli, petitgrain, pine, ravensara, rose, tea-tree. Some like it with orange.

Major Properties Antirheumatic, antispasmodic (esp. for bronchi), astringent, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant?, hepatic, mucolytic, styptic, tonic (circulatory), vasoconstrictor.

Uses Stress-related conditions, nervous tension, anger, impatience, irritability.

Rheumatism, broken capillaries, cellulitis, haemorrhoids, oedema, muscular cramp?, poor circulation, varicose veins, gum bleeding (pyorrhoea). 

Amenorrhea, period pains/dysmenorrhea, PMT?, regulation of menstrual cycle. Patricia Davis says (3) it “reduces abnormally heavy loss, the early stages of the menopause.”

Asthma, bronchitis, coughs (esp. spasmodic or convulsive), whooping cough.

Acne, excessive perspiration, insect repellent, oily skin, over-hydrated skin.

Suki Isakson says (1) “cypress stops everything that flows in excess, e.g., running noses, diarrhea, heavy perspiration, and heavy menstrual flow” is “the healer for blood, sweat, and tears. Cypress is peerless for treating all conditions involving excess fluids. It refreshes, restores, and tones”.

1) Suki Isakson, AGORA Article, Cypress and its Essential Oil,

2) Robert Tisserand, & Tony Balacs, Essential Oil Safety, Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh, 1995.

3) Patricia Davis, Aromatherapy - An A-Z, C. W. Daniel, Saffron Walden, 2000 ( revised ed.)

Other sources for information, past and present; books, articles and other material by Martin Watt (safety); Julia Lawless, Jean Valnet, Patricia Davis/London School of Aromatherapy, Shirley Price, Robert Tisserand, Valerie Ann Worwood, Jan Kusmirek. 

Paul Boizot. Information revised 20.2.04. Page updated 28.10.14

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My address from 30.04.12 is 14 Holly Bank Grove, York YO24 4EA, U.K.

contact me on: 01904 621510
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