What is hinoki essential oil?
First time hearing about hinoki essential oil? Let’s just say it’s not your average Joe. It’s derived from the hinoki cypress tree that grows only in Japan and has been considered a “sacred” tree through the ages. Historically, its wood has been used to construct palaces, temples, shrines, and public baths in Japan. But you might be surprised to discover that the tree is prized for its beauty and wellness benefits as well! Here are some ways hinoki essential oil can nurture the body, mind and soul.
Beauty and wellness benefits of hinoki essential oil
Hinoki’s distinctive clean and crisp scent, punctuated by notes of citrus and spice, makes it a signature ingredient in Japanese fragrances and personal care products. Not only does it smell fresh, but its antibacterial properties prevent body odor and bacteria from accumulating on the skin, which makes it a great natural deodorant. The exact aroma of hinoki essential oil depends on which part of the tree it is derived from. When extracted from the branches, it tends to carry a calm scent that is stabilizing and soothing. When extracted from the leaves, it is invigorating and refreshing. Although Hinoki is also found in other parts of Asia like Taiwan, Japanese Hinoki in particular has a mild fragrance that instantly evokes images of traditional Japanese style rooms, furniture, and buildings. Because of its gentle quality, it is a reassuring and agreeable choice for almost everyone in any circumstance.
Hinoki essential oil is said to promote stress relief and relaxation, and it’s a popular remedy for calming anxiety and insomnia. This sedative effect combined with the oil’s earthy scent can mimic the experience of visiting a luxury bathhouse in Japan, which is why hinoki is often infused in Japanese bath products. Other creative uses include mixing it with a carrier oil such as rice bran oil for a tension-reducing massage oil, as well as mixing a few drops of it into a spray bottle for a natural household cleaner.
Apart from its uplifting qualities, hinoki is said to be effective at reducing skin inflammation and even calming atopic dermatitis-type of lesions. Furthermore, its antiseptic properties are helpful in healing minor cuts, wounds, sores, and even acne.
Research has shown that hinoki oil has the ability to improve scalp health, promote hair growth and heal damaged cells in hair follicles, which is why you might find hinoki oil infused as a main ingredient in Japanese shampoos, conditioners, and hair products. If you have thinning or dry hair, you may want to try massaging a few drops of hinoki oil on your scalp as a DIY hair growth remedy. Hinoki oil can be strong, so remember to dilute it in a hair-appropriate carrier oil such as argan or rice bran oil before applying.
Hand in hand with aromatherapy is hinoki’s ability to induce physiological relaxation. The science is complex, but in a nutshell, it helps bring the nervous system into balance by increasing parasympathetic nervous activity and decreasing sympathetic nervous activity. This is why just inhaling it can reduce anxiety and generate a calm feeling..
Better ImmunityResearch indicates that hinoki essential oil may support a healthily functioning immune system. Exposure to it when diffused in the air may decrease harmful cells in the body like virus and tumor cells. It may help decrease levels of stress hormones in the body, reduce blood pressure and heart rate, and promote restful sleep.
Look for sustainably sourced hinoki
Hinoki’s popularity and versatility has made it an in-demand resource both in Japan and worldwide. Unfortunately, its loss in the wild has brought it to an endangered species status, and for this same reason hinoki-infused products have become an increasingly rare find. Always check the label on beauty and wellness products to make sure that the hinoki was sustainably sourced. Once you find the right one, get ready for some serious feel-good vibes.
Cold process bar soaps handmade by artisans in Hyogo, Japan. These handcrafted soaps are made of luxurious all natural ingredients. The Hinoki bar soap has a relaxing scent and it helps to soothe and moisturize the skin.