Herb of the Day: Cypress

( Cupresses sempervirens )

Cypress is native to southern Europe, although it is now cultivated throughout Europe and North America. Also known as the Mediterranean or Italian cedar, the tall conical evergreen bears small flowers and round brownish gray cones. Cypress oil can range in color from colorless to pale yellow and has a rich woody balsamic scent.

Ancient civilizations used Cypress, which is a tall evergreen tree as a incense for religious ceremonies and medicinal purposes. The oil which is distilled from the twigs and needles has a pleasant, smoky, wood aroma, and a number of therapeutic uses. When used in the skin it must be diluted. Avoid using Cypress if you have high blood pressure or if pregnant.
Cypress has a long history as a medicinal agent. It is was used by the ancient Chinese, Greeks, and Egyptians, the oil was considered especially helpful to treat bleeding problems. The Egyptians used the wood to build sarcophagi for their mummies, the Greeks dedicated the tree to the god of the underworld. Cypress trees today are often found in cemeteries. Aromatherapists use Cypress oil to help stanch blood loss, to support the vascular and urinary systems, and to counter the excessive loss of fluids that accompanies diarrhea, menstruation, and heavy perspiration. The oil can be applied externally to reduce swelling of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and other types of painful swelling.
Aids with: insomnia, varicose veins, coughs, bronchitis, asthma, menstrual pain, menopause problems, rheumatism, arthritis, diarrhea, excessive sweating.


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