Hinoki oil March 28, 2018

Healing with Hinoki 
The Miracle Scents

by-Michael Zviely, PhD CIC, Israel

In Japan the Hinoki is not just a tree. Revered for its timber, decorative foliage, therapeutic benefits of the essential oil, and as a spiritual symbol, Hinoki is an institution.

In Japan the Hinoki is not just a tree. Revered for its timber, decorative foliage, therapeutic benefits of the essential oil, and as a spiritual symbol, Hinoki is an institution.

A Japanese cypress, Hinoki, means “white cedar.” A different connotation is “ fire tree” as it is still utilised to make re through friction in traditional Shinto shrines. The term ‘cypress’ comes from Greek “sempervivens” meaning “live forever.”

A tall, slow-growing tree in central Japan, the Hinoki can grow as tall as 35 metres with a trunk up to 1 metre in diameter. the trunk has pointed tips right up to its bright green leaves, small cones and yields valuable timber. It is widely spread in most of the forests in the country, popularly referred to as the ‘Divine or the sun tree.’ Akin to the sun, the sun tree is a symbol of divine power and makes up the very foundation of ancient Japanese history. Hinoki wood is considered one of the Five Sacred Trees of kiso. Its wood is used in the construction of the nation’s most respected shrine in Ise, near Nara. In fact, Japanese ruling dynasties have always preferred Hinoki wood as the material of choice for the construction of their resplendent monuments and holy memorials.

Hinoki wood, highly resistant to decay, is held in high esteem in Japan. over centuries, wood from the Hinoki tree has been used for building palaces, temples, religious shrines, bathtubs, table tennis blades, and the masu, an indigenous square wooden box used to measure rice. The wood from the Hinoki tree also nds expression in a ordable home decor items, cooking utensils, bath accessories as well as precious craftwork, widely available across the country.

Hinoki wood is lemon-scented, light pinkish-brown, with a rich, straight grain, and is highly rot-resistant. Its smooth, woody aroma with spicy and citrusy overtones makes it a favourite ingredient in the perfume industry. the fragrance of Hinoki oil has a universal, unisex appeal. Hinoki wood essential oil in perfumery adds an interesting sweet, woody top/middle note in oriental and Woody accords. naturally, it has become a much-sought after and rather critical constituent for the niche perfume industry.

Another species called the “dwarf Hinoki” is often cultivated as bonsai or grown in gardens as a beautiful décor element; commanding considerable presence among bonsai artists.

Considered supremely sacred, Hinoki is highly treasured by the Japanese; the forest groves are zealously protected since the times of the feudal lords and samurai and are environmentally protected by the authorities today.

What really brings out the richness of Hinoki is the myriad di erent therapeutic bene ts derived from its essential oil.

Since time immemorial in Japan, Hinoki oil has been associated with purity and healing. the traditional shinrin-yoku Forest therapy or Forest Bathing has effectively harnessed the strong aromatic influences of Hinoki as a cornerstone of preventive healthcare and healing.

Hinoki yields three kinds of essential oils:
The freshest is from the leaves of the tree;
Oil from the branch and leaf retains its freshness but with a hint of spiciness;
And finally, the oil that is extracted from the timber, exuding a woody, earthy scent.

Hinoki has a deep relaxing and refreshing aroma that exudes a feeling of “Shinrin-yoku,” meaning, “taking in the forest atmosphere”.

A relaxant and decongestant, Hinoki oil is excellent for the relief of blocked noses, respiratory ailments like asthma; and congestion of the sinuses and chest.

Medicinally, Hinoki oil is extremely e ective in controlling dandru and promotes hair growth. A massage with quality Hinoki oil stimulates the blood circulation to the scalp. this ensures better nutrition and oxygen to the hair follicles, thereby being an e ective remedy for stimulating hair growth.

Hinoki essential oil can be used for a variety of di erent practical things in and around the home. Hinoki wood essential oil from the Chamaecyparis obtusa tree of Japan has the remarkable ability to naturally kill bacteria, viruses, and fungus. Hinoki is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties, which can help destroy the Malassezia fungus, viruses and viral infections. Hinoki oil is regarded as being gentle on skin and an excellent addition in bath and body skin care products. the extra bene t of this oil for skin care as an e ective antiseptic, antifungal and antiviral actions is noted for treating rashes, cuts, abrasions and minor skin irritations. Having a good and healthy skin is something we all strive hard for, and features on everyone’s secret wish list. Adding a few drops of Hinoki essential oil to your daily lotion or bath can help achieve that baby-soft skin. However, a word of caution here. When adding essential oils to lotions, be sure to store it in a glass bottle to minimise chemical degradation

Also adding 4-5 drops of Hinoki oil to a hardwood oor cleaner can prevent termites. Hinoki wood oil is generally obtained from remnants and wood shavings collected from construction sites.

Hinoki’s palliative properties have earned it a permanent place in the Japanese forest bathing practice, in addition to widespread usage in aromatherapy as an e ective stress-reliever and mood-lifter.

the oil is highly priced in comparison to some other essential oils, but worth the use in di users or oil burners. A few drops of the magic essence soothes the senses, eases away stress and transports you into a dimension of serenity and is conducive to creating a tranquil atmosphere for meditation.

Hinoki’s wonderfully enriching properties come from its constituent compounds. The oil is rich in d-α-Pinene, β-pinene, myrcene, d-limonene, dipentene, β-phellandrene, p-cymene, 1,8-cineole, camphor, l-α-terpineol, α-terpinyl acetate and bornyl acetate. camphene, linalool and borneol have also been con rmed by gas-chromatographic tests. Extracted by the process of steam distillation of the wood, Hinoki blends well with a host of other essential oils like bergamot, frangipani, jasmine grand, lavender and citrus oils to be used in a multitude of applications. It is also a relatively harmless essence; however it would be advisable to be aware of the few safety precautions its usage entails.

Also popularly known as Hinoki wood essential oil, the versatility of Hinoki cannot be overstated With its beautiful aroma, this
is one of nature’s miracle healers with immense potential for physical and emotional wellbeing.