Top 5 Benefits of Cypress

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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The unique and important health benefits of cypress include its ability to improve the health of the respiratory tracts, boost the strength of the immune system, prevent fungal infections, boost the health of your hair, increase protection against certain skin conditions, reduce inflammation, and speed wound healing.

What is Cypress?

Although cypress is not commonly thought of as an herb or a spice, the plant material from this beneficial tree serve more of a purpose than the source of cypress essential oil, which is what most health publications discuss. In fact, you can check out the health benefits of cypress essential oil on Organic Facts. However, the cypress tree’s medicinal benefits can be derived from two sources – the cones and the needles. Scientifically known as Cupressaceae, this family contains a wide range of trees native to different parts of the world that have similar organic compositions and health benefits. As mentioned, the essential oil extracted from the needles is very commonly found, but decoctions and salves can also be created with needles and cones that can more directly treat certain health concerns.

The cypress family includes a vast range of trees, including the largest trees in the world (giant sequoias and coastal redwoods) and some of the most long-lived trees on the planet. Their fame has not made their medicinal use widely known, surprisingly, as many people rely solely on the essential oil of cypress, rather than the more traditional uses of the plant parts themselves. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of cypress.

Health Benefits of Cypress

Health benefits of cypress include:

Treats Fungal Infections

One of the most popular applications of cypress is as a foot bath. By placing the cones in a hot water bath, many of the beneficial organic compounds of the plant are released into the water, and can significantly boost the health of your feet. Extremities are prime locations for fungal and bacterial infections, and cypress can stop your feet from sweating, which is a major cause of fungal infections like Athlete’s foot. Prevent that condition with cypress foot baths, particularly if you are prone to being on your feet or wearing shoes for extended periods of time.

Respiratory Issues

Cypress essential oil is commonly used for aromatherapy in relation to respiratory issues, but a simple tea decoction of the needles can also deliver an effective respiratory remedy if you suffer from asthma, bronchitis, nasal drip, chronic congestion, or any other inflammation of the respiratory tracts. This should only be consumed on a limited basis, as the powerful chemical components of the tea should not be overused.

Hair Health

When the decoction is applied to the hair and scalp, it can stimulate healthier follicle beds and glands, resulting in stronger, richer hair that is less prone to damage and maintains its rich luster. It can also help to reduce dandruff by preventing the skin from drying out.

Skin Conditions

Acne is a skin condition that affects millions of people around the world, but over the centuries, traditional remedies have become some of the most relied solutions for this universal problem. Create a salve out of a decoction of needles and a carrier oil, can be applied to the skin to prevent bacterial infections (which acne is caused by) and reduce the inflammation and swelling of the sebum glands that can exacerbate acne. Additionally, these cypress salves are commonly used to speed wound healing and reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes on the skin.

Reduces Inflammation

When consumed as a tea decoction or applied directly as a topical solution, cypress can reduce inflammation internally and externally. If you suffer from arthritis, gout, or other inflammatory muscle conditions, it can help to relieve the discomfort and pain. Furthermore, it can help to soothe the organ systems that may be inflamed by infection or nutrient deficiency, allowing the body to recover more quickly. This salve can also be applied to hemorrhoids to reduce inflammation and eliminate pain.

Varicose Veins

Although the exact pathway of this remedy is not fully understood, cypress needles and decoctions have been used to eliminate varicose veins for many years. Traditional medicine strongly supports its use, although the modern medical community has not verified this particular application.

Word of Caution

The plant parts of cypress are not known as allergenic substances, although if you do use the essential oil, never consume the potent mix of chemicals without direct supervision and oversight of your medical professional. Serious complications can result from consumption without strict direction.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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