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Guide To Ho Wood Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Ho wood essential oil (Cinnamomum camphora ct linalool) contains mostly naturally occurring linalool, which makes the oil calming, relaxing, and skin-nourishing. Some sources recommend ho wood as a substitute for rosewood essential oil.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Ho Wood Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of a ho wood tree.

Basic Ho Wood Facts

Plant family: Lauraceae

Production: Steam distilled from the wood of the tree. (Sometimes leaves are also distilled and some sources might call the oil ho leaf.)

Confusion arises because the Cinnamomum camphora tree has three chemotypes that yield different essential oils:

  • Ho-sho (Cinnamomum camphora ct linalool) produces ho wood oil
  • Hon-sho (Cinnamomum camphora ct camphor) produces camphor oil
  • Yu-sho (Cinnamomum camphora ct cineole) produces ravintsara oil

Sources: Robert Tisserand and The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1

Aroma: Sweet, fresh, woody.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is ho wood safe to use during pregnancy? Consult a professional.

Is ho wood essential oil safe for children? Yes, for ages 2+.

Cautions: If the oil becomes oxidized, it may cause skin sensitization.

Main component: about 80% linalool.

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Ho Wood Aromatherapy Benefits

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Ho wood may help relieve flu, colds, chills, menstrual cramps, wounds and cuts, eczema, acne, stress and stress-related conditions, anxiety, and tension.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils
(updated edition): Use ho wood in skin care to help deal with acne, cuts and wounds, dermatitis, and stretch marks, and in general skin care for dry, oily, mature, and sensitive skin. The oil may also help reduce muscle and joint aches and pains. For the respiratory system, the essential oil may help relieve chills, coughs, colds, and flu. Another use is in helping decrease anxiety, depression, insomnia, nervous tension, and stress.

Working With Unusual Oils: Ho wood works well in blends to help support the respiratory system or help relieve pain, skin fungus, or inflamed skin. The essential oil is emotionally soothing, helps calm agitation or restlessness, and can help you feel comforted and safe. Suggested essential oils to blend with ho wood:

  • For angry, dry skin conditions: geranium, german chamomile, or sandalwood.
  • For skin fungus: lavender or Fragonia.
  • To reduce stress and anxiety: bergamot, copiaba, neroli, patchouli, or ylang ylang.
  • To help relieve pain: black pepper, clary sage, ginger, plai, marjoram, or roman chamomile.

Nature in Bottle: Ho wood oil moisturizes and nourishes the skin, acts as a natural pest repellent, and is used in natural perfumery for herbal bouquets, floral notes, soap perfumes, and colognes. Emotionally and energetically, the oil is grounding, relaxing, calming, and may help relieve depression, anxiety, confusion, and melancholy.

Plant Therapy: Ho wood calms, promotes a relaxing and peaceful environment, helps soothe red and itchy skin, and helps relieve respiratory symptoms from colds and seasonal allergies. To use on skin, dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil (to 2-5%).

Eden's Garden: Ho wood oil may help relieve sore muscles, menstrual cramps, and skin irritation. Diffuse this essential oil to support your work environment or to help you fall asleep. Suggested essential oils to blend with ho wood:

  • For sleep: roman chamomile, cedarwood, and rose.
  • For focus and mental stimulation: rosemary, lemon, and basil.
  • for skin issues: sandalwood, rosemary, and lavender. You can add the blend to face and body washes or to unscented castile soap.

Ho Wood Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Diffuser Blend for Positivity

  • 3 drops ho wood essential oil
  • 3 drops frankincense essential oil
  • 2 drops cypress essential oil

Peaceful Diffuser Blend

  • 3 drops ho wood oil
  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 2 drops patchouli essential oil

Source: Loving Essentials

Comforting Diffuser Blend

  • 4 drops ho wood
  • 4 drops lavender or neroli essential oil

Relaxing Foot Soak

  • 1 tablespoon fractionated coconut oil
  • 4 drops ho wood essential oil
  • 3 drops clary sage essential oil
  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • Small container with lid
  1. In a small bowl stir together essential oils and fractionated coconut oil.
  2. Stir in salt until evenly incorporated.
  3. Store in a sealable container.

To use, add 1/4 cup of the foot soak to a foot basin filled with warm water. Relax.  
Source: Simply Earth

Hand Lotion

  • 6 tablespoons unscented blending cream
  • 1 teaspoon rosehip oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon rose hydrosol
  • 7 drops ho wood essential oil
  • 7 drops palmarosa essential oil
  • 6 drops sandalwood essential oil
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  1. Put the cream base into a 4-ounce glass jar and stir.
  2. Stir in the rosehip oil.
  3. Mix in the hydrosol.
  4. Drop in the essential oils. Stir well.
  5. Put on the lid, label, and store in a cool, dark place.
  6. Use as needed.

Adapted from Penny Price

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Photo Credit: harum.koh from Kobe city, Japan, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons