A tall, long living evergreen, straight trunked, conical shaped conifer averaging 20 - 30 metres in height, with slender dark green foliage. It bears small flowers and round brown-grey cones or seed nuts. Harvesting of the trees tips from 5 years onwards, and continuing annually. Growing within the area of France and Spain, they also grow wild amongst the entire Mediterranean region, from England, across to the Balkan countries and including Northern Africa. The wood is highly prised for its hardness and durability. Once the leaves and terminal branches are collected, they are then steam distilled to produce the essential oil.
The Greek word 'Sempervirens', from which the botanical name is derived, means 'lives forever' and the tree also gave its name to the island of Cypress, where it used to be worshipped. The legend says the cross of Jesus had been made of cypress wood and the tree generally seems to be associated with death. A slight variation between the Leaf Provence and the Wild, being the former a premium variation.
Generally a calming, relaxing and sedative effect on both the mind and body by relieving nervous stress and anxiety. It may also be used in the treatment of varicose veins, cellulite, asthma, bronchitis, spasmodic coughing and diarrhoea. It has been suggested for skin and beauty care for oily and overhydrated skin, as well as helping to curb excessive sweating, and helps ease menstrual discomforts, muscular cramp, poor circulation and rheumatism.
Safety Precautions : Flammable.
Blends well with : Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Pine, Rosemary, Sandalwood and Citrus oils.
FACTS : The Phoenicians and Cretans used the wood for building ships and houses, while the Egyptians made sarcophagi from it and the Greeks used it to carve statues of their gods.