All about Arborvitae essential oil with Sarah Jensen from the Oily Goodness

All about Arborvitae essential oil

All about Arborvitae essential oil with Sarah Jensen from the Oily Goodness

What Is Arborvitae Essential Oil?

Arborvitae is a warm, woody, earthy oil that’s sourced from the arborvitae tree (which is also known as the giant arborvitae, western red cedar or pacific red cedar tree).

The trees are native to North America and Canada, average about 70 metres (or 230 feet) tall and can live for up to 800 to 1,000 years.

Arborvitae is part of the cypress family and the species, or type, of arborvitae tree used by doTERRA to create their beautiful oil is the thuja plicata, so arborvitae oil is also known as thuja oil.

The essential oil is extracted from the sawdust and wood pulp of the arborvitae tree through a process of stream distillation.

Arborvitae Fun Facts

Back in the 1500s French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew suffered from scurvy while sailing the seas to Canada. They were gifted a traditional remedy by local Native Americans – tea made from the leaves of the thuja tree. Within just a few days Cartier and his crew were healed and he named the tree ‘arborvitae’ which is Latin for ‘tree of life’.

The arborvitae tree was used extensively in the Native American culture and lifestyle and in a truly holistic way. The arborvitae tree was revered for its health benefits as well as its practical uses. For example, the wood was used to build homes and canoes. The roots were used to make baskets and the bark was used to make clothing rope and twine.

How Do doTERRA Source Arborvitae?

doTERRA source their arborvitae oil ethically and sustainably with a focus on ensuring that no trees are unnecessarily harvested for the production of the oil.

Watch this video to learn more:

How Can I Use Arborvitae?

Arborvitae is an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral essential oil and there are lots of great ways you can use it. Here are a few to get you started.

5 ways to use Arborvitae essential oil


Natural Immune Support ::

Arborvitae is high in a compound called tropolones which protect against seasonal and environmental threats, so it’s great in the diffuser in winter to fight off bugs and germs and naturally support the immune system.  Diffuse with On Guard protective blend and frankincense or dilute with fractionated coconut oil and apply to the soles of your feet or down your spine to support your immune system.


Natural Insect Repellent ::

And those tropolones, as well as the thujic acid, make arborvitae a great natural insect repellent. 

Make your own mist by blending arborvitae with water in a glass spray bottle or whip up your own roller by blending arborvitae with fractionated coconut oil and roll it on to your arms, legs, feet and ankles to repel insects.  Another option is to get your hands on doTerra’s Terraarmour (also called Terrashield in the USA) which is doTERRA’s natural repellent blend and has arborvitae in it. 

You can also use arborvitae to keep the moths at bay (cedarwood is great for that too).  Put a couple of drops of Arborvitae onto a cotton ball or cotton pad and pop into a drawer or closet to protect your fabrics from moths.


Wood Polish ::

It’s a natural wood preservant and you can make your own wood preservative or polish by mixing four drops of arborvitae with two drops of lemon and some fractionated coconut to polish wooden furniture.


Meditation & Mindfulness ::

A lovely support to your meditation practice as it’s such a calming, grounding and peaceful oil.  Try out the meditation blend in the recipes section below.


Nourish Your Skin ::

It’s gorgeous for the skin so you could add a drop of arborvitae to your skincare regime.  I like to use a home-made roller of myrrh blended with fractionated coconut oil but this week I’m going to blend in a drop of arborvitae to give my skin some extra nourishment.  And it blends well with lavender which is great for the skin too.


Man Oil (Balm or Aftershave) ::

Guys often like arborvitae because it’s deep, woody and makes a great natural aftershave, fragrance or cologne for the guys – blend with cedarwood and frankincense.


Oil Safety Note ::

Oily note – if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding it’s best to tuck Arborvitae away for later. If you’d like more information about using oils while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding (and there are some truly incredible oils to support this special time in life) check out The Essential Midwife or speak with a certified aromatherapist.

Arborvitae For Emotions

One of my favourite ways to play with essential oils is for the wonderful emotional support they offer.

They’ve been instrumental in my self-care and self-development work and have helped me shift a bunch of junky thoughts, feelings, beliefs and stories that were holding me back.

It’s an ongoing process and I love that these beautiful essential oils are part of my self-care made simple tool kit.

I love, use and recommend the Emotions & Essential Oils book. It’s become my oily go to guide. And according to this amazing book, here’s how Arborvitae can support you

  • It’s the oil of divine grace.

  • It brings in a sense of ease, flow and surrender. (Great for people like me – a recovering perfectionist who always felt like ‘it didn’t count if it wasn’t difficult’ and who’s a pro at overcomplicating things – this helps you to relax and make friends with effortlessness)

  • Invites in a sense of trust – trust in yourself, trust in outcomes, trust in the flow of life, and not having to tightly control everything so much (which let’s face it is exhausting!!).

  • Helps release negative feelings of struggle, excessive effort, distrust, rigidity, fearfulness and a need to control.

  • Helps connect with positive feelings of peace, surrender, grounding, allowing, grace and effortlessness.

After playing with Arborvitae this week I’ve found it’s been an amazing oil to reach for to help me feel calm and grounded, to surrender feelings of frustration, overwhelm and anger, and to release and let go of negativity.

Arborvitae Blend Ideas to Get You Started


Create a sense of peace and tranquillity, calm your nerves and ease feelings of stress or overwhelm.

This blend is also beautiful in the diffuser to help you wind down and settle yourself at the end of a hectic day.

1 drop Arborvitae | 1 drop Sandalwood | 1 drop Tangerine



Use arborvitae to ground, calm and centre during your mindfulness or meditation practise.

Diffuse or use the following recipe in a 10ml roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil, or the carrier oil of your choice.

1 drop Arborvitae | 1 drop Sandalwood | 1 drop Ylang Ylang | 1 drop Patchouli



Nourish and care for your skin using arborvitae essential oil.

Blend 1 drop of arborvitae with 3 drops of myrrh in a 10ml roller bottle and top up with fractionated coconut oil or the carrier oil of your choice.

Roll on to your face, massage in and bliss out.

1 drop Arborvitae | 3 drops Myrrh | Fractionated Coconut Oil



Diffuse to invite in cheerfulness and uplift your mood if you’re feelin’ funky or just need a boost.

1 drop Arborvitae | 2 drops Bergamot | 1 drop Lime



Diffuse to soothe, ground and calm if you’re feeling frustrated, angry, panicked or agitated.

1 drop Arborvitae | 1 drop Balance | 1 drop Cardamom | 1 drop Copaiba



This blend is beautiful as a mist, in a roller or diffused to naturally repel insects.

If you’re making a mist be sure to use a glass or stainless-steel bottle (not plastic). Add your oils, top up with water, shake and spray. You might also like to add a teaspoon of carrier oil and a teaspoon of witch hazel to help the ingredients blend together.

In a roller bottle, add your oils and top up with the carrier oil of your choice.

Or drop the oily goodness into a diffuser and say bye bye bugs.

1 drop Arborvitae | 1 drop Lemongrass | 2 drops Wild Orange | 1 drop Peppermint


Try Arborvitae Essential Oil

If you’d like to play with Arborvitae essential oil, visit the shop page to purchase or contact me to talk more about the oily goodness.

How Do You Use Arborvitae?

Share your favourite recipe, blend or way to use Arborvitae in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *