Ho Wood Essential Oil Benefits Explained: It’s A Ho-Down!
Ho Wood -- now what on Earth is that? I’ve seen the oil before and really took to liking it, although I never really thought about looking into its origins until now. I’ve recently started experimenting with some DIY skin care products (soaps in particular) and always keep my nose out for any new smells or textures I might like.
Ho Wood oil has a lovely floral scent, light but citrusy -- so it’s distinguishable and blends really well with other oils like Sandalwood, Bergamot and Ylang Ylang. It’s almost like a natural blend between cinnamon, tea tree and lemongrass oil.
The beauty of using Ho Wood is that it also offers a ton of great properties for your skin, but I’ll get into that in just a moment. Not to sound sexist -- anyone is free to use whichever oils for whatever purposes whenever they like -- but I personally think Ho Wood oil has a very feminine smell. It would work well as a natural deodorant or a substitute for perfume. But that’s just my opinion!
What Is Ho Wood Essential Oil?
Ho Wood is a tree quite similar to (or of the same genus as) the camphor tree which is where camphor oil comes from. If you have any experience with the latter, you can already start imagining how Ho Wood oil will smell. Ho Wood oil is also commonly referred to as ‘white camphor’ oil because it is a lighter grade and can be blended more easily.
Ho Wood oil has a series of really healthy and potent chemical components, such as linalool, 1,8-cineole and camphor which make it very effective in treating a wide range of skin related issues. It’s right up there with Coconut Oil and Castor Oil in terms of effectiveness on skin.
The oil is contained in various parts of the tree and is generally extracted through a steam distillation process. The tree produces a berry-like fruit that looks similar to a large blueberry and this is harvested to produce the majority of the oil that you find as the finished product of the bottle.
The berries are crushed, along with the leaves and parts of the bark to form a paste-like substance. The paste is then placed into a glass container and water is heated in a separate chamber to produce steam.
The steam passes through a glass tube and enters the chamber with the paste. The essential phytonutrients and chemical compounds (that make the essential oil so essential) are removed from the organic matter through evaporation. The nutrient vapor gathers in this chamber until pressure forces it through another glass tube where it gathers in a final chamber to cool. As the liquid cools, it forms droplets that gather at the base of the chamber. This is the essential oil.
I highly recommend purchasing or using oil that is produced through this method as it is the cleanest and safest way of extracting the oils from the organic matter of the tree, and produces the highest quality product.
Ho Wood Essential Oil vs. Rosewood Essential Oil
First, a little info about the Rosewood tree. It is an evergreen tree that is native to the jungles of Brazil and Peru (the Amazon) and is evergreen. It is a sturdy and very aesthetically pleasing wood that is used in everything from construction and building furniture to the creation of a really great essential oil. I have personally also used Rosewood in the creation of soaps at home because of it’s warm, spicy aroma and floral hints that are similar to that of Ho Wood -- so blending the two is highly recommended!
In fact, the oils have very similar chemical compositions and work incredibly well together. Both have high linalool content, although Rosewood has a bit more than your average vial of Ho Wood oil, sourcing oil from Ho Wood oil from either Taiwan or Japan makes up for that as trees from these areas have a linalool content of roughly 80-85% on average.
Linalool is considered a chemical intermediate, which means it stimulates reactions in other substances. It is great for stimulating the growth of skin cells (used in the production of Vitamin E), has strong antibacterial qualities and acts as a natural pest-repellent.
Combining these two oils only strengthens their effects and their smells work very well together as well. Both function as natural deodorants and both can be used as pain relievers as they both have mild analgesic properties.The added benefits of both of these oils is that they can both be ingested (in very small, regulated doses) to help relieve problems of digestion and keep your immune system strong and healthy.
So, in my opinion, it’s not really a matter of one versus the other -- but how and when could I use both together. They’re pretty amazing in their natural form and even better together -- nature’s ‘Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel,’ if you will.
Top 4 Benefits Of Ho Wood Essential Oil
The strong camphor content contained in Ho Wood oil is the main component in making suitable for use as a natural anti-inflammatory. The oil can applied to an affected area with a swab of cotton or other clean piece of material and should be left to soak into the skin. It will moisturize and re-nourish your skin, as well as removing any active bacteria on the area that could worsen the inflammation or cause more irritation.
This works particularly well on fungal infections like athlete’s foot and any open or healing wounds.
The chemical combination of camphor and nerolidol is key in making Ho Wood oil a strong antibacterial agent. The camphor works superficially to help reduce signs of bacterial infection as well as prevent the continued or recurring growth of bacteria on the affected area. The nerolidol works to allow the oil to penetrate deeply into the skin, allowing the antioxidant effects of the oil to clear your skin from the inside too -- promoting cell regeneration and health.
When applied regularly, the nerolidol also acts to stimulate the flow of blood cells under the surface of the skin, which means more nutrients are able to reach the affected area and allow for faster healing.
So “there are many ways to diffuse an oil” should become part of the parlance of our times in my opinion as there really are quite a number of ways to do this. However, from personal experience and I bit of research, I’ve managed to conclude that heat diffusing and an diffusion via atomization are the best methods of utilizing essential oils in a vaporous form.
There are other diffusing methods out there, but they generally tend to denature the oil, thus reducing the quality of the product. A heat diffuser is really quite a simple process that entails heating the oil with an open source of heat, usually a candle. As the oil is heated, it forms a vapour that will freshen the room that the diffuser is placed in.
Atomization is the process whereby liquids (or other materials) are heated to the point where they turn into a vapor on a molecular level. This method is the safest way of retaining a material’s chemical compounds and natural elements, whilst transforming its state.
Ho Wood oil works very well in the diffusion process because it has a calming and refreshing odor that is often used to treat depression in aromatherapy and can also reduce stress or anxiety. The oil also works as a natural pest repellent, so will keep your home free of mosquitos and flies -- without the need of harmful chemical agents or poisons.
4. Skin Care
Ho Wood oil has a relatively low comedogenic rating, which means it doesn’t form an oily layer when applied and won’t block up your pores -- one of the main causes of blemishes. The high linalool content in the oil, combined with the 1,8-cineole oil helps to replenish essential vitamins in your skin (such as Vitamin E) which help to encourage cell growth and prevents excess sebum oil in oily skin types.
The antiseptic qualities of the oil also remove dead skin cells and kill off any bacteria that might cause infections on the skin or worsen acne. To apply the oil, simply add a drop or two to a cotton swab and apply it to your face preferably after a warm shower and an initial facial scrub. Allow the oil to sit for a few minutes (roughly 5) and rinse it off with warm water.
Ho Wood Essential Oil vs. Avocado Oil
So this was a bit of a challenging question for me to answer because it’s a bit like comparing oranges and apples -- they’re two different oils that are suitable for a variety of different uses. Therefore, one cannot say that oil A is ‘better’ than oil B -- the only thing I can do is compare the uses and benefits of these oils in order to give you a better indication of which to use for a particular ailment or issue.
Firstly, it’s important to note that Ho Wood oil can easily be replaced by Eucalyptus oil and in many cases, it is. Ho Wood oil shares many of the same medicinal benefits of eucalyptus oil in that it’s an excellent natural analgesic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic and sedative treatment and is particularly effective at treating general pain, minor wounds, insect bites, colds, inflammation and a range of infections quite well. This is largely due to the oils high linalool content.
Ho Wood oil has a strong and piney odor with a pungent floral twist and is very similar in scent to either tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil. I would recommend using it for treating hair and scalp infections as well as to address the aforementioned health issues.
Avocado oil, on the other hand, is a highly effective natural oil on it’s own but is generally used as a carrier oil with other essential oils to create a blend and ultimately, a more potent natural mixture which can be used to help treat a wider variety of health issues more effectively.
Avocado oil is considered to be rich in natural minerals and vitamins such as oleic acids (omega-3 fatty acids), vitamin K, B, C and E, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and fiber (and that’s not even the whole list!). So it’s easy to see why many consider the avocado to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet (and why they’re so expensive).
Using the oil is a great way to save cash as you get a more concentrated version of all the natural goodness contained within the avocado plus it’s more versatile as a natural product. The oil is highly effective at moisturizing and nourishing the skin and hair. It’s a great way to hydrate dry, cracking skin and can help to prevent the signs of aging by neutralizing free radicals with it’s high vitamin E content.
While avocado oil is great for more general use in terms of hair and skin, it’s also quite effective as a natural antiseptic treatment and helps to enable wounds heal faster, reduce the appearance of scars and scar tissue and is ideal for treating muscle cramps or spasms too.
So I’d say the main difference between these two oils is that avocado is more suitable for general use (it’s so safe, you can eat it) while Ho Wood is better for more practical medicinal and industrial uses. By combining the two though -- you’ll have a pretty potent natural remedy that you can use to treat everything from bad hair days to bad headaches (and more).
Where To Buy Ho Wood Essential Oil
When it comes to purchasing essential oils, I tend to prefer doing so in bulk and online, as it’s the best way to guarantee that you get the best quality product at the fairest price. But of course, if you’re just interested in trying out the oil, you can get it in small vials of about 5 ml quite easily online. You shouldn’t be paying more than $14 -$15 for 5 ml vial, and even at those prices you’re spending a bit much.
I prefer online shopping to buying goods in ‘brick and mortar’ health stores simply because it’s cheaper. However, if you want to support your local health food co-op, then by all means feel free to do so. Just be sure to know how much you could be paying online so that you make sure you aren’t getting ripped off.
Two good sources of the oil that I’ve been using over time are Lotus Garden Botanicals and DreamingEarth.com. They’re great sources and their oils are produced ethically and sold at a fair price -- so if you’re struggling to find it at your local co-op, you’re sure to find them here.
Ho Wood essential 0il is great for freshening up your home and really makes you feel calm when you breathe it in. I think it would work especially well for people who do yoga regularly as it’s a great way to relax your mind and muscles.
If you’re new to essential oils, I would definitely add this to your starter kit, as it has a heap of fantastic healing properties that are sure to give you great results and is one of the easiest oils to experiment with because it blends so easily. Ho Wood oil is definitely worth it’s weight in salt, in my opinion.