Home Herbal Monograph Deodar, Himalayan Cedar, True Cedar

This was an important tree species in north India for domestic and also for commercial appliances. Its wood was as good as sal and teak. Oil was distilled from the waste wood and from woodcarvings in earlier periods, which was useful in relieving pains and rheumatic complaints. Oil was useful for skin complaints including mange in horses in ancient times. In a 20 per cent concentration made in castor oil, it produced 100 per cent curative effect against sarcoptic mange in buffalo-calves. It was also used effectively against sarcoptic mange in dog, sheep, goat and camel.


It is found throughout the western Himalayas from Afghanistan to Garhwal, at elevations ranging from 1,200 m to 3,000 m above the sea level. It is most common from 1,800 m to 2,600 m. In India deodar forests are common from Kashmir to Garhwal and form the bulk of the vegetation in these regions.

Morphology Description (Habit)

It is a large evergreen tree, often reaching 60 m in height. It reaches 90 m in places where it is protected from injuries. Branches are horizontal or slightly ascending or descending, not whorled, but arising irregularly. The leaves are 2.5 cm-5 cm long, dark green, three sided, glaucous or silvery and sharply pointed. It is a monoecious plant, although male and female cones appear on separate branches. Dioecious trees are very rare. Female cones are barrel-shaped and borne singly at the tip of the dwarf shoots. Male cones are solitary at the end of the dwarf shoots. They are cylindrical and 2.5 cm-4.5 cm in length. Seeds are triangular with a broad wing.

Principal Constituents

Himalayan Cedarwood Oil contains two major sesquiterpenoids a - and ß- himachalenes1. Deodarone2 and deodardione3 are also isolated from the essential oil.


The extract from the wood shows marked anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities4.

Clinical Studies

It has anti-rheumatic property.


Due to the high contents of heavy metals like zinc, copper, manganese in pollen due to pollution, it causes allergy.


It is anti-inflammatory. Oil is rubbed on the painful parts to remove the pain.

  1. Tetrahedron Lett.1961, 216.
  2. Tetrahedron Lett. 1973, 427.
  3. Tetrahedron Lett.1978, 34, 599.
    J. Ethnopharmacol., 1999, vol. 65(1), pp. 21-7.