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Hinoki oil, or Japanese cypress, is derived from the wood of the Japanese hinoki tree—wood often used as a building material for temples, shrines, and palaces in Japan as well as in the plant art of bonsai. This special essential oil is known for its unique balsamic scent akin to bitter wood. It is a common household candle because of its soothing qualities and fresh aroma. However, Hinoki oil has a myriad of benefits far outranging the use of Hinoki candles and wood. Let’s take a look!

Hinoki Essential Oil on Autonomic Nervous System Activity and Mood States

 Hinoki essential oil is comprised of two primary chemical constituents known as a-pinene and delta-cadinene. Alpha-pinene is an aromatic compound found in many species of coniferous trees, notably the pine, and is one of the most naturally occurring terpenes in the world. It contains cerebral properties that may increase alertness and focus while also mitigating the adverse effects of stress. Hence, it lends Hinoki its relaxing characteristics.

Cadinene is the chemical name of a number of isomeric hydrocarbons that occur in a wide variety of essential oil producing plants. Delta-cadinene in particular can be found in essential oils like Ylang Ylang and Citronella. It is known to be soothing to the nervous system and thus adds to Hinoki’s sedative properties.

A study conducted by Natural Product Communications found that “…after inhaling Hinoki essential oil, systolic blood pressure, heart rate and [parasympathetic activity] decreased, whereas [sympathetic nervous activity] increased…” Furthermore, Hinoki essential oil “…stimulated a pleasant mood status.” NPC concluded that Hinoki essential oil could be a suitable agent for the development of regulators of sympathetic nervous system dysfunctions.

The Physiological Effects of Simply Touching Hinoki

Hinoki wood is so valued in Japan that, by law, the essential oil can only be extracted from trees that have fallen. Dwarf Hinoki trees are often used by bonsai artists. DoTERRA utilizes byproducts from the timber industry, overseen by Japan’s forest management programs, ensuring that no part of these prized trees go to waste.

And thank the Lord for that!

Studies show that simply walking on Hinoki makes people feel relaxed. One study recorded by the International Journal of Environmental Resource and Public Health found that upon contact with the soles of the feet, Hinoki wood decreased prefrontal cortex activity, increased parasympathetic nervous activity, and decreased sympathetic nervous activity. Participants also noted that they felt “comfortable”, “relaxed”, “natural”, “warm”, “uneven”, “dry”, and “soft” after touching Hinoki. The study concluded that “touching Hinoki with the soles of the feet induces physiological relaxation.”

How to Use Hinoki Essential Oil

  • Diffuse or apply topically onto feet, back, and/or chest before bedtime
  • Add two to three drops in your bathwater
  • Add four to five drops to your hardwood floor cleaner
  • Rub two drops into your palms and inhale deeply
  • Add to your skincare routine

Hinoki is January’s product of the month! Place a 125 PV loyalty order by January 15th and you’ll receive a 5 mL bottle of Hinoki for FREE! Don’t miss this special offer! We’d love to hear your testimonies.

Don’t have a DōTERRA wholesale account? Click the button below to get started. It’s super easy and you will be amazed at what you will experience on your essential oil journey!


Jayden Almeida has been the head blogger of Essentially Sp’OILed for Life since 2019. Her passion is to help readers understand the benefits of essential oils to achieve a happier and healthier lifestyle. In addition to writing for ESFL, Jayden’s also a novice author determined to publish her own series of literature.

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