Hinoki Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses & More

Hinoki is one of the most fragrant and prized essential oils on the market due in part to being from the prized and tightly regulated Japanese cypress tree. This oil has a woodsy and pleasant aroma that makes it ideal for relaxation and nature lovers alike. There are actually many other uses for Hinoki oil that make it one of the most popular and versatile essential oils on the market throughout the world.

Hinoki essential oil can be used for improvements to mood, muscle aches and pains, and respiratory ailments when added to a diffuser or in bathwater. Due to Hinoki oil’s wood and citrus properties, Hinoki can also be used to polish and clean wood surfaces or as an effective pest repellent.

Hinoki oil has many possibilities when it comes to using that some of these benefits may be surprising. This article will tell you everything you need to know about this multipurpose gem of the essential oil family.

But first, take a look at this video that provides a brief overview of the many ways that Hinoki oil can be used:

Uses of Hinoki Oil

Hinoki oil comes from a Japanese species of an evergreen tree that has long been used throughout the centuries in Japan for its durability for wood bathtubs as well as its calming and soothing properties when used as an add-on when bathing and even as a topical ointment for sore muscles.

The chemical properties in Hinoki wood have been proven to provide feelings of comfort and relaxation when used as either a mixture when bathing or as an aromatherapy diffuser. Since citrus and mild species are also part of Hinoki wood, these agents make Hinoki oil perfect for air freshening and cleaning, and surprisingly, as a repellent to a range of common indoor insects.

The uses for Hinoki essential oil are plentiful; therefore, let’s take a more in-depth look at all of the ways you can use Japanese Hinoki oil:

Soothing of Muscles

The Hinoki tree is a member of the class of coniferous trees or evergreens as the trees are more commonly known. The oil in these trees is one factor that is attributed to Hinoki trees living for hundreds of years since the oil acts as a sort of calming and stimulating agent at the same time.

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When you use Hinoki oil as a solution to a bath, the oil seeps its way into stressed or sore muscles to promote blood circulation and naturally relieve inflammation through the increase in this circulation.

Anxiety Relief

Hinoki essential oil’s primary benefit to many users is the ability of the oil to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety. The chemical compounds in the oil are earthy and fragrant but also soothing, which is the exact type of response the oil can give when your brain is stressed to the max with the turmoil of daily life.

You can either feel the place drops of the oil in water within a diffuser (more on this below) or you can add the oil to a warm bath to add an extra layer of relaxation and calm to a long soak in the tub.

Improved Respiratory Health

Since Hinoki oil has been proven to increase circulation and stimulate muscles, a similar effect can occur in the lungs when the oil is breathed in during aromatherapy sessions. Hinoki oil may help you to breathe easier and open up the capillaries in the lungs for increased blood flow, which in turn provides more open and clear airways.

Improved Skin Appearance

Hinoki oil comes from coniferous trees, which means that a small amount of acidity in the form of citrus will be in the oil. The skin is also made up of cells that keep blood flow through the skin properly regulated. Skin cells can become damaged over time due to environmental factors, and Hinoki oil works to stimulate cell renewal when used as a topical agent.

The citrus also helps to brighten dull skin to give it a glowing and youthful appearance. 

Wood Preservation and Cleaning Agent

Since Hinoki trees are from the same family of evergreen trees as pine trees, this makes Hinoki oil a perfect agent to use for wood polishing and conditioning. Japanese Hinoki wood is well-known in Japan for its durability with many Hinoki wood structures still standing in Japan from before the Middle Ages.

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To say the least, this makes Hinoki oil a perfect agent to use on wood for preservation and gentle cleaning.

Since Hinoki oil also has small amounts of citrus and spice, you can use this oil as an effective natural cleaning agent for nearly any surface. 

Insect Repellent

Insects are instinctively repelled by any substances that emit a strong and acidic odor or reaction. You can easily add Hinoki oil to a spray bottle with water to actively repel a wide range of insects that are causing distress in the home. Hinoki oil will not necessarily kill the insects, but you can be assured to keep them away or keep them from entering the home. 

Hinoki Oil for Hair

Much in the same way that Hinoki oil increases circulation and stimulation of the cells in the body to relieve sore muscles, this same process applies to hair growth. Hair becomes increasingly fragile as humans age; you cannot expect to have the same volume and shine to your hair that you had in your 20s when you are in your 40s.

Hinoki oil contains a series of complex enzymes that promote cellular renewal and stimulation of sedentary cells within the body, with hair cells being on the first sets of cells to slow down during the aging process.

Simply apply a few drops of Hinoki oil to your scalp and gently massage the oil until it dries; be sure to repeat this process every day if you want to stimulate hair growth. 

Essential Oils That Hinoki Oil Blends Well With

Hinoki oil has a pleasant and not too overpowering scent; therefore, this oil can blend easily with a range of other essential oils. Since Hinoki oil has citrus and balsamic odors, it is not recommended to blend Hinoki with other essential oils of a similar nature, such as tea tree oil.

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However, you can blend Hinoki with some forms of citrus essential oils as long as those oils are not overpowering in its aroma.

Hinoki essential oil blends well with the following:

  • Jasmine
  • Juniper
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Rose
  • Bergamot
  • Tangerine

Hinoki Oil Diffuser

Placing Hinoki oil drops into a diffuser provides a perfect way to spread the oil into the surrounding atmosphere or even as an aromatherapy technique. A diffuser simply breaks down Hinoki oil into smaller molecules that can be spread out through the air through either a heating element, a humidifier, evaporation, or pressurized air.

Hinoki oil can be diffused by itself or with a blend of other essential oils to create a well-rounded and targeted approach based on your preferences. 

Hinoki Cypress Oil

Close-up of the leaves of a japanese hinoki tree

Hinoki Cypress Oil and the more common term, Hinoki oil, are essentially the same product with different variations on the name. Hinoki oil has a much softer and more palatable aroma that is typically experienced in traditional cypress oil. SInce Hinoki wood is a member of Japanese Cypress trees, this is where the alternative name of Hinoki Cypress oil comes from. 

Hinoki Essential Oil Plant Therapy

Since Hinoki oil works so well as an insect repellent, this oil can also be used as a topical agent on plants that are prone to insect infestations. You can use Hinoki oil as a natural spray agent to spray down common houseplants or crops to effectively repel and demobilize many types of insects that destroy foliage. 


As you can see, there are a myriad of options when it comes to using Hinoki essential oil. Although this oil is relatively new in the family of essential oils, the number of ways you can use this oil for your personal well-being and cleaning are plentiful.

If you are trying to relieve stress and ease muscle soreness or working towards repelling pests and giving household wood a unique shine, Hinoki essential oil is ideal.

Be sure to give this essential oil a try, and you will likely return to this choice many times in the future.