Hinoki Essential Oil

Also known as “fire tree”, this is because by rubbing two hinoki twigs together it can used to make fire. Hinoki is one of the ‘Five sacred Trees of Kiso’ in Japan, the others include sawara cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera), nezuko cypress (Thuja standishii), hiba cypress (Thujopsis dolabrata), and koyamaki (Japanese Umbrella Pine, Sciadopitys verticillata) species. Hinoki wood has been used in construction for shrines and temples building as early as 300BC in Japan.

Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest is the birthplace of “forest bathing”; it has more than 300-year-old Kiso cypress trees and bring out refreshing woodland scented which has beneficial to human health.


Common Name Hinoki
Botanical Latin Name Chamaecyparis obtuse                   
Botanical Family Cupressaceae
Place of Origin Japan, Taiwan
Part of plant used Wood
Extraction Method Steam distillation
Precaution/ Contra-indication None known


Hinoki essential oil is used for respiration ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, cough and congestion. It can reduce stress and ease nervousness and anxiety. According to Chen et. al. studies, by inhaling Hinoki essential oil, it can reduce the systolic blood pressure, heart rate and parasympathetic activity, whereas sympathetic activity was increased.

Besides, it also reported that the one of the constituents of C. obtusa essential oil – β-thujaplicin (hinokiol) is able to suppress proliferation of breast cancer cells and have anti-inflammatory effects in mice.

Hinoki essential oil is use extensively in insecticides as a ‘human-friendly’ alternative insect repellent especially for fruit flies and house flies.


Rose, J (1999) 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. California: Frog Ltd

Tisserand, R. & Young, R. (2014), Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, 2nd Ed, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier. 

Press, D (2014). Essential Oils and Aromatherapy for Beginners: Your Complete Desk Reference Including A-to-Z Essential Oils Guide and Recipes. Dylanna Publishing Inc.

Chen, et. al, (2015). Effect of Hinoki and Meniki Essential Oils on Human Autonomic Nervous System Activity and Mood States. Vol. 10. No. 7 (1305 – 1308). Natural Product Communication, http://for.nchu.edu.tw/up_book/NPC-10-7-1305-2015.pdf

Lee, S.H., Do, H.S & Min, K. J. (2015). Effects of Essential Oil from Hinoki Cypress, Chamaecyparis obtusa, on Physiology and Behavior of Flies. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0143450. doi:10.1371/journal.

Agematsu Town Tourism Association. Guide to Akasawa Natural Recreational Forest. http://www.avis.ne.jp/~hinoki/en/01akasawa3.html

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