Question: Why is Cedar best?
Answer: The traditional sauna for thousands of years has been made predominately from close grain cedar for many obvious reasons:
1. Cedar wood is soft wood that resists the cracking and splitting caused by the heating up and cooling down in the sauna. No sauna wood lasts longer than cedarwood
2. Cedar wood contains aromatic oils that are known for their healing and cleansing properties to aid detoxification during the sauna. A simple search on "Amazon.com" yields the following information. "Cedar wood (oil) is widely used in the cosmetic and perfume industry, especially for men's toiletries. It also breaks down mucus, making it useful for treating catarrhal conditions, especially bronchitis. Cedar wood can also help disperse excess fluids throughout the body."
3. Cedar wood is naturally anti-fungal and anti-bacterial owing to the unique properties of the cedar oil. This is especially important in the sauna where bodies, moisture and heat combine to make the environment perfect for molds and bacteria. When woods other than cedar are used the sauna must be carefully sterilized before and after use, usually with harsh chemicals that remain to be breathed in by the next sauna user. Cedar wood eliminates the need for harsh chemicals.
4. Cedar wood is one of the most beautiful woods available ranging from a very light honey to a deep walnut shade.
5. Cedar wood smells good and gives you a true experience. Normally a "non-aromatic" cedar is used in sauna construction that is very subtle and satisfying to the senses.
6. Cedar wood can be easily sanded inside the sauna to remove any stains caused by perspiration and to bring back the fresh cedar smell.
" Please note that an extremely small percentage of the population cannot tolerate the smell of cedarwood. These people have multiple chemical sensitivities(MCS). These people cannot as a rule tolerate any aromatic oils, perfumes, shampoos or herbs. This is unfortunate, but for the rest of us, cedar wood is the sauna wood of choice.
Definition of terpene from Webster's: "Any one of a series of isomeric hydrocarbons of pleasant aromatic odor" In other words, pleasant smelling essential oils that are used for beauty, healing and rejuvenation.