The traditional sauna 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. Cedarwood 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.
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. “Non-aromatic” cedar is used in sauna construction and the cedar scent 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.
7) There is a lot of misinformation about cedar wood on the internet. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put it best in their September, 1993 report:
“EPA believes it is unnecessary to regulate these products because they pose little or no risk to human health or the environment…EPA is not aware of any evidence of injury to human health or the environment due to their use.”
Cedar is non-toxic according to the Regulatory Information for Cedar from the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) and World Health Organization(WHO).
See the following report from an independent testing lab regarding Western Red Cedar and toxicity.
Please note that an extremely small percentage of the population cannot tolerate the smell of cedar wood. These people have multiple chemical sensitivities(MCS). These people cannot as a rule tolerate any aromatic oils, perfumes, shampoos or herbs. We recommend our North American Basswood Saunas for these people.