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Herb Reference Guide

Thuja

History

Arborvitae (Tree of Life), are species of Thuja which can grow anywhere from 10 to 200 feet tall. There are two species of Thuja native to North America, Thuja occidentalis or Eastern Arborvitae/Northern Whitecedar and Thuja plicata or Western Redcedar. Thuja is not true Cedar Genus (Cedrus) rather they are in the Cypress family (Cupressaceae). The First Citizens of Canada used the needles of Thuja occidentalis (Eastern Whitecedar) to make a tea that has been shown to contain 50 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams. In the 19th century Thuja was commonly used as an externally applied tincture or ointment for the treatment of warts and ringworm.

Function

Thuja's immune supporting potential has been evaluated in numerous in vitro and in vivo investigations. It can assist in the support of healthy drainage of toxins from the lymphatic system, to help support the natural healing of minor skin abrasions, and can even be used as a natural insect repellent. Thuja should not be used during pregnancy.

Uses of Thuja

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

essential oils (65% thujone, 8% isothujone, 8% fenchone, 5% sabines and 2% pinen), polysaccharides, water-soluble minerals, tannins.

Parts Used

  • Leaf

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Naser B, Bodinet C, Tegtmeier M, Lindequist U. Thuja occidentalis (Arbor vitae): A Review of its Pharmaceutical, Pharmacological and Clinical Properties.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Mar;2(1):69-78.

Stewart, Hilary. (1984). Cedar: tree of life to the Northwest Coast Indians. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre