Scientific name: Thuja occidentalis

Common names:False White, CedarNorthern, White Cedar,Swamp Cedar,Thuja,Tree of Life,White Cedar,Yellow Cedar.


Thuja is a lofty tree that often grows up to a height of anything between 30 feet and 60 feet having horizontal branches and green needles that resemble scales. Thuja is a fragrant perennially growing tree having small flowers that appear at branch terminals. The male blossoms of thuja have a deep brown hue, while the female flowers are yellow green in color.


Several indigenous tribes of America held the thuja also called arbor vitae as a remedy for headaches, fever, swollen hands, coughs as well as rheumatic problems. In effect, these people also burned thuja in the form of a smoky fire (smudge) for the aroma of the tree as well as to keep mischievous sprites at bay. During the 19th century, the eclectic herbalists (herbal medicine practitioners who collected their remedies from various sources) employed thuja in the form of a medication to cure various health conditions, including rheumatism, bronchitis and also uterine cancer. In effect, there was a time when thuja was also used to cure the side effects of taking smallpox vaccination.



In ancient times, people burned the fragrant wood of thuja trees while performing sacrifices. The term ‘thuja' has its origin in the Latin expression of the Greek word ‘thero' denoting ‘to sacrifice'. In Egypt, several species of thuja were used by ancient people to embalm the dead. French botanist Carolus Clusius named the tree as arbor vitae, which in Latin means the ‘tree of life', after he saw one tree that was brought to France from Canada. The indigenous people of both Americas employed thuja for making basket, canoes as well as perfumes. At times, they also simmered the thuja twigs to prepare a broth in times of famine when other foods were deficient or not available. Oriental thuja (botanical name Platylactus orientalis) has been a very popular plant in China for several thousand years. In fact, people in China cultivated thuja both for religious purposes as well as an ornamental tree.


The native people of America used thuja to treat different health conditions, including cough, gout, rheumatism, scurvy, malaria as well as menstrual problems. Thuja contains a volatile oil that works in the form of a tonic, an irritant and also a diuretic. Thuja essential oil is used to prepare a lotion that is applied topically to alleviate symptoms of arthritis and joint pains. It may be noted that although the parts of this tree that are used for remedial purposes are toxicologically not detrimental, a natural compound present in thuja and called thujone may be poisonous. In fact, ingestion of thujone may result in nausea, vomiting, and agonizing diarrhea and, in some instances, may even cause death. Therapeutically, thuja is employed to treat infections of the respiratory tract along with antibiotics, especially to treat skin infections caused by bacteria as well as Herpes simplex. Practitioners of homeopathic medicine use thuja safely to ease headaches as well as to treat colds, eye inflammations and warts.


It has been proved that thuja possesses antiviral actions and, hence, this herb is very frequently employed to treat polyps and warts. In fact, medical preparations with thuja are recommended for internal as well as external use to cure both the conditions mentioned here. In addition, thuja also forms a part of the regime for curing cancer, particularly cancer of the uterus. A very useful expectorant as well as decongestant medication is prepared with thuja, which may be given to patients suffering from infections of the respiratory tract and severe cases of bronchitis. Thuja is a beneficial herb for women as it promotes menstruation and may be administered to women enduring delayed menstrual periods. However, it is advisable that women should not use this herb if they are enduring severe menstruation pains. As mentioned earlier, thuja possesses diuretic properties and is also employed to cure severe cases of cystitis, in addition to bed-wetting in children. Extracts obtained from the plant may also be massaged on the throbbing muscles and joints in the form of a counter-irritant, to augment blood supply locally as well as to provide relief from pain and rigidness of the muscles and joints.


Besides its therapeutic uses, thuja is a very important tree for the Ojibwe people of America. It has always been held in high esteem in their culture and they have named the species Nookomis Giizhik denoting ‘Grandmonther Cedar'. In fact, thuja is a topic of hallowed myths and is believed to be a gift to mankind for the plant's innumerable uses. Thuja is used for therapeutic as well as in craft and for construction purposes. Thuja is among the four plants of the medicine wheel of the Ojibwe, which related to the south. The foliage of thuja (Thuja occidentalis) contains high amounts of vitamin C and is considered to be medication that healed scurvy of the French explorer Jacques Cartier and his associates in the winter of 1535-36. As thuja contains a neuro-toxic compound called thujone, using this herb internally may prove to be detrimental for one's health provided it is being used for a long period of time or by a woman who is pregnant.


Thuja also has commercial uses, for instance it is employed as rustic fencing, lumber, poles, posts, shingles and also in constructing log cabins. It may be noted that as a wood, thuja has a preference for making structures, for instance, planking and ribs, planking of wooden canoes and also of birch bark canoes.


The essential oil enclosed by the thuja plant has been traditionally employed in the form of disinfectants, cleansers, insecticides, room sprays and liniment. In addition, it has been used to make soft soaps and hair preparations. According to some reports, one of the largest Native American tribes, the Ojibwa used the inner bark of soft branches of thuja trees to prepare a soup. Other indigenous people of the America have also used the thuja twigs to prepare herbal teas to cure headache and constipation.

During the 19th century, thuja was used commonly in the form of a topically applied tincture or lotion to treat thrush, ringworm and warts. It is said that injecting the tincture prepared with thuja twigs into the venereal warts was effective in getting rid of them.

Thuja also known in eastern arborvitae, northern whitecedar

Medicinal properties:

Leaf of this plant is well-known and essential oil , Thuja has been used for cleansers, disinfectants, hair boosting , insecticides, liniment, room sprays, and soft soaps.

Also the root of this plane is used as anemia treatment in tea form.

Hygienic properties:

The powder of  thuja leaf has lots of hygienic usage.

product code: 114

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