Thuja occidentalis is a well known decorative garden plant. Its common names are – Arbor vitae, white cedar, yellow cedar, tuja (Swedish), tuya (Spanish), thuya d’occident (French), Lebensbaum (German) etc.
It is not a classical Ayurvedic herb; but it is abundantly used in therapeutics both by the traditional practitioners and trained healers of various medicinal system.
Thuja Essential Oil is attributed to its special actions like anti-rheumatic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, rubefacient, stimulant and vermifuge effect.
The important chemical constituents of the plant are alpha pinene, alpha thujone, beta thujone, bornyl acetate, camphene, camphone, delta sabinene, fenchone sesquiterpenes, flavonoids, tannin and polysaccharides and terpinenol.
The plant is known for insect repellent action also.
The plant has significant benefits with respect to cough, cystitis, warts, moles and other eruptions, abnormal cellular growths, back ache and polyps.
Few important simple remedies and their health benefits are mentioned here below
As nerve stimulant
1. Thuja oil as nervine stimulant:
Few drops of thuja oil is taken and added to 1 – 2 teaspoons of any oil like – sunflower oil or sesame oil and rubbed over the painful body parts or over the jointOr else it is applied over the area where deep muscular or nervine pain is found. This helps to relieve the pain in marked way.
In case of numbness of the hand and leg also this is quite beneficial.
As insect repellent
2. Leaf as a insect and mosquito repellent:
A fist-full of Thuja leaves or a twig of it is displayed or tied in the entry of the home or in a corner of the house. This acts as an insect and mosquito repellent.
3. Thuja oil in water inhalation for cough and cold:
Few drops of thuja oil is dropped over the warm water and inhaled. This helps to reduce the repeated episodes of cold, cough, breathlessness, nasal congestion etc.
Sneezing, nasal congestion
4. Leaf paste with ginger juice in sneezing and nasal congestion:
Fully developed white cedar leaf is collected and by adding ginger juice fine paste is made. This is applied over the forehead or to the edges of the nose(maxillary area).This helps to relieve the nasal congestion and sneezing.
5. Fine paste of the leaf and turmeric in acne and warts:
Both turmeric and Arbor Vitae leaves are taken in equal quantity and fine paste is made. This is applied over the warts,acne,skin scar lesions etc. It has got a significant benefit in these conditions.
Thuja, a plant of highest use in Homoeopathy has multiple therapeutic use in traditional practice as well as a simple home remedy. Awareness regarding planting and judicial use of the plant in selective cases is the skill of learned ones.
Click to consult Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD