Thuja

What other names is Thuja known by?

American Arborvitae, Arborvitae, Cedar Leaf Oil, Cèdre, Cèdre Blanc, Cèdre Blanc de l'Est, Cèdre Blanc du Nord, Cèdre Commun, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Hackmatack, Huile de Feuilles de Cèdre, Northern White Cedar, Swamp Cedar, Thuga, Thuja, Thuja occidentalis, Thuya, Thuya du Canada, Thuya d'Occident, Tree of Life, White Cedar.

What is Thuja?

Thuja is a tree. The leaves and leaf oil are used as a medicine.

Thuja is used for respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, bacterial skin infections, and cold sores. It is also used for painful conditions including osteoarthritis and a nerve disorder that affects the face called trigeminal neuralgia.

Some people use thuja to loosen phlegm (as an expectorant), to boost the immune system (as an immunostimulant), and to increase urine flow (as a diuretic). It has also been used to cause abortions.

Thuja is sometimes applied directly to the skin for joint pain, ostearthritis, and muscle pain. Thuja oil is also used for skin diseases, warts, and cancer; and as an insect repellent.

In foods and beverages, thuja is used as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, thuja is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.

Possibly Effective for...

  • Common cold. Research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of thuja, echinacea, and wild indigo (Esberitox) by mouth for 7-9 days improves cold symptom severity and overall well-being in people moderate cold symptoms.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Cold sores. Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of thuja, echinacea, and wild indigo (Esberitox) by mouth reduces itchiness, tension, and pain people with cold sores.
  • Low white blood cell count (leukopenia). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of thuja, echinacea, and wild indigo (Esberitox N) by mouth in improves white blood cell counts in people with low numbers of white blood cells after having received chemotherapy for 6 months or less. However, it does not seem to improve white blood cell counts in people who received chemotherapy for longer time periods. Also, other research suggests that Esberitox N does not improve white blood cell counts when used by women receiving radiation treatment.
  • Nasal swelling (sinusitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of thuja, echinacea, and wild indigo (Esberitox) by mouth for 20 days improves nasal blockage and general well-being in people with sinusitis who are also taking antibiotics.
  • Sore throat (tonsillitis). Early research suggests that taking a specific product containing vitamin C and extracts of thuja, echinacea, and wild indigo (Esberitox) by mouth for 2 weeks, along with the antibiotic drug erythromycin, reduces symptoms and improves well-being and recovery in people with tonsillitis better than taking erythromycin alone.
  • Stimulating immune function.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Skin infections.
  • Nerve pain.
  • Strep throat.
  • Abortions.
  • Arthritis.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Skin diseases.
  • Cancer.
  • Warts.
  • Use as an insect repellent.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of thuja for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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