Thuja – Thuja Occidentalis - Tree

Blending Note: Top

Main Benefits.Stimulant, Tonic, Insect Repellent

Properties: Antirheumatic, Astringent, Diuretic, Emenagogue, Expectorant, Rubefacient

Origin: North America

Other Producers: Korea, Alaska, China

Allergy Warning: Thujone can cause low blood pressure, asthma, seizures, and death.

Short History:

A huge number of archeological finds point to the continuous use of redcedar wood in native societies. Woodworking tools dating between 8000 and 5000 years ago, such as carved antlers, were discovered in shell middens at the Glenrose site, near Vancouver, British Columbia. In Yugout, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, tools dating 4000 to 3000 years old have been found.  The Musqueam site, also near Vancouver, yielded bark baskets woven in five different styles, along with ropes and ships dated to 3000 years ago. At Pitt River, adzes and baskets were dated around 2900 years old. Wooden artifacts 1000 years old were unearthed on the east coast of Vancouver Island.

About Thuja:

Thujas are evergreen trees growing from 3.0 to 61.0 meters tall, with stringy-textured reddish-brown bark. The shoots are flat, with side shoots only in a single plane. The leaves are scale-like 1–10 mm long, except young seedlings in their first year, which have needle-like leaves. The scale leaves are arranged in alternating decussate pairs in four rows along the twigs. The male cones are small, inconspicuous, and are located at the tips of the twigs. The female cones start out similarly inconspicuous, but grow to about 1–2 cm long at maturity when 6–8 months old; they have 6-12 overlapping, thin, leathery scales, each scale bearing 1–2 small seeds with a pair of narrow lateral wings. The five species in the genus Thuja are small to large evergreen trees with flattened branchlets. The leaves are arranged in flattened fan shaped groupings with resin-glands, and oppositely grouped in 4 ranks.

The mature leaves are different from younger leaves, with those on larger branchlets having sharp, erect, free apices. The leaves on flattened lateral branchlets are crowded into appressed groups and scale-like and the lateral pairs are keeled. With the exception of T. plicata, the lateral leaves are shorter than the facial leaves. The solitary flowers are produced terminally. Pollen cones with 2-6 pairs of 2-4 pollen sacked sporophylls. Seed cones ellipsoid, typically 9-14mm long, they mature and open the first year. 

The thin woody cone scales number from 4-6 pairs and are persistent and overlapping, with an oblong shape, they are also basifixed. The central 2-3 pairs of cone scales are fertile. The seed cones produce 1 to 3 seeds per scale, the seeds are lenticular in shape and equally 2 winged. Seedlings produce 2 cotyledons. Thujas are widely grown as ornamental trees, and extensively used for hedges. A number of cultivars are grown and used in landscapes. Homeowners will sometimes plant them as privacy trees. The cultivar 'Green Giant' is popular as a very vigorous hedging plant, growing up to 80 cm/year when young. 

Medicinal Uses:

Rheumatism, Arthritis, Gums, Muscles, Hair Loss, Hemorrhage, Urination, Toxins, Menstruation, Phlegm, Catarrh, Body Toning.

Other Uses:

Insect Repellent, Inhalation, Massage