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Medicinal Uses of Thuja

By Renata Trister, DO
Medicinal Uses of Thuja

Thuja occidentalis

Thuja tree has been used traditionally for centuries by the Native Americans to treat a variety of conditions. Homeopathic practitioners have also used it extensively.

Branches and leaves were made into tincture and used to treat a cough, fever, headache, intestinal parasites, cystitis and venereal diseases.

Topically, thuja was used to treat burns, rheumatism, gout, arthritis, warts, and psoriasis.

Thuja is most commonly used against warts. It is also used for acute bronchitis and respiratory conditions. Thuja has expectorant and anti-catarrhal properties.

Additionally, Thuja has been used to treat cystitis.
Extracts of the herb can be applied to painful joints and muscles to increase blood circulation, reducing pain.

For warts thuja is used topically – usually in the form of an essential oil.

The essential oil is only used to burn away warts. When the oil is used in this regard, glycerol is applied to the area surrounding the wart as a protection and then the poisonous essential oil is used on the wart itself.

Thuja has also antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and is used for the treatment of infected wounds, burns and skin infections such as ringworm.

Recently, German scientists demonstrated that Thuja strengthens the immune system by stimulating T lymphocytes and increase interleukin-2 production.

Growing evidence also shows that theses properties of Thuja may be effective for spirochete illnesses such as Lyme. Furthermore, Thuja has promising effects in fighting co-infections that are seen with chronic Lyme. The virus-resistant and immune strengthening properties of the herb can also be used as an adjunct to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.