Arborvitae, meaning the tree of life is a common name for Thuja in North America. It is a famous ornamental plant known for its medicinal value. It is useful in treating respiratory ailments such as bronchitis, cold sores, a neurological disorder, etc. Apart from these, you can also use Thuja as an expectorant for strengthening the immune system.
The extract from this tree has worked wonders for people suffering from joint ailments especially muscular pain and osteoarthritis. Other than its medicinal properties, Thuja also gets used as a flavoring agent in several foods and beverages. This plant also serves as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.
Did You Know!
|During the early time, it was a widespread belief among the Native Americans that burning the Thuja tree and producing smoke could ward off evil spirits.|
Thuja – Overview
The tree of life is a mixture of multiple ingredients such as tannin, flavonoids(1), polysaccharides, sesquiterpenes, and mucilage. But nearly 65% of this tree contains a poisonous chemical named thujone and also has 0.4%- 1% of essential oil. All these substances aid in treating various deadly diseases.
The primary usage of this life-saving tree is for treating wart and polyps, although it has also been useful in treating bronchitis to some extent. Thuja helps treat other respiratory perils as this herb contains anti-catarrhal and expectorant properties.
The extract from Thuja herb when applied directly on the skin aids in improving the blood circulation and reduces pain in muscles and joints, thereby further relieving stiffness and pain.
Thuja has been serving the medical industry for hundreds of years, but very little scientific research has so far been performed in knowing about the details of this plant.
This tree of life not only has curative properties but as well possess antibacterial properties which can effectively treat burns, wounds, and skin disease such as ringworm.
In a recent, it has come to light that Thuja can strengthen the immune system by stimulating the T Lymphocytes and increases the interleukin-2 production in the body.
Furthermore, Thuja not only enhances the immune system but also has virus-resistant properties that aid in providing a higher tolerance level during radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
[Read: Benefits of Wormwood Herb]
What Are the Benefits of Thuja?
From time immemorial the benefits of Thuja have been numerous. Some of its benefits are listed as follows.
1. Cures a Common Cold:
One of the most common health hazards of every human being is suffering from a cold which mainly occurs due to climatic changes. Studies reveal that instead of consuming tons of tablets, an effective decoction made from the extracts of Echinacea, thuja(2), and wild indigo along with vitamin C can effectively improve common cold with a week.
[Also Read: Naturopathic Remedies to Get Rid of Cold]
2. Cures Cold Sores:
Cold sores, commonly known as fever blister is a viral infection which you can treat by using a mixture of Echinacea extract, thuja and indigo extract along with Vitamin C. If you consume this product orally, it can reduce pain in people suffering from cold sores.
3. Increases White Blood Cell Count (Leukopenia):
Several people across the globe suffer from a deficiency of white blood cell. A decoction made of vitamin C and extracts of wild indigo, Echinacea, and thuja when consumed orally has shown effective results in improving the white blood cell amongst people who have received chemotherapy for six months or less. But in people who have been undergoing chemotherapy for a longer span, this mixture hasn’t shown effective benefit.
4. Cures Nasal Swelling (Sinusitis):
People who are suffering from sinusitis can consume esberitox, which is a mixture made from the extracts of thuja, wild indigo, Echinacea and vitamin C. Having it orally for 20 days can provide effective result in treating nasal swelling.
5. Relieves Rheumatism:
Rheumatic arthritis or rheumatism is one of the most common problems faced especially by women. It occurs as a result of deposition of uric acid along with an obstruction in the flow of blood and lymph. The extract of thuja can serve as an effective remedy as it acts as a detoxifier due to its diuretic properties.
Thuja aids in improving the urine flow and escalates the process of removing toxins from the body such as excess salt, water, and uric acid. Besides, Thuja is a stimulant which aids in the increased circulation of blood and lymph. It aids in providing warmth to the affected area and reduces pain caused by gout, osteoarthritis, and rheumatism.
6. Acts as an Astringent:
The extract from Thuja tree can act as an astringent which produces a cooling effect and can as well contract the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels. A herbal astringent such as Thuja when ingested in the blood vessel can induce contraction of muscles, gum, skin, and hair roots.
It aids in making the muscles firm, strengthening the gum hold of teeth, prevent hair loss, and uplifts the skin to reduce aging. Besides, thuja aids in contracting the blood vessels which can slow down the process of hemorrhage caused by a torn vessel.
[Read: Benefits of Wasabi]
7. Improves Metabolic Functions:
The extract from Thuja aids in enhancing metabolism and keeps an individual healthy and active. It aids in strengthening the catabolic and anabolic activities of the bodies while toning the stomach, liver, and intestine. Thuja further aids in toning the endocrinal, excretory and the nervous system and ensures proper excretion of waste.
With the help of Thuja, there occurs an endocrinal secretion of enzymes and hormones, which makes people active. Besides, Thuja further aids in improving the immune system and prevents the growth of infections.
The health benefit of Thuja is endless. Apart from the advantages mentioned above thuja also helps in treating pneumonia, bronchitis, neurological problem, skin disease, cancer, arthritis, etc. It also acts as an insect repellant.
Precautions You Need to Undertake Before Consuming Thuja
Belonging to the cypress family, Thuja, the native tree of North America has multifarious medical properties, but despite being herbal, you must take it under the supervision of a medical professional. Any pregnant women should avoid consuming this herb as it has an abortifacient effect which leads to miscarriage.
Nearly 65% of Thuja’s nutritional property constitute of the highly toxic thujone which if used internal must not be prolonged more than two weeks.
Over excessive dosage of thuja can cause severe damage to the liver and kidney and can as well cause bleeding of the heart and stomach lining. Studies reveal that internal use of Thuja oil can drop the blood pressure level, cause convulsion and even lead to death.
Thuja can as well cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, leg edema, abdominal pain, palpitation and even put a person in a coma. Breastfeeding mothers should also avoid consuming thuja as the toxic substance in the herb gets diluted in the blood, which might affect the newborn.
If a person is suffering from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus, then it is best to avoid Thuja as it strengthens the immune system and triggers the symptoms of these diseases.
Every person prefers consuming herbal ingredients than antibiotics and Thuja being one of the medicinal trees, has served as a treatment for several ailments. But it is always imperative to consume the right amount of dosage for a particular illness or else the result could be adverse.
Thus, to enjoy the health benefits of Thuja, you must first contact a healthcare professional, take adequate guidance and then start consumption as directed. It will aid you in improving overall health rather than causing further deterioration.