Thuja wood or Cedar Leaf Oil is made from the northern white cedar tree, a small-sized, averaging 12 m (40 ft) high, evergreen. The crown is conical, dense, layered and compact with arching branches. The trunk is strongly tapered, often gnarled with thin red-brown bark. The branchlets are yellowish-green, clad in sheathing foliage, forming flat, fan-shaped sprays.
Colorless to pale yellow clear liquid.
The chemical constituents of Cedar Leaf Oil are said to make it anti-rheumatic, astringent, diuretic, expectorant, repellent to insects, a stimulant to the nerves, uterus and heart muscles, tonic and a vermifuge. Thought to be useful in steam baths for rheumatism, arthritis, congestion and gout, it has traditionally been used as a wash for swollen feet and burns. It was commended as a medicinal in treating scurvy as late as the 1900’s. Cedar Leaf Oil is used today in pharmaceutical products for its therapeutic properties, as well as in perfumes, toiletries, cosmetics, soaps and detergents for its aromatic properties.
The Canadian forest, where Thuja Occidentalis originated, is a green band which is over 6,000 kilometers long and up to 3,000 kilometers wide in some areas, and is mainly comprised of coniferous trees. Also known as Northern White Cedar and Eastern Arborvitae, it grows near fresh water.
Taken in excess, this essential oil can produce unpleasant results; it was officially listed as an abortifacient (a drug or agent causing abortion) and convulsant in overdose. It is considered to be toxic, causing hypo tension (low blood pressure), and convulsions. Fatalities have been reported. Do not use during pregnancy. Do not use without medical supervision.