The Use of Thuja


Thuja is a homeopathic medicine approved for some uses by the FDA and the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia Convention of the United States. Thuja is created from thujone found in twigs and leaves of the eastern white cedar tree (Thuja occidentalis), which is found in North America and Europe. Thuja should not be taken in large doses or without consultation with your doctor.


Thuja has been used as a natural remedy by Native American tribes such as the Huron, Ojibwa, Penobscot and Potawatomi communities for headaches and menstrual problems, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). American loggers used thuja tea for rheumatism. The sap from the tree that produces thuja was thought to have healing powers during the 17tth century, according to the ACS. During the 1800s, thuja was listed as a treatment for uterus stimulation and diuretic for increased urine flow in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia. As of 2010, thujone oil, a main component of thuja, is banned in the U.S. as an additive to food or drink but is used in small amounts with alcoholic drinks in Europe.

Other Uses

According to Purdue University, thujone oil is used in cleansers, disinfectants, insecticides, liniments and soft soaps. Purdue also says the powdered leaves of the eastern white cedar have been reported to kill flies and ticks.

As Prevention

Thuja is used as prevention to the side effects of vaccinations in children. Dr. Tinus Smits, author of "The Post-Vaccination Syndrome," uses this treatment among other protocols before vaccination to protect and repair damage caused by vaccines.


As a treatment, thuja is used to remove warts; the University of Maryland suggests using 4 drops of thuja placed under banana peel or garlic and applied to the wart repeatedly over several days.

Delivery Methods

Thuja is used in a variety of applications. Herbalists use distilled thuja in pill, cream and liquid form in very limited amounts. Homeopathic physicians use a thuja derivative combined with other natural derivatives in liquid form. The use of thuja is seen as a dietary supplement and not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Side Effects

There are side effects with taking thuja internally, according to the ACS, including vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and possible seizures. Asthma attacks, liver damage and kidney damage have also been reported. Poisoning can occur from eating vegetation from the eastern white cedar. Thuja can be toxic in large amounts although the exact amount to cause poisoning is unknown as of 2010. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, thuja has minimal side effects when used in minute amounts as found in double-blind testing.

Keywords: thuja, homeopathic medications, thujone, thuja use

About this Author

Jack S. Waverly is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has written hundreds of articles relating to business, finance, travel, history and health. His current focus is on pets, gardens, personal finance and business management. Waverly has been writing online content professionally since 2007 for various providers and websites.