Thuja’s main action is related to its content of stimulating volatile oil. In bronchial catarrh, thuja promotes expectoration and provides systemic stimulation that is especially beneficial when heart weakness is also part of the picture. However, thuja should be avoided in cases in which cough is due to overstimulation (for example, dry, irritable coughs).

Thuja has a specific reflex action on the uterus and may help with delayed menstruation. Because of this property, however, the herb is best avoided during pregnancy. Thuja may also be used for ordinary incontinence due to loss of muscle tone. It has a role to play in the treatment of psoriasis and rheumatism when used internally.

Externally, it may be effective against warts and demonstrates a marked antifungal activity against ringworm and thrush.

Botanical Name

Thuja Occidentalis

Part Used


Common Names

A’Fus, American Arbor Vitae, Tree of life, Arbor Vitae, Arborvitae, American Arborvitae, Bati Mazizi, Eastern Arborvitae, False White Cedar, Hackmatack, Mazi Aghaji, Mazu, Northern White-Cedar, Po, Tree Of Life, Umur Aghaji, Western Arbor Vitae, Yellow Cedar, American White Cedar, Northern white cedar, Tuja, livsträd, vanlig tuja (Swedish); Austamerikansk tuja (Norwegian); Almindelig Thuja (Danish); Kanadalainen elämänpuu (Finnish); Abendländischer Lebensbaum (German); Thuja de Canada, Arbre de vie, Arbre de paradis (French); Tuja, Albero della vita (Italian); O mur ag (Turkish)

Brief History

The botanical name of Thuja is derived from a Greek word meaning to fumigate. In pre-Christian times it was customary to burn sweet-scented thuja wood during sacrificial rites and to ward off evil spirits. The tree was introduced into France from Canada and planted in the grounds of the royal palace at Fontainebleau.

Many Native American peoples prized thuja as a medicine for fever, headaches, coughs, swollen hands, and rheumatic problems. The 19th-century Eclectic herbalists used it as a remedy for bronchitis, rheumatism, and uterine cancer. It has also been used to treat the side effects of the smallpox vaccination.


Thujone, flavonoids

Therapeutic Properties

Nerve stimulant. Stimulates uterus and heart muscles. Expectorant. Diuretic. Astringent. Counter irritant.

Vitalist Properties

Temperature: Cool

Moisture: Dry

Therapeutic Indications

Bronchitis with cardiac weakness. Warts. oral and topical use. Reported to be of value as an anti-carcinomatous agent. Counteracts ill effects of smallpox vaccination.

Primary Uses

Anti-viral, Warts, Cancer.

Thuja has an established antiviral activity. It is most often used to treat warts and polyps, being prescribed both internally and externally for these conditions. It is also
used as part of a regime for treating cancer – especially cancer of the uterus.

Respiratory Infections

Thuja makes an effective expectorant and decongestant remedy and may be used to treat acute bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

Dosage (Divided Daily)

Dried Herb: 3,000 – 6,000mg

• Liquid Extract: 3 – 6mL (1:10 liquid extract)

Dried Thuja Leaf


In pregnancy may cause abortion by reflex uterine contractions. Do not use if breastfeeding.

Side effects

Not for long-term use

Interactions with other drugs

None known


  1. Bone, K. (2003). A clinical guide to blending liquid herbs: Herbal formulations for the individual patient. St. Louis, MI: Churchill Livingstone.
  2. Chevallier, A. (2000) Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine.

  3. Herbalpedia (2013)

  4. BHMA (1983) British Herbal Pharmacopeia.

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

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