Cedar Leaf (Thuja Plicata) – Dried Herb, Wildcrafted


SKU: 12464

Western Red Cedar, is a species of Thuja, an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family Cupressaceae. Cedar is native to North America and was once used by Indigenous people to create canoes, earning it the title “Canoewood”. It is known by many names, Pacific Red Cedar, British Columbia Cedar, Canoe Cedar, Giant Cedar or just red Cedar.

Plicata, the species name, derives from a Greek word meaning “folded in plaits”, a references to the pattern of its small leaves. It is one of two arborvitaes (Thuja) native to North America.  Salish names for Western Red Cedar include “Long Life Giver”, “Rich Woman Maker” and “Mother”.  It was later affectionately nicknamed ‘Arbor Vitae’, a French term for “Tree of Life”, after supposedly curing one of Jacques Cartier’s men of scurvy during a 16th century expedition. As a result, Thuja occidentalis was imported to Europe for its beneficial properties, but now is primarily viewed as an ornamental tree.

Western Red Cedar is the provincial tree of British Columbia and has extensive applications for the indigenous First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. First Nations in North America utilized every part of the Cedar tree. They made spears and arrows from the wood, burned the wood for fuel and incense, and used the leaves and branches as insecticides; as well as medicinally for a wide range of diseases. The leaves make wonderful incense and are used in smudging for purification.


The energetics and taste of Cedar Leaf are warm, very dry, astringent, bitter, pungent and piney. It has an affinity to the lungs, sinuses, immune system, musculoskeletal system and urinary system.

How to use:

Add 1-2 teaspoons to a cup of hot water, let steep for fifteen minutes and use as a steam to support the sinuses and lungs, as a foot bath for possible fungal infection and a compress for possible pain in joints and muscles.

Use as an incense or smudge.

Cautions and contraindications:

Cedar contains strong volatile oils including thujone, a ketone that is known to be toxic in large quantities; therefore, it is not used over long periods of time. Talk to a Gaia Garden Herbalist before consuming internally.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider before the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.


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