Arbor vitae / Tree of Life / White Cedar
The homeopathic remedy thuja is prepared using the leaves and twigs of a young thuja tree, belonging to a genus of coniferous trees in the Cupressaceae family and is used to treat a variety of ailments and health problems. Trees belonging to this family of plants are perennial and grow up to a height of anything between 10 feet and 60 feet (around 3.0 meters to 18 meters) and have a stringy texture with a bark that is reddish-brown in color. All the shoots of this tree are straight having side shoots in a single level.
Commonly known as arborvitaes, derived from the Latin term denoting ‘tree for life', thujas bear leaves similar to scales and measuring about 1 mm to 10 mm in length and arranged in cross-like pair in four rows all along the branches. However, young seedlings have leaves akin to needles in their first year of existence. The male cones produced by the tree are comparatively smaller and are very discreet growing at the branch terminals. On the other hand, although the female cones emerge as equally ordinary, they grow to around 1 cm to 2 cm when mature after they are six to eight months old. The female cones of the thujas have anything between 6 and 12 overlying, slender, leather-like scales. Each of these scales produces one to two tiny seeds that possess a pair of thin wings on the sides.
The thujas are cultivated extensively as decorative trees and generally used as hedgerows. In fact, there are five species of thujas, two native to North America and the remaining indigenous to eastern Asia. Normally, home owners grow these trees along the boundary of their land to ensure privacy between them and their neighbors. Among all the cultivars of this species, the ‘Green Giant' is the most popular and this particular tree grows extremely robustly as hedgerows. In fact, when they are still young, they grow as much as 80 cm annually.
The timber of the thuja trees is virtually weightless, gentile and perfumed. While the wood from this tree is easy to split, it is resilient to decomposition and is used for numerous purposes, for instance making chests that ward off moths and even shingles. In addition, poles of the thuja trees are used as posts for fencing as well as rails. The timber of one particular species called Thuja plicata is widely used for making the sounding boards of guitars.
In addition to the various utilities of the wood of thuja trees, the essential oil obtained from thujas encloses terpene thujone. Scientists have undertaken numerous researches on terpene thujone for its GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid) receptor antagonistic, accompanied by possibly dangerous/ toxic attributes.
Moreover, the indigenous people of Canada were early to recognize the therapeutic properties of the thujas and used the needles (leaves) of a particular variety of the plant Thuja occidentalis, commonly known as the Eastern White Cedar, to prepare an herbal tea. The herbal tea prepared with the needles of this species of thujas has been found to enclose 50 mg of vitamin C in every 100 grams of the substance and is very effective in treating scurvy (a disease characterized by distended and bleeding gums).
The American Indians also used thuja for its durable wood as well as for medicinal purposes, especially to treat coughs, fever, headaches, menstrual disorders, as well as pains in the muscles and joints. When the Europeans began settling in America, they also adopted thuja in their traditional medicines. In addition, the tall thuja trees became popular among the European settlers as ornamental plants in their gardens who often used them for fencing purposes. Many years later, the founder of the alternative stream of medicine homeopathy, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann proved the efficacy as well as safety of the medication thuja and published his findings in his Materia Medica Pura sometime during 1821 and 1834.
People who respond best to the homeopathic remedy thuja are those who are generally serious and sensitive and get upset quite easily feeling that they are not loved by anyone. Such people usually put up a nice image before everyone, but if they get negative response from any one, they tend to ignore their appearance and become very enigmatic as well as depressed. Such people have illusions regarding their body and this is very obvious to others. They may even possess zealous perceptions or mistrust, accompanied by a feeling that all other people are trying to manoeuvre them. In addition, such people also have a tendency to sleep deficiently.
While different parts of the thuja trees have been in use in traditional medicine since long and have been found to be effective in treating a number of health conditions, as far as the preparation of the homeopathic remedy from this plant is concerned it is of great importance. In fact, only the freshly obtained leaves and twigs of a young one year old thuja plant are used for preparing the homeopathic remedy thuja. The fresh leaves and twigs of the young thuja plant are chopped into fine pieces and subsequently marinated or macerated in alcohol. The resultant solution is strained, watered down to desired levels and succussed till not even the slightest trace or attribute of the plant remains in the final product - the homeopathic medication thuja. In fact, all homeopathic medications are prepared in such a manner that they do not retain any trace of the original substance they are made from.
The therapeutic properties of the thuja trees were known to the indigenous tribes of North America who used the leaves and twigs of this coniferous tree to cure coughs, malaria, rheumatism and gout. Although, extracts of any of the parts of the tree were never used in orthodox medicine, the essential oil obtained from one particular species Thuja occidentalis or the Eastern White Cedar is still used in aromatherapy for the treatment of acne and hair loss.
Besides being a very crucial medication for treating warts, the homeopathic remedy thuja is prescribed for people enduring various skin disorders, for instance, oily skin, as well as to treat fragile nails.
Homeopathic physicians also prescribe thuja for people suffering from certain physical conditions, such as headaches caused due to stress; foul smelling sweating; tooth decay and inflamed gums; excessive exhilaration or tiredness; loss of appetite during the morning and persistent greenish yellow or green phlegm (thick mucus produced in the respiratory passages and expelled through the mouth). The homeopathic medication thuja is also beneficial for women who endure cramps during their menstruation cycles.
Precisely speaking, the homeopathic remedy thuja is prescribed for people suffering from respiratory troubles, skin and urogenital problems as well as women enduring menstrual problems. In all the above mentioned health conditions, the patients generally experience localized pain, quick weight loss and tiredness. All these symptoms may be a result of changes in the health soon after vaccination or even date back to any spell of the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhea. A brief discussion of the effectiveness of thuja in treating each of these conditions is presented below.
- Urogenital problems
- People suffering from urogenital disorders generally experience a swollen, sore urethra accompanied by a split in a weak urine stream. In addition, such patients also have an urge to urinate frequently possibly accompanied by dripping incontinence (inability to restrain natural urine discharges). It may be noted that infection of the urethra is very widespread among men and their problem is generally accompanied by a discharge and probably has an adverse effect on the prostate gland. In the case of women, urogenital problems may occur in the form of infection of the vagina usually accompanied by copious discharge. In such cases, the patient may endure swelling and soreness (inflammation) in the entire pelvic region. In some cases, patients may also develop warts and herpes. They may even develop ulcers and uterine polyps (a sessile mass in the internal lining of the uterus). Giving the homeopathic remedy thuja to such patients not only cures the bothersome conditions, but also provides relief from associated symptoms. In addition, this medication is also prescribed for people who have been suffering from restrained gonorrhea.
- Skin conditions
- The homeopathic medication thuja is very effective for treating outsized warts, called ‘cauliflower' warts, as well as warts that suppurate or tingle. Patients enduring such skin conditions may experience scaly patches on the body areas that usually remain covered, brownish ‘age spots', itching skin problems and fragile or distorted nails. The homeopathic remedy thuja is also extensively used in the form of balms or ointments to treat warts and verrucas (warts that develop on the hands and feet).
- Catarrh and sinusitis
- In homeopathy, thuja is an ideal medication to treat respiratory problems as well as chronic sinuses, especially those which are accompanied by a disgusting smelling, green or yellowish-green catarrh (tenderness and swelling of a mucous membrane, especially of the respiratory tract). Even people suffering from asthma as well as nasal polyps accompanied by congealed greenish blood-stained mucus enclosing pus may respond well to the homeopathic remedy thuja.
- Menstrual problems
- Thuja is an effective homeopathic remedy for women suffering from early or very little menstrual flow. Patients enduring such menstrual problems may experience throbbing pain, especially in the region of the left ovary. In addition to treating menstrual disorders, the homeopathic remedy thuja is also given to women suffering from ovarian cysts.
- The homeopathic remedy thuja is usually given to people who suffer from a specific type of headache wherein the type of pain endured by the patients is quite explicit. Such types of headaches are generally a result of exhaustion, extreme stress or even anxiety or hyperactivity. People suffering from this type of headache endure a piercing pain, which may be associated with some type of sinus infection or problems related to tooth.
The thuja tree, which forms the basis for the homeopathic remedy thuja, is a genus of coniferous trees belonging to the Cupressaceae (also known as the cypress family). In all, there are five species of thuja trees in the genus and two of them are indigenous to North America. The remaining three species are native to the eastern regions of Asia.