|Northern White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis, Family:
Cupressaceae near the shore of Lake Superior, Ontario, Canada. (More
SMUDGING, SWEEPING, SWEAT LODGE: Cedar is considered a warrior plant by Native Americans and is used in smudging, sweeping and steam bath rituals. It clears the body and mind (spirit) of evil spirits that prevent good health.
|Right: Red cedar, Thuja plicata
Donn ex D. Don in Sechelt Inlet, British Columbia.
Native Americans used the wood to make canoe frames, split to make baskets, cedar boxes made of wood for cooking and storage, made fish traps from branches, bark used in rope making and basket weaving. Bark was pulped or shredded to make painting instruments. Soft inner bark used to make clothing, shredded bark used for diapers, root bark and bark used to make hats.
Cambium could be eaten for food.
Medicine: Decoction of dried and powdered leaves as an external analgesic on painful joints, sores, wounds, injuries. Leaves in infusion for coughs and colds. Bark or decoction of bark to induce menstruation, possible used as a abortifacient. Buds (new end growth) used to treat lung ailments. Decoction of leaves and boughs used to treat arthritis.
Thujone from cedar is toxic to herpes simplex, but thujone should not be taken by pregnant women and is toxic. Professional thujone preparations are below the toxicological limit of 1.25 mg/kg body weight.
Below Left: Red Cedar driftwood chair, Sooke Harbour House, Sooke, Vancouver Island.
Below right: Native Americans used cedar to dispel the bad spirits, to keep away the cold, for shelter, cooking utensils, boats, tools, fishing lures..More.