THUJA

OTHER NAME(S):

American Arborvitae, Arborvitae, Cedar Leaf Oil, Cèdre, Cèdre Blanc, Cèdre Blanc de l'Est, Cèdre Blanc du Nord, Cèdre Commun, Eastern Arborvitae, Eastern White Cedar, Hackmatack, Huile de Feuilles de Cèdre, Northern White Cedar, Swamp Cedar, Thuga, Thuja, Thuja occidentalis, Thuya, Thuya du Canada, Thuya d'Occident, Tree of Life, White Cedar.

Overview

Overview Information

Thuja is a tree. The leaves and leaf oil have been traditionally used as medicine.

Thuja is used for respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis, swelling (inflammation) of the nasal cavity and sinuses (rhinosinusitis), swelling (inflammation) of the tonsils (tonsillitis), cold sores (herpes labialis), osteoarthritis, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods and beverages, thuja is used as a flavoring agent.

In manufacturing, thuja is used as a fragrance in cosmetics and soaps.

How does it work?

Thuja contains chemicals that might affect the immune system. It also contains a chemical called thujone that can cause brain problems.

Uses

Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Common cold.
  • Stimulating immune function.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Skin infections.
  • Nerve pain.
  • Strep throat.
  • Abortions.
  • Osteoarthritis.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Skin diseases.
  • Cancer.
  • Warts.
  • Use as an insect repellent.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of thuja for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: Thuja is LIKELY SAFE when products that are thujone-free are taken in food amounts. But it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take thuja in the larger amounts found in medicine. Large doses of thuja can cause queasiness, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.

When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if thuja is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It's LIKELY UNSAFE to take thuja by mouth if you are pregnant. Thuja might cause a miscarriage. It is also LIKELY UNSAFE to take thuja by mouth if you are breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

"Auto-immune diseases" such as multiple sclerosis (MS), lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), or other conditions: Thuja might cause the immune system to become more active, and this could increase the symptoms of auto-immune diseases. If you have one of these conditions, it's best to avoid using thuja.

Seizures: Taking thuja might cause seizures in some people. Don't take thuja if you have a history of having seizures.

Interactions

Interactions?

Major Interaction

Do not take this combination

!
  • Medications that increase the chance of having a seizure (Seizure threshold lowering drugs) interacts with THUJA

    Some medications increase the chance of having a seizure. Taking thuja might cause seizures in some people. Taking medications that increase the chance of having a seizure along with thuja might increase the risk of having a seizure. Do not take thuja with medication that increases the chance of having a seizure.
    Some medications that increase the chance of having a seizure include anesthesia (propofol, others), antiarrhythmics (mexiletine), antibiotics (amphotericin, penicillin, cephalosporins, imipenem), antidepressants (bupropion, others), antihistamines (cyproheptadine, others), immunosuppressants (cyclosporine), narcotics (fentanyl, others), stimulants (methylphenidate), theophylline, and others.

  • Medications used to prevent seizures (Anticonvulsants) interacts with THUJA

    Medications used to prevent seizures affect chemicals in the brain. Thuja may also affect chemicals in the brain. By affecting chemicals in the brain, thuja may decrease the effectiveness of medications used to prevent seizures.
    Some medications used to prevent seizures include phenobarbital, primidone (Mysoline), valproic acid (Depakene), gabapentin (Neurontin), carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenytoin (Dilantin), and others.

Dosing

Dosing

The appropriate dose of thuja depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for thuja. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References

REFERENCES:

  • Elsasser-Beile, U., Willenbacher, W., Bartsch, H. H., Gallati, H., Schulte, Monting J., and von, Kleist S. Cytokine production in leukocyte cultures during therapy with Echinacea extract. J Clin Lab Anal. 1996;10(6):441-445. View abstract.
  • Gohla, S. H., Haubeck, H. D., Schrum, S., Soltau, H., and Neth, R. D. Activation of CD4-positive T cells by polysaccharide fractions isolated from the Cupressaceae Thuja occidentalis L. (Arborvitae). Haematol.Blood Transfus. 1989;32:268-272. View abstract.
  • Hauke, W., Kohler, G., Henneicke-von Zepelin, H. H., and Freudenstein, J. Esberitox N as supportive therapy when providing standard antibiotic treatment in subjects with a severe bacterial infection (acute exacerbation of chronic bronchitis). A multicentric, prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Chemotherapy 2002;48(5):259-266. View abstract.
  • Naser, B., Bodinet, C., Tegtmeier, M., and Lindequist, U. Thuja occidentalis (Arbor vitae): A Review of its Pharmaceutical, Pharmacological and Clinical Properties. Evid.Based Complement Alternat.Med 2005;2(1):69-78. View abstract.
  • Naser, B., Lund, B., Henneicke-von Zepelin, H. H., Kohler, G., Lehmacher, W., and Scaglione, F. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical dose-response trial of an extract of Baptisia, Echinacea and Thuja for the treatment of patients with common cold. Phytomedicine. 2005;12(10):715-722. View abstract.
  • Singh, S. K., Shanmugavel, M., Kampasi, H., Singh, R., Mondhe, D. M., Rao, J. M., Adwankar, M. K., Saxena, A. K., and Qazi, G. N. Chemically standardized isolates from Cedrus deodara stem wood having anticancer activity. Planta Med 2007;73(6):519-526. View abstract.
  • Sunila, E. S. and Kuttan, G. A preliminary study on antimetastatic activity of Thuja occidentalis L. in mice model. Immunopharmacol.Immunotoxicol. 2006;28(2):269-280. View abstract.
  • Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. Title 21. Part 182 -- Substances Generally Recognized As Safe. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?CFRPart=182
  • Fetrow CW, Avila JR. Professional's Handbook of Complementary & Alternative Medicines. 1st ed. Springhouse, PA: Springhouse Corp., 1999.
  • Gohla SH, Haubeck HD, Neth RD. Mitogenic activity of high molecular polysaccharide fractions isolated from the Cupressaceae Thuja occidentale L. I. Macrophage-dependent induction of CD-4-positive T-helper (Th+) lymphocytes. Leukemia 1988;2:528-33. View abstract.
  • Henneicke-von Zepelin H, Hentschel C, Schnitker J, et al. Efficacy and safety of a fixed combination phytomedicine in the treatment of the common cold (acute viral respiratory tract infection): results of a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre study. Curr Med Res Opin 1999;15:214-27. View abstract.
  • Lust J. The herb book. New York, NY: Bantam Books, 1999.
  • Millet Y, Jouglard J, Steinmetz MD, et al. Toxicity of some essential plant oils. Clinical and experimental study. Clin Toxicol 1981;18:1485-98. View abstract.
  • Offergeld R, Reinecker C, Gumz E, et al. Mitogenic activity of high molecular polysaccharide fractions isolated from the cuppressaceae Thuja occidentalis L. enhanced cytokine-production by thyapolysaccharide, g-fraction (TPSg). Leukemia 1992;6(Suppl 3):189S-91S. View abstract.
  • Stafstrom CE. Seizures in a 7-month-old child after exposure to the essential plant oil thuja. Pediatr Neurol 2007;37:446-8. View abstract.

Vitamins Survey

Have you ever purchased THUJA?

Did you or will you purchase this product in-store or online?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

What factors influenced or will influence your purchase? (check all that apply)

Vitamins Survey

Where did you or where do you plan to purchase this product?

Do you buy vitamins online or instore?

What factors are most important to you? (check all that apply)

This survey is being conducted by the WebMD marketing sciences department.Read More

More Resources for THUJA

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
© Therapeutic Research Faculty .