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What are the Uses of Thuja in Homeopathy?

By Sarah Sullins
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are many different uses of thuja in homeopathy, though the plant extract is perhaps most commonly used as a treatment for skin problems, issues with the female reproductive system and menstruation, and as a non-invasive treatment for a range of respiratory concerns. It is sometimes also recommended as something of an antidote for the harsh treatments undergone by many cancer patients, and might also help reduce the negative side effects of many vaccines, particularly in children. Many practitioners see it as something of a cure-all, and it has historically been used for almost every sort of complaint. Common conditions like headaches, toothaches, acne, bacterial infections, and hair loss may benefit from the use of thuja, and mental health problems like depression and stress can also be treated with it. A lot depends on the practitioner, the patient, and the range of other options available.

Medicinal Basics and History

Thuja is the name of a genus of evergreen tree native to North America. It is in the cypress family, and often goes by the name “white cedar.” The homeopathic remedy that carries the “thuja” name is usually made from the twigs and needles of that tree. Sometimes these are brewed fresh into a tea or other medicinal tincture, or they might be ground or extracted chemically and put into pill or capsule form.

Native Americans in the United States and in Canada are thought to have been the first to use extracts from this tree to help improve health and relieve the symptoms of many different illnesses, including coughing, menstrual problems, malaria, and headaches. When settlers came from Europe, they began to utilize the medicinal properties of the white cedar as well.

Skin Conditions

One of the most common uses of thuja in homeopathy is to treat skin ailments. In these cases, the extract is most commonly used in conjunction with lotions or creams, and is rubbed directly on the skin. It is used by many people to get rid of several different types of warts, for instance; age spots, which appear as brown patches on the skin, are also often treated with this type of homeopathic remedy. Dry skin conditions like eczema might also benefit from thuja application.

Female Reproductive Issues

When brewed as a tea, thuja is a common remedy for a range of problems with a woman’s menstrual cycle. Periods that come early, too frequently, or otherwise irregularly can often be normalized with regular treatments, and the tincture can sometimes also help relieve cramps and bloating. Some women have taken thuja to treat and get rid of cysts that have developed on their ovaries, too.

Some of the urogential issues that can be treated with thuja may include urinary infections, swollen urethras, and vaginal infections. This remedy may also be used to treat certain sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and herpes.

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory problems like sinusitis and bronchitis are also good candidates for homeopathic thuja treatments. It’s often most effective with respiratory issues that are chronic, and its anti-inflammatory properties frequently make it a good choice for people who suffer from asthma. Sometimes teas are used for these purposes, particularly if the condition is accompanied by a cough — the hot steam from tea can often be a soothing part of the remedy. It’s also common for homeopathic practitioners to prescribe capsules or powdered supplements for patients with respiratory ailments, since these often provide higher concentrations and can begin working more quickly.

To Counteract Other Treatments

It’s also relatively common for homeopathic practitioners to recommend this supplement to people who are going through other aggressive medical treatments, particularly those associated with cancer. Thuja is believed to decrease the side effects that are often associated with chemotherapy and radiation, for instance. There is some evidence linking it to the relief of mental health issues, too, and as such it may also be able to help cancer patients who are struggling with depression.

Some homeopathic physicians might also recommend giving a dose of thuja to children who are going to be vaccinated. In these cases the treatment is intended to prevent any bad side effects, like fever or swelling, that might occur because of the vaccine. There isn’t usually a risk of the supplement interacting with the active ingredients in the inoculation, though parents are usually wise to check with the vaccine administrator before dosing their child to avoid any unforeseen risks.

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Discussion Comments
By anon1002685 — On Jan 23, 2020

For menstrual cramps, take Oxalis from Weleda or another producer.

By anon998195 — On Apr 23, 2017

I first tried thuja to get rid of some tiny warts on my neck. It didn't work but after a while I noticed that the pain in my hip that I'd had for a long time went away.

By anon963765 — On Jul 31, 2014

I was recommended thuja by a homeopathy practitioner for warts. Unfortunately, it didn't help me.

As the doctor recommended. I took multiple doses per day for the first couple of weeks and then just one dose per day for the last week. I even waited for about a month after to see if the effects would kick in, but it didn't.

By Reshamm — On Oct 28, 2013

I'm facing menstrual problems. Generally it's there for two or three days, but now it's the seventh day of the same. It's painful and the flow is continuously going on -- not very heavy, but it's there. Please suggest something I could do.

A few months back I had a cyst problem and took thuja 200 and that went away. Before I got the cyst, I had the same menstrual problem and it was thrice in a month. All the time, I feel pain in my back and legs. I also feel irritated and lethargic.

By fify — On Aug 09, 2012

I'm half Native American and my aunt who still follows Native American traditions closely uses white cedar often for health.

She has white cedars around her home and when someone catches a cold or if they're just feeling down and tired, she will make this wonderful tea from the green part of the tree.

I've drank it before when I had headaches and I can vouch that it works. And it tastes pleasant too, especially with honey. I also love the scent. I think the scent of white cedar tea is aromatherapy by itself.

By ddljohn — On Aug 08, 2012

@ZipLine-- What kind of warts are you trying to treat?

I'm curious because I have treated plantar warts with thuja in the past. It was very effective and I didn't experience any negative side effects. Two weeks of use was enough in my case. So maybe it has to do with the kind of wart?

Plantar warts are viral but if you had a wart caused by bacteria, perhaps thuja wasn't able to treat it? I'm not a doctor and my knowledge of homeopathy is limited but I'm sure there is a good explanation for why thuja didn't work for your warts.

Also, if you weren't seen physically by a homeopath, I think you should. Some people decide to use thuja based on references from homeopathic pharmacies online. But a homeopath needs to examine you physically and psychologically to prescribe the right medications in the right doses.

Without this close-up examination, it might be hard to find the right treatment or the right dose. That's my opinion anyway.

By ZipLine — On Aug 08, 2012

I was recommended thuja by a homeopathy practitioner for warts. Unfortunately, it didn't help me.

As the doctor recommended. I took multiple doses per day for the first couple of weeks and then just one dose per day for the last week. I even waited for about a month after to see if the effects would kick in, but it didn't.

I was really hoping that thuja would work for me. I've tried a few other homeopathic medicines in the past that I got good results with. But I guess it doesn't work every time.

By Monika — On Aug 07, 2012

@sunnySkys - Well, certain "regular" medications are effective for a few different problems too. For example, many antibiotics treat several different kinds of bacterial infections. And some over the counter medicines have multiple uses too. The same ingredient that's in some antihistamines is also used as a sleep aid because it causes drowsiness.

So I don't see why a homeopathic remedy couldn't have multiple uses too!

By sunnySkys — On Aug 07, 2012

I do use homeopathic and herbal medicine from time to time, but I tend to be really skeptical of claims that one medicine does a bunch of stuff. How can one homeopathic remedy help periods, urinary issues, asthma, respiratory issues, and cancer treatment symptoms? It sounds pretty suspect to me!

By Ted41 — On Aug 06, 2012

@indemnifyme - Yeah, medications and supplements that treat more than one thing are great, especially if you're suffering from two of the problems that it treats!

I think the idea of using a thuja homeopathic to combat the side effects of cancer treatment is a great idea because of this. As the article said, it can also help the cancer patients feel less depressed, which is good for their over all health.

That being said, I've never heard of anyone using thuja for treating cancer treatment symptoms. I wonder if the regular medical community knows about this, or is it only a homeopathic thing?

By indemnifyme — On Aug 05, 2012

I've used homeopathic medicine before, but I've never used thuja. However, I've been looking for something to take for both depression and for some menstrual issues I've been having, so I think I'm going to give it a try.

I love taking stuff that can treat more than one problem at one time, instead of taking a bunch of different things.

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