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Thuja occidentalis



 Thuja occidentalis. American Arbor Vitae. N.O.  Cupressaceae.
 CLASSIFICATION The order of the Coniferales is divided into five families of coniferous trees and shrubs: the Pinaceae [including firs, spruces, pines, cedars,
and larches]; the Podocarpaceae [plum pines]; the Araucariaceae [including araucarias and kauris]; the Taxodiaceae [including redwoods]; and the

Cupressaceae [including cypresses and junipers]. The latter family contains 18 genera and some 135 species, of which 7 species - belonging to 3 genera - are employed in homoeopathy. These genera are Cupressus [2 species], Thuja [2 species], and Juniperus [3 species]. The Cupressaceae have the largest number

of extant species of conifers. Both Cupressaceae and Taxodiaceae first appeared in the Mesozoic, which began 245 million years ago and lasted until 65
million years ago. The first species of Cupressaceae appeared in the late Triassic [245-215 million years ago].

 GENUS The genus Thuja contains 6 species of evergreen coniferous trees with minute scale-like leaves and small, ovoid-oblong cones with 8 to 12 thin
leathery to woody scales. The cones mature in one season but remain on the tree throughout the winter. It owes its name to its fragrant resin - Gr. thyia,
scented gum, or Gr. thuo, to sacrifice, referring to the burning of the resin as incense. Thuja occidentalis and Thuja plicata are the best known representatives.
Both are native North American trees, T. plicata being found, as a general rule, in the west and T. occidentalis in the east. A source of water-resistant wood,
Thuja plicata grows considerably higher [70 m] than T. occidentalis [12-15 m]. Both are popular as ornamental trees, as windbreaks and for hedging because
they are easily shaped and respond very well to pruning.

 THUJA Thuja occidentalis is known under various names: American arbor-vitae, tree of life, yellow cedar, false white cedar, eastern white cedar, swamp cedar,
and northern white cedar. The name arbor vitae [Latin for tree of life] is not limited to Thuja species, but is a common name for a number of related evergreen
trees of the cypress family. Originating in the early 17th century, the name alludes to the medicinal value ascribed to their balsamic resin. Native to Eastern
North America from Nova Scotia to Virginia, it was one of the earliest, if not the first American tree to be introduced into Europe [in Britain about 1566].
Preferring fairly moist climates and conditions, it forms dense populations in swamps and wet forests in its native habitats. It is found at 0-900 m elevation on
mostly calcareous substrates, neutral to basic swamps, shores of lakes and rivers, uplands, cliffs, and talus. On limestone cliffs and talus slopes it is often a
pioneer. Thuja occidentalis is found in the ecotone between sphagnum bog and upland hardwood communities. It may dominate rich swamp forests, poor
swamp forests, and the cedar string bog and fen complex. The tree thrives in areas with high snowfall but not particularly well in dry-summer climates.

Porcupines, deer, and hares browse the young shoots, sometimes so heavily that reproduction of the tree is reduced. The thick trunk is usually divided in two
or three at the base, with horizontal branches curved at the end and pendulous branchlets. The flattened branchlets spread out in fan-shaped sprays. Growing
under ideal conditions it has a symmetrical, narrowly pyramidal or narrowly conical shape with a tight, compact crown. In harsh environments, however, its
growth is often stunted or prostrate. Specimens growing on cliffs tend to be deformed with multiple leaders and twisted trunks, whereas those in wet lowlands
tend to be more erect with well-defined trunks. [Ecotypic variation is not consistent; variations may also occur within a single site, instead of between lowland
and upland sites only.] This species is extremely slow growing; after 50 years, it might reach 12 m in height on good sites, but only 4.5 m or less on poor
sites. The dull yellowish green foliage, turning bronze in winter, has conspicuous glands on the leaves of the main axis. When bruised, the branches emit a
scent that resembles a mixture of tansy and turpentine; the taste is bitter and resembles camphor and terebinth. Thuja occidentalis reaches ages in excess of
800 years. Two trees on the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario were dated at 935 and 1,032 years. Sexual reproduction, by cones, begins as young as
6 years of age; by age 30 large quantities are produced, although the best production occurs after age 75. Seeds have broad lateral wings and are
disseminated by wind, reaching distances of 45 to 60 m from the source tree. Germination occurs on a variety of substrates but seedling establishment is
limited to sites with a constant moisture supply. Drought is a major cause of seedling mortality. Seedling growth is slow, with an annual average of 8 cm in the
first few years. Because of its thin bark, shallow roots, and high oil content, Thuja is highly susceptible to fire. The lightweight but very durable heartwood is
used for applications that require endurance to exposure to all kinds of weather. More than 120 named cultivars of this species exist, including dwarf Thujas. 1

 CONSTITUENTS Thujone; fenchone [occurs also in fennel oil and in the essential oil of Lavandula stoechas]; thujetic acid; sabinene [also in Juniperus
sabina]; camphor; tannin; pinipicrin; acetic acid, formic acid, isovaleric and valerianic acid; calcium. The foliage is rich in vitamin C; American Indians and early
European explorers used it to treat scurvy. The essential oil content decreases with age; 30-year-old trees yield 50% less oil than trees half that age. The
monoterpene thujone is part of the essential oils present in Coniferae, Umbelliferae, Labiatae and Compositae. It is a toxic chemical with a multitude of
biological activities: abortifacient, anthelminthic, antispasmodic, cerebrodepressant, epileptigenic, hallucinogenic, herbicide, neurotoxic, inhibiting respiration,
and used in perfumery [for example, menthol]. Thujone's mechanism of action is not fully understood, although structural similarities between thujone and
tetrahydrocannabinol [the active component in marijuana] have led to the hypothesis that both substances have the same site of action in the brain. In 1963,
two German scientists proved that thujone is identical to the tanecetone of tansy [Tanacetum] and the salvanol of sage [Salvia]. Of the plants relatively rich in
thujone, the following are interesting from a homoeopathic point of view: Salvia [two species: officinalis and triloba] is at the top of the list [in particular, and by
far, S. officinalis], Artemisia [three species: A. vulgaris, A. absinthium, A. dracunculus - Tarragon], Mentha, Achillea millefolium, Matricaria recutita
[chamomile], Juniperus sabina, and Thuja. "The oil, resembling camphor, may produce convulsions in warm-blooded and paralysis in cold-blooded animals.
Sixteen drops of the oil, taken by a girl of fifteen, caused unconsciousness, followed by spasms and convulsions, with subsequent stomachic irritation. It
causes great flatulence and distension of the stomach."2

 USES The essential oil is used in cleansers, disinfectants, hair preparations, insecticides, liniment, room sprays, and soft soaps, sometimes an adulterant of
oils of artemisia, dalmation sage, and tansy. Powdered leaves are reported to kill flies in 2 hours, the vapourized leaf powder to kill ticks. The wood contains a
heat stable antibiotic useful as a food preservative.

 FOLK MEDICINE "The plant, usually as a tincture, is used in folk remedies for benign skin tumors, cancers, condylomata [of penis and vulva], excrescences,
fungous flesh, neoplasms, papillomas, plantar warts, polyps, tumors, and warts. Reported to be anaphrodisiac, diaphoretic, diuretic, lactagogue, and laxative, arbor vitae is a folk remedy for burns, colds, consumption, cough, debility, distemper, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea, fever, gout, headache, inflammation, malaria,
paralysis, rheumatism, swollen extremities, toothache, and worms. The charcoal, mixed with bear gall, was introduced under the skin, after application, with
needles in early Indian acupuncture, which resulted in black tattoos. Chippewa pricked the charcoal powder into the temples as an analgesic and used the
leaves in cough compounds. Hurons used the boughs for their bed as a snake repellent. Menominee used in herbal steam and smudges for skin ailments and
unconsciousness; they decocted the inner bark for amenorrhoea, and poulticed powdered leaves onto swellings. Montagnai decocted the bruised twigs as a
diaphoretic. Ojibwa used the leaf decoction as an analgetic, antitussive, depurative, and smoked objects and steamed themselves with the smoke or steam as
a ceremonial cleansing. Penobscot poulticed the leaves onto hands and feet, and used for cancerous warts. Potawatomi treated the plant almost like a
panacea, and burned the leaves over the coals as medicine, ceremonial purification, and to repel evil spirits."3 Thuja occidentalis twigs were official in the US
Pharmacopoeia, 1882-94, and in the National Formulary, 1916-36, being used for stimulant, diuretic, emmenagogue, and irritant purposes. The volatile, distilled
leaf oil was official in the USP, 1942-50, and was used as a stimulant to heart and uterine muscle, and generally as a stimulant, irritant, and antiseptic.

 SYMBOLISM Given their biological characteristics, trees in general make ideal metaphors to convey the notions of growth, strength, and longevity. Trees,
esp. true cedars [genus Cedrus], that tower above fifty metres and are a thousand years old become emblems of grandeur, survival, and incorruptibility. Due to
their longevity, incorruptible resin and evergreen leaves, cypress and thuja have been associated with immortality [Tree of Life]. For this reason, the cypress is
planted in graveyards and owes its place as the funereal tree in the Mediterranean region to the common symbolism of the conifer.

 PROVINGS •• [1] Hahnemann - 11 provers; method: unknown.

 •• [2] Mayrhofer - 29 provers [22 males, 7 females; including three children], 1844-45; method: repeated and/or increasing doses of oil of Thuja, tincture [20
provers], 1x [5 provers], 2x [6 provers], 3x [6 provers], 4x [2 provers], 6x [3 provers], 8x, 9x, 10x, 11x, 12x [4 provers], 15x, 27x, 30x [2 provers], 60x, and 202x.
Most provers instituted from two to six separate provings on themselves.

 •• [3] Wolf - "proving with a single pellet of 1000th potency [Jenichen], allowed to act for two years in my own person, and the results combined with provings
on a hundred others of both sexes and all ages, examined with all possible care." [Allen]

 •• [4] Schreter - 7 provers [4 females, 3 males]; method: 1000th pot., manner not stated.

 For several reasons the proving by Mayrhofer may be considered peculiar: 5 provers [man, wife, and three of their children] take each morning 100 drops of
Thuja in potencies in descending scale, beginning with 30x and concluding with 1x after 30 days; four of them hardly notice any effect except for crops of warts
on their hands. The astonishing amounts of tincture ingested remain without results for a few provers as well, one of them remarking that he "had now taken
some 25,000 drops of the Thuja tincture, and was well weary of it, but not ill." Every man, however, may meet his match, for the "boldest and most
indefatigable prover" manages to put away "42,260 drops of tincture in large doses" over a period of 155 days. One female prover consents to participate when
she is told that she "might possibly get rid of her warts"; the proving produces three crops of fresh warts on her hands, although 138 days after the conclusion
of the proving [with the tincture, every day for 3 months] all warts, old and new, are gone. Given the number of provers, it is also peculiar that basically only one
prover produces a set of what may be regarded classical Thuja symptoms: headache as from a nail in head, sensation of something alive in abdomen, and
profuse sweat about genitals. One may wonder what the criteria were for inclusion of symptoms. This is partly answered by Mayerhofer's remark that
"subjective symptoms ... scarcely add new lines to the portrait of the Thuja sickness".

 Wolf's proving seems a bit odd as well, chiefly because the symptoms are given without any further information. They nonetheless make up the principal part
of the mind-section of Thuja in Allen's Encyclopaedia.

 [1] database Fire Effects Information System, USDA Forest Service; website. [2] Grieve, A Modern Herbal. [3] James A. Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops;


 Mucous membranes [GENITO-URINARY; intestines]. Mind. Nerves. Occiput. Glands. SKIN. Left ovary. * Left side. Right side.


 Worse: COLD DAMP. Heat; of bed. Periodically [3 A.M.; yearly; increasing moon; during menses]. Urinating. Gonorrhoea. Vaccination. Tea. Onions. Motion.
Talking. Tobacco. Narcotics.

 Better: Warm [wind; air; wrapping head]. Free secretions. Sneezing. Motion. Crossing legs. Touch. Drawing up the limbs. Open air. Lying on affected side.
Lying on back.

 Main symptoms


 Fanaticism [religious; delusion he is under superhuman control].

 • "Obsessive anxiety about minor or imaginary defaults of body." [Gray]

 Religious fanaticism.
 • "Thuja seems to come from a situation of religious order in society or from any situation that demands rigidity in thinking, very fixed ideas. Theocracies, like
those in the Middle East, would require this remedy. Also many of the strict religious leaders, with rigid ideas about sin, often have many skeletons in their
cupboards." [Sankaran]
 [Should be differentiated with Artemisia absinthium if the religious fanaticism is accompanied by apocalyptic ideas.]

 Fanaticism about health, diet, etc.

 Obsessive self-interest.

 • "He often dreamed in a clear day, with open eyes without being asleep, for an hour at a time; in this he esp. revelled in overpowering selfishness, himself the
central point about which everything must turn, with an intoxicated feeling of the most joyous self-satisfaction, which is the more important since usually he is
constantly melancholic." [proving Wolf]


 Slaves to duty, conscientious, and particular about detail. [Ross]

 • "Rigidity in emotional expression and behaviour is characteristic in Thuja. There can be a hardness and insensitivity toward others because their own
emotional expressions are calculated. The mind rules the emotions to such an extent that everything must be done in a particular order. They can be fastidious
and quite proper. They may become opinionated, dogmatic and moralistic."1

 M  Sensation as if BODY were FRAIL.

 M  CLOSED, yet well mannered and polite.

   • "From childhood on the true Thuja type learned to carefully construct the front they present to the world. There is a calculated deceit about how much and
what kind of information about they will allow to be known. In this way their lives become compartmentalized - one appearance to the work place, another at
home, a third to the therapist and homoeopath, etc."2

   • "They are individualistic, but are not likely to make a mark in the world, and they do not like to have their privacy imposed upon." [Borland]

 M  Low self-esteem.

 • "Many Thuja patients were taught in their formative years that they were ugly, bad, or unlovable. ... In order to preserve a shred of self-esteem the child
learned to carefully observe the behaviours and appearances of others that seemed to work for them. They very calculatedly constructed a personality that
eludes abuse and criticism. In this mode inner truth seems less effective than white lies and deceit becomes easier and easier. Eventually, the Thuja patient
comes to believe the lies as truth and cannot tell one from the other. They have so consciously shaped their personality by other people's needs and
expectations that they have trouble finding their own truth."3

  Feeling of UGLINESS inside.

 • "She fancies that she has intentionally represented herself as insane in the presence of others in order to palliate a wrong supposed to have been done, and
that now she is punished, therefore, by real insanity." [proving Wolf]
 SELF-CONTEMPT [hidden].


 M  Outer appearance and self-presentation extremely important.

 Leading to trickery, manipulation, deceit.

 "The great masquerader."

 Holds information back.

 • "Behaviour is defensive - but they present themselves as apparently very open. [Phos. is really very open.] 'Nobody can be a phosphorus like a thuja'."4

 M Split feeling.

 • "She has a decided sensation that her soul is separated from her body, and in such a condition hears and feels everything as from a distance." [proving Wolf]

 M Strangers <.
 Feels himself a stranger. Estranged from himself.

 Idea that a stranger were at his side.

 M  Dreams of falling; of the dead.

 M Death and Dying.

 Delusions: of dead people; of talking with dead people.

 Delusions of dying.

 Dreams of death - of their own death, of death of other people, of dead people.

 • "When she went to the doctor with bleeding melanoma he said she would survive it, but she felt suspicious of this. She went to a surgeon, and he said it was not serious, and she felt very suspicious; she began to tell the surgeon what to do. At this point she went from doctor to doctor in a panic, and felt that
she never asked the right questions. She says, 'The moment that doctor told me I had melanoma, I thought I would have to die. This is the solution for
everything.' [She is smiling as she is saying this.] She says, 'When I am rational, of course I do not want to die. I feel terrible that I felt this way about myself.
[Her expression is opposite to what is being said.] When she had her daughter, she felt that she had a reason to live but was also worrying that if she died her
sister would have husband and her child. 'I had something my sister did not have, I did not have the right to have my husband and my child. I always have
these kind of strange thoughts about having to live, not about wanting to live.' She says, 'It is as if I am allowed to live'."5

 G  Never well since vaccination [esp. smallpox] or desensitization [hay fever].

 G  ONIONS [desire, aversion or <].

 Desire for chocolate and salt.

  Worse from FAT.

 G  OILY skin, perspiration.

 G  Sweetish odour of perspiration [esp. on genitals].

 G  Sweat on uncovered parts; with dry heat on covered parts.

 G  < SUPPRESSED gonorrhoea.

 G  < 3 A.M.  and 3 P.M.

 G  < AFTER midnight.

 G  Discharges YELLOW-GREEN or GREEN.

 • "On 10th July, when taking a walk, I happened to pass an arbor-vitae laden with green cones. I plucked one, chewed it a little, and thought no more about it.
That same evening I observed a very disagreeable scalding on making water, which continued all next day; and I was horrified to observe on undressing that my
shirt was spotted all over in a manner extremely repugnant to one's notions of respectability. I found a considerable gleety discharge from the urethra, which

was evidently swollen and inflamed, as the stream of urine was small and split, and the burning had increased. I had quite forgotten the circumstance of having
chewed the Thuja cone, and could not imagine what could have produced in me, a decent paterfamilias, such a very incongruous complaint. The following day
the discharge had become yellow, while the other symptoms remained as before. I now remembered the cone chewing, and regarded the malady with more
composure. I resolved to take no medicine to interfere with its course. The discharge still continued, though in diminishing degree, till the 15th; but the scalding
and interrupted stream of urine were by that time gone, and on the 16th I was again quite well. The symptoms while they lasted were precisely those of an
ordinary attack of gonorrhoea, but their medicinal origin was evidenced by the short duration of the attack. I should add that two colleagues, who, at my suggestion, chewed a cone as I had done, were unaffected by it." [Dudgeon, in Hughes]

 G  Pain in SMALL spots.

 G  WARTS, excrescences, condylomata, polypi.
 G  Problems with NAILS.

 [1-3] Gray, Thuja - The great Masquerader; HL 2/95. [4] Wallace, Remedy Notes. [5] Lyn Snow and Suzanne Fries, Review of a homeopathic seminar with
Alize Timmerman; HL 2/00.



 Contemptuous of self [1]. Delusions, body is brittle [2], body is delicate [2/1], body is in danger of coming in pieces [1/1], being divided into two parts, and
could not tell of which part he has possession on waking [1/1], of emaciation [1], soul is separated from body [1], is under superhuman control [2]. Fanaticism
[2]. Hurry, during mental exertion [2], in movements [2]. Mental symptoms from moonlight [1]. Sadness > wine [1/1]. Sensitive to sacred music [1]. Speech,
cannot finish sentence [1]. Presence of strangers < [2]. Vanishing of thoughts while speaking [2]. Weeping when spoken to [1].


 After animated talking [1], after talking long [1/1].


 Colours before the eyes, blue, when eyes are closed [1/1]; green stripes [1/1]; yellow flames [1]. Sparks, outside field of vision, either side [1/1]. Zigzags [1].


 Sounds seem distant [1].

 Coryza, > general symptoms [1/1], > motion [1]. Odours, imaginary, of fish brine [1].


 Food does not taste salty enough [2]; food tastes sweetish [1].


 Pain, at beginning of menses, extending from hip to hip [1/1].

 Diarrhoea, after fat food [1], after onions [2], after vaccination [2].


 Perspiration, sweetish smell [2/1].


 Voice, hoarseness in cold air [1].
 Sensation as if drops were falling in the chest [1/1]. Palpitation, from drinking cold water [1/1].

 Numbness soles of feet while sitting [1]. Restlessness feet during menses [1; homeopathic zinc.]. Wooden sensation lower limbs while walking [1].


 Sleeplessness, after menses [1; Kali-br.], from always the same thought [1].

 Accusations [1]. Danger of death [1]. Falling [3]. Teeth breaking off [1].


 Aversion: [2]: Onions. [1]: Fresh meat; meat; potatoes; tobacco.

 Desire: [3]: Chocolate. [2]: Cold drinks; cold food; raw onions; salt. [1]: Acid fruit; refreshing things; sour; tea; tobacco.

 Worse: [2]: Coffee; fat; food, smell of; tea. [1]: Apples; butter; cold drinks; cold food; fish; hot food; onions; pork; potatoes; rich food; sour; sugar; sweets;
warm food; wine.

 Better: [1]: Cold drinks; cold food; hot food.


Lisa Foster said...

I woke up at exactly 5:00 am this Easter morning. A man's voice was my alarm...all I heard was a calm "LISA?"....I thought for a moment it was my boss-Victor...I lay there for a minutes waiting to hear something else...I heard nothing...then the thought entered my head...oh s-word...so I got up off the couch and went down the hall to look in on him-with the clickety -click click sound of the jack russells toenails clicking along in tow on the hardwood floors.... Upon reaching his bedroom door I could hear Victor's soft slumbering sounds and I breathed a sigh of relief. So I grabbed my pack of American Spirit's went out on the back porch and lit the day's first cigarette while admiring the perfect half moon. There were silvery lined clouds gliding their way across the half face as I sat there listening to the jacks running through the brush, reflecting on the man we call Jesus Christ. It is a perfect morning. Happy Easter Book-facers.~<3

Lisa Foster said...

I woke up at exactly 5:00 am this Easter morning. A man's voice was my alarm...all I heard was a calm "LISA?"....I thought for a moment it was my boss-Victor...I lay there for a few minutes waiting to hear something else...I heard nothing...then the thought entered my head...oh s-word...so I got up off the couch and went down the hall to look in on him-with the clickety -click click sound of the jack russells toenails clicking along in tow on the hardwood floors.... Upon reaching his bedroom door I could hear Victor's soft slumbering sounds and I breathed a sigh of relief. So I grabbed my pack of American Spirit's went out on the back porch and lit the day's first cigarette while admiring the perfect half moon. There were silvery lined clouds gliding their way across the half face as I sat there listening to the jacks running through the brush, reflecting on the man we call Jesus Christ. It is a perfect morning. Happy Easter Book-facers.~<3

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