MAYA ETHNOBOTANICALS

Ayahuasca, Rainforest Plants, Shamanic Herbs, Incenses, Art & Visions

Thuja plicata (Red Cedar)

Wood, Chips from United States (SKU 3279)

New in our selection! Highly aromatic shavings (chips) of the Thuja Plicata tree.



Family: Cupressaceae (Cypress family)

Red cedar is a large conifer that contains aromatic oils used for incense, and wood valued for building and rot resistance.

Other names: Giant arborvitae, Western Red Cedar.

Western Red Cedar is one of the most spiritually significant trees in American northwestern native cultures, with the coastal peoples employing the use of all its parts. Dugout canoes, house planks, bentwood boxes, clothing, all manner of tools, masks, rope, baskets, flutes, paddles, and medicines are to name but a few known uses. The highly aromatic wood has been used for centuries to make boxes and chambers that ward off insects. It is believed to have been used extensively by the Egyptians. Although information on the subject is unclear, the bark of this tree may have been added to smoking mixtures used by sacred pipe carriers within the native tradition.

Western Red Cedar exhibits antifungal, and antibacterial properties. It is also believed to have strengthening effects on the immune and respiratory systems. Traditional incense uses include: to relax muscles, calm emotions, strengthen breath, enhance meditation, increase comfort, repel insects, and as a tonic to maintain healthy hairgrow.

Red Cedar belongs to the Cupressaceae (Cypress family) and is one of the largest growing trees on the planet, with mature members reaching 200 feet and living greater than 1000 years. Red Cedar grows best in wet nutrient rich soils and is commonly found in the northwestern coastal regions of the USA. Branches tend to droop and flare outward having flat scale like green leaves arranged in fan-like sprays.This most noteworthy tree retains its lower branches as it grows unlike many of its neighbors within old growth forests. The fiberous bark may range from reddish to grey in color and will peel off in long strips if forced. The tree will bear cones and flowers of both sexes. Male and female flowers usually do not occur on the same branch. Growth can be quick, approaching more than 1 meter per year.

Western Red Cedar is not the common species used for aromatherapy oil taken from the wood. There are however distilled essential oils made from the leaves that are known as Cedar Leaf Oil. In this case the species will be accordingly identified as Thuja Plicata. This is a powerful oil and should be used sparingly or with carrier oils. The essential oil has toxic properties.

Caution and respect are necessary when making contact with this botanical. Trees especially can have toxic properties depending on the manner of usage and the parts used. Correct identification of the species and accurate knowledge of preparations involved are absolutely critical. Uninformed experimentation is plainly dangerous due to possibly toxic effects. This plant should not be used by pregnant women.

[1] Western Red Cedar, Retrieved from Master Garden Products (2001)
[2] Medicinal Western Red Cedar, Retrieved from Mybackyard
[3] Native Plants of the Northwest, Retrieved from NW Plants
[4] Thuja Plicata, Retrieved from Botany
[5] Cedar leaf Oil. Retrieved from Bolekscrafts

Red Ceder, King's American Dispensatory

This is a natural product, used as incense or in perfumery, or as an ingredient of incense and other perfumery or potpourri preparations.
Some incense plants or products may have some history of other folklore purposes, but we offer this product for its use as incense. Not food grade, not for consumption.

Please read our Terms & Conditions before placing your order.

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