Latin name: Thuja occidentalis L.
Botanical family: Cupressaceae
Growth habit: Tree
Vernacular name(s): arbor vitae, white cedar (Eng.)
thuya, cdre (Fr.)
kisgens, songup, kizigantic (Algonquin)
kishig (Chippewa)
malan'dak (Abenaki)
kiskens, kizek (Algonquin)
gi'jikan'dg (Ojibwa)
ka'gsgos (Malecite, masi'ck , mshtshshk Montagnais)
masikiskasiht, masikisk, mascakes (Cree)
mldagw (Abenaki)
Uses:
Boiled and the steam inhaled for several hours under a tent to treat pleurisy [Algonquin: 68]. Used to treat swellings and to make medicinal pillows [67].
Twigs :Bruised and steeped to make a sweat drink [Algonquians 63]. Boiled and used to stimulate synovia production and treat numb articulations [Algonquin 68]. Burned as a disinfectant to fumigate a house where someone is sick of a contagious disease, such as smallpox [Chippewa 85]. Used to make a steam bath to treat cold, fever, rheumatism, menstrual disorders and for women after childbirth. [Algonquin 69]. Crushed and mixed with boiling water, the steam is beneficial for toothache [Algonquin 69]. Decoction taken for pneumonia, powdered branches are used in various ailments. Used in a decoction or chewed to extract the juice and taken internally to treat urine retention, or a sore bladder [Cree 95]. Steeped and taken for cough and cold. Tea used in consumption [Malecite 65]. Mashed, steeped in boiling water and applied for heart pain [Montagnais 70].
Leaves :Made into a poultice for swollen hands or feet [Algonquians 63; Mi'kmaq 60]. Fresh, mixed with bear fat and used as an ointment for rheumatism [66]. Tea used for cough, headache and as a blood purifier [Ojibwa 87]. Crused, mixed with other plants in a decoction used as a wash and drunk to treat a facial paralysis caused by a stroke. Powdered with other plants and mixed with water to make a paste used as a poultice to treat facial paralysis caused by "bad medicine", or to treat general pain [Cree 13]. or rheumatism [Algonquin 68]. Pulverized, heated, spread in a cloth and pressed on the chest to treat congestion and pain. Same preparation applied to treat skin infections, cuts and abdominal pain [Cree 80]. Brewed as a wash to treat facial paralysis. Used to treat arthritis and muscular pain [Cree 96].
Cones :Tea used to treat colic [Algonquin 69].
Wood :Used for ear problems [Montagnais 71]. Rotten wood powdered and used for rashes and skin irritations [Algonquin 69].
Charcoal :Combined with bear gall, pricked into the temples with needles to treat convulsions [Chippewa 47].
Bark :Pounded, mixed with grease and applied to burns [Malecite 65].
Gum :Applied to ease toothache [Malecite 65]. , also applied for chest or heart pain [Montagnais 70].