Cedar leaf bundles
Native Americans utilized every part of the cedar tree. They made spears and arrows from the wood, burned the wood for fuel and incense, and used the leaves and branches as insecticides, as well as medicinally for a wide range of diseases. Many tribes, including the Ojibwa and Potawatomi, burned the smoke in purification ceremonies, while the Chippewa burned incense in religious ceremonies.
- volatile oil (mainly 50% cedrene, atlantol, and atlantone [C. atlantica only])
- Leaves, wood, oil
It is strongly disinfectant and used to rid the respiratory tract of invading organisms; and, as an expectorant, it is effective for catarrhal conditions.
In Ayurvedic medicine, cedar leaves are used to treat tuberculosis. A decoction of the heartwood is given for chest infections, insomnia, and diabetes. The essential oil is prescribed for syphilis and leprosy.
The essential oil is a strong medicine; and, when diluted and massaged into the skin, it treats colds, bronchial congestion, and cystitis, as well as wounds and ulcers.
The tips of the leaves can be made into a tea to treat such respiratory conditions as coughs and colds. The cones can relieve colic in babies, and the needles functions as a diuretic. Topically, an infusion of the leaves is effective against skin conditions, including athlete's foot and ringworm.