Eastern Red Cedar – Juniperus virginiana

Cedar
Cedar

Oh, the cedar tree!
If mankind in his infancy
had prayed for the perfect substance
for all material and aesthetic needs,
an indulgent god could have provided
nothing better.

Bill Reid

 

 

 

Cedar oil was used by the ancient Egyptians in their mummification process, in their cosmetics, and as an insect repellant.

 

Many Native American peoples prized cedar as a medicine for fever, headaches, coughs, swollen hands, and rheumatic problems. The 19th century Eclectic herbalists used it as a remedy for bronchitis, rheumatism, and uterine cancer.

 

Juniper is also edible….a tea can be made from the young twigs (without fruit), and the fruit can be crushed and used as a spice in soups and stews.

The wood is highly valued for its scent, beauty, durability, and workability. Oil (cedrol) obtained from the wood is used in perfumes and medicines. The red inner bark is the basis of a red dye.

Warning: The sap and essential oil can cause dermatitis and respiratory problems. Large amounts consumed internally may cause diarrhea.

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