Excerpt from Plants for a Future PFAF.org
Eastern cedar leaves were much used medicinally by the native North American Indians, and also in folk medicine by the white settlers, especially to treat chest complaints and skin problems such as venereal warts and other excrescences. The leaves are anthelmintic, diuretic, rubefacient and stimulant. A decoction has been used in the treatment of coughs and colds, general weakness and as a medicine for convalescents. The berries are anthelmintic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue and mildly antiseptic. They have been chewed as a treatment for mouth ulcers or made into a tea to treat colds, rheumatism, worms etc. The fresh young twigs are used as a diuretic. An infusion has been used both internally and as a steam bath in the treatment of rheumatism. The essential oil from the wood is an abortifacient, in some cases it has caused vomiting, convulsions, coma and death. The plant is said to contain the anticancer compound podophyllotoxin.
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