Cree Elder talks about how the natives used the powerful Cedar to cure diseases
Aboriginal Students Health Sciences (ASHS) Elder in Residence Bertha Skye talks about various Indigenous medicines and cultural practices. This episode looks at the power of Cedar.
Cedar was the first tree in Creation and one of the most powerful medicines. Any user of alternative medicine is acquainted with the healing properties of the cedar tree. The tea of the twigs and branches is simmered until the water in the pot begins to turn brown. It is then used for fevers, rheumatic complaints, chest colds and flu.
Among Native people it is considered a sacred tree and they will not perform a ceremony without it. Like sage and sweetgrass, cedar is used to purify the home. It also has many restorative medicinal uses – cedar baths are healing; cedar is used for colds and other illnesses. Cedar is used in fasting and sweat lodge ceremonies as a form of protection: cedar branches cover the floor of the sweat lodge, and a circle of cedar surrounds the faster's lodge.
Cedar Tea and Cedar Baths are excellent for reducing turmoil as it is physically cleansing and brings a fresh air to the sufferer which lessens the resistance to needed change. Its application as a prophylactic is especially recommended to people subject to serious physical and mental stress (e.g., soldiers, athletes, students and managers) – not to mention smokers – thanks to the accelerated formation of free radicals in their bodies. It is fully and totally effective in the healing of ailments related to the musculoskeletal system (in pre– and post–operational conditions), skin disorders, the locomotor apparatus, respiratory disorders, as well as the digestive and cardial systems.
Cedar can be applied externally for extreme pain in muscles using the oil mixture warmed. Do not warm any herbal salves or infused oils in the microwave.