These magnificent creatures are responsible for our breath, our status as living, and they make our world more beautiful. But who can imagine their true properties? Are they here only to create oxygen or do they have other secrets and other reasons for being with us?
During research in 2007, it was observed that with only a one-hour treatment of medicinal smoke emanated by burning wood and a mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs, on aerial bacterial population, it was caused over 94% reduction of bacterial counts by 60 minutes. The ability of the smoke to purify or disinfect the air and to make the environment cleaner was maintained for up to 24 hours in the closed room. The mixture used in the study was "havan sámagri" a material used in oblation to fire all over India, and which contains cedar among others. While in another research, 265 plant species of mono-ingredient remedies were studied and 24.5% of them were used as smoke directed at a specific organ or body part. The benefits were especially pulmonary (23.5%), neurological (21.8%), and dermatological (8.1%).
Among these magnificent ingredients was cedarwood from the #cedar tree. The mother of trees and the one that hides the secret to our existence.
Fumigation or smudging, as we call it today (although fumigation is used mostly in disinfection from pests with chemicals), made famous by Hippocrates, is a purifying ritual that contains the four elements of #water, #fire, #earth, and #air. Earth and water are represented by the herbs, air, and fire by the burning of them and the smoke.
Shamans use the art of smudging for various therapies, African tribes still jump over smoke before hunting and they also roll with smoke the newborns. And in Britain, the cows will go through smoke every spring in order to relieve them from parasites.
For the First Nations on the northwest coast of America, all parts of the cedar tree had many uses. From the wood, they made ocean-going canoes, take advantage of its strength, massive post-and-beam houses, monumental carved poles that declared history, rights, and lineage, and powerful dance masks. They wove the inner bark into mats and baskets, plied it into cordage and netting, or processed it into soft, water-repellent clothing. They also made the strong withes into heavy-duty rope and wove the roots into watertight baskets.
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In the traditional Ayuverdian practice cedar is used for inflammation, indigestion, insomnia, cough, the common cold, and in serious lung diseases like tuberculosis and bronchitis.
And in the traditional Persoarabian healing system Ynani, cedarwood is used as a diuretic, for rheumatism, and for epilepsy seizures and the bark is used for fever and diarrhea. They also use the oil from the resin for wounds and skin rashes.
#Fact: The Egyptians would use cedar for their sarcophagi as it repels any bug that can ruin any other wood and the oil for taxidermy.
In Lebanon the Cedrus Libani, as it is called scientifically, has a great religious and historical importance. It is the national symbol of Lebanon portrayed in the country's flag and is mentioned quite plenty in Tanak, which is the Hebrew bible. It is said that Isaiah (2,13) used the cedar for the transfer of the peoples' pride and Moses told the priests to use cedar to cure leprosy. Finally, King Solomon would build the temple from #cedarwood because of its great strength and of the protection it gives from bad energies.
Then it is the Atlas Cedar, native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. The natives use the bark for the lymph system, and as a fat dissolvent for the arteries.
But the proof of the abilities of cedar can be found written in Hippocratic medicine.
The common juniper tree or else our widely known cedar is used by Hippocrates in his work On Gynecology (Diseases of Women,) and others. Here are some recipes exactly as he gives them to us. Of course, some are for extreme circumstances yet still, we can understand the power of nature and the uses that our favorite cedar can have in so many ways.
#AncientRecipe: "...drink cedar (tea) in case of red blood flow..."
He considers that plane red flow without any black or dirty flow means that the uterus does not get cleaned.
#AncientRecipe: ...burn deer antler, make a powder together with raw barley flour and five cedar seeds, and add dry black (very dark red) wine. He says it creates uterus spasms and muscle spams in general and can help the uterus to discard dirty blood but also to result in a miscarriage so it must be used with caution. (Diseases of women, book 2, 83)
#AncientRecipe: "...in the case the embryo has died: "take galbanum, in the amount of an olive; wrap in a cloth and soak it in #cedaroil. Let the woman apply it to the mouth of the womb."
Ancient Greek text: ... ην αποθάνη το έμβρυον. χαλβάνης όσον ελαίην ενελίξασα ες οθόνιον, ες κέδρον εμβαψασα, προστιθέσθω προς το στόμα της μήτρης.
#AncientRecipe: ...for bad period flows, make a poultice from garlic, purslane (Latin: portulaca orelacea), celery, and sawdust from cedar and lotus (their bark). Crush them softly together and mix with honey water. (Diseases of women, book 2, 84)
#AncientRecipe:... in case of uterus inflammation after birth or miscarriage drink cedar (the species of common juniper - arkepthos) seed in vinegar or wine, (Diseases of women book 2, 13-&5)
#AncientRecipe:... "if the embryo has died...take one drachma (quantity) of silphium, one "oxybaphon" (specific shallow vessel for vinegar) of leek poultice, add half of a small "kyathos" (small cup) of cedar-oil; give the woman to drink.’
Ancient text: ..ην αποθάνη το έμβρυον...σιλγίου οκόσον δραχμήν μίαν, και πράσου χυλόν οκόσον οξύβαφον, παραμίξας κέδρινον έλαιον ήμισυ κυάθου σμικρού, δος πιειν.
#AncientRecipe: "...if the uterus is bleeding (meaning too much), take celery, cedar seeds from both species (common juniper, Lebanon...), Ethiopian cumin, cassia seed (species of cinnamon), small sea urchins, thyme... mix them and boil them in water or wine." (On womens' nature, para32)
#AncientRecipe: "...for external uterus use: take goat’s dung and the lung of a seal (dried), shavings of cedar; fumigate."(On womens' nature, para34)
Ancient Text:..."αιγός σπυράθους και φώκης του πλεύμονος και κέδρου πρίσματα υποθυμήν."
Only by looking at its application in gynecology, we can see that cedar, is a miraculous ingredient. Moreover, in all ancient texts, you can find thousands of other applications. The apples act as diuretics and externally they eliminate moles. The tea can be used for digestion and acts as an antiseptic in the bile ducts in case they are troubled by gallstones.
If you build your closets with cedarwood you will never have moths and a few drops of #CedarwoodOil in your closets will repel all bugs. It also helps in disinfection. The apples as a tea, or an extract, or even soaked in water, are used for gout and for scabies. It can be used on the skin for acne and oily skin and on the oily scalp and if you are losing hair or even in alopecia, simple dandruff, and eczema. So put some drops in your shampoo.
It also cleans the blood and can heal shortness of breath.
#AncientRecipe: "Wash your face every day before sleep with cedar-infused water if you suffer from acne and oily skin."
Ancient Greeks used to eat the seeds as they would make them stronger, kinda like a superfood. So eat them in your salad.
It is the only conifer species that can be used as a spice. You must gather them when they are completely mature and slow-dry them under the sunlight to protect their moisture inside. Then break them gently. They can be used with game and chicken and also with cabbage salads. It goes great as an aroma in your favorite gin and you can combine them with marjoram and cumin or a light pepper so as to leave the cedar seeds to thrive.
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*Danai Fassouli is a writer, artist, self-development, Feng Shui and ancient physiognomy consultant, and a healer traveling around the world with the sole purpose to decode the ancient sacred truths and use them for her personal development as well as to spread them to all women and men that want to work for their own health of the mind, body, and soul. Contact Danai for consultation here.
*The articles are purely informative and do not replace the nutritionist; doctor and/or the psychologist and generally any specialist in physical and mental health.
1. Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica, (D,156): "Cedar is dedicated to the God Apollo..."
Ancient Greek Text: "Η άρκευθος δένδρον τι ακανθώδες Απόλλωνος ίδιον, ως ιστορείται εν τω τρίτω των εις Μουσαίον αναφερομένων" (Σχόλια εις Απολλώνιον Ρόδιον, Αργοναυτικά Δ΄, 156).
2. Theophrastus, Equity into Plants, (3,3,1): "Arkefthos grows in high altitude along with fir, pine..."
Ancient Greek Text: "΄Ιδια δε τα τοιάδε των ορεινών, α εν τοις πεδίοις φύεται, ελάτη, πεύκη, πίτυς, αγρία, φίλυρα, ζυγία, φηγός, πύξος, ανδράχλη, μίλος, άρκευθος." (Θεόφραστος, Περί φυτών ιστορίας 3, 3, 1).
3. Theophrastus, Equity into Plants, (1,9,3) "They keep their leaves..."
Ancient Greek Text: "΄Εστι δε τα μεν αείφυλλα, τα δε φυλλοβόλα. Των μεν ημέρων αείφυλλα ελάα, φοίνιξ, δάφνη, των δ αγρίων ελάτη, πεύκη, άρκευθος." (Θεόφραστος, Περί φυτών ιστορίας 1, 9, 3).
4. Theophrastus, Equity into Plants, (3,4,5): "...the new fruit includes the old fruit...and if it stays on the tree it becomes dry..."
Ancient Greek Text: "Ταύτα μεν ουν μετριωτέραν μεν έχει παραλλαγήν. Πάντων δε πλείστην η άρκευθος και η κήλαστρος και η πρίνος. Η μεν γαρ άρκευθος ενιαύσιον έχειν δοκεί. Περικαταλαμβάνει δε ο νέος τον περυσινόν. Ως δε τινές φασιν, ουδέ πεταίνει, διε ο και προαφαιρούσι και χρόνον τινα τηρούσιν. Εάν δε εά επί του δένδρου τις, αποξηραίνεται». (Θεόφραστος, Περί φυτών ιστορίας 3, 4, 5).
5. Theophrastus, Equity into Plants, (5,7,4): "It is used to build ships"
Ancient Greek Text: "Οικοδομή δε πολλώ πλείον, ελάτη τε και πεύκη και κέδρος, έτι κυπάριττος, δρυς και άρκευθος." (Θεόφραστος, Περί φυτών ιστορίας 5, 7, 4).
6. Theophrastus, Equity into Plants, (9,1,2): "...it makes resin and gum from its tears..."
Ancient Greek Text: "Η δε υγρότης των μεν πάχος έχει μόνον, ώσπερ των επωδών. Των δε και δακρυώδης γίνεται, καθάπερ ελάτης, πεύκης, τερεβίνθου, πίτυος, αμυγδαλής, κεράσου, προύμνης, αρκεύθου, κέδρου, της ακάνθης της Αιγυπτίας, πτελέας και γαρ αύτη φέρει κόμμι πλην ουκ εκ του φλοιού, αλλ΄ εν τω κωρύκω, έτι δε αφε ων ο λίβανος και η σμύρνα, δάκρυα γαρ ταύτα και το βάλσαμον και η χαλβάνη." (Θεόφραστος, Περί φυτών ιστορίας 9, 1, 2).
7. Pedanius Dioscorides (Greek: Διοσκουρίδης ο Πεδάνιος, Pedanios Dioskourides), On Medical Material, (1.75)
"Arkefthos is big or small... it's also a diuretic and it sends away the bad spirits as smoke. The fruits are the size of the rat's stool, the leaf is round, straight, and has a vivid smell, it's sweet in taste when chewed when medium hot and squeezed is good for the stomach and with alcohol good for a cough and maladies of the chest...it heals spasms and seizures."
Ancient Greek Text: "΄Αρκευθος. Η μεν τις έστι μεγάλη, η δε μικρά. Αμφότεραι δε θερμαίνουσι και λεπτύνουσι. Εισί δε και ουρητικαί, θυμιώμεναι δε θηρία διώκουσι. Του μέντοι καρπού ο μεν τις κατά καρύου Ποντικού το μέγεθος ευρίσκεται, ο δε κυάμω ίσος, στρογγύλος δε και ευώδης, γλυκύς εν τω διαμασάσθαι και υπόκιρρος, αρκευθίς καλούμενος, θερμαντικός μετρίως και στυπτικός, ευστόμαχος, ποιών προς τα εν θώρακι και βήχας και εμπνευματώσεις και στρόφους και θηρία πινόμενος. ΄Εστι δε και ουρητικός, όθεν και σπάσμασι και ρήγμασι και υστερικών πνιγομένοις αρμόζει".
8. Pedanius Dioscorides (Greek: Διοσκουρίδης ο Πεδάνιος, Pedanios Dioskourides), On Medical Material, (5,36 ): "From the produce, the fruit of the big cedars wine can be made and from the smaller arkefthos the same".
Ancient Greek text: Γίνεται δε και εκ του καρπού των μειζόνων κέδρων οίνος. Δει δε τω χοεί του γλεύκους ημιμναίον κεκομμένων των κεδρίνων μείξαι, ηλιάσαι εφ ημέρας μ΄ (40), μετά δε ταύτα διυλίζειν και μεταγγίζειν. Γίνεται και ο εκ των αρκευθίδων και καρπού ομοίως τω κεδρίτη, τα αυτά ποιών». (Διοσκουρίδης, Περί ύλης ιατρικής 5, 36).
9. Hippocrates, On Gynecology (Diseases of Women),(B,83): ...drink arkefthus in case of red blood flow...or roast deer antler, make a powder together with raw barley flour and five cedar seeds, and add dry black-dark red- wine..."
Ancien Greek Text: "...Άρκευθος, Φίδα ρόου ερυθρού ποτόν αγαθον.....η ελάφου κέρας , κατακαιειν, τριβην δε και ωμηλυσιν συν κεδρισι πεντε. οινος συν τοισδεσσιν αυστηρός μελας μιγνυται". (Ιπποκράτης περί γυναικείων, Β', 83)
10. Bhattacharyya, A., La Marche, V. C., & Telewski, F. W. (1988). Dendrochronological reconnaissance of the conifers of Northwest India. Tree-Ring Bulletin, (48), 21-30.
11. Tewari, D. N. (1994). A monograph on deodar: Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) G. Don.
12. Shackley, Myra (1 October 2004). Managing the Cedars of Lebanon: Botanical Gardens or Living Forests? Current Issues in Tourism. (4–5): 417–425.
13. Leviticus 14:1–4
14. Welcome to Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church's Homepage.
15. Isaiah 2:13
16. Erman 1927, p. 261
17. Cromer, Gerald A War of Words: Political Violence and Public Debate in Israel, 2004, p. 58
18. Willan, R. G. N. (1990). The Cyprus Cedar. Int. Dendrol. Soc. Yearbk. 1990: 115–118.
19. Chandra Shekhar Nautiyala, Puneet Singh Chauhana, Yeshwant Laxman Neneb, Medicinal smoke reduces airborne bacteria, Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Volume 114, Issue 3, 3 December 2007, Pages 446-451
20. Abdolali Mohagheghzadeh, Pouya Faridi, Mohammadreza Shams-Ardakani, Younes Ghasemi, Medicinal smokes, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 108 (2006) 161–184
21. Pausanias, Book 8, Arcadia, 5, Stymphalus,
22. Dictionary from Hesychius of Alexandria (Ancient Greek Grammarian): "The Nymphs of Arcadia were also called to be from the pre-moon era."
Ancient Greek text: "Αι νύμφαι της Αρκαδίας απεκαλούντο και αυτές προσελήνιδες", Λεξικό του Ησυχίου Αλεξανδρέως.
23. Souidas, Souda Lexicon: "Herodotus calles Arcadians proselelini, meaning the ancients before the moon existed".
Ancient Greek Text: "Προσέληνοι Ηρόδοτος τους Αρκάδας ούτω λέγει, τουτέστιν αρχαίους προ της σελήνης", Σούδα, το λεξικό του Σουίδα.
24. Hillary Stewart, Cedar: Tree of Life to the Northwest Coast Indians
25. Plutarch rights about life on the moon and before the existance moon: "... as Kastor said, it is a symbol of the life on the Moon... because she existed from the very ancient era... apart from those who were Arcadians because they lived before the moon
Ancient Greek text: «Διά τι τας εν τοις υποδήμασι σεληνίδας, οι διαφέρειν δοκούντες ευγένεια φορούσιν; πότερον, ως Κάστωρ φησί, σύμβολον έστι τούτο της λεγόμενης οικήσεως επί της σελήνης και ότι μετά την τελευτήν αύθις αι ψυχαί την σελήνην υπό πόδας έξουσιν, ή τοις παλαιοτάτοις τουθ' υπήρχε, εξαίρετον, ούτοι δ’ήσαν Αρκάδες των απ’ Ευάνδρου Προσελήνων λεγομένων».
*Translations from ancient texts by Danai Fassouli
*The original ancient texts are used from Kedros Publishings (GR)