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Traditional Medicine: Cedar


The Cedar tree has many practical and medicinal uses. Cedar is offered to the sacred fire during sweat lodge ceremonies, burned during prayers and, when boiled, can purify indoor air and be used for cedar baths. As a tea, it can help to reduce fevers, rheumatic symptoms and relieve symptoms of chest colds and the flu.

How To Prepare Cedar Medicine

1. Collect cedar branches following traditional protocols.

2. Place 2 cups of fresh cedar into a large pot with 8 cups (2 litres) of water.

3. Bring the cedar to a boil, and keep boiling for about 10 minutes until golden and you smell the aroma throughout your home.

4. Take big calming breaths, breathing in the steam.

5. You may also place in a bowl to directly breathe in the steam.

6. Once boiled, remove pot from heat and let liquid cool. Strain cooled liquid into another clean container. 

Once strained, it is ready to be warmed up to drink as tea, adding honey, maple syrup or other sweetener if you like. It is best to drink it warm. You may continue this procedure as long as you wish.

Recommended amount: Maximum 4 cups/day

Precautions when using Traditional Medicine

As with any medicine, exercise caution. Follow instructions for preparation and use, and do not exceed recommended intake. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not drink this or any other traditional medicine unless under the direct advice and guidance of a traditional healer.

Boiling Cedar in a bucket
ᒥᔭᑲᓯᑲᓐ ᐄᓅ

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ᒋᔥᑖᒫᐤ / ᒋᔥᑌᒫᐤ

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Related resources

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