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Drugs and Health Products

Thuja - Topical

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This monograph is intended to serve as a guide to industry for the preparation of Product Licence Applications (PLAs) and labels for natural health product market authorization. It is not intended to be a comprehensive review of the medicinal ingredient.

Notes

  • Text in parentheses is additional optional information which can be included on the PLA and product label at the applicant's discretion.
  • The solidus (/) indicates that the terms and/or the statements are synonymous. Either term or statement may be selected by the applicant.

Date

April 25, 2008

Proper name(s)

Thuja occidentalis L. (Cupressaceae) (USDA 2007)

Common name(s)

Thuja (McGuffin et al. 2000)

Source material(s)

Aerial parts (BHP 1983; Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898])

Route(s) of administration

Oral, topical

Dosage form(s)

  • Those suited to the allowable route(s) of administration.
  • This monograph does not apply to products for use on mucous membranes.
  • This monograph is not intended to include food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:
Oral

Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as an expectorant to help relieve bronchial catarrh (Hoffmann 2003; Williamson 2003; BHP 1983; Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898]).

Topical
  • Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine to help remove warts on the hands and feet (Hoffmann 2003; Williamson 2003; BHP 1983; Felter and Lloyd 1983 [1898]).
  • Used in Herbal Medicine to help relieve fungal infections (Williamson 2003) such as ringworm (Hoffmann 2003).

Dose(s)

Oral

Quantity:
Preparations equivalent to 1-2 g dried aerial parts, 3 times per day (Williamson 2003; BHP 1983)

Directions for use:
Apply to affected area(s). See Appendix I for examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Topical

Quantity:
Preparations equivalent to 0.1-2 g dried aerial parts, 3 times per day (Hoffmann 2003; BHP 1983)

Directions for use:
Apply to affected area(s). See Appendix I for examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use, according to cited references. The purpose of Appendix 1 is to provide guidance to industry.

Duration of use

Oral:
For occasional use only (Brinker 2001; McGuffin 1997)

Risk information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and warning(s)

All routes of administration:
Consult a health care practitioner if symptoms persist or worsen.

Oral:
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are breastfeeding (Brinker 2008).
  • Consult a health care practitioner prior to use if you are taking other herbs containing thujone (e.g. wormwood, sage, tansy, and juniper) (Reitjens et al. 2005; Hoffmann 2003).

Topical:
Consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use if you have diabetes or poor blood circulation (Berardi et al. 2002).

Contraindication(s)

Oral:
Do not use if you are pregnant (Hoffmann 2003; Brinker 2001; BHP 1983).

Known adverse reaction(s)

No statement required.

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.

Specifications

Must comply with the minimum specifications outlined in the current NNHPD Compendium of Monographs.

References cited

  • Berardi RR, DeSimone EM, Newton GD, Oszko MA, Popovich NG, Rollins CJ, Shimp LA, Tietze KJ, editors. Handbook of Nonprescription Drugs: An Interactive Approach to Self-Care, 13th edition. Washington (DC): American Pharmaceutical Association; 2002.
  • BHP 1983: British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Cowling (UK): British Herbal Medical Association; 1983.
  • Brinker F. Next link will take you to another Web site Online Updates and Additions to Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 2008. [Accessed 2008-04-25].
  • Brinker F. Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions, 3rd edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 2001.
  • Felter HW, Lloyd JU. King's American Dispensatory, Volume 2, 18th edition. Sandy (OR): Eclectic Medical Publications; 1983 [Reprint of 1898 original].
  • Hoffmann D. Medical Herbalism. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press; 2003.
  • McGuffin M, Hobbs C, Upton R, Goldberg A, editors. American Herbal Products Association's Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press; 1997.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO, editors. Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Silver Spring (MD): American Herbal Products Association; 2000.
  • Rietjens IM, Martena MJ, Boersma MG, Spiegelenberg W, Alink GM. Molecular mechanisms of toxicity of important food-borne phytotoxins. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research 2005;49(2):131-158.
  • USDA 2007: ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Next link will take you to another Web site National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Thuja occidentalis L. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville (MD). [Accessed 2008-04-25].
  • Williamson EM. Potter's Herbal Cyclopaedia: The Authoritative Reference work on Plants with a Known Medical Use. Saffron Walden (UK): The C.W. Daniel Company Limited; 2003.

References reviewed

  • Burkhard PR, Burkhardt K, Haenggeli CA, Landis T. Plant-induced seizures: reappearance of an old problem. Journal of Neurology 1999; 246(8):667-670.
  • Stafstrom CE. Seizures in a 7-month-old child after exposure to the essential plant oil thuja. Pediatric Neurology 2007;37(6):446-448.
  • EC-SCF 2003: European Commission Scientific Committee on Food.Next link will take you to another Web site Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Thujone. Brussels (B): European Commission Health and Consumer Protection Directorate-General. Scientific Committee on Food. Scientific Committee on Thujone; February 6, 2003, pp. 1-11. [Accessed 2008-04-25].
  • EEC 1988: European Economic Committee. Next link will take you to another Web site Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Thujone. Brussels (B): European Economic Committee Council Directive 88/388/EEC of 22 June 1988. [Accessed 2008-04-25].

Appendix I

Examples of appropriate dosage preparations, frequencies of use and directions for use
Oral

Dried aerial parts:
1-2 g, 3 times per day (Williamson 2003; BHP 1983)

Infusion:
1-2 g dried aerial parts, 3 times per day (Williamson 2003; BHP 1983)

Directions for use: Pour 250 ml of boiling water over dried aerial parts and steep for 10-15 minutes (Hoffmann 2003).

Topical

Fluidextract:
2 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day (1:1, 50% alcohol, 2 ml) (BHP 1983)

Tincture:

  • 0.2-0.4 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:5, 60% alcohol, 1-2 ml) (Hoffmann 2003)
  • 0.1-0.2 g dried equivalent, 3 times per day
    (1:10, 60% alcohol, 1-2 ml) (BHP 1983)

Directions for use: Apply to affected area(s).