Chinese Arborvitae

Chinese Arborvitae | Cèbǎi & Bai Zi
COMMON NAME (Chinese Name)

Chinese Arborvitae (Cèbǎi & Bai Zi)


Platycladus Orientalis


The most common usages for Chinese arborvitae are for immunity-boosting,  antimicrobial and antifungal benefits, as well as their insecticidal properties. Leaf-specific extracts may also be anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, diuretic, and hair-growth-promoting.

Conversely, extract made from the fruit of Chinese arborvitae plants has some antimicrobial properties, including potentially fighting E. Coli, candida, and staph infections as well as balancing gut bacteria. Supplements made from the seeds of Chinese arborvitae plants (often distinctly called Bai Zi) have additional and different properties, most notably sedative effects. What’s more, anecdotal evidence suggests that Chinese arborvitae has a long history of use as a tonifying remedy (to nourish, replenish, and re-energize the body), and there is some empirical evidence to support long-standing claims of Chinese arborvitae’s generally tonifying and lifespan-extending effects.


Not to be confused with Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), which — though often used synonymously — has different medicinal effects. Historical TCM remedies use only the leafy twigs of Chinese arborvitae plants, though contemporary extracts and supplements make use of other parts of the plant. Today, Chinese arborvitae supplements for oral use can include (separately) fruits, leaves, and seeds.


Short-term and low-dose use of Chinese arborvitae supplements are generally safe for most healthy adults, though long-term and high-dose use may be toxic. Symptoms of Chinese arborvitae toxicity (or thujone toxicity) include restlessness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, mental changes, and serious side-effects like seizures and kidney damage. Women who are pregnant should never take these supplements due to the presence of thujone in Chinese arborvitae extracts.

You should consult with a certified herbalist, physician or other qualified healthcare professional before taking Chinese arborvitae.




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