Posted on

Flat Cedar

Herb - Flat Cedar

What Kind of Cedar is for Smudging?

The White Cedar tree provides the flat cedar used for smudging, or burning. The leaves are evergreen in color and considered to be a needle-like. Due to its appearance, it is classified as a Conifer within the larger classification of Cypress.

Where Does Flat Cedar Grow?

These trees grow in three main geographical locations that have  cooler summers, wet forests, and reduced tree competition.  One of these locations encompasses Eastern Canada. You can find these trees growing from the Artic tree- line of Ontario to Western- Central Manitoba, as well as in Quebec, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and the southern part of Nova Scotia. The second location is the Northeastern United States which includes the Great Lakes region of New York, Vermont, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maine. You can also find Flat Cedar in the Northern – Central area of the United States. This area includes the Appalachian Mountains,  Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The White Cedar tree requires specific conditions in order to grow well.  Lack of the appropriate conditions, as well as varying other factors have led to the Cedar being listed as threatened in Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, and Maryland; endangered in Indiana, Massachusetts, and New Jersey; and of special concern in Tennessee.

The History and Uses

Throughout history people have used Flat Cedar for a variety of purposes including protection, prayers, and medicine. People think the sweet aroma and purifying incense of Flat Cedar provides protection. Native Americans have believed that the smoke from burning Flat Cedar during ceremonies and sweat lodges carries prayers to divinities. Finally, some people ingest it for its Vitamin C content. They may steep it for tea to assist with diarrhea or inhale the smoke from burning twigs to treat head colds. Yet, in current years medical professionals warn against these medicinal uses because the oil in Flat Cedar can be poisonous in large doses.

How to Burn Flat Cedar

When burning or smudging with flat cedar,  first make sure that is dry. There are two options that promote the optimal burning of cedar. You can place it on a live coal or sprinkle it on a fire. It is important that one use a match and never a lighter.  Read more about Smudging.

Items You May Like