Friday, March 14, 2014

Byble Plants - Lebanon Cedars - History, Symbolysm, Medicinal Uses

by Liliana Usvat
Blog158-365

Cedrus libani (Lebanon Cedar)  

Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region. Lebanon cedar or Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani subsp. libani or var. libani) - grows in Lebanon, Palestine, northwest Jordan, western Syria, and south central Turkey.

History, Symbolism and Medicinal Uses


The Cedar of Lebanon was important to various ancient civilizations. The trees were used by the Phoenicians for building commercial and military ships, as well as houses, palaces, and temples. The ancient Egyptians used its resin in mummification, and its sawdust has been found in the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh designates the cedar groves of Lebanon as the dwelling of the gods to which Gilgamesh, the hero, ventured.
 
Hebrew priests were ordered by Moses to use the bark of the Lebanon Cedar in circumcision and the treatment of leprosy.

According to the Talmud, Jews once burned Lebanese cedar wood on the Mount of Olives to celebrate the new year.

Because of its significance the word Cedar is mentioned 75 times (Cedar 51 times, Cedars 24 times) in the Bible.

Beyond that, it was also used by Romans, Greeks, Persians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

Medicinal Uses

Part Used Young Shoots
Plant Stem Cell Therapy  - Cedrus libani are widely used as traditional medicine in Lebanon for treatment of different infection diseases.
  • Himachalol from Cedrus Libani has shown potent anti-allergic activity.
  • The decoction has been used in intermittent fevers, rheumatism, dropsy, coughs, scurvy, and as an emmenagogue. 
  • The leaves, made into an ointment with fat, are a helpful local application in rheumatism.
  •  An injection of the tincture into venereal warts is said to cause them to disappear.
  •  For violent pains the Canadians have used the cones, powdered, with four-fifths of Polypody, made into a poultice with lukewarm water or milk and applied to the body, with a cloth over the skin to prevent scorching. 
  • Dosage---Of fluid extract, 1/4 drachm, three to six times a day, as stimulating expectorant and diuretic. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken cold in tablespoonful doses.  
  • Inhale the steam of cedarwood essential oil to treat respiratory infections and clear congestion.
  •  Add a few drops to a sitz bath to ease the pain and irritation of urinary infections and to cure the infection more quickly.
  •  Applied to oily skin, cedarwood essential oil is an astringent that dries and helps clear acne. Incorporate it into a facial wash, spritzer, or other cosmetic (10 drops of essential oil per ounce of preparation). 
  • Added to a salve (15 drops of essential oil per ounce of salve), it relieves dermatitis and, in some cases, eczema and psoriasis. 
  • For bites and itching, mix cedarwood and an equal part of alcohol or vegetable oil, and dab directly on the area. Add two drops of essential oil to every ounce of shampoo or hair conditioner to ease dandruff and possibly slow hair loss. 
  • Anti-inflammatory, topical Insecticidal. Antiparasitic, Antibacterial, Anticandida, Scabies infections and to heal wounds in humans and domestic animals, both internally and externally. Himachalol from Cedrus Libani has shown potent anti-allergic activity. Dry Eczema - (dry white crusty skin) - Psoriasis, Pruritus, Hyper-Keratosis, chronic dermatitis, lichenoid dermatosis, Callosity, Diaper Rashes,
  •  Dermatitis Herpetiformis (in Celiac Disease), 
  • anti aging of the skin. Dry skin and Anti-Wrinkle. 
  • Also works on the Elastin and Collagen of the skin. Anti-furrow; Furrows are where there may be wrinkle lines complicated by the loss of subcutaneous fat and/or ligament support. Increases the ability of the skin &/or scalp to retain water. 
  • This is a Botox equivalent over a six month period excellent for dry skin. Hair loss, Dandruff, dry skin accompanied with acne. If Oily Acne then use Elm. 
  • Himachalol from Cedrus Libani has shown potent anti-allergic activity especially skin allergic reaction. Leaf and bread molds phycomycotic diseases. Topical Deet alternative 1, 15ml bottle diluted in 20 ounces of distilled water and put into a frosted plastic spray bottle and used as a natural Repellent of Ticks and Mosquitoes. Keep away from eyes also can be used on animals in place of Frontline toxic products.
  • 'A' Diabetes, inhibit amylase, excellent in acute and chronic pancreatitis.
  • A' Antitumor. Cytotoxicity against human epidermal carcinoma of the nasopharynx. Sesquiterpenes can also erase or deprogram miswritten codes in cellular memory (DNA). The root problem with a cancer cell is that it contains misinformation, and sesquiterpenes can delete that garbled information.
  • Tropical uses UTFor scabies use 1 drop on each affected area every 2 hour 4 to 6 times per day. Takes around 10 applications to be eradicated. Could potentially be a DEET replacement due to a “novel sesquiterpene Isolongifolenone” Repellent of Ticks and Mosquitoes.Combats hair loss alopecia areata. Cuts or wounds to disinfect and protect from infection.   
  • Musculoskeletal System: 'A' The Antispasmolytic activity was similar to that of papaverine as observed by the effect of himachalol on various isolated smooth muscles and several agonists.Fibromyalgia 
  • Infectious Diseases: 'A' Antiviral Herpes Simplex HSV1. Scabies, Molluscicidal activity. Antiviral, Antifungal, Expectorant, Lymphatic cleanser. 

Forestation
 
Is widely cultivated as an ornamental species in southern climates. Requires about 1000 mm of rain a year. They form open forests with a low undergrowth of grasses in their native habitat.  

Propagate from seed, sown as soon as it ripens. Difficult to propagate from cuttings, and does not like to be transplanted.

Over the centuries, extensive deforestation has occurred, with only small remnants of the original forests surviving. Deforestation has been particularly severe in Lebanon and on Cyprus; on Cyprus, only small trees up to 25 m (82 ft) tall survive, though Pliny the Elder recorded cedars 40 m (130 ft) tall there.

Extensive reforestation of cedar is carried out in the Mediterranean region, particularly Turkey, where over 50 million young cedars are being planted annually.

The Lebanese populations are also now expanding through a combination of replanting and protection of natural regeneration from browsing by goats, hunting, forest fires, and woodworms.

World Heritage Site

The Cedars of God Forest is one of the last vestiges of the extensive forests of the Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani ) that thrived across Mount Lebanon in ancient times. Their timber was exploited by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians as well as the Phoenicians. The wood was prized by Egyptians for shipbuilding; the Ottoman Empire also used the cedars in railway construction.

Concern for the biblical "cedars of God" goes back to 1876, when the 102-hectare (250-acre) grove was surrounded by a high stone wall, paid for by Queen Victoria, to protect saplings from browsing by goats. Nevertheless during World War I, British troops used cedar to build railroads

In 1998, the Cedars of God were added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.

Current status
 
The forest is rigorously protected. It is possible to tour it escorted by an authorized guide. After a preliminary phase in which the land was cleared of detritus, the sick plants treated, and the ground fertilized, the "Committee of the Friends of the Cedar Forest" initiated a reforestation program in 1985. These efforts will only be appreciable in a few decades due to the slow growth of cedars. In these areas the winter offers incredible scenery, and the trees are covered with a blanket of snow.