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Deodar: Uses, Benefits, Side effects and More by Dr. Rajeev Singh  

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction:  

Nature has bestowed us with plenty of healthy herbs, spices, fruits and plants that can cure disease and heal the body. Moreover, ancient medicinal practices used them to treat various ailments. One such incredible plant with numerous health benefits is deodar. 

Deodar is scientifically known as Cedrus deodara, belonging to the Cedrus genus and Pinaceae family of evergreen plants. It is also known as Himalayan cedar in English and amadaru, devdaru and bhadradaru in Sanskrit. 

Deodar

According to ancient Hindu scriptures, devadaru tree is considered a divine tree owing to its fragrance, lofty nature, and height. Deodar is grown in areas with temperatures below 10 degrees. They are mostly found in the western Himalayas, north-central India, northern Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, western Nepal, and Tibet. The Himalayan deodar tree is grown at the height of 1200-3000 m (about 1.86 mi).2 It is also grown in China, Argentina, Germany, and France. Deodar trees are tall with long shoots and long needle-like leaves. There are different types of deodar cedar trees with numerous medicinal uses. Scroll down to read about deodar tree health benefits!   

Image link: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/close-ripe-brown-cones-green-needles-1867969591 

Nutritional Value of Deodar 

Deodar has 105 phytoconstituents that are identified in its different parts2. A few of the major chemical constituents found in the deodar are as follows: 

  • Terpenoids2 
  • Flavonoids2 
  • Sterols2 
  • Ligans2 
  • Sesquiterpenes such as β-himachalene (43%) and α-himachalene (12.5%)1 
  • Alcohol moieties (centdarol, himachalol, isocentdarol, allohimachalol and himadarol)1 
  • Pine needles of deodar have βsitosterol, ethyl stearate, shikimic acid, ethyl laurate, ferulic acid, 9-hydroxy-dodecanoic acid, methyl coniferin and β-glucoside.1 

Properties of Deodar:  

Deodar might have the following properties:1 

  • It may stop the growth of cancerous cells.  
  • It may help alleviate the reaction of the body to any injury or irritation.  
  • It may stop the growth of bacteria. 
  • It might stop the growth of fungus in fungal infection.  
  • It might help relieve pain.   
  • It may act as an antioxidant. 
  • It might have wound-healing properties. 

Deodar wood has many medicinal properties. It is a potential medicine for diseases like fever, dysentery, and diarrhoea due to its anti-inflammatory characteristics. It also might be beneficial for tackling urinary and pulmonary diseases.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Potential Uses of Deodar for Overall Health:  

The existing studies show that deodar might have the following potential uses for overall health: 

Potential uses of deodar for digestion 

The complex food we eat is turned into simple nutrients by the process of digestion. The nutrients are later absorbed by different cells and are utilised to perform essential bodily functions. A study by Nadeem et. al in 2019 found that deodar wood extracts are carminative.1 This particular property of deodar might improve digestion and help in reducing bloating, flatulence, and constipation. It might lead to better absorption of nutrients causing a positive impact on overall health. However, it should not be used as an alternative medicine. It is best to consult a doctor if you suspect any digestive issues. 

Potential uses of deodar for cancer 

Cancer is caused when the body cells multiply rapidly and cause tissues to grow abnormally. A study by Shi et. al in 2016 found that deodar has flavonoids that inhibit the multiplication of cancerous cells and prevent the growth of tumours.3 Deodar might halt the progression of cancer. However, you should never self-medicate with deodar and consult a doctor before using it. 

Potential uses of deodar for mental health 

Mental health disorders are a rising public health concern. A study by Kumar et. al in 2014 found that deodar can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain, which can elevate mood.4 This property of deodar may be used in the management of stress, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. However, if you have any symptoms of mental health disorder, instead of taking deodar, you should first consult a doctor.  

Potential uses of deodar for bacterial infections 

Bacterial infections include typhoid, urinary tract infections, and skin and sinus infections. The bacteria grow and release toxins in the blood that can affect various organs, including the skin, lungs and brain. A study by Selvi et. al in 2007 found that extracts of deodar trees can inhibit the growth of the bacteria.5 Therefore, deodar could be used to effectively manage bacterial infections. Even so, it is advised to consult a doctor before self-medicating it.   

Potential uses of deodar for Kala Azar 

Kala Azar or Leishmaniasis is a disease caused by a parasite, Leishmania donovani affecting the skin, mouth, lymph nodes and immune system. If not treated correctly, it can be dangerous. A study by Narayan et. al in 2017 found that deodar leaf extracts have bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and terpenoids that can positively affect the Kala Azar patients.6 Although more studies are required to understand devdaru benefits, this property of deodar might be used in the treatment of Leishmaniasis. However, if you suspect any symptoms of the disease, it is best to consult a doctor for better outcomes.  

Potential uses of deodar for diabetes 

People with diabetes have high sugar levels in the blood, which can negatively affect bones, eyes and the heart. A study by Jain et. al in 2014 found that deodar wood extracts can reduce blood sugar levels.7 It may be effective in diabetes. However, you should never replace your medicines with deodar extracts. It is advised to consult a doctor before self-medicating it.  

Other potential uses of deodar 

The other potential uses of deodar are as follows: 

  • Deodar might also help in lowering cholesterol levels and reducing extra weight.1 
  • Deodar might help in relieving joint pain in arthritis.2 
  • Deodar extracts might also prevent the formation of kidney stones.2 
  • Deodar extracts might improve cognitive functions. It might be helpful in treating memory loss, epilepsy and other neurodegenerative disorders.1 

Although a few studies have shown the devdaru tree benefits in various medical conditions, more extensive research with scientific validation is required to understand its effectiveness in the management of ailments such as cancer, arthritis and neurological disorders. 

According to some results, Deodar might be beneficial in wound healing. Certain compounds obtained from the methanolic extracts of Deodar wood might be beneficial in wound healing caused by burns.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

How to Use Deodar?  

 Cedrus deodara benefits might be reaped in the following ways: 

  • C. deodar is used in syrup, tablet, oil and powder formulations for the management of ulcers, bone fractures, leprosy and asthma.2 
  • Deodar essential oils can be diluted and massaged on the skin to relieve leprosy, ulcer, wounds, skin diseases, and syphilis.1  
  • Leaves are used to make tea to provide relief from colds and coughs.1 
  • The glue from water and wood can be applied to eyebrows to dissipate migraines.1 

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.    

Side Effects of Deodar:  

Deodar preparations are considered safe, and they have had no specific recorded side effects.2 If you notice any unusual symptoms after taking them, you should consult an ayurvedic doctor who has prescribed the formulations.  

Precautions to Take with Deodar:   

General precautions must be taken while consuming deodar formulations. Here is a list of a few precautions to follow:   

  • If you have sensitive skin, you must mix the deodar essential oil with a carrier oil to avoid any skin irritations. 
  • If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, take extra caution before taking deodar preparations.  
  • Elderly patients and children must consult an ayurvedic practitioner before taking deodar preparations. 
  • If you have any medical condition or are on any medication, consult a doctor before taking deodar. 

Interactions with Other Drugs:  

There is not enough evidence on the interaction of the deodar extracts with other drugs. Further studies are required. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you are on any other medication before consuming deodar preparations.  

Frequently Asked Questions:  

1) Which part of the deodar (cedar) tree is used for medicinal purposes? 

All parts of the cedar plant have different medicinal benefits. Its life and wood extracts may be used to manage high blood sugar, insomnia, asthma, skin infections, joint pain and microbial infections.  

2) What is deodar oil used for?  

Deodar oil may have anti-inflammatory and antifungal effects. It may be diluted and used on wounds for healing. It may be massaged onto the skin to relieve various skin infections.1, 2  

3) What precautions should be taken before using deodar extracts?  

If you have sensitive skin and you want to use deodar essential oil, mix it with a carrier oil (such as coconut) to avoid skin irritations. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, children and the elderly should be careful before consuming any parts of the deodar tree. If you have any pre-existing diseases, you should consult a doctor before consuming deodar tree extract.  

4) What are the other names of deodar? 

There are different types of deodar cedar trees that are known by different names in different regions and languages, such as Himalayan cedar in English, amadaru, devdaru, and bhadradaru in Sanskrit, deodar in Marathi, devdaar in Gujrati, devataram in Malayalam, gunduguragi in Kannada, and tunu maram in Tamil. 

5) What are the deodar trees’ medicinal uses? 

Deodar tree benefits in managing fever, inflammation, dyspepsia, insomnia, diabetes, asthma, mood disorders, arthritis, and microbial infections.2 


References

  1.  A review on ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological … [Internet]. [cited 2022Dec15]. Available from: http://www.iscientific.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/6-IJCBS-19-15-6.pdf 
  1. Bisht A, Jain S, Misra A, Dwivedi J, Paliwal S, Sharma S. Cedrus deodara (Roxb. ex D.Don) G.Don: A review of traditional use, phytochemical composition and pharmacology. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2021 Oct;279:114361. Available from:  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378874121005900?via%3Dihub 
  1. Shi X, Liu D, Zhang J, Hu P, Shen W, Fan B, et al. Extraction and purification of total flavonoids from pine needles of Cedrus deodara contribute to anti-tumor in vitro [Internet]. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2016 [cited 2022Dec17]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962484/ 
  1. Kumar N, Dhayabaran D, Nampoothiri M, Nandakumar K, Puratchikody A, Lalani N, et al. Atypical antidepressant activity of 3,4-bis(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl) furan-2,5-dione isolated from heart wood of Cedrus deodara, in rodents [Internet]. The Korean journal of physiology & pharmacology: Official journal of the Korean Physiological Society and the Korean Society of Pharmacology. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2014 [cited 2022Dec17]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211118/ 
  1. Selvi S, Devi PU, Chinnaswamy P, Giji TM, Sharmila SP. Antibacterial efficacy and phytochemical observation of some Indian medicinal plants [Internet]. Ancient science of life. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2007 [cited 2022Dec17]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3330876/ 
  1. Narayan S, Thakur CP, Bahadur S, Thakur M, Pandey SN, Thakur AK, et al. cedrus deodara: in vitro antileishmanial efficacy & immumomodulatory activity [Internet]. The Indian journal of medical research. U.S. National Library of Medicine; 2017 [cited 2022Dec17]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5926351/ 
  1. Antidiabetic activity of Cedrus deodara aqueous extract and its … [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec17]. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/272956980_Antidiabetic_Activity_of_Cedrus_deodara_Aqueous_Extract_and_Its_Relationship_with_Its_Antioxidant_Properties 

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation. 

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