Arizona Cypress

Hello Readers,

Im elated to share with you that I get the honor of trekking through one of my favorite bio regions, the Southwest of the United State of America. The plant diversity here in Arizona is incredible, as is the history of the first people’s relationship with these plants and how they used them for thousands of years to sustain life in this arid landscape. One of my new favorites, Arizona Cypress, is indigenous to this land and has flourished here for ages.

Identification:  (Cupressus arizonica). Evergreen tree grows in a pyramidal shape. Features gray-green, scale like needles (similar to juniper) that closely overlap each other and encircle the branchlets. Needles are very soft and aromatic. Rough shedding gray-brown bark. Produces wide,  round dark reddish-brown cones.

Arizona Cypress cones

Arizona Cypress cones


Culinary: The cones can be used as smoking flavor for meats, fish, and vegetables. Use in place of mesquite wood or any other type of smoking wood.


Indications: Harvest needles and dry or use fresh. Make a decoction (tea)  by lightly boiling and steeping needles in water. Can be used externally with gauze for superficial veins, varicose veins, to staunch bleeding, to disinfect wounds, ulcers, etc. For internal use, use two tablespoons of leaves to  one liter water and drink seven tablespoons daily.

(Hemostatic, vasoconstrictive, venotonic.) ie. good for your veins!

Varices: (veins)

Used for the treatment of circulatory abnormalities such as *varicose veins, *spermatic cord veins, *hemorrhoids (internal tea, external ointment). Can be used to *staunch bleeding and to clean wounds by crushing or chewing leaves and placing directly on fresh wounds to disinfect, weld and restrict blood.  Used for *Edema(pooling of blood, internal and external indication); *poor circulation(internal and external indication); *Phlebitis (inflammation of the veins, internal and external indication). Can be used for all kind of excessive bleeding such as *excessive menstruation(metrorrhagia, drink as tea or use in a bath), *bleeding/infected gums (rinse mouth with tea), *nosebleeds (internal tea also strengthens nasal capillaries).

Cypress "needles"

Cypress “needles”

Skin Problems:


The astringent properties of this tree can be used for external treatment of acne. Wet compresses soaked with the tea (decoction) can help eliminate many symptoms of acne. Disinfectant, astringent (forces water and toxins out of cells and pores)


Use as a hair rinse to remove excess fat and give more strength to your hair.

*Eczema, *psoriasis)-

Anti inflammatory  properties help body’s own natural healing process in many issues that cause the skin’s immune function to be compromised. (use externally as an ointment

*Chilblains(skin sores or bumps that occur after exposure to very cold temperatures) –

* Fungal infections-

Vaginal fungal infections, athletes foot, jock itch and other fungal skin issues typically called by excess candida (yeast growth in the body) can be treated by making a sitz bath (genital fungal issues such as yeast infections and jock itch) simply make tea and put it in your bath. Foot bath for athletes foot and excessive foot sweating.


Respiratory Problems:

  Indications: For most of the following issues, boil needles in water, place in a bowl and breathe in vapor steam  with towel over your head and bowl.

* Cough- it soothes the throat, irritation and decreases coughing in bacterial respiratory diseases including whooping cough.

*Bronchitis- Used to reduce the inflammation of the bronchioles.

* Pharyngitis- It soothes the pharynx and aids to eliminate the bacteria that bring about this inflammation.

*Colds- Helps to fight colds, reduces inflammation, astringency helps to eliminate excess mucus, diminishing cough and soothing the throat.

*Sinusitis- Reduces sinus inflammation and aids in elimination of excess mucus.

*UTI (urinary tract infection)

anti-inflammation of the urinary tract and cleans out bacteria. Can be treated with tea and/or a sitz bath.


This plant is an amazing healer, so versatile and powerful yet gentle, it was a pleasure to get to know it on a personal level and get to make medicine with it.

Thanks for reading,

Kaylee Holz

* As always, this information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been approved by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or sure any illness. Do not attempt to use any plant that you are not completely familiar with. Always consult your doctor before trying any new treatments.

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