Juniper Juniperus communis
Medicinal Uses & Benefits of Juniper Berries
How to Use: Juniper
Juniper closely resembles cypress, and like cypress it is valued for its detoxifying action on the body. The use and reputation of juniper berries and their own is ancient, yet few human studies have been done. Many Native American tribes of North America have traditionally used juniper for a wide range of ailments. Herbalgram
Juniper helps to eliminate excess water and is used as a mild diuretic to treat to treat urinary problems, usually in combination with other herbs. In 1984, the German Commission E approved the use of juniper dried fruit in teas and extracts to relieve dyspepsia (disturbed digestion or indigestion), but did not approve juniper as a single-ingredient aquaretic (an agent that increases urine flow, without affecting electrolyte balance). Juniper's detoxifying properties are also employed in the treatment of wounds and inflamatory diseases such as gout and rheumatoid arthritis and according to studies inhibited the formation of inflammatory prostaglanins. (Tyler, 93)
In addition juniper berries help clear congestion so are often included in cold remedies to relieve congestion and improve breathing Indeed, juniper berries have such a wide range of uses that no herbal medicine chest should be without them.
Preparation Methods & Dosage : To prevent loss of essential oil, juniper berries should not be ground, crushed, or rubbed until just before use. Juniper essential oil is for external applications only.
Juniper : Essential Oil Profile
Juniper berry oil has a fresh, warm, balsamic, woody-pine needle odor. Juniper is noted as being a detoxifying essential oil and is often used in massage formulas for pain. Juniper oil is also astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic and can be very beneficial in cleansing and toning the skin in cases of acne and other skin inflammations such as eczema. Juniper oil has a strengthening, tonic effect on the nerves, its sedative action will help those who find sleeping difficult because of worries and tensions. (Tisserand, Robert B. "Art of Aromatherapy")
Juniper Side Effects: Not for use during pregnancy or where there is kidney disease. If your urine smells like violets, you have been using the herb too long. Continued overdose can cause kidney irritation and blood in the urine. Use juniper berry essential oils in external applications only.
Koehler's Medicinal-Plants 1887
The Juniper is a small shrub, 4 to 6 feet high, widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere.
Regional Traditions :European *
How to Grow Juniper
Juniper belongs to a variable genus of about 50 species, many of which are planted as ornamentals. Many varieties on sale at the nursery are propagated from male plants and do not bear the medicinal berries valued in herbalism.
History and Traditions & FolkloreMany Native American tribes of North America have utilized various parts of J. communis for a wide range of ailments.5 A decoction of the berries has been used for lung and venereal disease by the Blackfoot tribe. The Woodland Cree smoked the blue berries for asthma and have made a decoction of the green berries for sore backs caused by kidney trouble. A combination of the berries with kinnikinnick (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Ericaceae) leaves or balsam has been decocted, strained and used for tuberculosis by the Carrier tribe. The Inupiat have used the berries alone or as an infusion, or a decoction of the berries, needles and twigs, to prevent and treat colds and flu. 1 (HerbalGram)