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Juniper - Uses and Benefits

Alternative Names:

Herb Description

The Juniper is a small plant of 4 to 6 feet high, widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It grows freely on siliceous soils and also on scotch mountains and some limestone hills in the Lake district. Junipers differ in size and shape from tall trees , to columnar or low spreading shrubs with long trailing branches. They are evergreen plant with either needle-like and/or scale-like leaves .these are those types of plant in which male and female organs are found on the same plant but in different flowers . Most junipers are dense, with tree forms from columnar to pyramidal and narrow to broad.They are often aromatic and use as a spice . The seed maturation time varies between species from 6-18 months after pollination. Most shed their pollen in early spring, but some species pollinate in the autumn. They are very popular woody plants because there is a form for almost every landscape use .

Some junipers (e.g. J. chinensis , J. virginiana ) have two types of leaves:older trees have needle-like leaves 5-25 mm long and the leaves on mature plants are tiny 2-4 mm long.When juvenile foliage occurs on mature plants, it is most often found on shaded shoots, with adult foliage in full sunlight.In many species (e.g. J. communis , J. squamata ), all the foliage is of the juvenile needle-like type, with no scale leaves. In some of these (e.g. J. communis ), the needles are jointed at the base, in others (e.g. J. squamata ), the needles merge smoothly with the stem, not jointed. Junipers are dioecious, i.e. they are like holly - the female or fruit-bearing flowers are all on one plant, while the pollen bearing male flowers are on another.The oil of juniper, extracted from the berries, is used to flavor gin.


uses and benefits

The oil of Juniper is given as a diuretic, stomachic, and carminative in indigestion, flatulence, and diseases of the kidney and bladder. it is employed as a stimulating diuretic in cardiac and hepatic dropsy. Junipers oil is relatively light, of a greenish-yellow color and has a balsamic, woody and fresh scent. as it is evaporate in nature so must be kept well-stoppered and away from heat. oil is use in cosmetic when mixed with distilled or spring water to produce skin care products which, used as a wash or cleanser, useful for infected oily skin.The berries are used for the production of the volatile oil which is a prime ingredient in Geneva or Hollands Gin, upon which its flavor and diuretic properties depend.

The most valuable medicinal qualities of juniper are as an antiseptic, especially in treating cystitis and kidney problems, as a diuretic it is use for treating digestive upsets and for easing muscular or joint pain in chronic conditions such as gout, arthritis and rheumatism, used to clear uric acid from the body.It is high in natural insulin, and has the ability to heal the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage. it has been used at various times to treat problem in period pains and flatulence to epilepsy, cholera, typhoid and dysentery. if boil up the green parts of the shrub and consume them to treat stomach disorders. The antiseptic volatile oil is excreted in the urine which disinfects the urinary tract as it passes through . Juniper help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. Swelling and inflammation of the joints is a symptom commonly associated with rheumatoid arthritis


side effects

Many side effects occurs like:

  • It may decrease fertility if taken by Pregnant women
  • continuous use of this medicine may damage Kidney
  • Eye redness or itching also possible if used continuous continuous
  • harmful if applied on open wounds and may cause irritation & swelling on applied areas on skin
  • Excessive applications may cause kidney irritation.

Side effects of juniper overdose include:

  • diarrhea
  • purplish urine
  • blood in the urine
  • kidney pain
  • intestinal pain
  • elevated blood pressure
  • quickened heartbeat.

Juniper preparations have diuretic properties and may increase the side effects caused by diuretic drugs.if taken internally Juniper may interfere with the absorption of iron and other minerals .

concern to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects.If medicine shows these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems
  • tightness in your throat
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin \.
  • tightness in your chest.


Elixir of Potassium Acetate and Juniper as a diaphoretic, 4 fluid drachms. Comp. Spirit, U.S. P., 2 drachms. Solid extract, 5 to 15 grains.

The German Commission E monograph suggests 1/2-2 teaspoons of the dried fruit daily. 4 To make a tea, 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water is added to 1 teaspoon about 5 grams of juniper berries and allowed to steep for twenty min in a tightly covered container. Drink one cup about 250 ml each morning and night. Juniper is often combined with other diuretic and anti-microbial herbs. As a capsule or tablet, 1-2 grams can be taken 3 times per day, or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon (1-2 ml) of tincture can be taken 3 times daily.

juniper tea can be prepare by adding 1 cup of boiling water to 1 tablespoon of juniper berries, covering, and allowing the berries to steep for 20 minutes. The prescribed dosage is 1 cup two times a day. However, juniper treat bladder infections when combined with other herbs. Combination products should be taken according to label instructions.

Drug Interactions

Certain medicines may interact with juniper.

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