Plant Description Medical Properties Dosage
Caution & Interaction Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data Helpful Links
Latin (botanical) name: Juniperus Communis
Common names: Juniper Bush, Juniper Berries
Plant Description: The Juniper is a small, evergreen coniferous shrub or small tree that can grow up to 10 feet in height. It can either be prostrate or erect. It is widely distributed throughout the Northern Hemisphere and commonly found where bands of limestone occur, although it can also be found as undergrowth in mixed forests. Juniper grows in Canada, Alaska, south to Georgia, in eastern Tennessee, north to Illinois and Minnesota, and west to New Mexico and California. It is common in pastures where sheep graze and eat the berries, then distribute the seeds in their feces. The bark is reddish-brown and the leaves are light green on one side, dark green on the other three sides, and needle-like. The berries, grown on the female plant, are green, then as they ripen in 2-3 years, turn a bluish-black color. These berries are used for the production of the volatile oil. Only the blue, ripe berries are picked.
Medicinal Properties &Uses: The principal constituent in Juniper is the volatile oil, along with resin, sugar, gum, water, lignin, wax and salines. Oil of Juniper is a useful remedy for gastrointestinal infections, inflammations and cramps. It is given as a diuretic, stomachic, and carminative in indigestion, and diseases of the kidney and bladder. The bitter action aids digestion and relieves flatulent colic. It's primary use, however, is in the treatment of urinary tract infections such as cystitis and urethritis. The antiseptic volatile oil is excreted in the urine which disinfects the urinary tract as it passes through. This action is enhanced by a diuretic effect which dilutes the urine. As Juniper is known to promote the excretion of uric acid at the kidney, it is often used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout, and other arthritic conditions associated with the accumulation of acid waste. Studies show that Juniper stimulates the uterine wall, so it is effective in the treatment of slow menstruation. It must never be used during pregnancy, however. Veterinarians often mix the oil with lard to treat exposed wounds and to help prevent irritation from flies.
Dosage: 20-40 drops in water or juice, 2-3 times daily or as needed.
Cautions & Interactions: Do not take during pregnancy. Keep out of reach of children.
Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data: Helpful Links: