Family: Cupressaceae (cypress) - Coniferae (conifer)
Other common names: Common Juniper, Ground Juniper, Juniper Berries, Gin Berries
Juniper Berries (Juniperus Communis) are the ripe, dried cones from the Juniper Evergreen shrub. These small bluish purple berries are about 1/4 wide with an intense spicy flavor with a slight overtone of pine.
Juniper Berry assists urine flow and helps to clean the kidneys, bladder and prostate of toxic wastes, while at the same time helping to fight off urinary infections . Juniper Berries are famous as flavoring for gin, but Juniper also aids digestion and also helps to relieve gout, arthritis and painful joints.
History:. The use of Juniper goes way back in history. In the Middle Ages, the scent of Juniper was believed to ward off plague, witches, evil spirits, curses and contagious diseases For hundreds of years, Juniper Berry has been an herbal remedy for urinary tract problems, including urine retention and gallstones and is an old folk remedy for gout. In the 1500s, a Dutch pharmacist used Juniper Berries to create a new, diuretic drink that he called gin, which was not only used for medicinal purposes, but its delightful juniper-flavor which became a very popular drink
It is believed that the holy family was sheltered by the branches of a Juniper Tree when fleeing from King Herod.
. In North America, the Native Americans believed that Juniper would cleanse and heal the body and keep away infection, and different tribes used brewed tonics of juniper berries to treat a everything from colds to arthritis stomachaches and syphilis. The Natives also used it as a survival food
Juniper berries are used in northern European and particularly Scandinavian cuisine to "impart a sharp, clear flavor to meat dishes, especially wild game like boar and venison They are also used in sauerkraut dishes .
Some of the constituents in Juniper include the volatile oils, camphene, cineole, myrcene, alpha- and beta-pinene and terpinene (the active ingredients), as well as resin, sugar, gum, lignin, wax, salines, beta-carotene, betulin, borneol, catechin, glycolic acid, limonene, linalool, menthol, rutin, tannins, calcium, chromium, iron (and many other valuable minerals), B-vitamins and vitamin C. Researchers have identified a compound that have antiviral and anticancer potential, deoxypodophyllotoxin.
Juniper Berry is an effective diuretic and antiseptic that not only promotes the flow of urine, but also treats infection of the urinary tract at the same time. As a diuretic, the herb stimulates the kidneys and bladder to get rid of retained and excess water (possibly also helping to treat obesity). Juniper increases the filtering of waste products by the kidneys and helps to expel prostate sediment and gallstones. It is also thought to dissolve kidney stones. The herb helps to prevent the crystallization of uric acid in the kidneys, retaining it in a solution and passing it in the urine; thus curtailing the formation of razor sharp crystals of uric acid in the big toe!
Juniper Berry is helpful in combating bacterial infections, such as cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, vaginitis and inflamed kidneys.
Juniper Berry is an old herbal remedy for the digestive tract. The volatile oil content helps to eliminate gas and expel intestinal flatulence and assists in the digestion of foods like cabbage. The herb has been used to ease stomach cramps, colic and indigestion; and in small doses, it stimulates the appetite.
The anti-inflammatory properties of Juniper Berry are thought to ease the pain of rheumatism, arthritis, sore muscles and gout. Maybe this is why the gin and raisin treatment seems to help those suffering from arthritis
Juniper Berry has shown results in the treatment of lung disorders as an effective expectorant and decongestant
Juniper Berry is considered a purifier of the blood and overall system cleanser. Once toxic waste is removed from the body , the body has a better chance of fighting off disease.
In recent lab studies, Juniper has demonstrated antiviral activity against virus A-2 and Herpes simplex virus I and II.
Take one (1) capsule, two (2) times each day for four (4) weeks. Discontinue.
It is good to take a rest from Juniper and from Gin.
Pregnant women should not use Juniper Berry, because it stimulates the uterus and may cause abortion. Of course there is always a risk of allergic reaction, like with any other foods. It is not recommended to use with severe kidney disease, just follow your MD plan of treatment.