Plant Profile: Juniper

Juniper
 (Juniperus communis)

Family: CUPRESSACEAE

Energetics: 

Taste: Pungent. Bitter. 

Tissue States: 

Systems Affected: Kidneys. Bladder. Stomach. Uterus

Parts Used: Berries.

Key Components: Volatile oils (Including monoterpenes & sesquiterpenes). Flavonoids. Tannins. Bitters. Acids. Invert sugars. Flavone glycosides. Resin. Vitamin C. Calcium. Magnesium. 

Preparations & dosage: Fresh: Eat 3-5 berries for upset stomach. Infusion: 1-2 tsp steeped 20 minutes. Drink morning and evening for 4-6 weeks in spring & fall for chronic rheumatism. Tincture: 10-30 drops 3x per day. 

Actions:
Foundational: Stimulating. Aromatic. Bitter. 
Primary: Diuretic. Carminative. Diaphoretic. Emmenagogue. Anti-rheumatic
Secondary: Antiseptic. Anti inflammatory. Analgesic. 


Uses: 

  • Whenever there is excess fluid in the body and the kidneys are sluggish. Especially in cases of heart disease, diabetes, etc. 
  • Damp mucous conditions in smooth muscle, especially in Urinary, GI, uterus & lungs. 
  • Urine Retention
  • Stones & Gravel
  • Lumbar pain
  • Build up of uric acid
  • Gout
  • Rheumatic problems
  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Strengthens brain, memory & optic nerve
  • Leaves have antibiotic podophyllotoxin that has been found to have an effect against tumors.


Combines well with: 

Identifying: 

Growing: Grows in zones 2-9

Harvesting: Harvest the ripe berries that are not shriveled in the fall. Dry slowly in the shade. This way reduces the amount of oil lost. 

Contraindications: Avoid using internally during pregnancy. Not for long term use. Discontinue after 6 weeks. May be too stimulating for those with kidney disease. 


Sources:
The Way of Herbs: Michael Tierra. Pg 146-147 
The Herbal Apothecary: JJ Pursell. Pg 119-120
The Complete Herbs Sourcebook: David Hoffman. Pg 274

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