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Juniper - Uses and Benefits

Botanical: Juniperus communis.
Family: N.O. Coniferae.

Juniper has been 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 is useful for all urinary infections and for water retention problems, as well as gout. Chewing the berries treats inflamed and infected gums. Juniper is used externally as a compress to treat acne, athlete's foot, and dandruff.

Juniper, an evergreen tree, grows mainly in the plains regions of Europe as well as in other parts of the world. Juniper makes a fine purifying and sanctifying incense allied with various planets. Juniper berries contain the planetary metal for Jupiter, and their color and warming action suits that planet as well. The spicy warmth of Juniper berries purifies the aura, clarifies thought, and protects from negativity.

The juniper family includes more than 60 species of generally slow-growing evergreens. Some species are ground covers; others get as tall as 30 feet. They grow well in most cool climates of the Northern Hemisphere. The medicinal portions of the plant are referred to as berries, but they are actually dark blue-black scales from the cones of the tree. Unlike other pine cones, the juniper cones are fleshy and soft.

Uses of Juniper:-

The important uses of juniper are as:-

  • The traditional use of juniper is as a diuretic and to treat conditions of the bladder or kidneys. Diuretic action of the essential oil is well established and attributed to terpinene-4-ol, which increases the filtration rate of the kidney.
  • Juniper berries are used internally to treat cystitis, urethritis, kidney inflammation (NOT infection) and water retention.
  • It is also used for rheumatism, gout, arthritis and its stomachic properties help with poor digestion with gas, dyspepsia and colic. 
  • The berries are used to flavor pickling brine, sauerkraut, stuffing's, game, ham and pork. 
  • Juniper tar has been used occasionally in combination with other plant tars to treat psoriasis of the scalp.
  • The berries are usually dried for use. They can be added to pork and venison and they can be used as a substitute for a bay leaf.
  • The berries can be added to stuffing for rich meat like goose or duck and added to cabbage water and the water in which a ham is being boiled.
  • Tea made from the berries is supposed to have a diuretic quality and it is good for bronchial complaints and indigestion.
  • The berries can be used externally for rheumatic pain and neuralgia.
  • It clears the mind and is a good detoxifier, especially of uric acid, making it an excellent choice for treating arthritis, rheumatism and gout. 
  • Also useful for fighting cellulite and it promotes menses, while relieving menstrual cramping and regulating periods. 

Side Effects:-

Oral doses of juniper over 10,000 mg (10 grams) per day or for longer than 4 weeks have caused kidney damage and seizures. Topical juniper oil may result in irritation and swelling at the sites where it is applied. Juniper tar (cade oil) has been linked to skin damage that eventually may lead to skin cancer.

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

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

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Kidney damage
  • Eye redness or itching

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Juniper you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Juniper. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

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