Juniper Berries

Juniperus communis


Cupressaceae


Names:


Habitat: Widely distributed throughout the world, particularly Europe.


Collection: The ripe, unshrivelled berries should be collected in the autumn and dried slowly in the shade, to avoid losing the oil present.


Part Used: Dried fruits.


Constituents:

  • Volatile oil, containing mainly myrcene, sabinene andx-pinene, with 4-cineole,

    p-cymene, camphene, limonene, [[beta]]-pinene, terpin-4–ol, y-terpinene, x-thujene.

  • Condensed tannins; (+)-afzelechin, (-)-epiafzelechin, (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, (+)-gallocatechin and (+)-epigallocatechin

  • l, 4-dimethyl-3-cyclohexen-l-yl, methyl ketone

  • Diterpene acids; myreocommunic, communic, sandaracopimaric, isopimaric, torulosic acids and other diterpenes such as geijerone

  • Miscellaneous; sugars, resin, vitamin C.

Actions: Diuretic, anti-microbial, carminative, anti-rheumatic.


Indications: Juniper Berries make an excellent antiseptic in conditions such as cystitis. The essential oil present is quite stimulating to the kidney nephrons and so this herb should be avoided in kidney disease. The bitter action aids digestion and eases flatulent colic. It is used in rheumatism and arthritis. Externally, is eases pain in the joints or muscles.


CAUTION: Due to its action on the kidneys, Juniper Berries should be avoided in any kidney disease. It should also be avoided in pregnancy.


Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l teaspoonful of lightly crushed berries and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. A cup should be drunk night and morning. Tincture: 0.5 – 1 ml three times a day.


Go to Herbal Materia Medica Homepage

David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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