Juniper — Juniperus communis

Juniperus communis 2Family: Pinaceae

Part used: mature cones or ‘berries’ (2 – 2.5 years old)

Herbal action: diuretic, antilithic, stimulant, antiseptic, hepatic carminative, antirheumatic

Indications: chronic cystitis, chronic urethritis, kidney stones, edema, ascites, arthritis, rheumatism, sciatica, eczema, psoriasis, skin infections, dyspepsia, intestinal colic

Contraindications and cautions: acute cystitis, pregnancy; gastric or intestinal inflammation, acute joint inflammation (topically)

Medicinal uses: Juniper berries to be a mild stimulant and relaxant, primarily influencing the kidneys and bladder, best utilized in symptoms of renal congestion, such as in aching back, urinary catarrh, and kidney stones. Juniper can reduce edema, and Juniper is contraindicated in acute inflammation of the urinary tract.

It is an excellent remedy for the skin, used internally as a diuretic and bitter stimulant to the kidneys and liver, and applied topically in eczema, herpes, psoriasis and parasitic skin diseases. As a uterine stimulant Juniper is a mild remedy, used in the suppression of menses and anxiety. In the treatment of gout, arthritis and rheumatism, Juniper exerts its influence by promoting the elimination of wastes via the liver and kidneys. A few of the berries eaten before a meal are an effective bitter tonic, and efficient as a carminative in intestinal colic.

Prepared as a salve or liniment Juniper is an effective and pleasant smelling counterirritant, useful in simple rheumatism and arthritis.