juniper

Juniper Berries: excellent remedy for cystitis. Also used externally as oil to ease painful muscles and joints...

Common Names: Juniper, Gin Berry

Botanical Name: Juniperus communis

Family: Cupressaceae

Plant Type: Hardy, evergreen shrubby tree

Parts Used: Leaves, twigs, and berries

Juniper is an evergreen bush native to Europe, Asia and the Northern Hemisphere.

Description: The common juniper (J. communis) is a low evergreen shrub up to a dozen to 30 feet high, growing low and spreading upright. The bark of the trunk is reddish brown and shreddy; the pine family needles are straight, sharply tipped, ridged, and nearly at right angles to the branchlets. The green berries take three years to ripen to a blue color. The dark purple fruit is round and about 1/4 inch wide, fleshy and berrylike. The male trees have yellow cones and the female trees have bluish-green cones. The maximum life span of the bush is 2,000 years.

Cultivation: Juniper is a hardy shrub often used as a groundcover. Plant both male and female plants if you want berries. Juniper prefers well-drained soil, in exposed sites in sun.

Harvesting: Pick sprigs any time, then dry; pick berries when ripe in their second year, and dry.

Culinary Uses: Juniper is the primary flavoring in gin, but it has other culinary uses. Use a few bruised juniper berries in marinades, soups, and stews. Juniper combines well with parsley, fennel, bay, and garlic. Grill meats with a juniper branch or two on the coals; this will give the meat a rich flavor.

Juniper Magick

Protection. Anti-Theft. Love. Exorcism. Health.

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Sun

Element: Fire

To purify an area, burn the dried needles as incense.

Burn juniper to break hexes and curses, and to help your psychic powers.

Add juniper to love mixtures and carry the berries to increase male potency.

Wear a sprig of juniper to protect you against accidents and attacks by wild animals.

Hang a branch of juniper over your front door to protect your home and keep negative energies from entering.

Herbal Healing with Juniper

Medicinal Actions: Abortifacient, analgesic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antilithic, antirheumatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, aphrodisiac, astringent, blood purifier, carminative, cholagogue, cicatrizant, depurative, detoxifier, digestive, disinfectant, diuretic (strong), emmenagogue, expectorant, healing, hemostatic, insecticide, meditation aid, nervine, parasiticide, refreshing, rubefacient, sedative, stimulant (genitourinary tract), stomachic, sudorific, tonic, tonifying, vermifuge, vulnerary

Medicinal Uses: Use poultices of juniper to relieve rheumatic and arthritic pains, as well as ulcers and inflammations. Note: Juniper is quite stimulating to the kidney nephrons, which is beneficial as long as they are functioning normally. Juniper is a detoxifier and the berries' essential oil treats cellulite, cystitis, rheumatism, eczema and gout, and cleanses the emotions.

Contraindications:

  • Juniper should not be taken during pregnancy.
  • It should also be avoided if kidney disease is present
  • Juniper is best taken for not more than six weeks or so at a time.
  • Repeated use of juniper can cause kidney damage, convulsions, and personality changes.

Healing Combinations with Juniper

Taken internally, juniper is a good remedy for cystitis, provided that there is no kidney disease present. Use it with couch grass (Agropyron), corn silk (Zea) and bearberry (Arctostaphylos)

Body Care with Juniper

To clear infection from the urinary tract, take 1 cup juniper berry infusion twice daily, as needed.

Infusion: Steep 3 tablespoons dried juniper berries in 1 cup just-boiled water for 20 minutes. Strain, then drink.

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INFUSION

Steep the recommended quantity of leaves or flowers of the herb in one cup of just-boiled water for 10 minutes (this makes one dose). Strain before drinking, or leave the herbs as sprigs and simply remove them. Always cover infusions if you intend to store them, and use them within 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


DECOCTION

Place the relevant quantity of herbs in 800ml cold water (makes three doses) in a pan. Boil, then simmer for 1 hour to reduce the liquid by a third. Strain through a fine sieve into a jug and store, in a cool place, for up to 24 hours. Drink hot or cold.


TINCTURE

Tinctures can be used to prepare roots or leaves. They include alcohol and water to extract the properties from the herbs which would not be available if a water preparation alone was used. It is possible to replace the alcohol with glycerol or vinegar.

A tincture will last for up to two years, which makes it a very convenient method if you intend long-term use of the herbs.


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