Juniper Herb - Uses And Side Effects
Herbalists use the dried ripe fruit of the plant Juniperus communis (family Cupressaceae), also called female cones or berries. Some people also use the heartwood and tops. Juniper should be used fresh because it's so abundant.
Juniper is found throughout Europe at the edges of woods, in heath and scrub and on moorland, mostly on lime-rich soils. In some countries it is a protected species. It is one of Britain's native conifers; it has a widespread but local and decreasing distribution. Juniper is, however, often grown in parks and gardens and there are now many cultivated varieties. Juniper berries have long been used for medicinal purposes and as a spice. They were believed to resist the plague and cure the bites of snakes. Nowadays they are mostly used for flavouring certain meats, liqueurs and especially gin. The English word gin is derived from an abbreviation of Hollands Geneva as the spirit was first called, which in turn came from the Dutch word gene ver and from Juniperus, the original Latin name for the plant.
Common doses of Juniper
Juniper comes as capsules, tablets, an oral liquid, and an essential oil. Some experts recommend the following doses:
Uses of Juniper herb
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. Specifically, juniper may help to :-
Side effects of Juniper
Call your health care practitioner if you experience any of these possible side effects of juniper:
Juniper also may irritate the urinary tract, especially the kidneys. Juniper sabina, a closely related species, has been used to induce abortion, although studies don't support this use.
Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.
Important paints to remember
What the research shows
Most information about juniper comes from animal studies. The traditional use of this plant as a diuretic and for kidney infections hasn't been studied in people, although evidence suggests it may work like the drug streptomycin to combat infections. Most promising is the plant's effect on lowering blood sugar, but scientists must conduct studies on people before juniper can be used as an oral antidiabetic drug.
Other names for Juniper
Other names for juniper include a 'ra'r a'di, ardic, baccal juniper, common juniper, dwarf, gemener, genievre, ground juniper, hackmatack, harvest, horse savin, juniper mistletoe, Juniperi fructus, yoshu-nezu, and zimbro.
Products containing juniper are sold under such names as Cold-Plus, Comsilk Buchu Formula, Formula 600 Plus for Men, Naturalvite, PMS Aid, Regeneration Softgels, and SKB.
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