Origin: Russia, Altai
Juniper is an evergreen coniferous shrub or small tree 1 m high with prickly hard needles arranged in whorls of three needles in each, and with fleshy cones that look like black "berries" with a bluish bloom. Male flowers - in catkins, female-in the form of green cones; after fertilization, the three upper scales swell and coalesce, forming a stem- a false berry, at first green, when maturing almost black. One plant usually has both green and black berries (sweet-spicy, aromatic). Flowering time is may.
It grows as an undergrowth in rare pine and mixed forests and among shrubs, on woodlands, edges, and mountain slopes. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant.
For medicinal purposes, use berries harvested in the fall. Dry them under a canopy or in attics with good ventilation. It is not recommended to dry fruits in stoves and dryers, as this destroys biologically active substances. Juniper fruit contains essential oil (up to 2%), which includes pinene, terpinene, phellandrene, terpinolene, dipentene, sabinene, terpineol, borneol, isoborneol, juniper camphor, cindrol, cadinene. In addition, resinous and tannic substances, invert sugar (up to 40%), wax, organic acids (formic, malic, acetic), trace elements (manganese, iron, copper, aluminum), pectins, and a yellow amorphous substance - juniperine were found. The leaves contain a lot of phytoncides and ascorbic acid.
Infusion and decoction of juniper berries have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antipyretic, expectorant, diuretic, choleretic, analgesic effects, and also excite appetite, activating the motor and secretory function of the intestine, improve digestion, increase lactation in nursing women. The essential oil released by the kidneys irritates the parenchyma of the kidneys, and this, in turn, contributes to a pronounced diuretic effect. In a small amount, essential oil is also secreted by the bronchial and sweat glands, acting as an expectorant and non-sharply expressed diaphoretic.
Infusion and decoction of berries are used in scientific and folk medicine for edema of heart origin, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and other lung diseases, accompanied by the formation of purulent sputum, flatulence, constipation, cholelithiasis.
Fruits and decoctions by branches are used as a diuretic for dropsy, as well as for tuberculosis, malaria, rheumatism, nervous and gynecological diseases.
Essential oil from the fruit is rubbed in for gout, paralysis of the limbs, neuralgia, rheumatism, polyarthritis. When the middle ear is inflamed, cotton wool is inserted into the ear canal, moistened with a tincture of juniper berries, believing that this relieves inflammatory phenomena.
Juniper berries are widely used in medicine in many countries as a diuretic for chronic inflammation of the kidneys and bladder, liver diseases, dermatitis, rheumatism, skin diseases (scabies, lichen, skin rashes).
Juniper needles are used for trichomonadal colpitis, and roots - for rheumatism. Decoctions of the bark are drunk for sexual impotence.
In the spring, to improve the blood composition, it is recommended to chew one berry on an empty stomach every day, two on the next day, and to reach 15 berries on the 15th day, reducing them to 5. Juniper berries are used in veterinary medicine, homeopathy. Due to the irritating effect on the kidneys, the use of juniper in large doses is contraindicated in kidney diseases.
Berries are used as a substitute for coffee, spice for meat dishes and sauerkraut.
Juniper sugar is extracted by the fruit, which is used for making beer, mors and flavoring beverages; the fruit is also used for the production of liqueurs and wines.
The production of juniper vodka called "Gin" is widespread.
1. 2 teaspoons of dry juniper berries to 2 cups of boiled water, infused for 2 hours. Take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day as a diuretic.
2. 10 g of dry juniper berries per 1 cup of water, boil for 5 minutes, strain, add sugar and cool. Take 1 teaspoon to improve appetite.
3. 100-200 g of dry juniper berries per 1 liter of water, boil. Use for baths with polyarthritis, gout and rheumatism.
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