Juniper - Very Beneficial Herb for Digestion
Juniperus communis Cupressaceae
This eveIgreen shrub is found throughout Europe and its blueblack berries have long been used for medicinal purposes. They were believed to protect against the plague and cure snake bites. Juniper grows slowly but can reach a height if 15m. Whorls of evergreen leaves, like short, sharp needles, cover its erect stems. In April and May yellow or blue .flowers appear on the male or female plants respectively.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT urinary problems DECOCTION Put 10g of berllies into 750ml of boiling water. Leave to boil for 20 minutes, then filter. Drink 2-3 cups a day.
TO TREAT digestive problems INFUSION Put 0.5-2g of crushed berries into a cup of boiling water. Cover and infuse for 10 minutes, then strain. Drink 15 minutes before meals. TINCTURE Put 10-20 drops of tincture (1:5 in 45% alcohol) into a small glass of sweetened water. Take three times a day.
For external use
TO TREAT muscle pains, rheumatism, neuralgia, tendinitis
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST, CONSULT A DOCTOR
About 0.5 to 2 per cent of the berry is made up of an essential oil that is rich in monoterpenes. It also contains some bitter elements, which promote digestion. Flavonoids and tannins are also present.
Juniper berries are used to stimulate the appetite and to treat flatulence and other digestive disorders. The berries are also antiseptic and diuretic and are therefore used to treat minor urinary problems. In 1987 Italian research showed that juniper is anti-inflammatory.
The essential oil is used to treat neuralgia and rheumatism, while an infusion added to bath water has a gentle, relaxing effect which relieves tendonitis and muscle pains.
Juniper will grow in most soil types. Plant in sun or light shade from ripe seeds or cuttings taken in autumn.
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