In ancient times juniper sprigs were thrown into a fire to protect against evil spirits and ward of the plague.
Although it is anyone's guess how effective it was against either, Juniper today is known as a strong diuretic, depurative and uterine stimulant.
Native Americans were known to use Juniper berries to treat urinary tract infections. A cool infusion of the soaked berries was used to stimulate sluggish kidneys and increase urine flow. And small doses were thought to be helpful for fluid retention.
Juniper has also been used internally for problems of the digestive system, easing colic and functional support of the stomach, as well as externally for arthritis, gout and rheumatic conditions.
Juniper is said to be a strong stimulant, triggering menstruation and increasing menstrual flow. Native American Indians were known to use Juniper as a contraceptive. It is considered a strong uterine stimulant - so powerful that pregnant women are strongly warned to avoid it. Nicholas Culpeper, the famous 17th century herbalist/physician, was known to recommend pregnant women take Juniper berries to speed childbirth.
The berries of the Juniper plant contain between 1-2% of volatile (essential) oil, which consists of more than 60 chemical constituents, including a-pinene, b-pinene, cineole, myrcene and sabinene, as well as some tannins, diterpines, sugars, resin and vitamin C.
The essential oil of Juniper berries has a slightly warming effect and, when massaged into the skin, acts as an astringent to tighten up over-relaxed skin tissue. It is said to promote circulation, release of fluid retention and removal of waste accumulations from underlying skin tissue, making it an excellent herb for anti-cellulite detoxification.
Skin Care Benefits:
Astringent, stimulant, purificant, tonic
Alchemilla Products Containing this Herb:
- Juniper Oil