Common juniper

Common juniper L.

The cypress family is Cupressaceae


What does it look like? An evergreen shrub (sometimes a tree) 2-4 m tall. The bark is gray or reddish-brown, scaly. The leaves are needle-shaped pins, sessile, hard, linear, grooved above with a white stripe, shiny below, with a bluntly rounded end, arranged in threes. Plants are dioecious. Microstrobiln are almost sessile, yellow, round-oblong, female – berry-like cones, numerous, oblong-ovoid, single, in the axils of the leaves, on one stem. Their three scales become fleshy and grow as they mature. Pine cones are bluish-black, with three seeds. It blooms in May, the cone berries ripen in the autumn of the following year.

Where does it grow? In the undergrowth of coniferous and mixed forests, on moderately moist soils, rarely above the banks of rivers, on mossy swamps, dry hills and on wooded mountain slopes — in the Carpathians (in the lower part of the mountains), in Polissia, in the northern zone of the Forest Steppe.

What and when are collected? Young pine trees in the spring, pine cones in the late fall.

When is it used?To purify the blood from boils and rashes on the body. As an aromatic and diuretic agent (in an increased dose and when used for more than 6 weeks, the active factor of the volatile oil, terpeneol, can irritate the kidneys). The presence of terpene derivatives (α-pinene, kamifeiu, cadinene, terpeneol, borneol, isoborneol, cedrol) in juniper oil causes irritation, pain-relieving and non-specific antiseptic effect of juniper. Being absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, they improve digestion, because they create unfavorable conditions for the development of secondary bacterial flora. Then, the same effect of terpene compounds as an expectorant is observed in the respiratory tract. In particular, terpenose compounds close to camphor also stimulate the central nervous system. Terpenes, when removed from the body by the kidneys, cause changes in the colloidal chemistry of urine; they increase blood circulation in the kidneys and thereby increase urine output. Thanks to the diuretic, bactericidal and antispasmodic properties of terpenes, inflammatory processes are reduced, the tone of the smooth muscles of the upper urinary tract is normalized, crushed stones are dissolved and excreted (besides oil, pinecones contain tannins, flavonoids, juniper bitterness, resin, wax, rubber).Juniper disinfects the urinary tract, stimulates appetite and acts as an expectorant; it is used against heartburn; for the treatment of obesity (dehydration); edema of the lower legs due to varicose veins and fracture or sprain of ligaments; in women’s diseases – from white spots, take 1 tablespoon of pine nuts and young stems in 1 cup of boiling water and boil for 10-15 minutes. They drink 2 glasses a day in sips. When treating with berries – for weakness of the urinary bladder, heartburn, sluggish digestion, bloating (flatulence), – on the first day, 6 berries are carefully chewed (stones are spit out), adding 1 every day for the next 14 days, up to 20 berries, and then gradually reducing for 1 berry every day – up to 0. This treatment promotes the elimination of gases, has a mild choleretic effect and disinfects the biliary tract. It is also useful for kidney function, does not irritate them.

To strengthen the action of the stomach and intestines, infuse 1 tablespoon of a mixture of juniper berries, three-leafed mulberry leaves, and centuria grass in a ratio of 1:1:3 for 4 hours in 1.5 cups of boiling water, strain and drink half a cup three times a day for half an hour before meals. Consumption of 10-15 drops of alcoholic juniper tincture on sugar prevents colds.

As a diuretic, take 1 tablespoon of a mixture of juniper berries, licorice root, and plantain leaves in a ratio of 4.1:4, brew for a minute in 1 glass of boiling water, infuse for several hours, and take 1 tablespoon 3-4 times a day. Or take 1 teaspoon of a mixture (equally) of juniper berries, birch leaves and dandelion roots in 1 cup of boiling water, boil for a minute, infuse for half an hour and use 1 tablespoon three times a day for watery tumors.

As a diuretic, 1 full tablespoon of a mixture (equally) of juniper cone berries, lupine roots, licorice root, and lovage root is infused for 6 hours in 1 glass of water, boiled for 15 minutes. It is drunk several times during the day with urolithiasis. It is contraindicated to use during pregnancy and acute diseases of the kidneys and urinary tract

For cystitis, bacteriuria, take 1 tablespoon of a mixture (equally) of juniper cone berries , tricolor violet (pansy) and lovage root in 1 glass of water, boil for 15 minutes. Drink 1-2 glasses of decoction during the day

With flatulence (bloating) 2 full teaspoons of a mixture of juniper cones , wild chicory root, sage leaves, bitter wormwood herb, angelica root, cold mint leaves and arnica flowers in a ratio of 1:1:I:1:1.5:1 ,5: 1 boil for 15 minutes in 1 glass of water. They drink 1-2 glasses a day.

In case of rheumatic, gouty inflammations and swellings, juniper tincture (1:6 parts of alcohol) is rubbed in, and in case of ear pain, cotton wool moistened with juniper tincture, carefully squeezed out, is inserted into it. Volatile juniper oil has an antimicrobial effect.

Boil 100 to 200 g of dry pine cones in 1 liter of water and add the decoction to a bath to treat gout and rheumatism, ringworm, scabies, rashes on the body, and other skin diseases. After such a bath, he sleeps well and peacefully. Infected areas are fumigated with smoke from pine cones and stems smoldering on hot coals.

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