Home Fruits & Vegetables How to Use Juniper Berries as Medicine

How to Use Juniper Berries as Medicine

by Andreea Laza

Learn how to use juniper berries as medicine and discover a wonderful natural medicine for many health problems.

Juniper (Juniperus communis) is one of the seasonless plants, as is always green, alive, and kicking. Even in winter, during the bitterest frost season, the fragrant, dark-purple juniper berries continue to ripe on the warm branches of juniper. Before we show you how to use juniper berries as medicine, learn where to find juniper and how to harvest its berries.

How to Use Juniper Berries as Medicine - Juniper Berries Uses - MyNaturalTreatment.com

Where to Find Juniper?

Juniper grows especially in the submontane and mountain areas, in open and well-sunned spots, as this shrub needs a lot of light. It is often found in the vicinity of hawthorns and rose hip bushes, as they share the same light and soil preferences. At high altitudes, juniper is usually found at the edge of pine, and beech forests.

How to Harvest Juniper Berries

Juniper berries can be harvested from about September through to December when they are fully ripe (are deep purplish-blue with a waxy appearance). Picking juniper berries is one of the most complicated berry-picking operations of this kind. Juniper leaves are extremely tough and can sting while its berries are much too small to be picked one by one. Hence, unless you make it your purpose to harvest juniper berries yearly, we recommend purchasing the berries from a local health shop.

If you still want to pick by hand, you will need a thick pair of gloves and a tarp to place under the juniper bush. Give the bush a good shake and collect the juniper berries that have fallen on the tarp, then separate the berries from the vegetable remains and you have your freshly harvested juniper berries.

Health Benefits of Juniper Berries

Taking juniper berries internally is excellent for preventing and fighting rheumatic pain. Recent studies show juniper berries contain active substances that inhibit the synthesis of some enzymes that cause painful inflammation of the joint tissues. Juniper berries cure has a direct effect of reducing blood pressure, it stimulates the elimination of excess water from the body through diuresis and thus indirectly helps to reduce blood pressure.

Moreover, the cure with juniper berries regulates the activity of the gonads and the central nervous system, helps to massively flush out toxins from the body, has anti-inflammatory effects, and reduces allergic sensitivity in the skin. Thus, in some Nordic countries, juniper berries are used as a remedy against anger, breast and ovarian pain, abdominal cramps as well as states of asthenia that precede menstruation.

How to Use Juniper Berries as Medicine

As a general rule, start by taking 4 juniper berries per day always on an empty stomach, and chew on them slowly. Up the dose by 1 berry each day, until you reach 15 juniper berries. Then do the exact opposite, by decreasing the dosage until you reach 4 juniper berries once again.

This is the most effective way to use juniper berries to prevent nervous system or hormonal imbalances, as well as to supplement your body with the natural vitamin C, vitamin B complex, iron, and chromium contained in juniper berries. During the cure, do not eat meat, fried foods, fatty foods, canned foods, and food additives.

5 Health Uses of Juniper Berries

  1. Acne & Dermatitis Adjuvant – follow a cure with juniper berries once every 30 days. This is a long-term treatment, usually without spectacular results at the beginning, but it lays the foundations for a complete healing of skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis.
  2. Rheumatoid Arthritis – follow successive treatments with juniper berries (with 15-20 days break in between) for one year. Studies show that people have experienced reduced joint pain, increased mobility, and reduced duration and intensity of rheumatic crises with juniper.
  3. High Blood Pressure – follow 4-6 treatments with juniper berries per year, with at least 21 days break in between.
  4. Pinworms & Giardia – a study done in 2006 by a group of doctors from the University of Medicine in Ankara, Turkey, led by Dr. E. Kozan, highlighted the fact that periodic treatments with juniper prevent intestinal parasitosis, but also infection with the protozoan Giardia lamblia. In this case, you can follow the juniper berries cure (4-6 times a year).
  5. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) – follow the cure with juniper berries once every two months, starting with the last day of your menstrual cycle.

Ancient Uses of Juniper Berries

The first uses of juniper for medicinal purposes were recorded three millennia ago, in the mountainous areas of India, and Tibet, where it was used for lung conditions, but also in purification rituals or to ward off evil spirits. In Celtic medicine, healers used roasted juniper berries to make a drink that banished fatigue and kept warriors awake at night. Among the Thracian tribes, juniper berries were administered to pregnant women, to induce labor, but were also given to children, to prevent colds and infections of all kinds.

In the Middle Ages, a Dutch doctor discovered the famous gin, an alcoholic drink to which he added an abundance of juniper berries, which was initially used strictly for medicinal purposes, as a kidney stimulant, and powerful detoxifier. Later, the gin recipe was drastically modified, using less juniper, and it became the traditional alcoholic drink of some peoples in North-West Europe.

Juniper Safety and Contraindications

When using juniper internally, do not exceed the maximum daily adult dose (10 grams of plant). If this dose is exceeded, one may experience kidney irritations, digestive disorders, mouth irritations, and even spasms. A juniper cure should last no more than 4 weeks, followed by a minimum 3-week break, after which it can be resumed. Using juniper for too long can lead to loss of potassium from the body, very low blood sugar, hypotension, and even hypocalcemia. Other juniper contraindications to consider:

  • Never use juniper during pregnancy (in any form), because this plant has proven abortion-inducing effects, being often used in folk medicine to trigger and accelerate childbirth or abortion.
  • Avoid juniper treatments if you want to become pregnant (both partners), as juniper has a surprising effectiveness as a contraceptive. Animal studies have confirmed that the reproductive rate of laboratory animals treated with juniper for several months was reduced by 60-70%.
  • If you are already suffering from kidney infections, you should use juniper internally cautiously – at first only 1/4 of the recommended daily dose. If you feel any intensification of the irritation when urinating, kidney pain, or irritation in the reno-urinary system, stop using juniper.

For a long time, it was believed that juniper is nephrotoxic and harmful in cases of kidney and urinary infections, but recent studies show that inflammatory phenomena due to juniper are isolated, rather due to individual predispositions. Please consult an herbal medicine specialist before using juniper internally.

More Juniper Remedies:
Juniper Berries Tea
Juniper Berry Powder
Juniper Berry Tincture
Juniper Essential Oil

If you’ve enjoyed learning how to use juniper berries as medicine, please share this article so more people can use this information. Let us know in the comments below how you use juniper berries as medicine. Stay healthy, naturally!

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How to Use Juniper Berries as Medicine - Juniper Berries Uses - MyNaturalTreatment.com

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