- High blood pressure
- Congestive heart failure
- Viral infections
- Bladder problems
This article will prove each claim and look at any side effects you should be aware of.
Juniper Background Information
Botanical name: Juniperus communis
Common names: Juniper Bush, juniper bark
Part Used: Berries
Medicinal properties: Diuretic, carminative, tonic, antiseptic, stomachic
What Is Juniper Good For?
Juniper has a long history of healing and can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Then Europeans placed it in front of their doors to keep witches out. Eventually its medicinal value was discovered and it was used to treat congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and helping women have “a safe and speedy delivery” of child.
Native American’s gave juniper to birthing mothers as well. Interestingly enough juniper is most known for its use in gin, where the berries are used for flavor purposes.
I understand your skepticism if you don’t trust the people of the past’s opinions. Even though they knew far more about medicine than they get credit for, you probably want more modern endorsements and science. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of that too.
Much of the medicinal value of juniper comes from its diuretic effect. Doctors use diuretics to treat both high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. These are both serious problems and if you want to incorporate them into your overall treatment for either problem, you should talk to your doctor first. Hawthorn berry extract is another herb you can consider taking to lower blood pressure.
Also, diuretics help with bladder infections.
Juniper is excellent for arthritis too. In Germany, herbs are much more accepted and mainstream than in America; doctors prescribe them all the time over there. In fact, their version of the FDA, called Commission E, is the most trusted government agency in the world when it comes to herbs. German doctors recommend and prescribe juniper for arthritis regularly.
It’s well known to relieve many women health concerns too. Amenorrhea, the medical condition where a woman who should be having regular periods is struggling to do so, can be cured by juniper. Fennel is another herb that’s great for amenorrhea.
Additionally, it stimulates uterine contractions. This makes it useful when trying to cause birth (this should only be done under proper supervision). Furthermore, it can relieve bloating during PMS.
Lastly, juniper extract contains a potent antiviral compound (deoxypodophyllotoxin) that can inhibit viruses responsible for flu and herpes. According to world famous herbalist, Dr. James A. Duke, when he feels a cold coming on “he turns to juniper.”
Not too bad for a herb most people associate with liquor.
Why Go With An Extract
There are many ways to enjoy herbs and this is true for juniper. You can make a tea with its berries or you can inhale its fresh smelling essential oil.
Those are all great options and I like them all. When I get the option to use an extract, that’s the herbal preparation I choose.
An extract is one of the most convenient ways to take herbs. There’s no pots and pans to clean up like when making a tea and it’s quicker than using essential oils. Extracts are very effective too.
Dosages And Safety Concerns
The standard dose for a juniper extract is usually between 10 to 20 drops in water or juice a few times a day. It really depends on the extract you purchase, so make sure to read the label of the one you get.
There are a few safety issues you need to keep in mind when taking this herb. Diuretics deplete the body of potassium so make sure to eat a lot of high potassium foods when using juniper. High potassium foods include:
- Fresh vegetables
- Baked potatoes
Juniper can have an irritating effect on the kidneys and shouldn’t be taken by people with kidney disease. Because of this no one should take juniper over a long period of time. Most herbalists agree 6 weeks is the maximum amount of time to consume without giving yourself a big break.
You should always familiarize yourself with the overdose symptoms of any medication or herb. The overdose symptoms of juniper are diarrhea, intestinal pain, kidney pain, protein and blood in the urine, purplish urine, rapid heartbeat, and elevated blood pressure.
You shouldn’t give juniper to children under 2. For people of over 65, make sure to talk to your doctor before using and to start with small doses and increase as necessary.
Despite these concerns, the FDA lists juniper as a herb that is generally considered safe.
Natural Is The Way
Take a look at the leading pharmaceuticals for each problem juniper helps with. If you look at the side effects and adverse reactions from these drugs, you will be astonished.
Here’s a few staggering facts to know about pharmaceuticals:
- They are the 4th leading cause of death killing more than 100,000 people a year. This is from taking as prescribed, not from abusing or overdosing.
- They cause more deaths than all illegal drugs combined and more than automobile accidents
- Pharmaceutical companies profit over 400 billion a year
It’s important to know medicine is a business to these giant companies and profit drives them more than safety and finding the best cures. Nature doesn’t work that way and everything you need to treat yourself lies in nature. You just need to be smart and get accurate information before doing anything.
Are You Optimistic About What Juniper Offers?
You should be! This wonderful herb is one of the best available and helps a wide range of problems. It has a few safety concerns to worry about but as long as you follow the advice int his article you will be fine.
Next to dosage, quality is the most important aspect when taking a herb (it’s more like 1A and 1B in importance). If you get a low quality juniper extract you can expect bad results. Click below if you are interested in seeing my top rated juniper extract:
If you have any experiences with juniper, have any questions or just want to share an opinion comment below; I love hearing what people have to say. Also, if you want your friends and family to see, share on social media.
Congrats on your interest in herbs and natural cures!