✵The article gives records of the herb Juniper Berry, its English name, Latin name, common names, property and flavor, its botanical source one plant species, ①.Juniperus communis L., with a detailed introduction to the botanical features of this plant species, the growth characteristics, and ecological environment of this plant species, the features of the herb Juniper Berry, its pharmacological actions, medicinal efficacy, and administration guide.
English Name: Juniper Berry.
Latin Name: Juniperus communis L.
Common Names: Enebro, Ginepro, Juniper Berry, horse savin, etc.
Property and flavor: The berry has a tangy smell, the taste is tangy-sweet, then resinous and bitter.
Brief introduction: More than seventy species of Juniperus, an aromatic evergreen shrub and small tree, populate the Northern Hemisphere. Small yellow flowers bloom every spring, but it takes two years for the fleshy miniature cones to mature to a deep blue-black. At this point, they are picked and dried. Steam distillation yields an essential oil.
Botanical source: Common herbal classics defined the herb Juniper Berry as the cones of the species (1). Juniperus communis L. It is a plant species of the Juniperus genus, the Cupressaceae family (cypress family). The dried fruit and essential oil from the ripe fruit are used medicinally. This commonly used species is introduced:
(1).Juniperus communis L.
Botanical description: Juniperus communis is a shrub or small tree, it grows up to 10 meters high; Branches spread straight, forming a tower-shaped or cylindrical crown, with brown-gray branches and longitudinal cracks; Branchlets are pendulous, young branches are triangular, glabrous.
Three leaves are whorled, thick and hard, 1.2~1.7 cm long and 1 mm wide, the upper part is gradually narrowed, the apex is sharp, the upper part is concave into a deep groove, and there is a narrow white powder belt in the groove, the lower part has obvious longitudinal ridges, and the cross-section is concave in a V-shaped triangle.
The male flower is elliptic or nearly spherical, 2~3 mm long, the connective is triangular and broadly ovate, the apex is pointed, and the back has a longitudinal ridge.
The cone is globose, 6~8 mm in diameter, purplish brown before maturity, brownish black or bluish-black when mature, and is often powdery; The seed is nearly ovoid, about 6 mm long, pointed at the top, with 4 inconspicuous edges and corners.
Ecological environment: Juniperus communis can be found almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere and likes to grow on chalky soil and limestone. The most productive areas are Sweden, England of United Kingdom, Canada and Northern Europe, and there are also many forests with this tree species.
Growth characteristics: Juniperus communis is a strong sun prefer tree species, which is shade-tolerant, drought-tolerant, cold-tolerant, and likes cold and cool climates. Deep-rooted, adaptable to the soil, resistant to drought and barren soil, can grow tenaciously in rock crevices and can grow in dry rock crevices or gravel fields at the seaside.
Common Uses: Juniperus communis can be used as a landscaping tree species, its branches and leaves are dense and drooping, and its tree posture is beautiful. It is planted as a garden tree, landscape tree, street tree, and sea cliff greening tree species all over the north.
Juniperus communis has hardwood, yellowish white sapwood, light brown heartwood, dense texture, and strong corrosion resistance. It can be used as materials for handicrafts, carvings, furniture, utensils, and farm tools.
Characters of herbs: The herb Juniper berry is the ripe, fresh, or dried berry of Juniper communis as well as its preparations. The ripe berries are harvested from the end of August to the middle of September and then dried at room temperature and sorted.
The dried mature cones are spherical or oval, 7~8 mm in diameter, purple-brown or blue-black, shiny, and slightly powdery on the surface. There are 2~3 seeds, 1 or 4 seeds. The seed is oval, about 6 mm long, brown, with a sharp apex and 4 inconspicuous edges and corners. Juniper berry has a special fragrance, tastes sweet.
Pharmacological actions: ①.diuretic actions; ②.increase intestinal movement; ③.stimulates salivation and gastric juices; ④.fight germs and bacteria; ⑤.anti-inflammatory activity; ⑥.treat diabetes;etc.
Juniper berry and its volatile oil have a diuretic action, studied identified its component terpinen-4-ol in the oil increases the fluid-filtering rate. Juniper berry and its extracts increase intestinal movement, its bitter component juniperin stimulates salivation and gastric juices, and soothe stomach upset. The juniper volatile oil and bitter also fight germs, juniper berry petroleum ether extract has inhibitory effect on Staphylococcus aureus, and this antibacterial substance is identified as the isomer of abietic acid. Juniper whole plant show anti-inflammatory activity in test, juniper preparations were prescribed for arthritis and gout. Juniper berry could retard the development of chemically induced diabetes, animal studies found decoction of the berry significantly lowers blood sugar levels.
Medicinal efficacy: Traditionally the herb Juniper Berry was used as a diuretic, it is prescribed for fluid retention, menstrual bloating, congestive heart failure, and high blood pressure. It is used by folk healers to clear congested airways during a cold, arthritis, and the painful inflammatory disease gout, improve digestion, relax intestinal cramping and reduce excess gas, fight intestinal worms, and stimulate the appetite. Steam vapors have been used to treat bronchitis. It is also recommended to disinfect the genitourinary tract, as an antiseptic, used to relieve nerve pain from rheumatic joints and body parts aching, neurasthenia neurosis, etc.
Juniper berry preparations are given to children as a tonic. Traditionally, it is famous for its spicy-sweet contribution to gin. Juniper berries and extracts are added to foods and various alcoholic drinks as a flavoring, and to perfumes, cosmetics, lotions, soaps, and other items as a fragrance.
TCM works record the herb juniper berry functions to dispel wind, relieve pain, eliminate dampness, prompt diuresis, it is indicated for rheumatic arthralgia, gout, nephritis, edema, urinary tract infection, etc.
Administration of Juniper Berry (Ginepro):
Administration Guide of Juniper Berry (Ginepro)
Herbal classic books:
Dosage: Juniper syrup is taken in dosages of 1 tablespoon morning and night. TCM works recommended the herb juniper berry internally as water decoction, 3~9 grams, externally proper amount, mashed the herb and apply a coating.
Contraindications, Precautions and Adverse Reactions: Take care when ingesting preparations of juniper berries, a major concern is that excessive doses may seriously irritate and even damage the kidneys. Individuals with kidney problems such as the elderly are at particularly high risk and may suffer damage even with typically recommended doses, avoid extended use of the herb if you have never had kidney problems. High concentrations of the oil can cause stomach upset or diarrhea, large doses can result in catharsis or convulsions.
Pregnant women should avoid the herb altogether, for it can stimulate uterine contractions and pose a risk of miscarriage. The pollen from juniper trees and various preparations made from the plant can cause allergic reactions.
But gin drinks and other alcoholic beverages that contain juniper oil might very unlikely cause kidney damage, because it contains very little juniper oil.
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1.Introduction of Juniper Berry:Enebro or Ginepro.