Juniper Berries

Juniperus spp. or Juniper is known to have active properties such as:

Antibacterial, Antifungal, antirheumatic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifviral, emmenagogue and nephroproctective.

When taking Juniper as medication, it is best to know how to take it according to what your trying to treat. For instance, Juniper can be taken as a dried tincture, a decoction of berries or leaves, a powder of the berries can be  made into a paste for topical applications or the essential oil can be inhaled through steam or a diffuser.

Juniper Berries are one of the highly prized herbal antibiotics. It is especially well known for its potent essential oil and its abilities to help fight off respiratory infections. Juniper berries have been known to show activity to help fight against diseases such as tuberculosis (with the assistance of other herbs of course). They have also been known to help fight against a lot of tough bacteria such as E.coli, Salmonella, clostridium, listeria, Helicobacter pylori, Klebsiella pneumonia, and various staphylococcus and streptococcus strains. This can be very fortunate and helpful as a lot of these bacteria have become increasingly hard to treat due to the up-rise in antibiotic resistance. (Especially for different strains of tuberculosis as one strain is completely resistant to all drugs.)

Although I traditionally like to use the Juniper for lung infections but it has far more uses. The berries of this plant can be best used for UTI infections that have been caused by E.coli as well as kidney infections. To do this you can either boil water and add a few essential oils for a steam or you may use the oil in a diffuser. (About 2-3 drops depending on your diffuser.)

All parts of this plant can be boiled and decocted for use as a disinfectant, which can be used much like modern hand sanitizer. This can also be added to lotions or salves to help with sore muscles and joints.

Although Juniper is great for treating infections there are a few precautions to take while using it. Long-term use is not recommended as it can be harsh on the kidneys. The essential oil should not be taken internally for long periods of times as it is highly concentrated an can irritate the kidneys as well. If you have been using Juniper for some time and you notice your urine begins to smell like violets, discard use as soon as possible as it can be a sign of toxicity. Such misuse is hard to do so it could easily be avoided, but take precautions. And lastly, because this herb is an emmenagogue, it should not be taken or used during pregnancy.

Keep in mind that herbal medicine should not be feared as it has been used for years and years and can be very effective in treating bacteria and infections, but like anything, use it with good intention.

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