July 24, 2016

Juniper

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What other names is Juniper known by?

Baie de Genévrier, Common Juniper, Common Juniper Berry, Enebro, Extract of Juniper, Extrait de Genévrier, Genévrier, Genévrier Commun, Genievre, Genièvre, Ginepro, Huile de Baies de Genévrier, Huile de Genévrier, Juniper Berry, Juniper Berry Oil, Juniper Extract, Juniper Oil, Juniperi Fructus, Juniperus communis, Oil of Juniper, Wacholderbeeren, Zimbro.

What is Juniper?

Juniper is a short to medium-height tree that grows wild in some parts of Europe, North America, and Asia. There are many varieties of juniper, but Juniperus communis is the most common in North America.

People use the juniper berry to make medicine. Medicinal preparations include the extract of juniper berry, as well as the essential oil of juniper berry. Don't confuse juniper berry oil with cade oil, which is distilled from juniper wood (Juniperus oxycedrus).

Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.

Some people apply juniper directly to the skin for wounds and for pain in joints and muscles. The essential oil of juniper is inhaled to treat bronchitis and numb pain.

In foods, the juniper berry is often used as a condiment and a flavoring ingredient in gin and bitter preparations. The extract and essential oil are used as a flavoring ingredient in foods and beverages.

In manufacturing, the juniper oil is used as a fragrance in soaps and cosmetics.

Juniper extract and juniper oil are used in cosmetics including lipstick, foundation, hair conditioners, bath oils, bubble bath, eye shadow, and many other products.

Is Juniper effective?

There isn't enough information to know if juniper is effective for the other conditions people use it for, including: upset stomach, heartburn, bloating, loss of appetite, urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney and bladder stones, joint and muscle pain, wounds, and many other conditions.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Upset stomach.
  • Heartburn.
  • Bloating.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  • Kidney and bladder stones.
  • Joint and muscle pain.
  • Wounds.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of juniper for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


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