Scientific Name/Common Name: Juniper communis / Juniper
Part(s) Used: Berry
Constituents/Active Ingredients: Between 0.2-3.42.0% essential oil with myrcene, alpha and beta pinene, camphene, limonene; condensed tannins; diterpenes; flavonoids (amento-flavone, quercetin, isoquercetin, apigenin).
Overview: Juniper is a small evergreen tree/shrub found naturally around the globe in the cooler climate areas of the Northern Hemisphere. Juniper berries are rich in a pleasant tasting essential oil recognized for its digestive properties. Juniper berry tea is listed in the German Pharmacopoeia as a treatment for dyspeptic complaints including gas, heartburn, indigestion, and flatulence. It is noted by German authorities that the tea is also a powerful diuretic and urinary antiseptic. The diuretic action is thought to be largely due to the tea’s content of terpinen-4-ol, a non-irritating terpene.
Traditional Use/Benefits/Body Systems: Traditionally used in Herbal Medicine as a diuretic, as a urinary tract antiseptic to help relieve benign urinary tract infections, to help relieve digestive disturbances such as flatulent dyspepsia (carminative), and to aid digestion and stimulate appetite (stomachic).
Clinical Studies/Scientific Research/References:
Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Boston (MA): Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
Wichtl M, editor. Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals: A Handbook for Practice on a Scientific Basis, 3rd edition. Stuttgart (D): Medpharm GmbH Scientific Publishers; 2004.
Hoffmann D. 2003. Medical Herbalism: The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester (VT): Healing Arts Press.
Disclaimer: This information in our Herbal Encyclopedia is intended only as a general reference for educational purposes. It is not a replacement for medical advice. This content does not provide dosage information, cautions/contraindications, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Please consult any relevant product labels for detailed information on use and with a medical practitioner for individual health advice.